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WALKING IRELAND - NORTHERN GEM - 9 DAY
€1449.00
Walking Holidays in Ireland 

Welcome to our Northern Gem! We meet in Galway where you gather with your fellow adventurers. You will then begin an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Without delay you experience one of Ireland’s natural wonders - Connemara. The contrasting scenery of mountains, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean make Connemara one of the most scenic areas in Ireland. You have two days to explore this area. We then move north along the West coast of Ireland stopping in Sligo before heading for Donegal - home to Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, Slieve League. Donegal is Ireland's hidden gem and personally one of my favourite places. We spend a few days here to explore the region.

 

From Donegal you travel into "the Six Counties". This is a historic area with a turbulent past. No need to worry though, there has been peace in Northern Ireland for 18 years.  You will visit Derry city and walk the walls before visiting Dunluce Castle and the scenic area of Ballintoy. Ballintoy was used as the location of Lordsport in the Isle of Pyke in the second season of television series, Game of Thrones.

 

Prepare for fantastic scenery as we hike from Ballintoy to the Giants Causeway. The walk itself is filled with breathtaking scenery which leads to to the unique experience of the Giants Causeway. This is a UNESCO world heritage site made of 40,000 basalt columns formed 60 million years ago. View this unique geological phenomenon and learn the local legends. When planning a walking holiday in Ireland you only need to contact Extreme Ireland.

Book Today for just €145 Deposit !

PRICE : €1449

DURATION : 9 Days

DEPARTURE DATES :  2017  - 20 May  |  10 June  |  8 July  |  12 Aug  |  9 Sept

DEPARTURE LOCATION : Eyre Square, Galway - MAP

GROUP SIZE : Small

 

HIGHLIGHTS :  Galway City | Connemara | Moutain of Croagh Patrick | Westport | Donegal | Glenveagh National Park | Giant’s Causeway

 

FREE Day Tour if you book this tour! 

Choose from 7 iconic destinations and let us know - CLICK HERE

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED: 

  • 9 full days of pure adventure
  • The best & friendliest guides in the business
  • All your tour transport for 9 days
  • 8 hearty Irish breakfasts
  • Most of your site and attraction entrance fees
  • 8 nights of cute & quirky quality accommodation while on tour
  • Experiences, memories and laughs that will stay with you forever!

 

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Lunches & evening meals
  • Some optional entry fees & activity options 

 

Single Supplement - €40 per night

Day 1:

Galway City  |  Connemara  |  Stay Clifden

 

Afternoon: You will meet up with your fellow adventurers in Galway city.   You will have a few hours to spend in Galway to do some shopping or enjoy the many sights this wonderful city has to offer. Galway is the most bohemian city in Ireland, a magnet for musicians, poets and dramatists all over the world. You can't help but love Galway and you feel the buzz as you walk down Shop Street and down on to Claddagh (after the famous ring!).

 

Evening: After strolling the city for a few hours, we move on to Connemara, where we will stay in the town of Clifden for the next three nights. You won’t be disappointed by wild and wonderful Connemara! "The Quiet Man" was filmed close by and John B. Keane’s “The Field” was also filmed here. This place is really the heart and soul of wild Ireland.

Day 2:

Climb Mt Beebaun  |  Kylemore Abbey  |  Irish Dancing Night (Ceili) |  Stay Clifden

 

Morning: We will have a few options today, but one we love is a walk up Beebaun and on down to Kylemore Abbey. As we ascend this mountain, you will have unobstructed views of the lakes of Connemara made famous in the song by Marcel Sardou. There are many wild mountain goats in this part of the country and you may be lucky to see a Connemara pony trotting beside you.

 

Afternoon: After our 4-hour walk, we will take you on a guided tour of Kylemore Abbey, one of the most romantic places in Ireland. The abbey is run by the Benedictine nuns, whose order came here from Ypres in Belgium after the First World War. The house itself was built by a business man named Mitchell Henry who, while honeymooning in the area, fell in love with the unspoiled natural charm of the valley and decided to build a home there. The chapel in the grounds is a miniature replica of Norwich Cathedral and the gardens are immaculately kept. As you admire this iconic abbey and the Victorian Walled Garden, the nuns will be glad to talk to you about the abbey and its surroundings.

 

Evening: In the evening, we may take a trip to the local village and take part in a local ceili - an Irish dance evening, where local musicians get together to teach you how to Irish dance. They will be teaching traditional Irish dancing, as opposed to the flashy Riverdance style. This is great craic and is a must do in Ireland!

Day 3 :

The Famine Walk at Killary Harbour  (OR)  Walk Over  Mt Maumean  |  Stay Clifden

 

Morning: Today you have a few choices on where you’d like to go. After breakfast, your tour guide will provide two different walk options so you can get the most out of the views of this magnificent landscape.

 

Afternoon:

The first walk  is the 'famine walk' which runs along the shores of Killary Harbour. You will be walking on an old famine road that was built by the starving Irish peasants during the great famine of 1845-1849. They built the road in exchange for food. On the route, you will clearly see the ruins of famine villages and 'lazy beds', the name given to the potato ridges where the Irish peasants tried to provide food for their families.

The second walk is over the small mountain Maumean, which offers lovely views of the region and was previously an important Celtic shrine. Later it became a shrine dedicated to Saint Patrick. You  will arrive at Lough Inagh Lodge. Here, you can relax with a cup of tea or a pint while you look out onto the lake. Neither walk is difficult and both are very enjoyable.

 

Evening:  Relax in Clifden village for the night.

