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Selected Trips

    Self Drive

    Connemara Escape

    Duration: 4 Days / 3 Nights

    From €990

    Travel Planning & Advice

    Book With Confidence

    Trip created by Louise Kavanagh
    View Louise's Profile

    Region: West – Connemara, Burren & Aran Islands
    Trip Type: Self Drive
    Accommodation: Classic
    Deposit From: €247.50 €247.50

    Grading: Your Own Pace

    Carbon Footprint: 35kg ? What does this mean?
    Click here to find out about our carbon labelling project and what we're doing to be more sustainable.

    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    Connemara is a land of raw, wild beauty. Rugged mountains, pristine beaches, teacup-sized islands and heather-topped bogs await you on this getaway. Connemara is a place to escape from the busy world and enjoy the wonders of nature. While Connemara is one of Ireland’s popular regions, few venture beyond the cultivated trails and visitor centres. On this self drive trip, you’ll explore Connemara’s hidden gems and little-travelled corners.

    Using our local knowledge, we’ll offer several suggestions, catered to your group’s ability level and preferences, to create a wonderful, off-the-beaten-path holiday on Ireland’s west coast while you travel at your own pace. Expect rural communities, winding trails, stunning vistas, home-cooked dishes, and layers of history from Neolithic times to present on this idyllic getaway at the ends of the Earth.

    This short break is perfect for a weekend escape to the wilds of Ireland’s west coast, or it can be added to a larger trip. Want a bit of city life? Add a Galway extension for the chance to visit one of Ireland’s liveliest cities. Looking for luxury? Upgrade your accommodations or even add on a night in Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotel, Ashford Castle. The minimum group size is 2.

    Trip Highlights

    • Hike some of Connemara's best routes
    • Enjoy a local visit to an oyster farm & island visit to the Aran Islands
    • Travel at your own pace on this short weekend break
    • Meet local characters, listen to live traditional music and taste delicious local food

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 - Failte - Welcome to Ireland

    From your arrival airport, pick up your hired car as you get ready for your Connemara adventure. Connemara is one of Ireland’s most wild places, and though certain spots are popular, the region holds many secret gems, perfect for anyone looking to explore routes less frequented. After checking in to your cosy hotel, head out to explore one of our favourite – and underrated – beaches of Connemara. The Connemara experience isn’t complete without ducking into one of the village pubs in Clifden for a pint, some trad music, and if you’re lucky, a bit of the Irish language – after all, Connemara is home to many pockets of the Gaeltacht, communities where Irish is the spoken language.

    Day 2 - The Mountains of Connemara

    The coasts and mountains of Connemara are wild and spectacular. Though a popular region, few visitors head off the beaten path deeper into the mountains. Today, you have a choice in how you want to explore this amazing region. For those aching to head out to the heart of the hills, opt for a day-long guided hike of the region, customised to suit your fitness level. For those interested in learning more about the region, choose a private visit to a working oyster farm in the gorgeous setting of the shores of Connemara instead, and perhaps taste a few of these local shellfish yourself. Afterwards, you’ll have time for a short hike in the region. No matter which option you choose, you’re sure of stunning views from mountain to sea, fascinating flora and fauna, and a cosy pint at the day’s end. (B)

    *Optional Upgrade: Pottery Session

    Please see the Upgrades section below for full details.

    Day 3 - Connemara From Shore to Island

    From rugged mountains to the swirling ocean, explore a multitude of Connemara beaches, coves and inlets. Discover the southern shores of Connemara where we recommend taking your time to find a tiny hidden beach, perhaps dipping your toes in the turquoise waters. If you’re up for adventures further afield, head to the Aran Islands. Inis Mór is the perfect size to explore in a day, and is home to treasures such as the jaw-dropping cliffside prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa, 5,000-year-old Neolithic tombs, historic ruined churches and a close-knit community where the everyday language is Irish. (B)

    *Optional Upgrade: Guided Walk with Archeologist

    Please see the Upgrades section below for full details.

    Day 4 - Depart

    You can choose to extend your stay, perhaps including a night in Galway, or head back to the airport. (B)

    *Optional Upgrade: Galway Extension

    Please see the Upgrades section below for full details.

    Self Drive
    Connemara Escape

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    The phone number field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter your telephone number including the country code.

