Hiking and Cultural Discovery from Sligo to Donegal to the Mournes

Overview

The mystical landscapes that inspired W. B. Yeats—the wild beaches of Donegal, the ancient pilgrim paths of Gleann Cholm Cille, the soft Mountains of Mourne sweeping to the sea in County Down—these are the stunning landscapes that fill our adventure in Ireland’s stunning north. Trip Leaders Con Moriarty and Ann Curran have conjured up a journey to delight both body and soul in this dramatic and delightfully less traveled part of Ireland, bringing us across the north of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our adventure includes exhilarating hiking with two levels offered many days, as well as welcoming and historic hotels, wonderful meals (Ireland’s new food scene is renowned, with tremendous farm to table cuisine), music, poetry, and a fascinating look into prehistoric and pagan Ireland. Highlights include walking the wild beaches of Donegal, hearing the best of local musicians, hiking clifftop trails to the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, and meeting a host of Con and Ann’s friends, including a Yeats scholar and an expert on Celtic myths. Along the way, we’ll tailor each day for serendipity and the special opportunities that arise—this is what makes a journey with Con and Ann so unforgettable. Join us!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Dublin / County Sligo / Yeats Country

In enchanting County Sligo, renowned for its traditional music and the landscapes that inspired some of Yeats’ finest poetry, we explore the Bricklieve Mountains and the dramatic table mountain of Benbulben, home to many Irish legend (we'll hear a few!).

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Days 3-5
Knocknarea / Donegal / Slieve League

We hike up Knocknarea, the mountain that dominates West Sligo and holds the huge rocky cairn of Queen Maeve’s grave, and along Slieve League, among the highest sea cliffs in Europe, for magnificent views over Donegal Bay. In the hallowed glen of Gleann Cholm Cille, we walk mystical Christian pilgrim trails past ancient standing stones.

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Days 6-10
Giant’s Causeway / Belfast / Mountains of Mourn

A spectacular coastal trail brings us to the Giant's Causeway, an otherworldly World Heritage Site, and we explore the pubs and cafes of lively Belfast.  At historic Downpatrick, we visit the powerful St. Patrick Centre to learn of the life and times of this man who influenced Ireland, and our final hikes are in the mountains of Mourne, the shapely granite peaks that rise above the Irish Sea. Depart on Day 10.

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Highlights

Highlights

Choose between moderate or strenuous hikes most days
Explore the trails of legendary County Sligo (Yeats Country) and the Mountains of Mourne
Hike the wild beaches of Donegal, walk pilgrim trails in the remote glen of Gleann Cholm Cille
Visit lively Belfast, with its great pubs and famed Titanic museum
Enjoy an insider’s look at the complex political, cultural, and religious history of northern Ireland

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $5895  
Arrive: Dublin, Ireland
Depart: Dublin, Ireland
Lodging: 9 nights charming inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Choice of moderate of strenuous hikes, 2-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)