Discover the Wild Atlantic Way
Local experts and talented musicians will share their stories, experiences and special places on this leisure and culture tour along the beautiful, rugged West Coast of Ireland. From exploring off-shore islands and visiting a 6th century monastery to a being a part of a fantastic display of traditional Irish Ceili Dancing and Sean-Nós singing you will be taken in by the breathtaking scenery of Connemara, the Atlantic Ocean and the traditional cultural charms of Galway City.Visiting:
» Cliffs of Moher
» Kylemore Abbey
» Cnoc Suain
» Aran Islands
Can't find what you're looking for? Need a tailor-made itinerary?
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 Ireland
- 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 Ireland 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: Day of Arrival - Cliffs of Moher
You will commence your journey after a light breakfast to the Cliffs of Moher, a UNESCO Geo Park. The Majestic Cliffs command some of the most incredible views in Ireland. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. We will continue to Doolin one of the most famous towns in the world for listening to good traditional Irish music. We will visit Gus O'Connor's Pub, first established in 1832. After our visit to Doolin we will travel through the Burren, to the seaside village of Kinvara and see Dunguaire Castle built in 1520 by the O’ Hynes clan on the picturesque shores of Galway Bay. This restored 16th century tower house sits on a rocky outcrop at the edge of Kinvara. We will continue to Galway and travel out the Connemara coast road to Furbo for an overnight stay. Overnight in Galway.
- DAY 2: Hidden Gems of Connemara
This morning you will travel off the beaten track to one of the hidden gems of Connemara, the small village of Lettermore, an island now linked to the mainland by road. Here, Gaelic/Irish is the spoken language. In Lettermore, you will meet with a local guide from the community who will accompany you on a walk of this beautiful scenic area. You will see an ancient Mesolithic Fish trap, dating back to 6000-8000 years B.C, a Holy Well named after Saint Anne and hear the folklore and history of the area. After our walk we will continue our tour of this beautiful remote area by coach before returning to our hotel. Overnight in Galway.
- DAY 3: Cultural Workshops
Connemara’s rich traditions of music, song, dance and story-telling are very unique and one of the great pleasures of the region. Today we will participate in a variety of cultural workshops and master classes delivered by local experts. You will learn a Séan Nos dance which is an older style of traditional solo Irish dance. It is a casual dance form, as opposed to the more formal competition-oriented form. A local Sean-nós dancer will teach you some of the steps. After the dancing you will enjoy an introduction to spoken Gaelic. Maire Ferriter, a local Irish scholar from Connemara, has spent her life teaching Irish in Kerry. She is well known for her participation in a Radio na Gaeltachta programme discussing the difference between dialects of Irish spoken in the Irish speaking areas of Ireland. Maire will teach you some basic Irish phrases and will intrigue you with her story telling of old traditions and myths from this area. Overnight in Galway.
- DAY 4: Cnoc Suain, an Exclusive Interactive Cultural Experience in a Unique Traditional Setting
Today we will enjoy a visit to Cnoc Suain (restful hill) in Spiddal, a renovated small village of thatched and slated stone cottages located on 200 acres of stunningly beautiful ancient landscape, bog, lake and sea. Some of the cottages date back to 1691. As Gaelic speakers, musicians, natural scientists and owners of this historic hill village, Dearbhaill Standun and Charlie Troy are the perfect hosts for the group. They will accompany the group on a short walk through the Connemara Bogland that surrounds Cnoc Suain. Charlie will introduce you to the fascinating archaeology & natural history of the bog including turf harvesting. In one of the old thatch cottages, Dearbhaill, a native Gaelic speaker will relay the history of the local area. You will hear the Irish language spoken and enjoy stories about the life and customs of the inhabitants of the cottage. She will also demonstrate the art of bread making. Dearbhaill, a talented musician is a founder member of the much acclaimed traditional music group Dordan. She will play the fiddle and will be accompanied by a local musician on the accordion and tin whistle. Together they will perform a selection of jigs and reels as guests enjoy a drink in the main cottage. There will also be an opportunity to learn an Irish dance! This is a unique opportunity to experience Irish culture in an exclusive setting. We will have a free afternoon to enjoy some time exploring Galway City. Overnight.
