Galway, Connemara & Ireland's Stunning West
5 nights. April 2023 - October 2023. From £753.00.
WHERE STORIES BEGIN - SAVE UP TO 15% ON ALL 2023/24 AIR HOLIDAYS - BOOK BY 28 FEBRUARY
Discover one of the most beautiful and unspoilt corners of Ireland, renowned for its ancient Gaelic heritage and traditional Irish hospitality. From your delightful base in the four-star McWilliam Park Hotel, enjoy a full and varied itinerary and make the very most of your time in this lovely part of the Emerald Isle. Highlights include an exploration of historic Galway city, a visit to a sheep farm, a scenic tour of Connemara and the Wild Atlantic Way, a Fjord cruise, exploration of the famed Cliffs of Moher, and an opportunity to learn about the unique landscape of the Burren.
What's IncludedFive nights' dinner, bed and Irish breakfast accommodation at the four-star McWilliam Hotel, Claremorris
Burren and Cliffs of Moher tour
Killary Fjord cruise
Admission to Kylemore Abbey and Glen Keen Farm
Guided tour of Galway
Return flights to Knock
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Holiday HighlightsVisit vibrant, colourful Galway City
Drive along part of the Wild Atlantic Way, one of Ireland’s most scenic roads, and tour Connemara
See the towering Cliffs of Moher and the lunar-like landscape of the Burren
Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Killary Fjord
Partake in a sheep-dog experience at Glen Keen Farm
Soak up a scenic tour of glorious Connemara
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Following your flight to Ireland, you will be met by your tour manager for the coach transfer to your hotel. After check-in, you'll have rest the day free. Depending on your arrival time, you may like to explore Claremorris (which is about a 10-minute walk away) and its interesting range of shops and bars. At the far end of the town you'll find McMahon Park, where you can enjoy a delightful five-kilometre circular walk around Clare Lake. Alternatively, why not make the most of the hotel’s leisure centre and beauty studio? If you decide to arrange your own travel and book our Tour Only package, you'll need to meet your Tour Manager at Knock airport in time for the coach transfer to your hotel, or at the hotel itself. (Exact times will be confirmed closer to departure.)
Day 2Today we'll head into the lunar-like landscape of the Burren, the largest expanse of limestone pavement in the world and home to an extraordinary variety of flora and fauna, as well as to megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt’s pyramids. The visitor centre in Kilfenora is fascinating. A short film traces the history and unique environment of the Burren, while the exhibition takes you on a Walk Through Time as the story of the region unfolds. You’ll learn about the remarkable landscape, and how man and animals have co-existed through history in this apparently inhospitable landscape. The other highlight of the day is your visit to the awesome Cliffs of Moher. Standing 702ft at their highest point, the Cliffs stretch for five miles along the Atlantic coast. On a clear day, pathways and viewing platforms along the cliff edge offer simply stunning views out to the Aran Islands, to the Kerry Mountains and across to Galway Bay. An award-winning visitor centre, built into the hillside, will really help you get the most from your visit.
Day 3This morning, we'll head to Glen Keen Farm, one of the largest sheep farms on the Wild Atlantic Way and famous for its sheepdogs. Hear how life and farming have changed over the seven generations that the current owners have lived here, learn about the verbal and whistle commands used to herd sheep, and watch the farm's dogs in action. Tea or coffee and homemade scones are included during what promises to be a fascinating visit. In the afternoon, you can immerse yourself in the beautiful, natural surroundings of the Killary Fjord on a leisurely cruise. This spectacular glacial fjord forms a border between Galway and Mayo. Our cruise starts at Nancy's Point, just west of Leenane Village, the setting for the film adaptation of John B. Keane’s famous play, The Field. We’ll also make a stop at Westport, which sits on the southeast corner of Clew Bay beneath the slopes of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's 'holy mountain'. Wander around the harbour to the Quay area, just a few minutes from the town centre, where the old coastguard station and warehouses now house bars, cafes and restaurants, or stroll along the tree-lined mall.
Day 4Galway City beckons today. The old centre surrounds ancient Lynch’s Castle and a pedestrianised thoroughfare leads down to the thriving waterfront. Join our tour manager for a guided tour before exploring at leisure. Enjoy lunch in one of Galway’s countless eateries, take a harbour cruise, explore the city's cobblestone streets, visit its imposing (and unexpectedly modern) cathedral, or perhaps make the most of the varied shopping.
Day 5Possibly saving the best until last, this long, but wonderfully scenic day will reveal Connemara. This stunning landscape of pale grey mountains, golden beaches, sparkling loughs, rugged bogs and shimmering waterfalls is a place of remote beauty that's also home to the hardy, agile - but also gentle - Connemara Pony. The route takes you on a lovely drive past Lough Mask and Lough Corrib and on to the Maam Cross. We continue along the Inagh Valley to stunning Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery founded in 1920. Learn about its history and its tales of romance and tragedy, explore the six-acre Victorian Walled Gardens and visit the Gothic Chapel and the restored rooms of the Abbey before returning to the hotel.
Day 6Depending upon the time of your flight, you may be able to spend a final few hours relaxing at your hotel, or perhaps exploring the local area, before returning to the airport at the end of a wonderful few days. Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 40 minutes from Knock Airport.
Hotel spa facilitiesTo avoid disappointment, please pre-book any beauty treatments direct with the hotel prior to your holiday.
Combining hotel transfersWe sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
TippingWe are often asked about gratuities on our Irish holidays. At the end of a tour it is customary to give a coach driver around £2-3 per person per day and a Tour Manager around £3-5 per person per day; a gratuity of £1 per person per day for dining/waiting staff in your hotel will also be greatly appreciated. In a restaurant leave about 10% of a bill (no need to tip in a bar) and around £2 for services such as hairdressing.
Airport development feesAn Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
Travelling to EuropeRules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. Note that these new rules do NOT apply when travelling within the United Kingdom or to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You do require government issued ID when travelling by air though. Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names. Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date"). These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland where you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay. Visa - If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania; if you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total. Travel to Ireland will not change and stays there will not count towards the 90-day total. European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in 2023, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com. Border Control - At border control, you may need to show proof of your return journey - your travel documentation issued by us will be sufficient for this. You will also need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if manual checks are required. Healthcare Cover - You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad which covers pre-existing conditions. You should understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and be happy with its cover for healthcare and travel disruption. Newmarket sell a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Ask our travel consultants for more information. You should also apply for a UK Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) which lets you get urgent state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Note GHIC is only valid in EU countries and not in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Terms and conditionsTerms and Conditions: 15% discount applies to specific holidays and tours only. All other holidays and tours will have a 10% discount applied. The Where Stories Begin offer applies to new bookings only booked between 26 December 2022 and 28 February 2023 inclusive. The Offer does not apply to holidays with late availability pricing and excludes, Ocean Cruise, River Cruise, Andre Rieu events, Lapland and Wimbledon. This offer cannot be combined or used in conjunction with any other discount, promotion or concession. When booking a holiday as described above, prices shown will automatically have the 15% or 10% applied. The discount applies to your final holiday price (excluding holiday insurance) at the time of booking. The Offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Back to top