The Atlantic West Coast of Ireland
The West of Ireland is associated with charming wilderness, beautiful coastlines and rugged landscape. Its natural beauty, along with its welcoming culture, quirky towns, vibrant history and famous landmarks has made it one of the most popular destinations in the country.
Visiting one of the world’s most renowned Marian shrines at Knock, exploring the natural landscapes of Connemara and Achill Island and wandering the colourful streets of bustling Galway City on our short break to the Atlantic West Coast of Ireland will show you exactly why so many people make it their summer destination.
» Knock Shrine
» Ballintubber Abbey
» Kylemore Abbey
» Aran Islands
» Croagh Patrick
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Irish traditions and values are deeply rooted in our business and the type of travel experience that Joe Walsh Tours provides. We are extremely proud of our Irish heritage and passion for our native island is reflected in every mile travelled and every story told by our guides. We are delighted to share our knowledge and love of Ireland with our visitors and very happy to welcome you to the Emerald Isle.
Should you require further information regarding a specific tour itinerary or would like us to tailor-make your trip based on any special requirements your travelling party may have, please do not hesitate to give our Tours of Ireland specialists a call on 00 353 1 241 0800 or drop us a line via email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to assist. We’re only a phone call away!
- Currency: Euro (€, EUR)
- Local time: GMT
- Airports: Dublin (DUB); Cork (ORK); Shannon (SNN); Knock (NOC)
- Languages: English is the official language with some areas also speaking Irish
- Climate: Ireland has a moderate climate influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Summed up as moist and mild, the weather is very changeable with high levels of rainfall and a lack of extreme temperatures
- Voltage: 230V A/C. Frequency 50hz. The most common plug is the 13 amp three-pin plug, power socket type G. You can use your electric appliances in Ireland, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220V - 240V (as in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100V - 127V (as in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you will need a power converter.
- Visa: not required for EU citizens; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities
- Passport: EU passport holders travelling to Ireland must have an up-to-date passport valid for travel six months beyond the date of return; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities.
Transport & Accommodation
- Flight from your home airport to Knock
- Transfer on arrival from the airport to your hotel with guide assistance
- Hotel accommodation in Ireland for the selected number of nights
- Meals served each day as per agreed itinerary
- Transfer from your hotel to Airport for return flight
- Direct flight from Knock to your home airport
- Luxury air-conditioned coach for all transfers and tours
- Assistance of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the pilgrimage and at airports
Tours & Excursions
- Tours and excursions organised by Joe Walsh Tours
- Full services of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the tour
- DAY 1: Knock Shrine
On arrival to Knock airport we will travel to Knock Shrine, one of the world's leading Marian Shrines. On 21st August 1879, at about 8 o’clock, fifteen people; women, men and children, witnessed an Apparition. In 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine. We will visit the Basilica, the largest church in Ireland and attend Mass. We will celebrate Mass and after Mass we will visit the Museum explaining history of the Apparition. We will continue to Galway for our overnight stay.
- DAY 2: Connemara Kylemore Abbey Victorian Wall Gardens
This morning we will travel to Connemara, one of Europe's last great natural wildernesses, with towns and villages existing along a beautiful, indented coastline. The beauty of the area lies in its rocky and rugged landscape. Connemara is covered in purple heather and desolate tracts of brown bog-land, dotted with lakes with a backdrop of purple mountains. Kylemore Abbey is the only Irish home of the Benedictine Nuns. Built originally as a Castle (1868) it is one of the best examples of Irish neo-gothic architecture, the estate features include a Victorian Walled Garden, restored Abbey reception rooms, Gothic Church, tranquil walks, craft shop, pottery, and restaurant. The 6-acre Victorian Walled Gardens was built by Mitchell Henry at the same time as the construction of Kylemore Castle between 1867 and 1871. This garden was one of the last walled gardens to be built during the Victorian period in Ireland and is the only garden in Ireland that is located in the middle of a bog. The garden was so advanced for the time that it was even compared with Kew Gardens in London. Huge engineering feats were successfully employed to heat the 21 glasshouses that were originally built to house exotic fruits and plants. In 1996, the Benedictine Community, who have always used the garden, began restoration. Two of the glasshouses have been rebuilt along with the Head Gardener’s House and Workman’s Bothy. A private Mass can be celebrated in the private Chapel in Kylemore Abbey. We will enjoy dinner in our hotel in Salthill Galway.
- DAY 3: Galway – City of The Tribes
This morning our guides will introduce you to the history and culture of vibrant medieval city. We will attend Mass in Galway Cathedral and afterwards we will enjoy a tour of the city centre visiting the City Museum, Spanish Arch and to Kirwan's Lane, one of Galway's last remaining Medieval Lanes. A unique development, Design Concourse Ireland is situated here in a 17th century merchant's house. The Design Concourse promotes Irish design and manufacture in a living exhibition environment. Judy Greene the owner and world renowned potter will meet you and demonstrate how her pottery is created and hand painted here in Galway. The remainder of the tour will include a visit to the historic St Nicholas Church, Lynches Castle, University College Galway and Eyre Square. We will then enjoy a cruise on board The Corrib Princess departing from the pier at Woodquay in Galway city centre. Passengers will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the lake as we Cruise River & Lough Corrib. Overnight in Galway.
- DAY 4: Croagh Patrick and Achill Island
This morning we will meet our guide who will accompany us on our climb of Croagh Patrick. The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Croagh Patrick is renowned for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. Croagh Patrick is 2,510 feet (765 metres) high. Weather permitting, we will have the option to climb the first leg to the saddle/plateau at the base of the summit of Croagh Patrick. We will drive around Clew Bay to Achill Island, joined to the mainland by bridge. Follow the Atlantic Drive to capture wonderful views of steeply-sloped mountains plunging into the shimmering Atlantic Ocean. Near Slievemore we will see the Deserted Village with the remains of nearly 100 stone cottages abandoned around the time of the 1840's Famine. Overnight in Westport.
- DAY 5: Ballintubber Abbey and Cong Village
This morning we will travel to Ballintubber Abbey, originally founded by St. Patrick when he brought Christianity to Ireland in c. 441AD. The present Abbey was founded in 1216 by King Cathal O'Conor. Ballintubber Abbey and its faith filled story offers a powerful and inspiring setting for people to step back from their often busy lives and reflect on relationships with family, friends and God. We will meet Fr. Fahy who will give us the history of Ballintubber Abbey. We will continue to the lovely village of Cong Village, location for scenes from The Quiet Man movie which starred John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara before continuing on to Knock Airport for our return flight.
- Travel insurance €29 per person (conditions apply); please note that there is an additional insurance premium of €29 for persons aged 86 to 94 years