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Enjoy a self-drive adventure touring Clare and Connemara on Ireland’s lengthy Wild Atlantic Way, including boat trips and a guided tour of the Burren.
The Wild Atlantic Way has captured the imagination of travellers from across the globe, eager to find out for themselves what makes Ireland’s western coast so special.
This carefully designed self-drive holiday brings two of Ireland’s most scenic regions, Co Clare and Connemara in Co Galway into focus, with excursion to outlying islands, eBike hire in Connemara and a guided walk on the enigmatic landscape of the Burren. This week-long Irish holiday also features two of our favourite special places in which to stay and relax after a full day’s exploring.
Take your time on the drive across the island of Ireland, stopping along the way to experience the endless hospitality and wealth of attractions all across the country. As you approach the west coast and the Wild Atlantic Way, prepare to draw breath as the sublime beauty of Connemara comes in to view, with the Atlantic Ocean endless and shimmering in the distance. It’s hard to disagree with the maxim that posits when you visit Connemara you ‘experience the real beauty of Ireland’.
A vivacious, art-lovers’ property, this family-owned guest house is a rare jewel where guests’ comfort is the top priority. Set at the Clifden harbourside, the centre of Connemara’s colourful ‘Capital’, with its flurry of restaurants, shops and music-filled bars is just an eight-minute walk away. Inviting rooms exude an air of calm, while the extensive traditional Irish breakfast on offer will set you up for a day in the bracing air, exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.
Take just a short drive to the ferry port at Cleggan for the eight mile crossing to the island of Inishbofin. This tiny island, seemingly drifting on the sparkling Atlantic, boasts some of the best beaches in Europe, littered with shells and lapped by crystal clear waters. Three superb walking loops are defined around the island, while there is a number of excellent dining options for lunch. The views of the Connemara coast on the return trip are not to be missed, and you might be lucky to see an unforgettable west of Ireland sunset.
Enjoy a day exploring the wild peninsula of Connemara on an electric bike. You’ll discover the rising drama of Sky Road, leading to open sandy beaches, single track roads across the bog, and delicious seafood chowder washed down with a pint of the black stuff. If social history is your thing, spend a couple of hours at Derrygimlagh, the evocative spot where Alcock and Brown safely crash landed their plane in July 1919 on completion of the first non-stop Transatlantic flight. News spread fast about their pioneering feat, since this same place happened to host Marconi’s experimental communication station. Nowadays, boardwalks and interpretation boards help your imagination to recreate the scenes of a century ago.
We’ll provide plenty of recommendations to help you make the most of your Connemara holiday time.
You’re in for a terrific day on the road today, along some of Ireland’s most spectacular coastline, as the Wild Atlantic Way winds its way south-east through Co Galway and south-west into Co Clare. With endless bays, coves, cliffs and beaches to tempt you, you’ll want to make the most of this route, taking your time to discover its people and places, and to delve into this superb landscape.
Your Hotel in County Clare
Just a few short steps from the crashing Atlantic Ocean, your accommodation in Co Clare is a hugely appealing, family-owned hotel. The gleaming white exterior mirrors the nearby foaming sea, while inside there’s a relaxed feel throughout, with an obvious pride in the location. Many of the just-refurbished rooms feature stupendous sea views, with local products in the en-suites and soft furnishings reflecting the best of Co Clare. Downstairs, enjoy an expertly crafted aperitif at the cocktail bar, before dinner in the popular restaurant by the vast picture windows. Later, repair to the in-house pub for your favourite tipple to the sound of live traditional Irish music.
After a superb Irish breakfast, take a 35-minute drive to the picturesque village of Doolin, stepping off point for the ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran islands. World famous for its importance to Christian and Celtic culture, mythology and tradition, Inis Mór is home to around 50 monuments of historical interest, with many more sites of archaeological significance. With cliffs rising 100 metres from the ocean, hosting ruined forts and churches, some of Europe’s most picturesque ruins exist here on this island. Beautiful beaches, more towering cliffs and charming villages dot the island, ideally experienced on foot or on a rented bicycle, available close to the ferry port. Another breathtaking journey awaits upon your return to the mainland, as the setting sun illuminates Co. Clare’s Cliffs of Moher – yet another unforgettable sight in this most beautiful country.
This morning, meet your guide at Ballyvaughan for a fascinating day on the Burren. This vast limestone pavement is one of the most mysterious landscapes in Europe, home to a host of unique wildflowers and rare fauna. Your guide is a man of the land here, born and brought up in the midst of this fascinating location – there is simply no-one better to guide you through the science, myths and legends that exist and thrive here. Full of stories and the craic, you’ll come away enriched and entertained having had a fabulous day on the Burren.
Enjoy one last sumptuous Irish breakfast, before taking to the road for your return journey across the island of Ireland to catch your ferry home.
Enjoy three nights in Clifden followed by three nights in Lahinch.
£1140 per person for departures in April & October and £1235 per person in May to September.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin en-suite room for six nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our hand-picked selection of small hotels and guest houses, eBike hire in Connemara, return ferry crossings to Inishboffin and Inis Mor and a guided walk on the Burren as part of a small group.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
You are requesting availability for
This holiday can be arranged from March to October.
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
As a child I spent a very memorable holiday in Connemara, in the west of Ireland. Although we had explored many parts of Ireland and Scotland before, ...