Explore Ireland’s rich history and incredible natural beauty as you drive winding country lanes lined with stone-walled pastures, visit castles and abbeys, walk the beaches and hills of County Sligo, and cycle along the Great Western Greenway on Achill Island.
Best time to visit: April-October
Ideal for: Couples, Families
Day 1 – Dublin to Sligo
Arrive in Dublin and then start your guided journey through the rolling, emerald pastures of central Ireland towards the west coast. Stop in Carrick-on-Shannon, a town that spans the River Shannon, for a delicious lunch in a local pub before traveling onward to Sligo, a town perched between a sheltered bay and Lough Gill. Settle into your luxury B&B overlooking the Atlantic and the tabletop mountain, Benbulben, an iconic landmark of the Dartry Mountains.
Day 2 – Explore County Sligo
Start the day with a tour of Rosses Point and a beach walk with a local maritime archaeologist for a wealth of information about the region’s rich seafaring heritage, including a visit to the remains of a Spanish Galleon shipwrecked in 1588. Relax over a seafood lunch and then head to Glencar Waterfall and lake for a stroll through this tranquil landscape. Enjoy a night of traditional music and local cuisine in Sligo.
Day 3 – Sligo to Westport
County Sligo is known as the center of Irish surf culture and Strandhill is at the heart of it all. Take a walk along the beach and watch cold-water surfers catch a few waves, and then hike up Knocknarea Mountain for stunning views over the coast. Traveling south, stop into the National Museum of Country Life to learn more about the rural history of the region, and then continue to the colorful streets and market town of Westport.
Day 4 – The Great Western Greenway
Travel to the remote west coast island of Achill, which is defined by rugged mountains, peat bogs, and pristine beaches. Spend the day cycling along a rail-to-trail route that winds between mountains and the coast, past waterfalls, and ancient churches. There are miles of trails to keep the most avid cyclists happy, and plenty of stops along the way for more relaxed-pace riders.
Day 5 – The Lost Valley
Take the scenic route south to Connemara by way of the hauntingly beautiful Doolough Valley. A striking landscape with sweeping ocean views, the legacy of the 19th-century potato famine is intrinsically tied into the land. This is a great opportunity to learn about the tragic history of the famine and visit an abandoned famine-era village. Continue traveling south past Connemara National Park to a tranquil B&B in the heart of the countryside.
Day 6 – On the Atlantic
Get out on the ocean with a local fisherman to help haul in lobster pots and explore the deserted islands off the coast of Roundstone. In the afternoon, go for a hike up Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park, which offers great views over Kylemore Abbey and the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 7 – Return to Dublin
On the way back east to Dublin, visit the 1000-year-old monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise on the banks of the River Shannon. Explore the ruins of churches and towers and learn about ancient lore and Viking raids. Back in Dublin, take a guided walking tour among the city’s major sites, and enjoy one last evening of traditional music and fantastic food.
Day 8 – Departure
Head home and start planning your next adventure in Ireland!
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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