Day 4 :

Country Life Museum  |  Mullagmore Beach Walk  |  WB Yeats Grave  |  Donegal Castle  |   Stay Ardra

 

Morning: In the morning, after a hearty Irish breakfast, we will visit the Country Life Museum, where you will learn all about life in rural Ireland about 150 years ago.  Then, we will take a nice relaxing stroll along a secluded beach at Mullagmore! 

 

Afternoon: As we travel further north, we will make a stop at the grave of WB Yeats, which lays at the foot of Ben Bulben, a spectacular rock formation and WB Yeats’ final resting place.  We will then travel through Sligo and stop in Donegal for a walk around the town, which includes entry into Donegal Castle. 

 

Evening: We will be staying in the village of Ardra, in Donegal, for the next three nights.

Day 5:

Slieve League Cliffs  ( OR ) Glen Colm Kill  |  Stay Ardra

 

Morning /Afternoon: This morning, we will head to the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Slieve League.  This is truly a magnificent sight.  Because of the cliffs location and height, winds can get very high so your guide will make a call as to whether it's safe to walk along the top.  If it's not, we have a fantastic alternative at Glen Colm Kill, which will give you spectacular sights of the cliffs from below.

 

Evening: This shall be an easy, relaxing evening for you all - save your energy for lots more adventures ahead!

Day 6 :

Glenveagh National Park  |  Glenveagh Castle  |  Stay Ardra

 

Morning:  Donegal is one of the most unspoiled landscapes in Europe. It is famous for its beautiful scenery, coastline, impressive mountain ranges, glens and lakes, and rich reminders of a historic past. We will travel to Ireland's most northerly national park: Glenveagh National Park.  A wonderful place that even breeds wild eagles. If you're lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse. 

 

Afternoon: After our hike through the national park, we will give you a guided tour of Glenveagh Castle. A magical fairytale place set on the banks of the lough.  Once owned by a rich American of Irish ancestry, after his death, he donated the castle to the state.  Lots of very cool picture opportunities here!

 

Evening: Spend the evening visiting the wonderful variety of pubs and restaurants in Donegal town.

Day 7

Grianan An Aileach  |  Walk around Derry City  |  Dunluce Castle  |  Stay Ballintoy

 

Morning: Today we enter into Northern Ireland for the first time on our tour. We will first visit the ancient fort at Grianan An Aileach before visiting a city which dominates the North-western landscape of Ireland - the City of Derry, also known as 'Londonderry'.  Derry is a centre of culture and creativity, and is now as famous for its modern outlook as it is for its troubled past. Meander through the bustling streets of the only completely walled city in the British Isles and listen to the echoes of 1450 years of history. Stroll along its 17th century walls, and marvel at the ever-changing skyline of a city which is constant only in the warmth of its welcome.

 

Afternoon: We will travel along one of the most northerly roads in Ireland.  We will stop at Dunluce Castle, once owned by the infamous McDonnell Clan from Scotland, who came to Ireland to increase their power. 

 

Evening: This is a beautiful part of the country, and you are going to get the best out of it! We stay for two nights in the beautiful hamlet of Ballintoy. This village has one of the most picturesque natural harbours in Ireland and the owners of our accommodation will welcome you with open arms.

Day 8

Walk the Causeway coast from Ballintoy to the Giants Causeway  |  Stay Ballintoy

 

Morning: Get ready to experience the Giant’s Causeway today! The coastal scenery adjacent to the causeway is some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring that you will  find anywhere. The majestic cliffs and inaccessible bays combine with myth and legend to inspire, but look carefully amongst this breathtaking landscape and you will find echoes of another reality: isolated ruins, kelp walls and shoreline fields bear testament to the hard life of subsistence farming and fishing endured by past generations. Dotted around the coast you will find small sheltered harbours and slipways, fishermen’s cottages, and rock formations that you will never forget.

 

Many ships have floundered below these towering cliffs but none are as tragic as that of Girona, a ship of the Spanish Armada. Carrying the crews from two previous Armada shipwrecks, the Girona was on passage from Killybegs and trying to reach the relative safety of Scotland. As she rounded Inishowen peninsula, heavily over laden and in deteriorating sea conditions, her rudder failed. In the teeth of a full blown north-westerly gale, the crew battled to keep her off the coast but she finally struck Laca Point in view of the Giant’s Causeway at midnight on October 30th, 1588 with the loss of over 1,200 men. Only five are believed to have survived. Local folklore tell of descendants living here and that victims of the wreck, maybe Spanish nobility, were buried in St. Cuthbert’s graveyard near Dunluce Castle. It is known that cannons from the wreck were placed here.

 

Afternoon: Throughout the day, we will be walking all the way from Ballintoy to the Giant’s Causeway. Make sure you have your cameras charged and ready to go for the sights and sounds of the golden beaches and treacherous cliff edges! This will definitely be one of the highlights of your tour!

 

Evening:  Relax with a pint back in Ballintoy.

Day 9

Tour of Belfast City  |  Drinks in Dublin

 

Morning: This is the day everyone dreads for the whole trip, it is the day we return to Dublin. En route, we will stop in Belfast city and do a tour around the centre and learn about the divide that exists between the Catholic and Protestant communities that live so close together. It is quite fascinating to learn about!

 

Afternoon: After our visit to Belfast we will travel through Co. Meath where the High Kings of Ireland once ruled the country.  Lastly, we arrive in Dublin, where you will be dropped off at your accommodations. We hope you enjoyed touring with the Northern Gem & Emerald tours, experiencing the very best of Ireland’s finest gems and landscapes! We also hope that you enjoyed your tour guide and we hope to see you again soon!

 

Evening: As the tour has ended, there are no set plans, but if you’d like, we can all meet up that evening for a few drinks, exchange contact details and reminisce over our shared experiences.  After parting, we hope you have a great stay in Dublin!

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