Overview & Tour Video

Tour Video

Watch to Learn More

The Heart of Ireland’s Wild West Tour is our most exclusive and personal small group tour! You will explore the hidden mystical, magical, and spiritual places nestled in the beautiful landscape of what is known as the “Land of Heart’s Desire.” You will meet local artists, writers, poets, musicians, storytellers, historians, folklorists, archaeologists, and the ordinary folk, who work and mind this sacred landscape.

You will have access to the “hearth” – places that no tour bus could ever fit or find. We roam the country roads and towns of the Wild West of Ireland, embracing mountains, wild rivers and ever-rambunctious shores of the incredible Wild Atlantic Coastline of Ireland. This is a deeply immersive experience which is intimate, personal and even spiritual. (And of course, loads of fun and diversion with the locals!)

Group Size

Maximum of 8 people per tour; however, we welcome family groups and private groups of up to 12-14 people! Please contact us for details.

Download Tour Brochure For Printing And Sharing

Tour Map

Explore the hidden mystical, magical, and spiritual places nestled in the beautiful landscape of the “Land of Heart’s Desire.” Meet local artists, writers, poets, musicians, storytellers, historians, folklorists, archaeologists, and the folk, who mind and work this sacred landscape.
Have access to the “hearth”- places that no tour bus could ever fit or find.

Tour Map Notes

You will be picked up in Dublin and returned to Dublin. Your tour includes 8 days of transportation and touring in a comfortable mini-bus.

Tour Highlights

No daily packing or unpacking!

Enjoy the homelike feeling of checking into our gorgeous B&B and making day trips in our comfortable mini-bus. Our easy pace allows you to truly enjoy a good night rest, linger over a delicious Irish Breakfast, and be ready and relaxed before the next day’s activities begin.

It’s megalithic! We visit the spectacular “thin place” known as Carrowmore Tombs.

These prehistoric places pre-date the Pyramids and the scenery surrounding them is just startling.

We visit a farm by the coast where our friend Martin, a Sheep-Herder, introduces you to his Border Collies and the dogs introduce you to the sheep! Martin and his family have been herding sheep for generations, and while they are busy with the sheep, you may stop just to take in the stunning mountains, hills and ocean that surrounds you.

 

 

We will visit Creevelea Abbey, a Franciscan Friary ruin which has a place within the walls where people can come for a healing or cure.

W.B. Yeats called Sligo the “Land of Heart’s Desire” and we venture out to Yeats Country where we visit some of the enchanting places of his myth and legend, including Dooney Rock Forest, where we will have a guided walk by a local Naturist. We will see the famous Lake Isle of Inishfree

We take a cruise on the lovely Rose of Innisfree.

You can also walk alongside a river to a beautiful church where Nobel Prize winning poet, W.B. Yeats is buried. There is a High Cross there, an 11th century tower ruin and a lovely tea shop.

Imagine yourself riding a horse on a beach, near a castle, or even up an enchanted mountain valley! Well, this is one of the most exciting activities we have for you. We go to a Riding Stable by the sea, but you always have the option of simply taking a beautiful solitary stroll along this beautiful beach on the Wild Atlantic Coastline.

Onward we go to explore a hidden ancient beach full of fossils from millions of years ago. Our travelers have described this serene place as “feeling like we are on another planet.”

We will take you to Streedagh Beach, which was the scene of three Spanish Armada shipwrecks in 1588. The ruins of the church where the Spanish sought refuge from the English Garrison stand nearby and you will get a sense of what happened during this historical watershed event.

Our expert and folklorist will present to you in dramatic fashion, the harrowing story of the Spanish Armada, when 3 of their ships crashed along these very beaches in 1588.

 

 

 

 

We will go to Glencar Lough and the breathtaking Waterfall, and other secret places that have no name.

You will hike up mystical Knocknarea Mountain to Queen Maeve’s Cairn, (one of National Geographic Traveler’s Top 10 Historical sites) and take in this spellbinding vista!

Once we have explored this mystical landscape, (as always at our own leisurely pace), we will visit a stunning hidden “fairy glen.” Something magical always happens here!

We will pop in for a light lunch at a seaside cafe walk along Strandhill Beach (which has some of the best surfing in Europe). Enjoy a soothing “Celtic Seaweed Bath” and Spa treatment if you like.

Up the mountain valley, we go to a hidden and secret “famine town” – the remains of a place impacted by the Famine years (An Gorta Mor – The Great Hunger). While much of the story is sad, you will be inspired by the stories of courage and resilience of the Irish during these troubled times.

We visit the busy seaside town of Bundoran and look out across Donegal Bay toward the highest sea cliffs in Europe: Slieve League. You will have the choice of walking up to the top of Slieve League, or going for a picnic at the viewing area below. Either way, you will be in awe of these cliffs.

