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Joyce - Private Guide in Dublin

 Member Since 2006 

Hidden Ireland

Expedition in Dublin

Tour Price : $4299 Duration : 15 days Languages: English

Day 1
Drive from Dublin up to Ballycastle in Co Antrim. The Antrim Coast has been designated an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty", After dinner, a short walk will take us down around the coast at Ballintoy and to Carrick-a-Rede: a tiny island with a salmon fishery, joined to the mainland by a rope bridge, and back up via the harbour of Ballintoy. We will be accommodated at the Fullerton Arms in Ballintoy for the next two nights. There should be some excellent traditional music in the Carrick-a-Rede pub tonight.
Info: Walking Distance 2.5 miles (4km)
Day 2
On the agenda today is a spectacular walk starting from White Park Bay on the Antrim coast and finishing at the Giants Causeway. On a clear day you will be able to see right across to Scotland. The Causeway is made up of 37,000 black basalt columns, mostly hexagonal. It is the result of a massive underground explosion some sixty million years ago. In 1693 the Royal Geographical Society publicised it as one of the great wonders of the natural world. Sarah, your guide, will take you on this walk and entertain you with history, culture and folklore.
Info: Walking Distance 7 miles (11.3km)
Day 3
We now must move on into the west to County Donegal: our base for the next two nights is the Carrig Rua Hotel in the village of Dunfanaghy, in the Gaeltacht (Gaelic-speaking region). Hopefully we shall find some excellent traditional music here. We will stop en route at Glenveagh National Park for a walk, which begins in the lonely wilderness of the mountains and finishes alongside the beautiful Lough Beagh and Glenveagh Castle gardens. A visit to Donegal is like a trip back in time: hay is still stacked by hand, and most farms only yield enough produce for one family. For this reason farmers work in co-operatives and share their machinery. This has a positive effect on the survival in this region of the corncrake, one of Europe's rarest birds. Beautiful day-walks and spectacular sunsets are promised along the rugged Donegal coastline.
Info: Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7km)
Day 4
Setting out on foot from the hotel, our walk today will be at the Horn Head Peninsula. The walk will bring us through woods, along a spectacular beach (bring your swimming costume), coastal tracks, with views of an arch in the sea. We will also have time to visit the Poor House museum in Dunfanaghy.
Info: Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9km)
Day 5
We will head south to County Mayo, but on our way we stop to walk at Knocknarea (the burial place of Queen Maeve) in County Sligo. We will also stop for a break at Drumcliff Church, where the poet William Butler Yeats is buried. Tonight we will stay with excellent hostess and chef-extraordinaire, Catherine, at Seacrest House in Kilmeena near the town of Westport. After dinner we'll drive to the lovely town of Westport to enjoy the music and the "craic".
Info: Walking Distance 4 miles (6.4km) deserted village at the foot of Slievemore on Achill Island. We will walk from the village of Dooagh to a village deserted during the time of the Great Famine of 1845 - 48, when many died or emigrated. Making our way along tracks and lanes we will also enjoy the magnificent beach of Tramore. This walk includes a combination of minor roads, lanes, tracks, bog roads, and a beautiful beach.
Info: Walking Distance 8 miles (12.9km)
Day 6
Today we set out for Achill Island off the west coast of County Mayo. We will walk in to the On the Burren Way, County Clare
Day 7
From Galway City, we will head south to the Burren Region of County Clare - a huge plateau of limestone and shale aptly summed up with the words, "savage land, yielding neither water enough to drown a man, nor a tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury him". Our walk today is at the highest point in the Burren: Slieve Elva. We will be rewarded with great views across Galway Bay to the Aran Islands. For the next two nights we will be accommodated in the Kincora Guest House in Lisdoonvarna. After dinner, we can venture into the village in search of traditional music in the pubs.
Info: Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7km)
Day 8