    Book Now

    Price from: €990
    Duration: 4 Days 3 Nights

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    This self drive trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort in Connemara. Expect small, comfortable and characterful lodgings. You will have the choice between cosy B&Bs or 3-star family-run hotels or guesthouses, with options and in towns or rural communities. Accommodation rooming is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower. You will also have the option to upgrade your accommodation standards to deluxe and luxury options in the same region.

    Single Rooms

    There is no supplement charged to solo travellers. However, if you request a double room for single occupancy, a supplement will be charged.

    Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, single supplement can be limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

    Meals Read More

    Each morning, enjoy a homemade breakfast of your choice at your accommodation. We will provide local suggestions for lunches and dinners, to be taken according to your own preferences.

    Inclusions Read More

    This trip includes the following:

    • 3 nights accommodation in hand-picked, 3-star family-run guesthouses, B&Bs & boutique hotels
    • Meals: All Breakfast (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • Activities stated in itinerary, incl. Private oyster farm visit or day-long guided hike
    • Detailed itinerary, route notes and map
    • Hiking route suggestions customised to your preferences and ability levels
    • Expert local suggestions for restaurants, activities
    Trip Grading Read More

    At Your Own Pace

    On this adventure, you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Ireland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle, low-level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready.

    On the other days of the trip, you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    Arrival Info

    • Your adventure starts in Connemara where the closest airport is Ireland West Airport Knock. Shannon Airport is a bit further away but is also within a reasonable driving distance to Connemara. Car hire is available at either airport, or opt for one of the Optional Extras we have listed and hire a car with Wilderness Ireland. Of course, you are welcome to use your own car if preferred.

    Departure Info

    • Drop off your hire car at the airport on the final day of your trip
    Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More

    *Day 2 | Pottery Session

    Rural Ireland has a strong heritage of crafting, from Aran jumpers to Donegal tweed to west coast pottery. Today, you’ll get the chance to meet a one such local, a ceramicist. Together in this gorgeous setting, you’ll learn how to make your own pottery, perhaps inspired by Connemara’s stunning backdrop.

    *Day 3 | Tour With an Archeologist

    Ireland has a rich tapestry of history going back thousands of years. While on the Aran Islands, bastions of Irish culture, meet up with a fantastic and renowned west coast archeologist who will take you on an enchanting tour through the centuries, interpreting the layers of Irish history all the way back to the Neolithic era 5,000 years ago. Far from the dusty halls of a Victorian museum, trek out into the wilds to learn about history hands-on, coming to life through your archeologist guide’s fascinating stories.

    Galway Hooker Sailing Experience

    The Galway hooker is a traditional boat typical to Galway Bay. Discover the gems of Connemara’s southern shores by sailboat in this unique experience.

    Extend Your Stay in Galway City

    Galway – the city of Tribes, as its nicknamed – is one of the west coast’s most vibrant and colourful cities. It is full of pubs, shops, restaurants, markets, street art, and nightlife. For anyone looking for a West Coast of Ireland ‘city’ experience, there’s no better place than Galway. We can arrange transport, accommodations, and activities as requested.

    Add a Final Night in Ashford Castle

    Ashford Castle is one of Ireland’s top three luxury hotels, and is known for its gorgeous setting, historic building, and lush interior. Finish your trip off in the lap of luxury at Ashford Castle where you can avail of activities such as a spa, golf course, hawk walk, and more.

    Accommodation Upgrades

    After a day spent exploring the raw wilds of Connemara, perhaps you’d like to retire to luxurious settings. Choose to upgrade to deluxe or luxury accommodations to travel in style.

    Car Hire

    Planning to hire a car here in Ireland? Make your life easier by leaving the car rental process up to us. Just tell us your preferences and we’ll do the rest.

    Photo Gallery

    Speak to an Expert

    Louise Kavanagh

    From scuba diving to motorbikes to hiking, Louise is no stranger to adventure! Born and raised in County Sligo, Louise has a love for Ireland’s West Coast, particularly the northwest. Louise is one of the team’s expert trip designers, ready to help you explore Ireland’s wild places. When not at work, Louise can usually be found underwater exploring Ireland’s unique coastlines or else zipping through the countryside on her motorbike.

    Ask Louise a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    At your Own Pace

    Discovery journeys are self-drive with personal activity experiences tailored to your own personal activity level. They allow you to discover Ireland with one-to-one meet ups with local guides 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 5 star accommodations. For the days you are self-guided, we will provide you with suggestions of places to stop, eat and things to see along with maps and directions.

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