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Dates: April 28- May 7, 2020
Depart USA April 27 to arrive Shannon Airport morning of April 28 (immediate access to your hotel room) then depart Ireland on May 8 to arrive back to USA same day.
Flights: Travelers purchase their flights after being accepted on this tour. Most travelers choose to arrive and depart Shannon Airport
Guides: Masterful Interpretive Guide, Dave Hogan with additional local guides to enrich our experience
Tour Fee: $4,000 plus airfare and insurance (Travel insurance must be equal in coverage to the Platinum Level through Travel Guard.) See our FAQ page description of what our tour fee covers.
“Landscape & Lore, Music & Myth” is guided by Dave Hogan and is limited to 20 travelers.
This extraordinary tour throughout Connemara and beyond has been described as “a sensory extravaganza” by previous enthusiastic travelers. Based in part in charming Clifden city, on the Atlantic coast, travelers enjoy day trips to sites into Counties Clare, Limerick, Galway, Roscommon and Mayo. This is a spectacularly wild and mostly still untamed region with stone fenced patchwork fields, bogs, mountains, valleys, lakes and streams.
Dave Hogan is an academic ecologist and wildlife biologist. He is without question one of Ireland’s most knowledgeable guides with keen interest in the early history of Ireland and mythology. He is fluent in the Irish language and a musician who has contributed to several CD’s.
Dave will guide us through ancient and historical sites seldom seen and introduce us to a variety of landscape features: the bog and burren regions, holy wells, Bronze Age stone circles, and ring forts.
Each day’s tour begins after a leisurely morning breakfast and ends late-afternoon, giving ample time to discover back roads or walk village streets on your own. The itinerary allows for generous time to rest, reflect, and photograph quiet places of stunning beauty throughout this region.
Irish Byways tour makes possible an uncommon cultural experience into the heart of Ireland offering travelers a more relaxed “off-the-bus” adventure in contrast to fast-paced site-seeing tours.
“Landscape & Lore, Music & Myth” Tour highlights include the following and a map of sites is below.
- Galway City (a delight for shopping and eating with its narrow cobblestone streets, old stone and wooden shop front, lively pubs and fine dining)
- The Claddagh Village (home of the Claddagh Ring, a romantic icon in the hearts and songs of Irish-Americans for generations)
- Kylemore Abbey and Gardens
- Maumturk Mountains, Twleve Bens
- Cong Village including Cong Abbey (Augustine, dating from early 13th Century) & Monk’s Fishing House
- Cliffs of Moher (one of Ireland’s most spectacular natural features)
- Castles, abundant throughout the tour, include the famous Bunratty Castle in Shannon, the recently opened 16th Century Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard and many others along our route.
- Thatched roof cottages
- Boat excursion to two of three islands: Inishmore on Aran Islands, Inchagoill Island (9th century church and many ancient remains and carvings) and Inish Bofin (population 200, a haven of tranquility and breathtaking scenes). Because weather determines our access by ferry to these islands, we remain flexible with the itinerary to maximize the opportunity.
- Kilmacdaugh, an early 7th century monastery with round tower, now ruined
- Ancient stone circles in open fields (dating to the Bronze Age)
- Rathcroghan, the site of the inauguration of the ancient kings of Connacht
- Holy Wells
- Ring Forts
- Kilnaboy with ruined church and seldom found sheela-na-gig over doorway
- 5,000-year-old Poulnabrone Dolmen
- Bog and Burren regions
- Ancient historical and sacred sites seldom seen
- Famine ruins
- Music is central to tours! You will find music at local pubs beginning about 10 pm most evenings. PLUS unique to our tours are Three Festive Music Nights featuring accomplished local musicians.
Most early mornings are free for leisurely awakening and preparations for the day. Other area activities not included on the itinerary can be arranged at reasonable cost for travelers. The majority of evenings give space for reflection on the day, conversation with friends and new acquaintances, exploration on one’s own, and visits to local pubs.
Guides reserve the right to make changes to our Itinerary in the event of extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances. Arrangements can be made (at additional traveler’s expense) for self-chosen local activities with additional self-chosen taxi service.