On Ireland’s beautiful west coast, good things begin at the ends of the earth.
Across the channel, the Cliffs of Moher plummet into the Atlantic, marking Ireland’s precipitous western edge. Meanwhile, here on Inis Oirr, a gentler landscape unfolds. As you walk country lanes framed by stone walls, you’re enveloped in flower-strewn island greenery, the tranquility broken only by the clippety-clop of an occasional pony and trap. Pleasures in Ireland are simple: exploring a hilltop castle, communing with seals by the harbor, getting local insight from your innkeepers about the day’s walk. Tonight you’ve got other fish to fry: sipping pints, swept up in the joyful strains of fiddles and pipes at a village pub in Doolin. This hiking tour of the west coast is the perfect beginning to your lifelong love affair with Ireland.
- Walk along the spectacularly scenic Cliffs of Moher as the roiling Atlantic surf crashes up to 700 feet below.
- Explore the lunar-like rockscapes of The Burren National Park, a barren but beautiful expanse of limestone karst stretching some 100 square miles.
- Ferry to Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands, to spend a day strolling a stunning coast rich in old Gaelic culture.
- Stay two nights in the fishing village of Doolin, center of Ireland’s trad (traditional) music scene and home to some of its most authentic pubs.
- Indulge in the luxuries and gourmet cuisine of properties steeped in character, from an 18th-century seaside estate to an 18th-century manor house.
Ireland’s first and only carbon-neutral hotel, the boutique-style Hotel Doolin boasts just 17 deluxe rooms. This welcoming property, located in the sleepy fishing village of Doolin and surrounded by The Burren, has won numerous eco-awards. Its dining venues—Glas Restaurant, Fitzpatrick’s Bar, and the Stonewall Café & Pizzeria—prepare “Doolin on a Plate,” modern cuisine using sustainable, local meats, fish and vegetables and herbs from their own garden. Each air-conditioned room features WiFi and has been designed with the natural world in mind, from its wood accents and floral patterns to its natural materials and fabrics.
Gregans Castle Hotel
A refined 18th-century manor house with a fine-dining restaurant, Gregans Castle is located in the heart of the magnificent Burren with sweeping views of Galway Bay. Named for the 15th-century former residence of the Prince of Burren (which is just across the lane), this elegant hotel and its lovingly tended gardens have hosted the likes of JRR Tolkien and Seamus Heaney. Today, stylish interiors, exemplary service, and warm hospitality greet each guest. Each un-air-conditioned room is well-appointed with WiFi and thoughtful touches, ensuring your ultimate comfort. The Dining Room and the Corkscrew Bar are beloved by locals and visitors, serving creative cuisine, artisan cocktails, and local beers.
Linger Longer with a Tour Extension
2021 Post-Tour Extension - The Burren
- Boutique accommodations
- 1 meal: 1 breakfast
- Detailed water- and tear-resistant Route Notes, maps
- Local representative available 24/7
- Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary: Half-day guide
- Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by One Call International
- Access to Self-Guided Flight Concierge—Ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync perfectly with your planned trip.
1 Night From $323
per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $198
Get to know The Burren on a more intimate scale when you walk some of its most scenic pathways with Shane Connolly, a well-known guide who is not only a local farmer, but an expert its history, flora, and fauna. You’re sure to learn some myths and legends of this beguiling region, too.
As Shane regales you with fascinating facts and lore, you cover between three and five miles across an isolated landscape. You pass fissured limestone, megalithic structures, and plant life that is unique to this terrain. Shane guides you along paths marked and unmarked, taking you to spots that only a local would know. He may lead you through a pretty meadow up Abbey Hill for stunning views of the mountains of Connemara and sweeping plains of rock. You might also ascend to the cliffs of Black Head, with splendid views of the Aran Islands. Along the way, you might spot Connemara ponies or goats on limestone terraces. You return to your hotel around 2:00 p.m., leaving you the remainder of the day to relax and explore the charms of Ballyvaughan.
Accommodation: Gregans Castle Hotel, Ballyvaughan
After a generous breakfast featuring eggs, meats, and pancakes from local sources, transfer to Shannon (about 1 hour, 10 minutes) to make your flight, train, or bus connections.
Included Meals: Breakfast