April 20-28, 2017
Inn to Inn in Southwest Ireland: Hiking the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Dingle Peninsula

Status  FULL
Cost The cost will be $2994 per person. There are a few single supplement rooms available for an additional $322.58.
Travel Dates  April 20-28, 2017
Description Ireland is one of those prize places that offer a wealth to see, do and discover when you come to visit. We are amazed that a country so small has so much to offer. Our hope is that you will be captivated by the areas we have chosen and that you will return to discover more of this addictive land. The small village of Doolin, nestled into the northern reaches of the amazing Cliffs of Moher, is the southern corner of what we call the ‘Burren’. Derived from the Irish word boireann meaning ‘place of stone’, the name could not be more apt. There is no part of Ireland where limestone rock so obviously dominates the landscape as it does in this small corner of County Clare. The Burren covers an area of some 260 square kilometres and is famous for its bare limestone pavements dissected by deep crevices and traversed by countless stone walls. Almost devoid of trees and surface water, it has been described as ‘lunar’ in its appearance, an ancient limestone plateau beneath which is a labyrinth of pot- holes, caves, streams and lakes. Surprisingly, this bizarre and apparently hostile environment is a botanist’s paradise as around 3⁄4 of Ireland’s plant species are found in the Burren.

Across the water from Doolin, lie the Aran Islands in the middle of Galway Bay and possessing many small “patchwork quilt type” fields consisting of little more than bare limestone. The islanders have eked out a living by improving the soil over generations with sand and seaweed. Aran is also a bastion of Irish culture. Irish is still the everyday language of most islanders, making it the strongest Gaeltacht in the country. Many traditions that have been lost on the mainland have been maintained here. It also has a wealth of archaeological and historical remains, notably its prehistoric stone forts and Early Christian sites. Aran has been a Mecca for scholars and discerning travellers ever since Millington Synge’s depiction of the islanders’ life in The Playboy of the Western World.Moving from here to County Kerry’s’ Dingle Peninsula this is one of Ireland’s most beautiful coastal regions, situated in the south west and surrounded by the magnificent and at times wild Atlantic coastline. It is ringed by some glorious sandy beaches and craggy cliffs, while inland, the rolling hills and mountains are just waiting to be discovered. It is also an official “Gaeltacht” region meaning that the Irish language is widely spoken here and her culture is well protected. It is the northernmost of the major peninsulas in County Kerry and boasts Ireland’s most westerly point of land – “the next Parish is America”…! There is no other landscape in Western Europe with the density and variety of archaeological monuments as you will find here with a remarkable preservation of over 2,000 monuments! Combine this visible history with an oral tradition of stories that have been passed from generation to generation and you begin to understand just how unique this peninsula really is. National Geographic described it as the most beautiful place on earth. It has been discovered by our early Christian settlers, the Vikings, Hollywood, and “Funghie” and yet still remains determined to simply be the idyllic and magnificent Dingle Peninsula, where nature speaks in all her glory.
Included
  • 8 nights bed in room with private shower/ bathroom. Full Irish breakfast each morning.
  • Picnic lunch (on hike days 2, 4, 5, 7 & 8)
  • 8 evening dinners
  • 5 days with expert Irish guide (on Days 1, 2, 5, 7 & 8) who accompanies the group for these hikes.
  • Transport to/from each day’s walking locations and luggage transfers when required. Self-Guiding telephone support available 24/7
  • Return boat trip to Inishmor Island.
  • Emergency contact number for all group members to give to their loved ones at home.
Not Included
  • Any entrance fees to theatres, parks or museums Gratuities
  • No medical expense
  • Additional support transport
  • Personal drinks Airfare
Payment Policy A deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration. The remaining balance of $2494 is due no later than December 1, 2016.
Cancellation Policy  $500 is due with registration. If registrant cancels prior to December 1, 2016, all except the $100 ADK registration fee is refundable.

Full payment of the trip must be made by December 1, 2016. Refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $225.00 will be refunded.
If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.

Accommodations and Meals Lodging and meals will be in village Bed and Breakfasts and inns.
Trip Insurance ADK recommends that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any, you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.
Daily Itinerary This is a tentative itinerary. It could change due to weather or other considerations.

Day 1, Thursday, April 20, 2017

Arrive at Shannon Airport on the west coast of Ireland and transfer by private minibus to Doolin – the capital of Traditional Irish music in Ireland. Your Guide will meet you at the airport, escort you to your accommodation and go through a general Briefing Session with everyone. Your first evening meal will be at 6:30. Those with energy may even manage to stay up long enough to enjoy some music in one of the local pubs before retiring.

