Island Hopping Walking Tour, Connemara, 5 Days Guided
Our Island Hopping Walking Tour of the west coast of Ireland is a truly unique island experience with a host of fascinating sights, sounds, vistas and atmosphere to both fascinate and amaze you. Step onto islands lost in time and flung into the sea off the Connemara coast. With a little luck you will see wild dolphins, grey seals, gannets or basking sharks between these islands.
It’s an active adventure of both nature and mind, so enthralling it will make you forget the outside world.
Each tour is led and hosted by a well known archaeologist and a native of Connemara.
Bring along a good pair of walking shoes, protective rain gear and sun cream as they all may be necessary!
Price includes: (per person sharing)
- 4 nights Bed & Breakfast inclusive of dinner
- Special safari picnic each day
- Guided tours by qualified archaeologist each day
- On-board champagne reception before 1st sailing
- Luggage transfers
- Coach transfers where necessary
- Inter island boat transfers
- Full information pack supplied upon booking
- Single supplement available for €72 as an additional extra
- Available only on 29th August
- Private trips / additional departure dates for groups of 10 or more available on request
- Maps, raingear, walking sticks available if necessary
- 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.
DAY 1 – ABBEYGLEN CASTLE HOTEL
The magic begins with your journey through some of the West’s most breathtaking scenery en route to the town of Clifden, capital of Connemara. Here you will be greeted as you make yourself at home in the luxury of Abbeyglen Castle or nearby Guest House. In the evening the hotel restaurant will serve a five-course gourmet experience that’s sure to please and the warm singsong atmosphere of the piano bar is the perfect way to end your first day.
DAY 2 – CLEGGAN HEAD
After a hearty breakfast the bus leaves for Cleggan Head where we start our first walk. Our first stop will be at the Cleggan Court Tomb. This is the oldest man made structure in Ireland dating from around 4000BC and built by the first settlers to set foot on the west coast. We then follow the old track to a secluded little cove before starting the ascent of Cleggan Hill to reach the remains of the Napolianiac watch tower built at the beginning of the 19th century to keep watch for any attempted French landing. From here there are spectacular views of the offshore islands, Croach Patrick and back into Ballinakill Bay. We have our picnic lunch here before descending back down to rejoin our bus and go to the pier for the 35 minute trip to Inishbofin. On arrival a bus will transfer our luggage to our hotel while we explore the East End of the island arriving at our hotel in time for a rest before dinner at 8pm.
DAY 3 – INISHBOFIN
After breakfast we set off to walk to the west end of Inishbofin. This remote island, with a population of just 180, has many sights and places of interest to take in. We’ll see everything from cliff forts and monastic sites to the great sandy beaches and even a Cromwellian Castle. There’s the island’s seal colony to view and a deep sea cave and arch system which you can actually climb into. After that we have our lunch back at the hotel before departing for the island of Inishturk, Co. Mayo. On leaving Inishbofin we pass Port Island. Port Island is a tidal island which hosts the site of a Cromwellian Barracks constructed in 1656. It was the prison used for the Catholic Clergy during penal times before they were eventually shipped off to theWest Indies. Port Island is a tidal island which hosts the site of a Cromwellian Barracks constructed in 1656. It was the prison used for the Catholic Clergy during penal times before they were eventually shipped off to the West Indies. We will be greeted on the island by a local family and taken to our guest house. Here we will be treated to a traditional island dinner.
DAY 4 – INISHTURK
After breakfast we will set out on a walk of the island. You will find Inishturk a truly unique experience – as there is no daily ferry to the island any visitors that do arrive are made to feel very welcome indeed. It’s an island wholly dependent on the traditional activities of farming, fishing and local craft businesses such as currach making, etc. In the early months of the Summer we are often lucky enough to spot Puffins breeding on the west cliffs of the island. Our walk ends at the mouth of the harbour where we drop in to one of Ireland’s longest surviving Shebeens for a little light refreshment. Later we shall explore another route and return to our accommodation and rest before dinner.
DAY 5 – CLARE ISLAND
Our morning breakfast is followed by a short sailing to Clare Island. Clare Island is synonymous with Grace O’MalIey, the formidable ruler of the Clew Bay district during the second half of the 16th century. One of the most interesting places on the island is the remains of a late 15th century Cistercian Friary, founded by the monks of Abbeyknockmoy in Co. Galway. According to local folklore, following the death of Grace O’Malley in 1600 her remains were interred in the decorated O’Malley Wall tomb in the friary. The chancel vault was once covered in fresco painting, patches of which still remain. We will guide you through the island to the Light House. Later in the day we shall have lunch before catching our next boat to Roonagh Pier. Here a bus will await us and take us back to Abbeyglen Castle where we shall say our final goodbyes…
End of the tour!