Duration: 6 night(s) From €3,500
Trip created by Eimear Quinn
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The west coast of Ireland – and the Burren National Park specifically – has some of Ireland’s (and Europe’s) most diverse range of wildflowers. Here, in this craggy alien landscape, you’ll find wildflowers native to the Arctic all the way down to the Mediterranean growing between the rocks.
On this hiking journey in Ireland’s west coast, not only will you explore the Burren and its flowers, but you’ll also hop on a boat to sail out to the Aran Islands, home to ancient archeology sites as well as holding true to long-held Irish tradition – such as language, music, dance and crafts. Walk along the breath-taking edge of the Cliffs of Moher before the summer crowds arrive, watch new lambs bouncing in the fields, and breathe in some of the freshest spring air!
The ‘town of the tribes,’ Galway City is the west cost’s most vibrant urban centre and a great place to start your trip. Cobbled pavement and street performers await as well as some of the best and freshest food Ireland has to offer. Wander the historical streets and XXX.
The Burren is renowned the world over for its rocky grey limestone landscape. In spring and early summer, the Burren transforms into a myriad of colour hosting one of the highest diversities of wild flowers in Europe – flowers from the arctic and the southern Mediterranean blanket the ground here! Today we will climb the iconic Slieve Carran Mountain to enjoy the view of this strange landscape – a region said to have inspired JRR Tolkein’s Middle Earth – while marvelling at the beautiful flowers.
Optional upgrade: Meet a local wildflower expert for your hike through the landscape, learning about the various kinds of beautiful flora growing in the Burren.
The Burren is an area of scenic attractions where stone-grey hills and the valleys beneath reveal many prehistoric remains. Today as the layers of unfolding to form limestone terraces on the slopes of the hills, you’ll hike part of the scenic Burren Way. The grey stretches are coupled with streaks of colour in the rock fissures. With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt’s pyramids, hiking the Burren Way is perhaps the best way to truly get a sense of this unusual landscape.
Start your morning off with a truly impressive sight. You’ll hike along the cliff edges of the staggering 700ft high Cliffs of Moher – approaching the massive cliffs via little-known ‘secret’ paths to avoid other visitors, alive with flowers clinging to the crags in springtime. The Cliffs of Moher are home to the largest colony of nesting seabirds on mainland Ireland – and you’ll even have the chance of spotting puffins nesting on the cliffs if you’re lucky!
Cut off from the world, the Aran Islands are a bastion of traditional Irish language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology and alive with a potent sense of history. Inis Mór (Inishmore) is the largest of the Aran Islands and home to one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe: Dún Aonghusa (Dun Aengus), a semi-circular stone fort that clings dramatically to the top of a 100 metre drop into the sea. We’ll explore the island on foot before settling down to our island retreat with a pint in hand.
Today, you’ll meet a local forager for a hike through the Burren. Not only will you learn a bit more about the types of plants available in the Burren and on the west coast of Ireland, you’ll get a crash course in edible plants and for lunch, you’ll even get to taste a few wild dishes on a picnic in this remote area.
This morning, your guide will take you to the bustling town of Galway, where you can choose to explore Galway or make your way onwards.
This trip features Classic standard accommodations chosen for their excellent luxury, location and comfort. Expect high-end, comfortable and characterful lodging in luxurious guesthouses, boutique hotels and historic manor-houses.
Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower. Evening meals will be taken either in local towns, which offer a good choice of restaurants to suit every taste, or perhaps in a different location along the route depending on the day’s activities
This trip starts and end in Galway City.
Optional upgraded / seasonal activities stated in itinerary, including:
Our resident Northern gal, Eimear loves everything outdoors, from gardening to climbing and cycling. As a member of the Operations Team, Eimear is in charge of trip logistics throughout Ireland and knows everywhere from Connemara to Kerry to the Causeway Coast like the back of her hand.
- Eimear QuinnAsk Eimear a Question
At your Own Pace
Private Departures trips are designed with guided activity experiences tailored to your own personal activity level. They allow you to discover Ireland with one-to-one meet ups with local guides, artisans, characters and experts who can lead you through activities and hikes at you own pace. They also include overnight stops at the very best local 4 and/or 5 star accommodations. Though each day’s activity is planned, private trips are meant to be enjoyed at your own pace.
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