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					                                  Clare & Connemara
                                        Guided Tour 2010




This tour is a twin-centered holiday based between Ballyvaughan, in the heart of Burren and the
village of Leenane in Connemara, on the shore of Ireland’s only fjord.

The Burren is a limestone escarpment of approximately 100 sq miles, that has a unique range of flora
and fascinating history. From our base in Ballyvaughan we will be able to explore the best this region
has to offer including the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, one of the best-known images of Ireland.

Connemara is a land of wild bogs and mountains; it is harsh but inspiring landscape that reveals its
history in deserted famine cottages and archeological sites. Our base is the picture perfect village of
Leenane, located on Killary Harbour, with its wonderful nearby walks and interesting attractions,
such as Kylemore Abbey.

The following details should help you in planning your holiday:
• Tour Itinerary
• Tour expenses
• What to bring
• Accommodation
• Group and guide
• General information




Escape the Crowds                                                                                   1

                            IRISH WAYS | Belfield Bike Shop, UCD, Dublin 4, Ireland
              Tel: +353 1 2600340 | Fax: +353 1 7161168 | info@irishways.com | www.irishways.com
                                          TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: We will meet at Shannon Airport from where we will transfer the group to the village of
Ballyvaughan, our base for next 3 nights. (The journey takes approx 1 hour.)

Day 2: Mullaghmore - (13km, 400m ascent)
Starting at Gortlecka in the Burren National Park , walk on a narrow lane between Turloughs then
across limestone pavements with pavement and hazel woodland flora, to climb through limestone
crags to the summit of the modest Mullaghmore Mountain , regarded by many as the spiritual heart of
the Burren.

Day 3: Black Head - (17 km, 300 m ascent)
You walk in the north western corner of the Burren. You begin walking up an old path onto the
limestone pavements. A hazel scrub vegetation threatens to cover the whole of this area. You may
spot one of the herds of feral goats who live wild in the area and thrive on the hazel and fulfil an
important function in preventing the scrub from enveloping the thin soils of the region. You walk
through the pass and then descend to the Gleninagh valley before joining the Burren Way . The walk
continues down a lane alongside the Caher River . The final section of the walk follows a green road
around Black Head with beautiful views over Galway Bay to the Aran Islands and the distant
Connemara Mountains .

Day 4: Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abbey, Connemara
Transfer to the Cliffs of Moher, where you can enjoy a short walk along the spectacular cliffs.

Transfer by minibus to Connemara where we will visit Kylemore Abbey. The mock Gothic castle was
a wedding gift from a wealthy Liverpool businessman to his wife in 1868. Since 1920 it has been the
home of the Benedictine nuns who run a girl boarding school at the Abbey. There will be time to visit
the Abbey, Church and Victorian garden.

Day 5: Killary Harbour - (13km, 190m ascent)
Walk from Bunowen along the shores of Killary Harbour overlooking the whole fjord and Mweelrea
Mountain, the highest in Connaught. Cross through an old deserted settlement along old path once
used by the community to carry their dead to the cemetery. Descend to the Little Killary and walk
around to Rosroe Pier to the Youth Hostel that the philosopher Wittgenstein once stayed in when
seeking darkness! Return along the old shoreline path to Bunowen.

Day 6: The Aran Islands - (11km, 310m ascent)
At 9.00 am drive south through Connemara to Rossaveal on the south coast. From Rossaveal take the
ferry (cost €20) out to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands (30 mins). The cliff path leads to Dun
Aengus, a 3000 year old stone ring fort built right up to the 100 metre cliff edge. The fort is one of the
finest Iron Age ring forts in Europe with two outer walls in addition to the central cashel. After
exploring the fort you will take a minibus back to Cill Ronain, where you will have some time before
catching the boat back to Rossaveal, then on to Leenane by minibus.

Day 7: Mam Eán - (12 km, 300 m ascent)
Walk from the Mám valley and climb gradually up to the pass. At the summit of the path there is a
statue of St.Patrick and several “stations” around which pilgrims say their prayers. A cleft in the rock

Escape the Crowds                                                                                    2

                            IRISH WAYS | Belfield Bike Shop, UCD, Dublin 4, Ireland
              Tel: +353 1 2600340 | Fax: +353 1 7161168 | info@irishways.com | www.irishways.com
is said to have been used by St. Patrick as a shelter. From the pass we continue down to the Inagh
Valley where we follow the Western Way along a quiet lake to Lough Inagh.

