Home is never far away on this walking tour along the welcoming green coastline of western Ireland.
Accompanied by resident pooch Tyson, you step onto the flowery grounds of your manor house inn to watch evening light play on Ballinakill Bay. Next door is Connemara National Park, where this afternoon you climbed Diamond Hill for sweeping views of western Ireland’s bogs, heaths, islands, and inlets. The landscapes, music and sights you’ve experienced here are unforgettable. But it’s the warmth of the Irish people—in family-run inns, in a cheery Galway pub, in your tour guides’ generous sharing of cultural knowledge—that has made you feel at home on this Connemara walking tour. Speaking of home, Tyson looks up at you, wags his tail, and says “Let’s go!”
- Walk a low-lying causeway to Omey Island, a path inaccessible at high tide, to admire vistas of grassy fields, ancient ruins, and stunning pink-granite outcrops.
- Gain a deeper appreciation for the sounds of Ireland from your knowledgeable guides as they teach you about music in true Irish style.
- Discover enduring relics of Ireland’s ancient history as you visit a historic monastery, tour prehistoric forts, and glimpse iconic Celtic crosses dotting the hillsides.
Old Ground Hotel
The Old Ground Hotel is a former manor house dating to the 18th century. Its magnificent ivy-clad exterior retains the splendor of a bygone age, while the interior boasts the conveniences of a modern hotel. Rooms feature elegant décor, with wooden beams and muted colors invoking a relaxing, whimsical ambiance. Sash windows ensure you stay cool without the use of air conditioning, and WiFi is available in all rooms and throughout the hotel.
Built in 1820 as the harbormaster’s house, this family-run inn is the town’s oldest building, formerly also a Franciscan monastery and then a convent before becoming a boutique guesthouse. Stylish rooms are un-air conditioned and individually decorated with period furniture and original artwork, while elegant living rooms with fireplaces are the perfect place for relaxing after a day of walking. Breakfast is served in a light- and flower-filled conservatory.
Rosleague Manor Hotel
A meticulously renovated manor house built in the early 1800s, Rosleague Manor Hotel is a truly luxurious getaway. Each of its well-appointed, un-air conditioned rooms has a unique layout and design with individually selected décor, including authentic antiques and accouterments from days gone by. The hotel boasts a superb dining room where you can enjoy fine-dining as you savor dishes made from fresh, local ingredients paired with a wine from the restaurant’s extensive selection of vintages.
Sheedy's Country House Hotel
Welcome to one of Ireland’s best-loved small hotels and restaurants! Located next to Ireland’s only natural spa at the scenic edge of The Burren, Sheedy’s Country House Hotel was built in the early 1700s and is a true Irish institution. A 2002 renovation upgraded the hotel with modern comforts while retaining its charm with timber floors, antique furniture, and un-air conditioned rooms. The pubs in the center of the village of Lisdoonvarna are just a two-minute walk away—but at the hotel’s restaurant you can experience the tasty creations of John Sheedy, owner of the hotel and one of Ireland’s finest chefs!
Temple Gate Hotel
The Temple Gate Hotel, conveniently located in the center of town, sits on the site of a 19th-century convent with a fascinating history. Today the hotel serves as a base for exploring the quaint cobblestone streets of Ennis. Rooms include air conditioning and WiFi. The in-house award-winning restaurants, Legends and Preacher’s Pub, offer exceptional and innovative cuisine featuring the finest local produce. Enjoy the treat of Afternoon Tea in the hotel’s Library each afternoon.
Linger Longer with a Tour Extension
2021 Pre-Tour Extension - Cork
- Two nights at the Hayfield Manor Hotel
- Small-group airport and hotel transfers
- Daily Irish Breakfast
2 Nights From $648
per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $398
Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend your first night aloft.
Upon arrival at Cork International Airport, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage claim area. Please note that there may be up to a 45-minute wait if there are other guests arriving within the same time frame. A complimentary transfer is provided to the Hayfield Manor Hotel.
If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.
Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage with the reception desk.
Country Walkers provides you with City Information including recommendations on what to see and do in Cork during your stay.
Accommodation: Hayfield Manor Hotel
After breakfast the day is yours to explore Cork, a bustling metropolis crisscrossed with bridges, cobblestone squares, and charming alleys. Take time to wander along St. Patrick’s Street, tour the historic Cork City Gaol, stroll the food stalls of the English Market, or browse the galleries of Shandon. This evening, relax at your hotel or pop into an authentic pub, where live music plays most nights of the week.
Accommodation: Hayfield Manor Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast
Another free morning in Cork awaits. After an included breakfast, venture out into the city one more time. A Country Walkers representative meets you in your hotel lobby at 2:00 p.m. and transfers you to the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (lunch and dinner are on your own).
Country Walkers provides you with City Information including recommendations on what to see and do in Ennis during your stay.
Accommodation: Old Ground Hotel, Ennis
Included Meals: Breakfast
Flight + Tour Combo
|Exceptional boutique accommodations|
|All on-tour meals except 2 lunches and 3 dinners|
|Local guides with you throughout tour|
|Local wine and/or beer with dinner|
|Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary|
|Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz|
|2 extra nights in Ennis|
|Airport car service for arrival & departure|
|Pre- and post-tour breakfasts|
|Business-class upgrades available|
Expert Local Guides
Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.
Dubhaltach O’Colmain is a guide, a working artist, and musician, and often writes his own music and illustrates stories. Fluent in English, Gaelic, and Greek, he grew up on Great Blasket Island, off of Ireland’s west coast. Dubhaltach enjoys sharing his love of mythology, the sea, and the outdoors with travelers to Ireland.
Born in County Kerry, Murchadh O’Colmain is a tour guide, artist, musician, as well as a skilled multi-instrumentalist with two different bands. He has also completed studies in horticulture amd lives off the grid in a home he built himself where he grows organic vegetables when not exploring the trails of Ireland.
Irishman Pol O’Colmain is a guide, artist, musician, poet, storyteller, folklorist, and teacher. Pol has also restored historic gardens, is fluent in Gaelic, and enjoys scuba diving and swimming daily, year round, in the Atlantic Ocean. Pol is often to be found walking in the hills around his home in rural West Cork, Ireland.
Born in County Louth and fluent in Gaelic, when not guiding walking tours, Marie Cullen is an artist, working mainly in oils and mixed media. She hosted visitors on Great Blasket Island, over a mile off Ireland’s west coast, in a restaurant and guest house for 10 years before moving to County Cork and founding the Working Artist Studios. She also teaches art to children, adults, and people with special needs. Marie has studied various holistic therapies and swims year round in the Atlantic Ocean.