Heart of Ireland Adventure

About the Experience

You can imagine the rich, endless green. The wild, majestic vistas. The cold, black Guinness in a quiet seaside pub. You can feel the rushing wind. And yet, when you arrive, Ireland gives you so much more.

It’s easy to see why stories of fairies and leprechauns and magical rainbows once sprang from this place. To understand how this little island has produced such heartbreaking poetry, and music so tender the heart swells. When surrounded by such fierce, relentless beauty, such rich ancient history, how can you not feel inspired?

You run your hands over the astonishing wet stone of an ancient Sheela Na Gig and sink your feet into the same wet stretch of sand that inspired the words of W.B. Yeats. You climb upon a horse and gallop over boglands. You explore the ghostly island of Inishkea with a local, their brogue dancing in your head along with the crash of the coming waves.

You kayak past Pagan relics and listen to your heart pound as you skirt along breathtaking sea cliffs. This is the true heart of Ireland. This is its pulse. And this is why anyone who ever visits, leaves feeling as if they have been let in on a sacred secret.

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Heart of Ireland Adventure

About the Experience

You can imagine the rich, endless green. The wild, majestic vistas. The cold, black Guinness in a quiet seaside pub. You can feel the rushing wind. And yet, when you arrive, Ireland gives you so much more.

It’s easy to see why stories of fairies and leprechauns and magical rainbows once sprang from this place. To understand how this little island has produced such heartbreaking poetry, and music so tender the heart swells. When surrounded by such fierce, relentless beauty, such rich ancient history, how can you not feel inspired?

You run your hands over the astonishing wet stone of an ancient Sheela Na Gig and sink your feet into the same wet stretch of sand that inspired the words of W.B. Yeats. You climb upon a horse and gallop over boglands. You explore the ghostly island of Inishkea with a local, their brogue dancing in your head along with the crash of the coming waves.

You kayak past Pagan relics and listen to your heart pound as you skirt along breathtaking sea cliffs. This is the true heart of Ireland. This is its pulse. And this is why anyone who ever visits, leaves feeling as if they have been let in on a sacred secret.

DAY ONE: ARRIVAL

Meet your Wild Women guide and fellow wild women at the cafe in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square in Dublin at 11 AM. After a brief orientation with your guide at the gallery cafe, you will then be whisked away to Donegal. In the afternoon, you’ll take a boat journey to the mysterious ancient figures on deserted White Island, including a Sheela Na Gig, Christian remnants of ancient fertility goddesses.

  • Mileage: ~225 km or ~ 3 hours (with stops along the way)

 

DAY TWO: DONEGAL

After breakfast, you’ll spend the morning hiking Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Slieve League on the Wild Atlantic Way and taking in majestic views of the wild Atlantic Ocean. Weather permitting, enjoy a boat trip beneath the cliffs, keeping an eye out for whales, basking sharks and seals. On the way back to Donegal you’ll stop at the infamous Nancy’s Bar for a pint in Ardara and visit a local shop that makes and sells handwoven tweed.

  • Mileage: ~105 km or ~ 2 hours (with stops along the way)
  • Hike Details: Linear trail up to 6 km (4 mi) initially on gravel road and then onto a rugged path through open, hilly, terrain. Gradual uphill on the way to the cliffs. It can become windy and foggy as you walk to higher elevations near the cliffs.

 

DAY THREE: NORTH SLIGO

In the morning, you’ll enjoy a beach horse ride along the wild Atlantic coast. In the afternoon, you’ll adventure in North Sligo, visiting the mythical Gleniff Horseshoe in the shadows of Benbulben and tour Lissadell House, the home of Constance Markievicz, famous politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette.

Tonight, you will dine and rest your head at a beautiful countryside manor.

  • Mileage: ~85 km or ~ 1.5 hours (with stops)
  • Horse Riding Details: Beginner friendly. You will ride a few kilometres on open grassy trails and beaches along the coast.
  • Riding Weight Restrictions: Please note that horses can only carry passengers up to 16 stone or 224 lbs.

 

DAY FOUR: KNOCKNAREA

Spend the day cycling the countryside and kayaking the shoreline. You will cycle the back roads of Sligo, past ancient forests and holy wells with a pagan past, to Lough Gill where you will kayak in the landscape that inspired the poet WB Yeats.

Afterwards, you’ll climb Knocknarea to the burial cairn of the mythical warrior queen Meabh and then return to the comfort of your luxury Irish manor for dinner and relaxation.

  • Mileage: ~70 km or ~ 1.25 hours total
  • Hike Details: The Knocknarea hike is approximately 2.5 km (1.5mi) round trip with an elevation gain of 200m (650′)

 

DAY FIVE: CLIFFS OF DOWNPATRICK HEAD

Spend the morning learning how to stand up paddleboard near the seaside town of Enniscrone with the option of a seaweed bath in authentic Edwardian bathhouses.

In the late afternoon, you will walk the cliffs of Downpatrick Head and admire incredible blowholes and sea stacks in Ireland’s most remote region.

  • Mileage: ~ 95 km or Under 2 hours
  • Paddling Details: Introduction to Stand Up Paddling (beginner friendly) on a large beautiful beach in town. Wetsuits provided.
  • Hiking Details: Easy walking from parking area over grassy area to the cliffs.

 

DAY SIX: DESERTED ISLANDS

If the weather allows, spend the whole day exploring deserted islands! You’ll take a private boat charter to the deserted islands of Inishkea with a former resident, catching lunch of fresh mackerel on the way, which we will clean, fillet and grill on the empty sand beach beside the ruined village. On the island, you will explore deserted villages, early Christian relics, holy wells, sand dunes, and bird colonies.

Note: The alternative activity in the event of inclement weather will be a visit to Clare Island where you will also have the opportunity to fish and explore the island.

 

DAY SEVEN: ACHILL ISLAND

Spend the morning enjoying a surf lesson on Keel Beach at our hotel’s back door. After a well-earned lunch, hike to a deserted famine-era village under the beautiful mountain of Slievemore before a final night celebratory dinner at the hotel.

  • Surfing Details: Introduction to surfing (beginner friendly) on a large beautiful beach located directly in front of your accommodation. Wetsuits provided.
  • Hiking Details: Moderate trail hiking for a few hours over open, grassy hills along the coast.

 

DAY EIGHT: GALWAY

After breakfast, your guides will transfer you to Galway City, say goodbyes, and onward trains or buses to Dublin or other parts of Ireland are available.

  • Mileage: ~130km or ~ 2.5 hours

 

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