Wild West of Ireland
May 19th - May 26th (or 30th), 2019
custom dates available for groups of 2+
8-day or 12-day route along Ireland's stunningly beautiful Wild Atlantic Way
Starting from Cork city, we'll take in County Cork's scenic coastline, Kerry's rugged beauty, Clare's unique heritage, and Galway's bustling streets before finishing up in historical Dublin City.
starting at $2850 per person
- All accommodations in clean, comfortable and locally-run B&Bs
- Daily breakfast and multiple group dinners (3 total dinners on 8-day trip, 5 total dinners on 12-day trip)
- Transportation from Dublin or Cork airport on arrival and to Dublin, or Shannon airport on departure
- Ground transport between each destination in comfortable, privately rented vehicles
- Guided walking tour of Cork City
- Visit to our local community partner -- Irish Seed Savers
- Entry to Blarney Castle, Killarney National Park, Gleninchaquin Park, Ross Castle, and the Cliffs of Moher on 8-day trip
- Entry to Dunguaire Castle, and select Dublin sights on 12-day trip
- Roundtrip ferry crossing to Inis Mor on 12-day trip
- Guided walking tour of Galway City and Dublin City on 12-day trip
- Dedicated Irish-native guide and 2nd Traverse guide for groups of 6+
- Traverse representative assisting you from booking to departure
- Small group experience, max 12 people
Day 1: Sunday, Meet in Cork
Meet in Cork city in the early afternoon. Participants may fly in to Cork, or fly into Dublin. Transportation will be provided from Dublin to Cork this AM, departing Dublin by 9:30am. Those who want extra time before the itinerary starts to explore Dublin or Cork, or to rest and recoup from their flights may choose to fly in before this morning. Accommodation can be arranged for you for any 'pre-nights'. Enroute from Dublin Airport to Cork city we will have the option of stopping at the impressive Rock of Cashel.
Get your first taste of the Emerald Isle, immersed in its second-largest city, often called "the real capital" by locals. Art enthusiasts, architecture aficionados, foodies, and culture or history buffs will all find plenty to enjoy in this thriving city on Ireland's southern coast. After checking in to our centrally-located B&B, a guided walking tour including in-depth information on the fascinating history of this unique city will be provided. In the evening we will gather up to enjoy a group dinner together at a local restaurant, and get to know our travel companions.
day 2: Monday, Cork to Kinsale
Begin your adventure with a trip out to Blarney castle and give the ol' stone a big smackaroo! We'll arrive before the lines at Blarney Castle and have time to explore the expansive grounds and impressive structure for several hours. Once satiated with this iconic site, we'll head towards the coastal village of Kinsale grabbing lunch along the way.
This picture-perfect, colorful village is perched along scenic coastline. In the long evening hours this time of year (sunset is after 9pm, with a lengthy dusk), opt to enjoy a stunning 30-minute walk along the coast to the formidable Charles Fort -- a well-preserved 17th century star fort perched right on the sea front.
day 3: Tuesday, Kinsale to Baltimore
Enjoy a relaxed morning, with more time to explore this quaint village or explore the scenic coastal walks in the morning hours if you didn't the previous evening.
In the late morning, we'll head out from Kinsale towards the western reaches of County Cork, stopping at a wonderfully preserved stone circle situated amidst a beautiful rural vista. Take some time to appreciate the wonder of a site that's 1000's of years old, and take in the view.
Afterwards, enjoy more scenic views as we drive further West and land in the picturesque seaside village of Baltimore in the early afternoon. Take some time to yourself after our arrival to explore another friendly and picturesque village and the fresh sea air. You may even opt to hop aboard a 10-minute ferry ride to Sherkin Island and take a jaunt around the small island with gorgeous walks. In the evening hours, a short walk out to 'The Beacon' is a must.
day 4: Wednesday, Baltimore to kenmare
A full day exploring the idyllic inlets, tiny coves, pristine beaches, and rugged coastline along the thin western-reaching Beara peninsula in the balmy Southwest region of Ireland. It's the perfect setting for active days, or simply soaking up the quintessentially 'Irish' nature of this under-explored but breathtaking region.
In the morning, you may choose to partake in a non-demanding 1.5 -2 hr scenic loop walk near the village of Eyeries, or alternatively you may opt to enjoy a scenic drive around lambs head during that time with stops for pictures and coffees.