- DAY 5: Aran Islands, Islands on the Edge of Europe. An Irish Timescape
This morning we will travel to the ferry port of Rossaveal where we will take a ferry to Inis Mor, one of the three Aran Islands. Inis Mor is criss-crossed by dry stone walls and the landscape is bleak with soaring cliffs rising out of the Atlantic. Aran has retained much of the old Gaelic culture and Gaelic is still the spoken language of the Islanders. Traditional music and song have been well preserved there. We will meet Cyril Ó Flaithearta who is a native of the Aran Islands and an Irish speaker. He will show us his Island, an Island where history meets myth and myth meets magic. We will tour by minibus and visit Dun Aengus, the Iron Age fort built as four concentric stone walls. The fort has been called the “most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe”. We will visit the monastery of St. Brecan at the “Seven Churches.” You will also see the only clochan or beehive-cell built with dry-wall corbelling on Inis Mor. We will go to Tigh Watty’s for lunch, meet some Islanders and hear the folklore, language and song of the Island. This will be led by Treasa Ní Mhiolláin who has an international reputation in traditional Irish sean-nós song (old style). Treasa teaches many young singers the art of sean-nós and continues to tour and perform internationally. She has given concerts and taught in Germany, Switzerland and Sardinia among other countries. Teresa will be joined by the Mulkerrin Brothers a trio of young traditional Irish musicians and performers from the Island. They play the box, fiddle, banjo and a major feature of their performance is sean-nós dancing. At 5:00 pm we will return to the mainland. Overnight.
- DAY 6: Kylemore Abbey and a Walk Through Hidden Connemara with Local Archaelogist, Michael Gibbons
This morning you will return to Connemara. You will travel through the Inagh Valley to Kylemore Abbey. 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. Michael Gibbons, a native of Connemara and one of Ireland’s leading field archaeologists, will join you. He is a writer, broadcaster and mountaineer. He will accompany you for short walk through one of Connemara’s most scenic areas, Carna. He will give you some fascinating insight into the history of this beautiful countryside. You will see a recently discovered Connemara Lake dwelling which is over 2,000 years old and one of the best preserved lake dwellings in Ireland. This evening we will attend the Trad on the Prom show in Galway which is a contemporary Irish show featuring an electrifying mix of music, song and dance. The world class cast features the amazing talents of Máirín Fahy on fiddle and vocals. Máirín is joined on stage by her outstanding band including Chris Kelly, Gerard Fahy and Yvonne Fahy featuring the unique sounds of the bodhran, whistles, uileann pipes, accordions, bouzuki, guitars, keyboards and much more. The Trad on the Prom dancers have an astounding 16 World Titles between them including the current male World Irish Dancing Champion Cathal Keaney and Five Times World female Champion Claire Greaney. Joining them on stage are Cian Nolan, Siobhan Manson, Mary McDonagh, Doireann Cearney, Anne-Marie Keaney and All-Ireland Sean-Nós Champion Emma O'Sullivan. Singers include Eurovision star Marc Roberts, Multi-AIMS winner Sean Costello and Chieftains vocalist. Overnight in Galway.
- DAY 7: Galway City Dinner Cruise with Irish Entertainment on board the Corrib Princess
This morning we will visit Galway and on arrival we will enjoy a walking tour of this historical and vibrant medieval city. We will visit the City Museum, Spanish Arch and 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, Galway Cathedral, Galway University and Eyre Square. This evening we will enjoy a dinner cruise with Irish entertainment on board the Corrib Princess which will depart from Woodquay pier in the city centre. You will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the lake as we cruise Lough Corrib. The trip takes you along the river and then out onto the expansive Lough (Lake) Corrib. You can sit up on the sun deck and take in the views. There is also an indoor area downstairs with comfortable seating and a bar. You will enjoy a four course dinner on board. After dinner, Roisin, the current Irish coffee making World champion will give an Irish coffee demonstration recounting the history of Irish whiskey and showing you the art of Irish Coffee making. She will also teach passengers how to dance the Siege of Ennis. The evening will finish with entertainment by Carmel Dempsey, Brenda Curtin and an Irish dancer. Carmel Dempsey is a well-known musician and singer from Galway. She has toured all over the world and has played support to Leo Sayer and Meatloaf. Carmel’s repertoire aims to please all age groups from the Rock 'n' Roll of the 60's to the pop standards of the 90's. Carmel is famous for her lively personality and success at encouraging audience participation. She will be joined on board by the talented fiddle player Brenda Curtin. Brenda was one of the soloists from Michael Flatley’s world-renowned Riverdance. Carmel and Brenda will be joined by an Irish Dancer and guests will be amazed by her talent.
- DAY 8: Day of Departure
This morning we will travel back to the Airport for where we will board our flight home.
- 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