Day 8: Journey home/set transfer to Shannon Airport for 12.00 noon. (approx 2,5 hours)

                                    PRICE AND DATES 2010
What does the tour price of €899.00 per person sharing include?
• 7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation (a mixture of guesthouses and hotels)
• Tour guide with a minibus to offer maximum flexibility to the walking options
• Packed lunches on walking days
• 4 evening meals
• Set transfer to and from Shannon on the tour start/finish date

Extra Expenses
• The ferry trip to the Aran Islands is €20.00 (payable to your guide)
• The entrance to Kylemore Abbey is approx €7.00.

Group tour dates (Saturdays): (TBC)


Price of other extras (these are only approximate prices and vary from region to region)
Coffee/tea €2.00                           Glass of Beer €2.80 (this is half a pint!)
Soft drink €2.00                           Pint of Beer €4.80 (this is a full pint!)
Bottle of water €1.70                      Bottle of wine €18.00

                                         WHAT TO BRING
Your enjoyment of your walking holiday will be greatly helped by having the right gear. The
following list should help you in planning your packing for your trip.

Footwear: Good footwear is vital for a happy walking holiday! We recommend waterproof,
breathable, walking boots with good ankle support. Boots which are “broken in” (i.e. not brand new),
teamed with well fitting hiking socks will keep your feet snug and dry and help to avoid blisters.

Hiking Clothes
We recommend the “onion look” of layering clothing as the best protection against heat/cold:
• Base Layer –this layer should not retain moisture but transport it away from the skin (there are lots
  of “wick away” fabrics now on the market.
• Insulation layer – this layer should stop you from loosing body heat – fleece is ideal
• Outer Layer – this layer should keep you dry even in a downpour! A waterproof, breathable jacket
  and over-trousers are as important as your comfy boots. You should bear in mind that clothing
  tends to loose its “waterproofness” over time so if you have had your gear for many years it might
  be time to treat yourself with a trip to an outdoor store!
• Walking trousers/ shorts (avoid denim)
• Warm hat and gloves for chilly mornings or high mountains
• Sun hat
• Walking stick/pole (a great help on uneven terrain)


Escape the Crowds                                                                                    3

                            IRISH WAYS | Belfield Bike Shop, UCD, Dublin 4, Ireland
              Tel: +353 1 2600340 | Fax: +353 1 7161168 | info@irishways.com | www.irishways.com
Daypack - a small comfortable rucksack to carry the bits and pieces you will need during the day:
• Water bottle/flask
• Moleskin/plasters/”second skin” – ward off any impending blisters before they become a problem!
• Sun screen
• Camera
• Binoculars
• Mobile phone

                                 ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

Accommodation
The accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. On this tour we are using 2 hotels to base our
holidays. If you decide you want to take a day off from walking then relaxing around hotel itself will
provide a perfect alternative.

We do reserve the right to change the accommodation around during the week, but we will always
endeavor to provide a high standard.

Meals: A picnic lunch is provided on most walking days. Your lunch will normally comprise of
sandwiches, a chocolate bar or piece of cake, and a piece of fruit. If you bring a thermos flask, this
will be filled with tea or coffee. You should bring a water bottle for drinks during the day. You will
be able to buy additional snacks and drinks from local shops for during your walk. Four three-course
dinners are included in the tour price.

What if someone needs to contact me during the week?
If you have a mobile phone which operates on the GSM 900 system, this will be compatible with the
Irish system. Alternatively someone can call our office during the day and we will be able to contact
anyone on the tour.

                                         GROUP AND GUIDE

A guided tour provides a relaxed type of walking tour. With the benefit of a guide and a minibus with
you throughout it is both flexible and personal. The walks are at a relaxed pace, with plenty of stops
to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. You usually start walking at around 10.00am and are usually back
at the hotel by 5.00pm, unless you have stopped off at a pub or tea shop. The usual length of walk is
about 8 miles, 13 km. There is usually some climbing but the length of walk is adjusted to account for
the uphills. The walks are suitable for most people of average fitness. Our groups usually comprise
people from 20 years to 80+ years with many independent travellers from around the world.

Please note that all routes are subject to change on the judgment of the guide.

                                     GENERAL INFORMATION

Weather
Because we are an island located near the gulf stream Ireland has a very mild climate making it ideal
for walking. We recommend that you bring your rain gear as well as your sun hat as a day that starts
with rain can end with glorious sunshine! The temperature range during the summer is between 15 and
22 degrees centigrade (60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit).

Escape the Crowds                                                                                  4

                            IRISH WAYS | Belfield Bike Shop, UCD, Dublin 4, Ireland
              Tel: +353 1 2600340 | Fax: +353 1 7161168 | info@irishways.com | www.irishways.com
Visa requirements
If you hold an EU passport you only need to make sure your passport is valid for the period of your
stay. You will need photo identification travelling between Britain and Ireland.
All other nationalities require a passport that is valid for 3 months beyond the intended length of stay.
Most nationalities including the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require visas for
Ireland and receive an automatic 90 day visitor’s visa on arrival. If your nationality is not mentioned
here you should check with your travel agent or consular office.
Money - The Irish unit of currency is the Euro (€), 100 cent = € 1.