After regrouping, together we'll explore another majestic stone circle, and stop for a delicious lunch. In the early afternoon we'll visit an under-visited but stunningly scenic park with several options for a variety of scenic walks ranging from 1-2.5 hours. In the early evening, after a quick 30-minute drive, we'll land in the village of Kenmare, County Kerry for the evening where we'll enjoy another delicious group dinner together.
day 5: Thursday, kilLarney National park & Dingle peninsula
After breakfast we'll set out from Kenmare to explore the moss-covered fairy forest of Killarney National Park, including the Torc Waterfall, Ross Castle and Muckross Abbey, set in picturesque locations on Lough Leane's shores. We'll spend several hours exploring this gorgeous park teeming with beauty, including time for lunch.
In the afternoon we'll head westward again, enjoying the unparalleled scenery and beautiful panoramic views along the Dingle peninsula's southern coast. Stopping at a ruined castle along the way, we'll make our way out to the very tip of the peninsula to stay the night immersed in the rugged rural beauty found there. Those who wish to explore Dingle town for the evening, with it's plethora of delicious restaurants and lively pubs often bursting with Trad music sessions, may do so. Alternatively, you may instead choose to enjoy dinner and walking options or downtime in the rural peace and quiet near our B&B.
day 6: Friday, dingle peninsula
Spend the day soaking up more of Dingle's incredible vistas throughout the day on various optional walks that allow you to truly take in the majestic beauty in every direction. Alternatively, (or additionally!) choose to spend some time enjoying the lively village of Dingle and exploring it's colorful streets. From Dingle town, there are also options to hop aboard scenic boat rides around Dingle Bay or out to the Blasket Islands, which include high chances of spotting Dingle's infamously friendly local dolphin -- Fungie as well as whale, puffins and other wildlife. A climb up to Eask tower, or a visit to the Dingle distillery are great options this day as well.
In the evening we will regroup at our countryside B&B and set out together for another group dinner at a delicious local restaurant, followed by a wonderful rural pub offering a fantastic trad music session.
day 7: Saturday, dingle peninsula to county clare
After our second night on the Dingle peninsula, we'll head along the northern coast of this majestic peninsula and onwards to County Clare. Watch the breathtaking landscape change as we pass into Clare's scenic hills towards our community partner's location in rural east Clare. We'll spend a couple hours visiting Irish Seed Savers and learning all about the wonderful and crucial role they play in preserving Ireland's unique biodiversity.
We'll lunch, and then arrive to Lahinch in the late afternoon. With a couple hours of free time, you may choose to enjoy the sea air, the expansive beach, and the friendly village. In the early evening, we'll be heading a short ways up the coast, heeding the call of Ireland's most jaw-dropping sight: The Cliffs of Moher. Discover the reason that Hollywood came here when they needed a location that lived up to the title of 'The Cliffs of Insanity' in The Princess Bride! We'll approach this incredible (though rather touristic) site from little-known car parks along the coastal walking trail and enjoy the jaw-dropping views along the way.
day 8: Sunday, Cliffs of Moher to Inis Mor (or return home)
End your trip on this day if you must, and head towards the airport of your choosing after breakfast. Shannon Airport is under an hour away from Lahinch, or Dublin airport is about 3 hours away. Transportation to your airport will be arranged (and included) for you.
Of course we hope you continue on to the 2nd leg of the trip, and guarantee the days ahead will not disappoint! After breakfast, we'll make a quick jaunt north to board a ferry to Inis Mor, the largest of the rugged Aran Islands situated due west of Ireland and surrounded by the uninterrupted majesty of the Atlantic Ocean. Wander up to neolithic sites, find out why Dún Aengus is described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe," and fully absorb this unique limestone-engulfed outcrop of Ireland. Opt to explore the island on foot, with plenty of options for scenic walks. Alternatively, rent a bicycle to cover more ground or choose to get around utilizing the hop-on/hop-off bus that travels around the island's sights.
We'll spend the day exploring this remote island, before returning to the mainland by ferry with the option to add a 1-hour boat trip along the dramatic Cliffs of Moher upon arrival. A group dinner will be provided at a delicious local restaurant, followed by our arrival at a beautiful farmhouse B&B.
day 9: Monday, County clare / the Burren
Enjoy a leisurely morning soaking up the heart-warming countryside surrounding our farmhouse B&B. Opt between several options to enjoy this day, including beach strolls and countryside walks along or near Fanore's beautiful coastline, picking up seashells or even taking a refreshing dip in the wild Atlantic Sea. In addition, you may decide to take in the unique landscape inland while exploring neolithic sites and walks in The Burren National Park.
