We’re on a quest for greenery filled with rolling hills and open meadows of grassy landscapes that only a plane ride to Ireland will satisfy. Join us as we immerse into the Emerald Isle where we’ll wander and explore its marvelous views, ancient mysterious history and vibrant cities tucked beside cozy bays and sheer cliffs. Our adventure will be along the road less traveled to the rugged northern west coast and Wild Atlantic Way, leading south to County Cork and Limerick where we’ll visit spectacular hidden gems along the way, back to the Atlantic and the stunningly beautiful peninsulas filled with pure Irish scenery and peacefulness.
We’ll meander across expansive boglands, majestic mountains and dramatic cliffs, walk among ancient megalith tombs and ruins filled with local legends and mythical tales and visit quaint towns and villages dotted throughout this enchanting landscape. Step into snug pubs with pints of Guinness and shots of Irish Whiskey to go alongside some hearty irish homestyle cooking that will keep us warm and cozy on our journey.
It’s time to dust off that passport and come to a place where you can soak up peaceful, Irish atmosphere, hospitable warm greetings, and of course, insulting Irish humor.
Day One: Overnight Flight
Sit back and relax on our overnight flight to our Ireland Adventure!
Day Two: Ennistymon
After touching foot on Irish soil, we’ll promptly make our way north to the sweet town of Ennistymon set along the River Cullenagh. Take a stroll and find some food and caffeine energy to get us through our first jet lag day.
We’ll pass by a mysterious place with a haunted history of Red Mary on our way to Poulnabrone Dolmen, an impressive portal tomb of towering stones set in a scenic, high limestone plateau in the Burren National Park.
Take a moment to hear the sound of rushing wind through the stones and take in the amazing landscape surrounding this ancient creation.
Onto an intriguing, secret hidden garden that’s sure to amaze and delight, the Caher Bridge Garden. Get lost in amazing as you wander this special secluded space.
A scenic drive will then take us along a coastal path to the edge of the world at Black Head Lighthouse, past many hidden treasures, through the quaint town of Ballyvaughan
Onto our home for the next four nights at the romantic manor house, Belleek Castle. Here, we’ll be welcomed with an open fire and embracing smell of burning wood in the original Great Hall before making our way to rest the night away.
Day Three: Slieve League Cliffs
Today we step onto the edge of the world at the wild, dramatic and majestic Slieve League Cliffs. It’s an easy access to the Bunglas viewpoint revealing a stunning panorama of the swirling Atlantic crashing onto the rocks below some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe.
For those more adventurous, follow the rocky step path straight up to the top where you’ll be standing at the highest point among the mountain sheep and diving sea birds, a definite walk among the clouds.
Take some time to browse the cliff’s visitor center where you’ll find an artisan craft shop and tasty Ti Linn Café for lunch.
On our way back to our castle, a surprise fun legendary spot and a place to make your wish come true awaits!
Day Four: The Glen
This morning we’ll step into another world as we take a walk down The Glen. This remarkable chasm filled with flora and fauna is cut straight into the limestone rock of Knocknarea Mountain leaving a towering 60-foot rock face on either side. You’ll feel a world away, one filled with a quiet, natural peacefulness and beauty.
Carrowmore Megalith Cemetery:
Next we are transported to a mystic ancient space at the Carrowmore Megalith Cemetery, the oldest and densest Neolithic tombs in Ireland. Wander through the remains of over 35 passage tombs constructed over 6000 years ago and feel history, myth and mystery surrounding you.
Benbulben Mountain Trail:
Walkers will delight on the Benbulben Mountain Forest loop trail with views, views and more views of Donegal and Sligo Bay.
This is an approximate 3.4 mile loop, taking around 1.5hrs to complete. No worries, we’re not climbing the mountain and the trail is quite flat, starting in a sheltered forest before emerging alongside the grandeur of Benbulben.
Yeats Tavern Lunch:
If you’re not up for a walk, have a leisurely lunch at the nearby Yeats Tavern, a warm welcoming spot near W.B. Yeats grave at Drumcliffe Church.
A scenic surprise awaits at the nearby Lough Gill that was the setting for Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” along with tea at a 200-year-old family run rustic stone and brick inn oozing with character and personality.
Day Five: Wild Nephin National Park
We’re off to a space of unspoiled wilderness with miles and miles of uninterrupted bogland, a carpet of orange and brown stretching into the distance across ridges, over hills and down valleys dotted with forests and lakes. At the Wild Nephin National Park you can stand among the true beauty of nature untouched and uninhabited and feel free from the outside world.
