The wild west of Ireland is where the Atlantic Ocean waves crash against towering cliffs and dramatic landscapes present with baffling beauty. Surreal rocks at The Burren, the untouched Aran Islands, lush and rugged Dingle, and Kenmare Bay’s seals and cliffs will all be yours to take in and enjoy. Ireland has a coastline of endless highlights, and every element will be celebrated on this private tour. Hike, cycle, drive and cruise through the landscapes and then spend the evenings in castles and...
Cong – The Rolling Hills of County Clare and County Mayo
Ireland is quick to charm. Touch down in Shannon, and it will be hard to believe that you are at an international airport, such is the ease and size of everything around you. Within a moment of leaving, you will be out on lush green landscapes, and rolling through the hills of County Clare. Castles and farmhouses stud the landscape and horses are often seen along country roads. Mountains are not usually clear but typically shrouded in a thin layer of mist that will draw you in. You will travel north through Galway to Cong, where a stunning castle-hotel awaits. Its grandeur is apparent from the driveway with a great avenue of trees that leads towards cultivated gardens and turrets.
Step out and inhale the serenity of the castle as you check into your suite and look out over the lake. In the dining room, you will find Waterford crystal chandeliers while along the corridors, it is all polished oak. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, this is Ireland’s finest castle accommodation. Tonight is the first of four nights, and the tranquility of the castle makes a lovely contrast to the ruggedness of its surrounding landscapes. Over the next three days, you will be exploring the remote wild west of Ireland, returning each day to the comfort and luxury of this castle in Cong. Your stay tonight begins with a beautiful dinner in the restaurant as you settle in.
Cong – Monastery Ruins and Enchanting Doonbeg Valley
Cong – Discovering the Wild Beauty of Connemara
Cong – Stunning Day Trip to the Aran Islands
Ennis – The Dramatic Burren and the Cliffs of Moher
Ennis – Castles, Historical Trails and Off the Beaten Track in Eastern County Clare
Dingle – Bucolic Scenery and Irish Tales
Kenmare – Handpicked Highlights of the Ring of Kerry
Kenmare – Cruising Kenmare Bay and Small-Town Relaxation
Shannon – Departure
- Discover the wild splendor of Connemara, a destination to help you escape the world
- Spend a day on the Aran Islands, embracing its barren and almost baffling beauty
- Explore Ireland’s wild coastline, from the Cliffs of Moher down to the Dingle Peninsula
- Enjoy some handpicked off-the-beaten-track highlights on the Ring of Kerry
- Feast your eyes on The Burren and head deep into rugged Irish mountains
- Uncover Gaelic and Celtic history, along with prehistoric stories and megalithic tombs
- Cruise through the inlets and peninsulas of Kenmare Bay
- Spend four nights in a sumptuous five-star castle hotel, as well as enjoying overnight stays in vintage manor houses
- Get to know Irish traditions, particularly in small towns like Ennis
On the west of Ireland, it is easy to be alone. Wind whips past your ear as silence stretches into the distance with nothing but sheep and cliffs keep you company. This part of Ireland is an escape from the world and a getaway into the simple beauty of Irish life. You will not be completely alone, however, as local guides show you the way and there will always be a warming castle or manor house to return to each evening. On these dramatic coastal landscapes, it will feel as though you have reached the edge of the world, and perhaps you have as you look out from to find that the next landmass is the Americas.
This handcrafted tour celebrates the wonders of Ireland’s western coastline. It takes you to wild places and through the off the beaten track sections along the coast. You will visit the popular highlights as well, such as the Cliffs of Moher, but the focus is on exploring landscapes unadulterated by tour buses. From County Mayo down to Kenmare Bay, this private ten-day journey covers all the major Irish coastal landscapes. It will be their diversity you will remember most, each snippet of coast quite different to the last, quite distinct in its atmosphere and beauty. Some need little introduction, others you will have to yourself.
Fly in and out of Shannon International Airport rather than wasting time crossing the country by flying into Dublin. For the first four nights you will be based in Cong, and staying in a castle that is part of the Leading Hotels of the World. Ease into the experience with a day searching out monastery ruins and the Doonbeg Valley, and then dedicate an entire day to Connemara, the wild and wondrous landscape where Kylemore Abbey hides. Spend day four on the Aran Islands, taking a boat onto the Atlantic and the windswept splendor of a virtually uninhabited island.
From Cong, you will dive into The Burren and Cliffs of Moher, both places with various hiking trails and endlessly open vistas. Your destination will be Ennis, where you spend two nights in a manor house, in a quaint Gaelic town. Explore the lesser-seen side of County Clare on day six before twisting along the Dingle Peninsula on day seven. Then it will be into County Kerry with some handpicked highlights of Killarney and the Ring of Kerry on route to two nights in Kenmare. Your final day is relaxed, spent cruising Kenmare Bay, a landscape that reflects the wild west Irish experience; it’s remote and beautiful, silent and serene, with always a surprise around the next corner. Read some of our travelers’ reviews for Ireland travel to discover new experiences to add to your own tour.
$5,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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