In the evening we'll spend our second night at the same charming, family-run B&B, enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
day 10: Tuesday, Clare to Galway
After breakfast, enjoy a scenic journey north to the city that many Emerald Isle visitors easily list as their favorite: Galway. We'll take the coastal route, and stop along the way at another spectacular castle enroute. Once we arrive in Galway and drop off the bags, enjoy an informative walking tour to get you oriented in this lively small city. Afterwards, spend the rest of your afternoon and evening reveling in this European city like no other!
day 11: Galway
Enjoy a full day of exploring Galway's unique offerings. Spend the day traversing the cobbled streets of this one-of-a-kind city, dotted with character-rich pubs, charming cafes, beautiful boardwalks, incredible restaurants, unique buskers... pretty much something for everyone! Galway is a thriving town, with a rich artistic and musical culture that draws creatives from all over to create a uniquely international vibe. Pull up a chair at one of the many outdoor patios lining the pedestrian streets for some great people-watching.
Additionally, Galway is beautifully situated along a coastal inlet and boasts a gorgeous promenade walk heading westward towards the quieter town of Salthill -- an easy and lovely 45-min walk to get to. In the evening, we'll dine together once more, at a carefully-selected local restaurant.
day 12: Depart From Shannon or Dublin
Choose to depart from Shannon airport (1 hour from Galway city), or Dublin Airport (2.5 hours away). Departures from Shannon should be after 11a, and from Dublin after 2p. Alternatively, you may choose to add-on any numbers of nights that you like in Galway or Dublin city.
After breakfast, we'll set out from Galway towards Shannon and/or Dublin airports. Those who would like to stay in Dublin for further explorations may enjoy the city with all activities and accommodations arranged for you. Choose from activities like: the Guinness storehouse, Jameson Distillery, Trinity College & Library, The National Museum, or landmarks like St. Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch Cathedral and Dublin Castle. You can even take a day-long trip up to Belfast and the Giant's Causeway or feel equally free to opt for a day of wandering, shopping, or finding the perfect pint and trad music session on Grafton Street.
8-day Trip cost
$2850 per person, based on shared room
+$600 'My own room' add-on option: your own room with private bath
12-day Trip cost
$4350 per person, based on shared room
+$950 'My own room' for add-on: your own room with private bath
Trip Does Not Include:
- International airfare
- Additional meals and activities
- Required travel insurance
Ready to book for May 2019? Download our registration form and get started! For custom dates, or any other questions please contact us.
Your irish-Native guide:
On all custom date or group departure trips, our fantastic local guide is there to provide the perfect Irish experience. Damian hails from Limerick and is a fountain of information on the culture, geography, and interesting facets of history that make up Ireland's unique character.
In addition to guiding our small-group tour, Damian also heads up Cork city's infamous 'Ghost Tour' -- one of Cork's top activities on Trip Advisor with well over a hundred all-star reviews.
You simply could not have a better Irishman to show you around Ireland's west coast!
Your traverse Rep:
Throughout the planning/organizing stages leading up to the trip, relax and take comfort in knowing that your #1 job is simply to show up and enjoy yourself. Laura will be assisting you with all your arrangements, and helping you prepare and plan for your departure.
In addition, for groups of 6+ you will also enjoy the addition of her there with you to manage logistics and support in Ireland for the group.
With a love for Ireland unparalleled by most, she's spent years exploring the all there is to offer in Ireland and is responsible for creating this uniquely amazing itinerary that Traverse offers.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to registration for complete terms.
A $250 non-refundable deposit is required for each traveler to secure the booking.
Payments can be made either by 1) full payment on booking 2) $250 deposit on booking + payment schedule in registration. Payments will be invoiced via e-mail for credit card or Paypal payment online. To pay by check, please indicate on registration and make check payable to Traverse Journeys and send to PO Box 40516, Austin, TX 78704.
2019 Trip Payment Terms
$250 deposit due on booking refundable through 9/1/2018, less a $50 admin fee. 50% remainder due 6 months prior to trip start. Balance due 30 days prior to trip start
Cancellations, less the trip deposit ($250), are refundable until 90 days from departure. Please refer to the full Payment Plan for details. We do allow for last minute transfers of the same gender for a $150 admin fee. Please notify us immediately in the case of a transfer.
Travel insurance is required for all trips with Traverse, and must cover injury, medical, evacuation, and repatriation as well as trip cancellation and trip interruption. Most insurance companies require purchase to be made within 2-3 weeks of booking for full benefits (in particular, trip cancellation). Once insurance is obtained, a copy must be sent to Traverse. Failure to provide proof of insurance within 30 days of booking will result in trip booking suspension until proof of insurance has been provided. We suggest using Wanderwell, a B-Corp Certified provider, or you can choose from any carrier that meets our requirements.
Documents, Personal Identification, Vaccinations
Traveler is responsible for all required travel documents including passport, visas, entry or exit fees, and vaccinations. Traverse does not cover the cost or assist in obtaining any of the above, and reserves the right to collect information on all.