The Wild Atlantic Way, stretching more than 1,500 miles along Ireland’s western shores, is one of the world’s longest coastal routes, brimming with all that makes Ireland so magical to explore. With beloved Trip Leaders Con Moriarty and Ann Curran, we’ve chosen one of the most dramatic sections—from Galway to County Clare and the Burren, County Mayo, Joyce Country, Connemara, and the Aran Islands—for our wonderful cultural and hiking adventure. Con and Ann know this land as no others do, and will share ancient sites, secret hikes that lead to stunning lighthouses, sacred peaks, and lively villages, and will introduce you to historians, shepherds, island folk, and musicians all along the way. You’ll also savor the fantastic Irish food scene, from oak-smoked salmon to vegetables fresh from the garden, irresistible cheeses, and, yes, pints of cream-topped Guinness. Our lodgings range from a historic manor house in the Burren to an enchanting Victorian-era fishing lodge set on the shores of Lough Inagh. We’ve timed these trips for the best seasons: June will be fabulous with wildflowers, and September is the start of our “secret season” when we’ll have these magnificent landscapes all to ourselves. A journey in Ireland with Con and Ann brings you into the heart of its landscape and the soul of its culture. Come experience the true Ireland with us!
This trip by far exceeded my expectations. The guides were such an inspiration and really gave me a sense of their history and culture. I came away with a new understanding of Ireland and I am forever grateful to our guides for making this all come together for us. A trip of a lifetime!
— Sandy M., Prescott, AZ
Galway / The Burren
In the spectacular karst landscape of the Burren, we hike into hidden glens that hold a treasure trove—Bronze Age burial sites, standing stones, Iron Age forts, and Celtic high crosses—and we savor a sunset view from the towering Cliffs of Moher.
County Mayo / Westport / Clare Island
Ancient trails lead us up Ireland’s holiest mountain, Croagh Patrick. Ferrying to Clare Island, once the domain of a powerful Gaelic clan and their fierce pirate-queen, Grace O’Malley, we hike dramatic cliff ramparts and visit a sheep farmer to see his border collies in action.
Connemara / Joyce Country / Omey Island / Clifden
In Connemara’s Joyce Country, a local archaeologist joins us for a hike to evocative Omey Island, accessible over the sands at low tide. Omey holds many of Ireland’s stories, with its shell middens and tiny medieval church. On one evening, we explore lively Clifden, the “capital” of Connemara, where a pub can surely be found!
Aran Island / Galway
In the otherworldly Aran Islands, where Gaelic is heard as often as English, our hikes are amid a labyrinth of stone-walled fields. Back on the mainland, our trails lead along Killary Harbour to the Twelve Bens and we enjoy an evening in the company of musicians. Depart on Day 9.