The Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and The Aran Islands
Departs from Dublin Heuston Station Monday - Saturday
Experience the delights of Galway Bay surrounded by the Burren region and the Cliffs of Moher, facing spectacular Connemara across the water with the Aran Islands lying at the mouth of this world famous inlet. Staying in city centre accommodation for 2 nights in the heart of vibrant & Cultural Galway City also known as "the City of the Tribes"
Cliffs of Moher
Arrive into Limerick where we will join our Railtours Ireland tour coach. Limerick has a population of about 90,000 and its city charter was granted in 1197AD, making it older than London! As we cross the river Shannon which is Ireland’s longest river you will see views of King John’s Castle to the right. The castle was completed in 1200 and marks the origins of the city. Limerick’s most famous author, Frank Mc Court, grew up here and was the setting for his book, ‘Angela’s Ashes’. Limerick is also the birthplace of celebrated BBC radio DJ, Terry Wogan and Hollywood star, Richard Harris. We will pass the GAA grounds of Páirc na nGael –the home ground of County Limerick’s Hurling and Gaelic Football teams. Limerick is also the home of Irish Rubgy and we will pass Thomond Park, the Rugby stadium. After a brief city tour we travel onto Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The castle was completed in 1425 and, after many years of neglect, has been restored to its former glory. There is also a folk park here which you will have time to explore.
After the visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park we make our way to Co. Clare. There is a lunch stop at O’ Connor’s Pub in Doolin before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher, among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. There is plenty of time to visit Ireland’s second most popular tourist attraction and your host will advise you of the departure time. From here we take the coast road for much of the way to Galway, with time for photos along The Burren. This is a national park and the word Burren comes from the Irish Language, it means ‘rocky place’. It is a unique lunar landscape of limestone which was described in 1649 by one of Oliver Cromwell’s men as: “No tree to hang a man, no water deep enough to drown him and no soil deep enough to bury him”. Today the Burren is noted for its diverse Flora with few parallels elsewhere in Ireland or indeed, Europe. We continue along the coast road to Black Head, passing the quaint coastal villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvara before joining the main road to Galway.
Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park & The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
Overnight Stay: Galway City Centre
The Aran Islands by Plane
Depart via the Aer Arran mini-coach for transfer to Connemara Airport for your short flight to Inis Mór. Irish is the spoken language on the Aran Islands although the locals will be more than happy to speak to you in English. For many, the highlight of the tour is the formidable pre-Christian fort of Dún Aonghusa, with spectacular sea-cliffs on the western side and unspoilt views of the Atlantic Ocean. Flight times may vary occasionally to cater for the numbers flying.
Notes on Aran: Your tour of Inis Mór begins and ends at the island's airport and includes stops at 'Seven Churches' (15 minutes), Dún Aonghusa (75 minutes) and Kilronan for lunch (45 minutes).
Please note: Should weather conditions be such as to curtail flights you will be taken on an alternative tour to Connemara and refunded the difference. No further refund available should you decide not to go to Connemara for any reason.
Overnight Stay: Galway City Centre
Connemara and Kylemore Abbey
Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast, check out your hotel.
10:05 Depart from Galway Train Station and our conducted tour of Connemara leaves Galway to the village of Moycullen. From Moycullen the road rises and falls towards the lovely village of Oughterard on the shores of Lough Corrib, traditionally regarded as Ireland’s premier angling centre. Now the gateway to Connemara opens, and the breathtaking colours of this unspoilt countryside are revealed in all their natural splendour. At Maam Cross, the Connemara "crossroads", there is a replica of the cottage used in the 1950's John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara film "The Quiet Man", which was filmed here. From Maam Cross our tour heads out to Leenane, Kylemore Abbey and Letterfrack, in the shadow of purple mountains rolling down to blue and green rocky valleys, reflecting the rich and varied colours of Connemara. There is a lunch break at Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, an 18th century castle now owned by the Benedictine nuns who run an excellent pottery, gift shop and restaurant here. Letterfrack is one of Ireland’s major national parks. The colourful town of Clifden has been one of Irelands leading holiday resorts for generations. It is an excellent touring centre beloved by the walker, the biker, the hiker or the fisherman. It was here too, at Derrygimlagh Bog, near Clifden that aviation history was made when Alcock and Brown crash landed after their historic transatlantic flight in 1919.
Back at Maam Cross again and the road turns southwards now through the Screeb, Costello and Rossaveal. Rossaveal is the departure point for ferryboats to the Aran Islands and is also a major fishing port. We are now in the Gaeltacht or Irish speaking area of Connemara where Gaelic or Irish is still the everyday spoken language of a bi-lingual people.
Our tour of Connemara heads homewards towards Galway City now, along the shores of Galway bay, through the Gaeltacht villages of Inverin and Spiddal and looking out across the blue waters of the Atlantic at the unique lime-stone of the Burren and the hills of Clare. After your day's touring you will be returned to Galway Station. Upon arriving at Galway Station please present your Railtours Ireland ticket and travel pack at the ticket barrier and you will be directed to your reserved seats on the train, where you host will be waiting for you.
Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Kylemore Abbey and Gardens
18:00 Depart Galway to Dublin / 21:45 Arrive Dublin Heuston Station
- Limerick City
- Cliffs of Moher
- Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
- The Burren
- Inis Mor
- Connemara & Kylemore Abbey
- Return rail travel
- Reserved seats on the train
- Railtours Ireland Host throughout
- Visitor attraction admissions (Bunratty Castle and Folk Park & The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Kylemore Abbey and Gardens)
- Escorted coach
- 2 nights in Galway
- Full Irish breakfast in Galway