Today we will be accompanied by our local expert guide. He will take us to sites of botanical, geological and archaeological interest. This will include walking in two separate parts of the Burren with a break for lunch. The Burren regions is famous for it's flora: you will never see anything like the carpets of primroses, or the white flower of the blackthorn cascading over all the hedgerows. Rare and spectacular plants occur in abundance. Nowhere else in Ireland, Britain or even north west Europe can such quantities of the blue Spring Gentian, cream Mountain Avens or yellow Shrubby Cinquefoil be encountered. Orchids grow everywhere in the Burren and 23 out of the 27 Irish species are to be found here. At the end of the afternoon we may have time for a pint in County Clare's oldest pub.Info: Walking Ditance 10 miles (16.1km) option 5 miles
Day 9
The Cliffs of Moher: one of Ireland's most visited sights will be the location of our walk, but fear not, leaving the bustling car park behind, we can enjoy relative solitude walking along the cliffs to Hag's Head. Please keep away from the cliff edges! Leaving County Clare, we will drive south to County Kerry via the Killimer to Tarbert ferry across the Shannon. For the next three nights we will stay in O'Connor's guest house in the tiny village of Cloghane at the foot of Mount Brandon.
Info: Walking Distance 5 miles (8km)
Day 10
A lovely walk is on today's agenda: at Beenbo Mountain and the spectacular green valley of Magha na Bo. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this valley and witness 40 shades of green! We then cross over the top of the pass and drop down to Annascaul village via Lake Annascaul.
Info: Walking Distance 9 miles (14.5km)
Day 11
Some say this is the best walk in Ireland: weather permitting we will climb Mount Brandon, Ireland's second highest peak. This is a steady ascent with spectacular views of Brandon Bay and then the Pater Noster Lakes. This is excellent walking country in a mountainous landscape dotted by a series of small lakes. We will be doing the "there and back" route.
Info: Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7km)
Day 12
Today we will walk at Inch Beach (the setting for the film, Ryan's Daughter). We begin with views across to Glenbeigh and Ireland's highest mountains, the MacGillycuddy's Reeks, then on rounding the peninsula we have views back towards the Dingle Peninsula and the Slieve Mish Mountains. Look out for rabbits and lots of estuary birds. We move on then to the Gougane Barra region of County Cork. Our accommodation is the Gougane Barra Hotel: we stay here for 2 nights. This is a stunning location on the shores of a lake in a deep valley.
Info: Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7km)
Day 13
Wake up to peace and tranquillity and fine lake views. Catherine, our local guide today will take us on a circuit of Gougane Barra Lake and the source of the River Lee. We will be able to walk directly from the hotel. This is a walk that follows very little in the way of track. It can be rugged and tough underfoot, but well worth the effort. If you prefer a more restful day then this is the ideal spot to enjoy the quiet tracks beside the lake and forest.
Info: Walking Distance 7 miles (11.3km)
Day 14
Cahir in County Tipperary: the town is dominated by a 13th century castle, one of the largest in Ireland. After taking a tour of the castle we will walk along the banks of the River Suir to the "Swiss Cottage": an exquisite thatched cottage designed by John Nash as a retreat for the 12th Baron Cahir. ". We will be accommodated in the town of Cashel at the lovely Legend's Guest House. Highly recommended entertainment tonight comes in the form of music and dance "Riverdance" style at the Bru Boru Centre.
Info: Walking Distance 3 miles (4.8km)
There is a green island
    in lone Gougane Barra
Where Allua of Song
    rushes forth as an arrow
In deep Valley Desmond
    a thousand wild fountains
Come down to that lake
    from their home in the mountains."
J. J. Callanan (1795-1829)
Day 15
We must say Goodbye to Ireland after our 2 hour drive back to Dublin Airport. Musical evening in a castle, County Galway
"In the evening we were entertained
  in the great hall of the castle
  with music and singing."

Additional information

Tour information:
Tour Price: $4299
Duration: 15 days
Group Size: Minimum 4 persons
Languages: English
Tour package includes:
Airport Transfer :YES
Hotel pick-up:YES
Drop-off :YES
Tour Transportation (car, van, limo, boat, etc…):YES
Food and Drinks :YES
Other services (fees apply):
Attraction tickets (concerts, theater, museum, circus...) :YES
Translation services :YES
Reservations (hotels, restaurants, airline) :YES
Visa support :YES
Additional information:
This tour must be booked at least 7 days in advance of your travel date :NO
Tour groups must include a minimum of 2 passengers :YES
Tour prices are flexible and based on your requirements :NO
This Tour is Kid Friendly :YES