Connemara Coastal Trail, horse riding, Wild Atlantic Way Connemara, 7 Days Guided B&B
Enjoy the fresh salty breeze from the Atlantic Ocean as you trek through the contrasting landscape of the Connemara region of Ireland. Connemara has a stunning patchwork of bogs, lonely valleys, pale grey mountains and small lakes which shimmer when the sun shines. The Connemara coast is waiting to be explored by you! Adventure on horseback where the mountains meet the sea in a maze of rocky islands, inlets and sparkling white beaches.
Price includes: (per person sharing)
- 6 nights in selected in Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse accommodation
- 6 days of horse trekking
- a horse riding expert guide all along the trail
- a delicious full Irish breakfast every morning
- 6 picnic lunches
- 6 superb evening meals
- Transfers to and from the trail starting and end point from Galway
- Full information pack supplied upon booking
Price doesn’t includes:
- Tips and gratuities
- Items of a personal nature
- Airport transfers
- Single supplement available as an optional extra
- Available April to September. Departure every Monday.
- Price for July & August is euro 1815.00 per person sharing
- Subject to availability and terms and conditions. Please see our website www.connemarawildescapes.ie for more information and details.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the above.
Everyone meets at 10.00am at the Meyrick Hotel in Galway City. Here you will be introduced to your guide and back up team who are on hand to move luggage, bring the picnic and help with the horses. There is a short drive, to the start point of the ride, at Shannadonnell.
There, the horses are rounded up off the mountain and you will be teamed with your horse for the trail. This morning’s ride is across Willie’s mountain. Lunch is served beside a mountain lake while the horses are turned loose to graze. After lunch, the horses are caught again and the ride continues into the village of Carna and onto Willie’s beach house. The horses will be turned to graze in a field near the beach house and you will return to your accommodation for the evening.
Enjoy an unforgettable day riding on the beach. The day starts with a ride along the shore on Mweenish Beach. Keep an eye out for the seals that are usually found in these sheltered waters. Mweenish and Mannin Bays regular hauling out and breeding sites for common seals and can be seen with some difficulty lying almost motionless as they wait for the tide to lift them away. Break for lunch after swimming the horses in the sea, before riding along the beach on the other side of the island enjoying the fabulous view of the Aran Islands.
Tide permitting, today’s trek will start with a ride out to Finish Island. This beautiful island has many old ruined houses on it and the remains of the stone walls and roads that were once used. Advanced groups of riders may have the opportunity to jump some of the walls, but this is not always possible. After a long canter along the beach the horses wade back through the sea and head up into the mountains once more. Lunch is eaten in the mountains, before continuing on the ride, in the mountains above the village of Kilkerrin, before the afternoon ride with spectacular views of this stunning coastline. We ride through mountain land, past turf stacks and through areas where turf is cut and then on, by passing an abandoned quarry and then following the coastline along to Derryrush.
From Derryrush ride past Screebe Lodge to Letter Moir to where lunch is eaten at the foot of a mountain range. After lunch the horses are resaddled and the ride continues through a mountain village where there may be the chance to go inside an old farm cottage, to see the beautiful, traditional accommodation. The afternoon ride is over a mountain top with an incredible view that stretches over rolling bogs, valleys with tiny lakes and the shredded coastline below. In the early evening reach Shanafeistin where the horses will graze. Riders transfer to the Oughterard for the night.
Enjoy a long canter on forest roads before lunch. View beautiful Lough Corrib at a distance before the last ride to Oughterard this is a fun ride through forestry along gravel tracks with plenty of opportunity for long canters.
Spend the day at Willie’s Dartfield Horse museum. Riders can trail ride around the museum, or test their skill on the cross country course. The event course has fences to suit all levels, from beginner to the advanced riders so everyone will have fun and the chance to improve their riding and jumping skills. Riders have the opportunity to look around the museum, which is dedicated to the Irish horse and Connemara Pony and is the only one of its kind in the world. Riders stay in Loughrea on last night.
Departure after breakfast.
End of your stay
Hope to see you back in Connemara and Ireland very soon.
Participants must be able to:
• Gather, tack and untack the horses
• Mount and dismount
• Ride comfortably in a group of riders
• Be flexible – the outfitter does not run on a strict schedule
• Be independent – there is little direction or instruction given while on the ride
Please note there can be novice riders.
Horses and Tack:
Your host maintains approximately 200 horses, each very fit, willing to walk out and well suited for the terrain. These Irish Hunters and Connemara ponies of varying sizes are known the world over for their fantastic jumping ability, gentleness, intelligence and stamina. There is a horse to suit every rider’s needs whether a beginner or experienced rider.
English tack is utilized. There are no saddle bags available, but there are D-Rings on the front of the saddle providing loops that a rain jacket or sweater can be tied to with leather thongs or string. Water is not provided on the trail and it is suggested a waist pouch with a water bottle be worn.
As the horses live outdoors during the summer they are not groomed. However, riders are welcome to bring a small brush if they wish to groom before riding.
Depending on the size of the group, it will take at least an hour on the first day to select horses and get organized. After gathering the horses, riders are asked to select a bridle and spend a brief time speaking with the outfitter about the size, temperament and preferences for a mount. Once a horse is chosen for the rider, he is asked to lead the horse to the tack trailer, select a saddle, saddle the horse and check the stirrup length and girth tightness. At lunch stops, the horses are untacked and are released to graze. After lunch, the horses are caught and tacked up.
In the mountains riders are advised to follow the guide rather than their own path. The mountains can be quite boggy and rocky and the guide has years of experience in seeking a trail through them. The same applies on the beach, please stay behind the guide so they can set the pace and route.
Each day will consist of approx 5 hours riding. The trail is suited to all levels of riders.
Please note, however, to bring either rain jackets and trousers, or long duster coats – riding capes are not permitted.