We will make a stop to see Kathleen, a knitting lady of the old school, who makes Aran Sweaters in her home!

Sample Itinerary

Heart of Ireland’s Wild West

Sample Itinerary

 

This is an example of a typical Signature Tour. Be prepared to go “off book” as we take advantage of rare opportunities, special local events, and work with the weather to maximize every opportunity to make sure your experience is once-in-a-lifetime. We also prefer to keep some of our secrets to ourselves and our guests, our beloved “Wild Westies” and therefore do not spell out every wonderful aspect of this unique and rare experience. Or as the Irish proverb suggests, “Ní scéal rúin é más tá sé ar eolas go triúr” (“It is not a secret if it is known to three people”).

 

Day 1  –  Your Arrival

We give you a warm Céad míle fáilte_(100 thousand welcomes) in Dublin at the airport or your hotel near Dublin Airport if you have arrived early for your Wild West Irish Tour. We whisk you away in our very comfortable mini-bus and set our compass across the beautiful lake-lands and Midlands to the west coast of Ireland.

We will travel aside the banks of the River Shannon, and stop for time to walk around in the town of Carrick-On-Shannon. The closer we get to the Wild West coast, the more you will be thrilled by the mountains and valleys we transverse. Our guests love stopping at Curlew Pass, the site of the “Battle of the Curlew Mountains” and take in the magnificent vista by the famous (in the Wild West of Ireland) “Gaelic Chieftain Warrior!”

On we go westward to the coast and catch our first glimpse of Knocknarea, the mountain home of the legendary/mythical Queen Maeve. Not a minute later, we look up to see might Benbulben, the famous mountain by the sea on the Dartry Mountain Range.

We arrive at your cozy and comfortable 4- Star Irish Bed & Breakfast in the most stunning and wild landscape in Ireland. You can get settled and take in your breathtaking surroundings. Coffee and tea are waiting for you, weary traveler. Today runs at a very relaxed paced because you’ll probably be tired from the flight.

As evening draws near we will seek out a cozy pub nearby for our first pint of Guinness (if you wish), or a cup of tea and a delicious dinner. If there is a traditional Irish music in earshot, we will point you to it!

 

Days 2 to 7 may vary in order, but we will cover all activities listed here, and many more! 

Each day has an itinerary specially planned for you. Here are some of its highlights!

 

The Maugherow Peninsula  &  A Famine Village

Explore the hidden and fascinating places on the Maugherow Peninsula. We will ramble down small roads that lead to incredible vistas and catch our first true glimpse of the Wild Atlantic Way coastline. Onward we go to explore a hidden ancient beach full of fossils from millions of years ago. Our travelers have described this serene place as “feeling like we are on another planet.”

* * *

We will explore a mythical Promontory Fort (a place of an eerie legend) and climb up past “famine house” ruins.

Up the mountain valley, we go to a hidden and secret “famine town” – the remains of a place impacted by the Famine years (An Gorta Mor – The Great Hunger). While much of the story is sad, you will be inspired by the stories of courage and resilience of the Irish during these troubled times.

 

On Streedagh Beach  &  A Sheep Herding Demonstration

We will introduce you to an expert and folklorist, who will present to you in dramatic fashion, the harrowing story of the Spanish Armada, when 3 of their ships crashed along these very beaches in 1588.

Streedagh Beach was the scene of three Spanish Armada shipwrecks in 1588. The ruins of the church where the Spanish sought refuge from the English Garrison stand nearby and you will get a sense of what happened during this historical watershed event.

We will go to Glencar Lough and the breathtaking Waterfall, and other secret places that have no name.

* * *

Our friend Martin, a Sheep-Herder, introduces you to his Border Collies and the dogs introduce you to the sheep! Martin and his family have been herding sheep for generations, and while they are busy with the sheep, you may stop just to take in the stunning mountains, hills and ocean that surrounds you.

 

Knocknarea Mountain  &  Strandhill Beach

We take the hike up mystical Knocknarea Mountain to Queen Maeve’s Cairn, (one of National Geographic Traveler’s Top 10 Historical sites) and take in this spellbinding vista! Once we have explored this mystical landscape, (as always at our own leisurely pace), we will visit a stunning hidden “fairy glen.” Something magical always happens here!

* * *

We will pop in for a light lunch at a seaside cafe walk along Strandhill Beach (which has some of the best surfing in Europe).

Enjoy a soothing “Celtic Seaweed Bath” and Spa treatment if you like.

 

Carrowmore Tombs  &  Visit of Sligo 

It’s megalithic! We visit the spectacular “thin place” known as Carrowmore Tombs. These prehistoric places pre-date the Pyramids and the scenery surrounding them is just startling.