Travel Insurance
It is essential to take out holiday insurance to cover cancellation, personal accident, illness, or loss of
possessions. This can be obtained from travel agents, airlines; we can also offer you a week long
package for €35.00.

Electrical current/Mobile Phone
The standard electrical supply is 220 volts AC (50 cycles). To use small appliances mainland
European visitors may require a plug adaptor to fit our 3-pin flat or 2-pin round wall sockets. The
mobile phone system in use is a digital GSM 900 system.

Websites on Ireland
Some recommended websites on Ireland that might help you organise your trip if you are planning to
spend more time in the country before or after your holiday with us.
www.discoverireland.com – Irish Tourist Board (Failte Ireland) official website providing a wealth of
information on all regions of the country.
www.enniswalkingtours.com - guided walking tours of Ennis that give a lively and entertaining way to
appreciate this historic medieval town.
www.heritageireland.ie info on historical sites
If you plan to spend some extra time in Dublin, the following will give you some more ideas of things
to see and do
www.visitdublin.com Dublin Tourism, Tourism Centre, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2
Calling within Ireland - 1850 230 330    Calling within the U.K. - 0800 039 7000
Calling from any other country - 00353 66 979 2083

www.dublinuncovered.net        www.indublin.ie          www.irishfolktours.com

Recommended Reading & Listening

Ireland has a rich literary and musical heritage, some of which you will experience first hand on our
tours. Should you like to do a little advance research the following websites should help you…
www.kennys.ie is a long established Galway bookshop with an enormous online catalogue of books of
Irish interest.
www.celticnote.com is the perfect place to carry out your acoustic research!




Escape the Crowds                                                                                    5

                            IRISH WAYS | Belfield Bike Shop, UCD, Dublin 4, Ireland
              Tel: +353 1 2600340 | Fax: +353 1 7161168 | info@irishways.com | www.irishways.com
                                        TRAVEL TO IRELAND
We will meet at Shannon Airport which is well connected with UK, USA and Europe. You should aim
to arrive in Ireland either in the morning or early afternoon of the first day of your tour.

DIRECT FLIGHTS INTO SHANNON FROM NORTH AMERICA
Departs from      Destination      Airline                              Web Address
Atlanta           Shannon          Delta                                www.delta.com
Boston            Shannon          American Airlines                    www.aa.com
Boston            Shannon          Aer Lingus                           www.aerlingus.com
Chicago           Shannon          Aer Lingus                           www.aerlingus.com
Los Angeles       Shannon          Aer Lingus                           www.aerlingus.com
New York JFK      Shannon          Aer Lingus                           www.aerlingus.com
Newark            Shannon          Continental                          www.continental.com
Philadelphia      Shannon          US Airways                           www.usairways.com
Toronto           Shannon          Air Canada                           www.aircanada.ca


DIRECT FLIGHTS INTO SHANNON FROM EUROPE
Departs from         Destination   Airline                              Web Address
Barcelona (Girona)   Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Brussels (Charleroi) Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Dusseldorf (Weeze)   Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Frankfurt (Hahn)     Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Hamburg (Lubeck)     Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Malaga               Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Milan (Bergamo)      Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Nantes               Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Paris (Beauvais)     Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Rome (Ciampino)      Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Stockholm (Skavsta)  Shannon       Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com


DIRECT FLIGHTS INTO SHANNON FROM THE UK
Departs from      Destination      Airline                              Web Address
Bristol           Shannon          Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Glasgow Prestwick Shannon          Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Liverpool         Shannon          Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
London Gatwick    Shannon          Easyjet                              www.easyjet.com
London Heathrow   Shannon          Cityjet                              www.cityjet.com
London Luton      Shannon          Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
London Stansted   Shannon          Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Manchester        Shannon          Ryanair                              www.ryanair.com
Nottingham        Shannon          Ryan                                 www.ryanair.com


Aer Lingus also operate a Dublin/Shannon service:
http://www.aerlingus.com/cgi-bin/obel01im1/bookonline/index.jsp

For bus and train connections within Ireland you will find more information on the internet:
Bus            www.buseireann.ie
Train          www.irishrail.ie




Escape the Crowds                                                                                  6

                            IRISH WAYS | Belfield Bike Shop, UCD, Dublin 4, Ireland
              Tel: +353 1 2600340 | Fax: +353 1 7161168 | info@irishways.com | www.irishways.com

				
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