Grab some lunch from the Ginger & Wild Café and enjoy the spectacular birds eye view to Achill Island and majestic Nephin Beg Mountains.
Step into the bog on the short nature trail right from the visitor center and keep your eye out for the insect eating sundew and butterwort and variety of protected wildlife like the viviparous lizard who likes to sun himself on the boardwalk.
*this trail is an approximate 1.2 mile easy loop taking about 20-30 min.
For more exploration away from the visitor center, wander out on the Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail, a stunning shoreline route along a coastal bay boardwalk with unimaginable views.
*this trail is approximately 1.2 miles along a boardwalk through the flowering bog to a return stony beach path.
We’ll continue in endless views to the unique Mulranny Causeway built across Trawoughter Bay through the flora and fauna of the picturesque salt marshes filled with an impressive array of birds.
Take a stroll along the watery path to the rocky Mulranny Pier or take the scenic drive to the beach for lovely scenery.
* this path is approximately 1.5 miles taking about 30 min.
More Wild Atlantic discoveries are in store at Downpatrick Head, a stunning location along the coast where millions of years of geologic formation meets folklore, legends, and both ancient and modern history.
A short walk to take you to an astonishing blowhole, ruins of Saint Patrick’s church, a lookout post from WWII and the amazing Dun Briste Sea Stack, a piece separated from the coastline as a result of high seas and violent stormy weather.
Day Six: Caves of Keash
It’s time to leave the north behind and turn our travels to the east to a place steeped in mystery and wonder.
Magnificent caves creating an ancient passage tomb cluster that predate the Pyramids of Egypt by 500-800 years are right nearby in the little village of Keash. Take your time wandering the intriguingly eerie Caves of Keash with rewarding immense views from the top of the hill.
Onto Ireland’s oldest pub, Sean’s Bar in the quiet village of Athlone. Grab a pint (or maybe 2!) and some lunch before we step into the ‘worlds most haunted castle’.
Standing strong for over 700 years, the 13th century Leap Castle has been a witness to a tumultuous history filled with atrocities and dark stories that will exceed your wildest imagination.
If we make it out alive, we’ll end our day in Adare, a charming and cozy village that will diminish any lingering, haunting gloom.
After checking into our home for the next five nights at the Dunraven, feel free to explore the town.
Day Seven: Hore Abbey
Delightfully gloomy remains of a 13th century abbey are just waiting to be explored. Hore Abbey, from 1266 still has remnants of its impressive architecture despite some crumbling and cracked stone walls making it an enchanting mysterious and moody atmosphere in which to wander.
Rock of Cashel:
A more well-known ruin, the Rock of Cashel rises out of the landscape high atop a limestone outcropping is home to more than 1000 of history within its spectacular group of medieval buildings. Take your time to delve into all the nooks and crannies of this amazing space.
Onto lunch in the small town of Cahir, home to the picture perfect, medieval Cahir Castle.
Wander and enjoy as you please before our next adventure…..
Onto the idyllic, fanciful Swiss Cottage with exquisite design and interior spaces. Our guided tour will take us through this fairy tale as they tell the interesting history that makes this space so special.
The Vee Pass:
If the weather is our friend, we’ll take the scenic Vee Pass revealing panoramic views through the gap in the Knockmealdown Mountains on our way back home to Adare.
Day Eight: Explore Adare
We can’t leave this charming town before a morning of exploration! Take your time to see all the charms of cute Adare, including the historic Augustinian Friary and Adare Castle, quaint thatch cottages, and picturesque Adare Riverbank Walk.
Grandeur awaits at the Doneraile Estate with the majestic Georgian beauty Doneraile Court at the centerpiece of splendid gardens and grounds filled with local wildlife. Wander this historical setting of natural beauty while keeping an eye out for a variety of deer and Kerry cattle often seen on the estate.
When you need a break, enjoy an included lunch at one of the two cafes.
Onto the tranquil town of Kenmare with rolling mountains as the backdrop for colorful streets lined with cute restaurants and shops.
After checking into the “Little Nest”, The Lansdowne the night is yours for exploring.
Day Nine: A Magical Surprise!
A magical surprise awaits your visit in the small peaceful village of Glenbeigh, so let’s make our way.
Now we’re off to explore the magnificent Slea Head Drive along the dazzling Dingle Peninsula where there’s much history to hear and beautiful sights to see. Our scenic drive brings us to the small but impressive Dun Beag fort built on a sheer cliff at the edge of Dingle Bay.
Grab some lunch at the Stonehouse Café before we wander up to the clusters of clochain, or beehive huts dotting the hillside. These round stone made huts are made without mortar but have weathered centuries of wind, rain and curious sheep.