From here we venture to a gorgeous and sacred Holy Well, where celebrations and ritual have taken place for thousands of years.

* * *

We will take you on a walking tour of the nearby small Irish town of Sligo. You will meet a local myth keeper/storyteller/ woodcarver, and you will come away charmed. There is always time for a bit of shopping and a visit to an old Abbey ruin set alongside the Garavogue River.

 

Horseback riding  &  Belleek China Factory 

Imagine yourself riding a horse on a beach, near a castle, or even up an enchanted mountain valley! Well, this is one of the most exciting activities we have for you. We go to a Riding Stable by the sea, and whether you are an experienced rider or trying for the first time, our friends will make sure you have a fantastic experience. You always have the option of simply taking a beautiful solitary stroll along this beautiful beach on the Wild Atlantic Coastline.

* * *

We are so close to the world renowned Belleek China factory in the North of Ireland, that we won’t resist stopping in to see how they create these beautiful pieces of Art.

 

It’s Donegal Day !

We begin the day by visiting the busy seaside town of Bundoran and look out across Donegal Bay toward the highest sea cliffs in Europe: Slieve League. Within an hour you have the choice of walking up to the top of Slieve League, or going for a picnic at the viewing area below. Either way, you will be in awe of these cliffs.

We can make a stop to see Kathleen, who makes Aran Sweaters in her home!

We may make turn off the road to take in a hidden river, by a cave where sacred and holy rituals were celebrated in secret during Penal Law times and have connotations dating back to Pre-Christian days.  This rushing river, surrounded by woods, flows under the oldest bridge in Ireland, built my monks, centuries ago.

 

Yeats Country

W.B. Yeats called Sligo the “Land of Heart’s Desire” and we venture out to Yeats Country where we visit some of the enchanting places of his myth and legend, including Dooney Rock Forest, where we will have a guided walk by a local Naturist. We will see the famous Lake Isle of Inishfree, visit Creevelea Abbey, a Franciscan Friary ruin which has a place within the walls where people can come for a healing or cure.

You will have an incredible tour of Parke’s Castle, and walk through a thickly wooded glen, that has a rushing river flowing and where you won’t be blamed if you feel the presences of the “faeries!” We take a cruise on the lovely Rose of Innisfree.

 

Day 8  –  Back to Dublin

We say beannacht agus ádh mór (goodbye and good luck) to our friends in the Wild West of Ireland and skip across the heart of Ireland to Dublin City to check into your comfortable hotel near Dublin Airport. You will have free time on your last day in Ireland, either to rest or venture on your own on a visit of Dublin City Centre.

Among the landmarks to visit we name a few of the extraordinary places you could choose from, like Dublin Castle, Trinity College–where you see the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol which is famous for the Easter Rising of 1916, the Dublin Zoo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Guinness Brewery, Stephens Green, Grafton Street (for great shopping, pubs and some of the best street musicians in the world), Phoenix Park, the National Museum, and the National Museum of Natural History.

There is always great “craic” in the lively Temple Bar area, or you can walk across the Half Penny Bridge to famous O’Connell Street for more Irish culture, history and shopping. The nightlife is mighty with traditional Irish music and your last night in Ireland will be one to remember!

 

Day 9  –  At Dublin Airport 

After this whirlwind of fun and adventure, you will have spent 8 of the most memorable days in your life. We can say this because this is what our guests tell us time and time again. Our Signature Tours are about depth and a personal and transforming experience. You will likely be saying Slan to your new lifelong friends.

 After a good night sleep, you will be ready to take a Shuttle service to Dublin Airport with enough time for check-in, and go through security and other clearance procedures to go home.

 

Optional Activities: Horseback riding on a beach and spa treatments. These activities will have an additional cost.

Where else?

There is nothing like an Irish pub with traditional music session and we know where the best sessions are! Our friends locally know the best places and you may find yourself in someone’s home sitting in on Irish music and some laughs!

We cannot possibly name and describe all the hidden places and gems that we unearth for you. We want our secrets to be shared with you on your Wild West Irish Tour, and we shy away from naming all of the incredible places you will visit.

Tour Includes

  • 8 days of touring and sightseeing, limited to 8 travelers. Don’t delay!
  • 8 nights in a 4-star B&B guesthouse-style accommodation or similar.
  • 1 boat cruise excursion and visits to two lake islands.
  • Touring in a comfortable mini-coach with your experienced local tour guides.
  • Admission fees to historical sites and activities recognized by National Geographic.
  • Daily Full Irish breakfast.
  • Priceless memories and experiences.

Please note: Airfare not included. Lunch and Dinner not included

Follow us on Instagram @WILDWESTIRISHTOURS