Wild Atlantic Way walking holiday in Ireland

“Walk sections of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way around Galway Bay, exploring the region’s contrasting landscapes on guided walks of up to 18km a day.”


Walk sections of the Wild Atlantic Way | Burren, the Aran Islands and Connemara | Roundstone | Inagh Valley | ferry to Inis Mor | ferry to Doolin | Gleninagh Mountain | Ballyvaughan | walk up to 18km a day

Description of Wild Atlantic Way walking holiday in Ireland

The walking trail that hugs the west coast of Ireland is known as the Wild Atlantic Way, and this eight day walking holiday explores sections in and around Burren, The Aran Islands and Connemara. Walk the dramatic and contrasting landscapes that surround Galway Bay, with the lovely Aran Islands in the middle. Connemara is a place of mountains, rolling moorland and deep lakes while on the other side of the bay, the Burren is defined by the rocks that give it is name – burren comes from the Irish word boireann, or ‘place of stone’. Nowhere else in Ireland does rock dominate the landscape as it does here in this northwest pocket of County Clare.

The Wild Atlantic Way stretches 2,600km, beginning in Derry, Northern Ireland, and travelling all the way down to Kinsale. You’ll walk portions of it for six days, with trails rising to a maximum altitude of 952m, but with an average altitude of 300m. The walks are graded as moderate and though not technically difficult, you’ll be walking up to 18km a day, so you’ll need a good level of fitness. Highlights include taking the ferry to explore Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands, the towering Cliffs of Moher and impressive views from Gleninagh Mountain. The wildflowers in bloom during the spring and summer are another treat – 75 percent of all Ireland's wildflowers grow in the Burren region.

This is a small group holiday, max 16 people per group, and all transport by private minibus and boat.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700


Check dates, prices & availability

26 May 2018
£ 1849
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 May 2018 departure
07 Jul 2018
£ 1849
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 07 Jul 2018 departure
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Wild Atlantic Way walking holiday in Ireland

Accommodation and meals
On our one week walking holiday to the West Coast of Ireland we stay in three locally run hotels (or guesthouses)in the Connemara, InisMor and the Burren. Local accommodation is carefully chosen in order to benefit the community and economy by keeping investment within the area. All Irish accommodation providers have a recycling programme that includes separating compostable, dry recycling and glass from general waste.
All breakfasts are included on this trip and clients can expect a Full Irish Breakfast each morning prepared using local produce. A picnic lunch is provided daily on all of the trekking days and these will be made up locally too. Dinners will either be taken at the accommodation or in local restaurants, by eating at both we can spread our economic benefit by supporting the wider community. There is one free evening in Roundstonewhere clients can choose where they wish to dine, the guide will be able to offer suggestions and recommend the best for traditional Irish cuisine.

Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking and trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints and have a strict policy with proper disposal of litter. Our staff are trained with environmental stewardship in mind and protective guidelines are then passed on to our clients through briefings in order to keep our impact neutral. Our local partner is a member of Leave No Trace Ireland, which supports outdoor recreation in a responsible way through education, research and partnerships.

Environment and water
During this tour we visit National Parks and protected land including The Burren and Cliffs of Moher and Connemara National Park. The guides will educate the clients about the flora and fauna and its importance to the area. Whilst visiting these areas there is the chance to further your knowledge at the interpretive centres.
Water is another really important issue associated with trekking trips, whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We encourage clients to bring their own water bottles instead of repeatedly buying bottled water. Tap water in Ireland is drinkable and clients are prompted to refill their bottles each morning before setting out for the day.

Group size and community:
This is a small group active holiday led by local guides. By traveling in groups no larger than 16 we are able to have very little negative impact on a destination by never overcrowding or damaging walking trails. Having a small group also allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants which would be unsuitable for large tour groups; this means we can visit genuine local restaurants and cafes which have not been built just to cater for mass tourism. Working closely with local land owners and farmers ensures we have permission to walk on their land. We work with local farmers who wish to do so and provide farm visits for our guests which give the farmer an alternative revenue source. All of the money generated by our holidays stays within the local community. All of our guides do their best to facilitate interaction between our guests and the locals as we know this is what our guests want to experience.

We only use local guides and drivers on our trips. All of our guides are offered training opportunities each year from First Aid to navigational training and soft skills like group management. This year we are offering a training day in conjunction with our National Tourism Board to train our staff and guides on increasing their awareness of the entire West Coast of Ireland and what is available for our guests when they visit Ireland. The aim is to ensure our guests return to Ireland to discover another wonderful region in the future.

UK Office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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