Experience the west of Ireland with a local
This is an example of a fully guided tour. All adventures can be adapted to meet your needs.
Get ready to really get off the beaten track and experience the west of Ireland with your local guide. This tour is 100% for the culturally curious that wants to be immersed in the local Irish lifestyle. Explore our favourite islands, mingle with the locals in the pub, stay in beautiful Irish homes and eat delicious local food. Your guide will invite you into her home to share her lifestyle, enjoy a family meal and experience the true Irish lifestyle.
- Experience the vibrant and dynamic city of Galway, it’s friendly bars + live music
- Discover Ireland’s most iconic abbeys and monasteries steeped in history
- Taste local foods and experience what it’s like to live like a local
- Explore the beautiful Clare island + have a chat and a Guinness with the locals
- Take time out to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Irish way of life
- Climb Croagh Patrick- Ireland’s holy mountain + have a hot whiskey at the end
Full luxury private transport with a flexible and energetic local guide
Day 1: Galway
Your local guide Rachel will meet you in the morning in Galway city at your boutique cosy accommodation which is centrally located in Galway city. Here we’ll talk through the week itinerary and fun to come before your guided walking tour of Galway city. We will explore the Spanish Arches, St. Patrick’s cathedral, the Claddagh village and Rachel will show you her favourite pubs and shops in Galway. You will then have free to explore the bustling street, listen to the live street music and wander into the traditional Irish pubs for a pint or cup of tea. Dinner will be in a renowned traditional Irish pub and will be the perfect opportunity to have your first pint of Guinness!
Day 2: Connemara
After a delicious Irish breakfast, we’ll depart Galway at 9am. Following along the Salthill promenade, we will drive through Connemara where there will be lots of options to stop off for walks or to take pictures. It’s then onto the vibrant country town of Clifden where we’ll have lunch at Macdara’s pub on their outdoor terrace, they do an amazing fish and chips! Next stop is to explore the historic abbey and Victorian Walled Garden Kylemore Abbey. Here, there will be an option to take a hike in the hills of Connemara and look onto the Maumturk mountain range and lakes. It’s then time to discover the iconic Aasleagh Falls before going back to your accommodation. The Connemara Seaweed baths are located just next door so you could treat yourself before dinner.
Day 3: Clare Island
It’s going to be an early start as we will leave the hotel at 8am for a stunning drive through Doolough valley and pass alongside Ireland’s largest fjord. It’s then a short boat trip to the beautiful Clare island. You’ll experience the Irish hospitality and islander way of life and walk on some of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal trails. Clare island is the largest of the 365 islands of Clew bay and famous as the ancestral home of legendary Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. This vibrant island has a population of 160 people and is a paradise to those who enjoy the wild outdoors. Your guest house is idyllically located overlooking the beach and Croagh Patrick- Ireland’s holy mountain. Dinner will be served in the sailor’s bar, which specialise on their catch of the day.
Day 4: Westport and Ballina
After Helen’s Irish breakfast, it’s back on the boat for the mainland. First stop off is at Croagh Patrick to climb to the top of Ireland’s holy mountain. This pilgrimage mountain which lies at 764 metres above sea level offer spectacular views over the 365 islands of Clew bay and Achill island. We’ll then stop off in Westport to refuel in of of the cosy cafes and you’ll have time to browse around the colourful town. Next stop is Ballina where you will spend the next 3 nights. Here you will be immersed in the local Irish family life as you stay at your guide Rachel’s home, Brigown B& B, which is run by her mother Marjorie for the past 28 years. You are now part of the family and will join Rachel and Marjorie in their home for dinner and a very special desert! To finish off the night, we’ll take a short walk to Keanes pub to get behind the bar and learn to pull your own pint of Guinness.
Day 5: Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way
Enjoy a late breakfast and perhaps a morning stroll to see the concrete boat on the Quays. Today, Rachel will bring you on a day trip along Mayo’s Wild Atlantic Way to discover the Monasteries of the Moy, the historic town of Kilalla, Down Patrick head, the spectacular sea stack Dun Briste and the oldest Neolithic site in the world-the Ceide Fields. We’ll stop off at Mary’s cottage for a coffee and her chocolate cake is just to die for!, There will then be the option to visit Belleek castle and take a tour to discover the dungeons and learn about the local history. It’s then time to go back to Brigown B&B where you will join Marjorie in her kitchen for a fun and interactive baking experience. Together you will bake scones, Irish Guinness soda bread and traditional Irish potato cakes. You’ll then enjoy them together with Marjorie’s homemade jams and tea. Just next door, you will join Rachel to explore a range of specially selected whiskey and learn about the booming Irish whiskey industry at a personalised Whiskey Appreciation Session. By the end, you will know what style of whiskey you like and why. Dinner will be served in the cosy pub Crockets, just 2 minutes walk from your accommodation.
Day 6: Sligo’s Wild Atlantic Way
It’s important to take time and really enjoy the breakfast experience at Brigown. Each morning you choose from a 15 choice breakfast menu and Marjorie who is author of 3 cookery books is renowned for her baking and tasteful presentation of food. Today, we will take a 50 minute drive to Strandhill to climb Knocknarea, it’s 327 metres and one of Europe’s largest unexcavated passage tombs. Here we’ll take in the spectacular views overlooking the Atlantic ocean, Benbulben mountain and onto Donegal. Your guide will tell you the myths of the legendary Queen Maeve of Connacht and her powerful traits. Lunch will be in Shell’s, a trendy surf café overlooking Strandhill beach that specialise in light dishes using local produce. We’ll then follow the stunning rugged coastal route back, stopping off at The Beach Bar for an Irish coffee, Rosie’s pottery in Easkey and then it’s a special treat- a seaweed bath at Kilcullins seaweed bath house. This is a very local experience and will leave you feeling revitalised. After a short walk on the beach it’s back to Brigown B&B. Diner will be Dillons restaurant, a locals favourite for an evening meal and nice glass of wine.
Day 7: Departure
Wake up to Marjorie’s delicious breakfast watching the salmon jump in the River Moy, I always recommend trying the scrambled egg and smoked salmon at least once during your stay so don’t miss out! Depending on your departure arrangements, we can go to town and visit the local fish monger where you will learn how to smoke salmon. browse around the shops in Ballina, visit the Jackie Clarke museum and watch the salmon jump on at the ridge pool beat or relax back and enjoy a morning of spa treatments in the luxurious Ice House hotel. Rachel can recommend activities and organise airport drop off on request.
PRICES for 2019
All itineraries can be changed to meet the groups exact needs.
Contact Rachel to create your Irish adventure of a lifetime!
Included in price:
- Six nights’ accommodation in specially selected Bed & Breakfasts/Hotels
- Six evening meals
- Guided walks with lots of variety in an easy going atmosphere
- Organisation of extra activities
- Full transport including return ferry to Clare Island
- Rachel’s Whiskey appreciation Session
- Baking experience in Marjorie’s kitchen
- Learn to pull your own pint of Guinness
- Seaweed bath in Kilcullens bath house
- Guided tour of Belleek castle and dungeons
- Complimentary Rachel’s Irish Adventures t-shirt
- Lunch and extra purchases
- Extra activities requested
If you would like to do more activities such as cycling, Stand Up Paddling etc., Rachel can organise this for an extra cost.Contact Rachel to create your Irish adventure of a lifetime!