The road now leads to the ancient stone settlement, Cashel Murphy where five families lived and Druids performed rituals with an underground souterrain tunnel leading to a building used for food storage and hiding from enemies.
Stunning ocean views complete with Devil Horns will be found at the end of Dunmore Head just a walk up the sheep trail to the edge of the world with sights of the Blasket Islands and surrounding cliffs. Don’t miss the orgham stone with ancient pagan writings overlooking the sea.
The scenic views aren’t over yet!
Dunquin pier with its quirky winding road combined with gorgeous rocky peaks jutting from the sea makes a postcard like coastal scene like no other.
Stay and enjoy the marvelous view or take a stroll along the steep winding path towards the turquoise blue water of the bay.
One last site of historical amazement is the Gallarus Oratory, a stone church that has survived centuries with barely any deterioration.
Now we’ll take the narrow, twisting Conor Pass past glacial lakes and mountain landscapes beyond your wildest dreams on our way back south to Kinsale.
Day Ten: Gougane Barra
The immense wild scenery and natural beauty of magical Gougane Barra is our first destination. On our way, we’ll share a fine bit of history and a lovely bit of Irish Folklore tied to this scenic spot before our picturesque walk in the Gougane Barra Forest Park. Pick from one of two trails both with equal amounts of beauty and wonder but different in length and difficulty.
Walk 1: Slí an Ghaorthaidh – approx 0.5 miles, 30 min needed. An easy loop nature trail with 10 points of interest stops along the way
Walk 2: Slí Dhoire na Coise – approx 1.2 miles, 45 min needed. A loop trail surrounded by high hills and little footbridges with more of an incline
The Ewe Experience:
Off to Glengariff village nestled between the mountains and the sea for a lovely lunch before our voyage of discovery into a wonderful blend of art, nature and fun at the Ewe Experience. This is a unique place filled with a whimsical artistic vision, so take your time to wander freely to see what surprises await!
Day Eleven: Dursey Island
Let’s escape into peace and tranquility on the stunningly beautiful Beara Peninsula. Our first haven is the rugged Dursey Island via cable car over the extremely turbulent Dursey Sound.
Once on the island there are no shops, pubs or restaurants, only peace, calm and spectacular views. Keep an eye out for dolphins and whales and wide varieties of seabirds and butterflies as you wander as much or as little as you like.
Now we get to see all this amazing landscape from the ocean blue on our sea safari adventure to the ‘Entrance to the Underworld’, Bull Rock past the Dursey Island cliffs, wave battered Cow Rock and lighthouse remnants on Calf Rock as we hear interesting tales and history along the way.
Ring of Beara:
Once back on land, we follow the Ring of Beara, a scenic coastal drive through quaint villages and dazzling landscapes to the mountainous Healy Pass winding through a desolate, otherworldly landscape that passes between two of the highest summits in the Caha mountain range.
Ring of Beara:
Along the way we’ll be amazed by the tallest ogham stone with a mystic inscription and mysterious stone circle set among a magical backdrop as we delightfully pass through the picture-perfect towns of Allhilies, Eyeries, and Castletownbere. One last amazing stop at Gleninchaquin Park will just take your breath away.
Day Twelve: Breakfast & Flight Home
Now we make our way back to the airport where we’ll find ourselves soon enough in the warmth of home.
Pricing & Departures:
*This tour involves the ability to walk approx. 2000-2500 steps (1.5 miles) during the course of a day, including all historic sites and gardens. All other walking is optional but recommended to immerse in Ireland. Please call to discuss if you are concerned about the amount of activity.
Air transportation is provided by United Airlines. A surcharge will apply if United Airlines increases the price of its airfare. One piece of luggage per person (baggage fee by United is not included) and one small carry-on are permitted. A valid, government-issued picture ID is required to board the plane.
Tuesday, August 1: Flight # departs Newark at AM and arrives in Shannon at PM
Saturday, August 12: Flight # departs Shannon at PM and arrives in Newark at PM
Price per person is $4,695 Twin & $5,895 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $500 per person. Make checks payable to “Group Tours & Travel”, and mail to our address above. Final payment is due June 5, 2023. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after June 5, 2023. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change the itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended, but not included. This tour will run rain or shine.
*Due to the changes in airline booking policies, airfare will need to be booked before the cancellation date, Once flights are booked, we cannot refund that portion of the tour unless you’d like to pay an additional cost for refundable tickets.
The Educated Wanderer
Group Tours & Travel
PO Box 632 Berwyn, PA 19312