Day 2, Friday, April 21, 2017

From your base in Doolin, you will be transferred by minibus to the heart of the Burren region. Here, your guide will take you on a wonderful hike over Gleninagh Mountain and around Black Head, enjoying views across Galway Bay to the mountains of Connemara. This is the Burren at its best, with limestone slabs across a wide expanse and amazing growth forming between the slabs, giving a chance to find some of the flowers that make this region so special. At the end of your walk, your local guide will leave you as you return to Doolin for dinner and overnight. Walk Details – Distance: 19kms approx. (11.8 miles)
Cliffs of Moher The Burren

April 22, Day 3

An easier day today gives everyone a chance to relax more as you acclimatise into the Irish, relaxed way of life. You will be transferred to the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher and start hiking from there. Following north along these majestic cliffs with views across to the Aran Islands, you walk the full length of these cliffs to return to Doolin. During the hike, there will be an opportunity for everyone to stop and enjoy some time at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, learn more about the formation of these impressive cliffs and get some lunch before continuing on to Doolin. Dinner and overnight in Doolin. Walk Details – Distance: 14kms approx. (8.7 miles)

April 23, Day 4

A longer day today as you transfer by ferry to Inishmor the largest of the three Aran Islands. On arrival, enjoy a super hike along the southern shores of this island to reach the beautiful Dun Aenghus Promontory Fort. Returning via the northern shores you catch the ferry back to Doolin for your final overnight in this part of the world. (Please note you will need to walk to and from the pier in Doolin which is approx. 3kms from your accommodation each way). Walk Details – Distance: 13kms (or 20kms) approx. (8.2 or 12.4 miles)- it is possible for a small charge to avail of transport back to the pier on Inishmor, or you may walk the extra 7kms
April 24, Day 5: You will be transferred today from Doolin to the beautiful Dingle Peninsula. This drive is approx. 3 hours and on reaching the peninsula – your Guide will meet you today and take you to the start of your hike on the northern side of the peninsula. From here, you follow a wonderful old “droving” track to reach the southern shores of the Dingle Peninsula overlooking the Ring of Kerry. At the end of your walk, you transfer on to Dingle town for your dinner and overnight. Walk Details – Distance: 14kms approx. (8.7 miles)

Kerry Slea Head

April 25, Day 6

Today you will have earned a slightly easier day, and your hike takes you west of Dingle town to the beautiful Slea Head. Starting on the wonderful Ventry beach, you follow around the western tip of the peninsula to finish at Slea Head. From here, you will be taken back to Dingle town for a free afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Dingle. Walk Details – Distance: 11kms approx. (6.8 miles)
April 26, Day 7: Transferring to the beautiful village of Cloghane, you then follow a super route to climb the north eastern side of the magnificent Mount Brandon Mountain. This is a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding hike as you ascend from this side and descend to the south west with glorious views across to the Blasket Islands. From the end of this walk, you will meet your minibus and transfer back to Dingle for your dinner and overnight. Walk Details – Distance: 12kms approx. (7.5 miles)

Mount Brandon Caherconree

April 27, Day 8

Leaving Dingle you transfer to the eastern end of the peninsula and the historical Slieve Mish Mountains near Tralee. From here, your local Guide will meet you as you enjoy a climb up to the impressive Caherconree, an ancient inland promontory fort. With glorious views along the length of the Dingle Peninsula, you have the opportunity to survey some of the places you have reached. After a farewell with your Guide, you continue, travelling from the end of your hike, to your final overnight at Bunratty. Here you can all enjoy a wonderful banquet evening to celebrate a terrific holiday and have a short transfer to Shannon Airport the following day. (Driving time from Dingle to walk location – approx. 1 hour & from walk location to Bunratty is approx. 2.5 hours). Walk Details – Distance: 12kms approx. (7.5 miles)

April 28, Day 9

Transfer from Bunratty to Shannon for check in. (Allow 30 mins for this transfer).

Notes A valid passport is required.

Participants must be in good physical condition and able to hike up to 12 miles. Hikes will be at a moderate pace. Slow hikers may have to move at a faster pace and faster hikers may have to move slower than usual.

Weather: Should be nice weather for hiking in April, but be prepared for cold, rain and wind. More information will follow.

Please note that Ireland can be a bit ‘damp’ both underfoot and overhead, with some liquid sunshine! Irish weather is unpredictable and the nature of hikes can change quickly and dramatically because of the weather. This is one of the many pleasant aspects of hiking in Ireland. This itinerary may change due to weather conditions or the walking ability of each group. Participants will be sent a copy of “General Holiday Information” which will assist you in your holiday preparation, outlining recommended clothing & footwear.

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING OF THE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAIN CLUB TO BE A PARTICIPANT ON AN ADK ADVENTURE TRAVEL TRIP. JOIN ADK ONLINE.

TRIP PRICES AND ARRANGEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND ADK’s CONTROL

Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact me if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or snail mail) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by U.S, Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.

For more information and to register contact Jon Bowen, 1626 Gunbarrel Rd, Baldwinsville, NY 13027, 315 628-8749, jkbowen@gmail.com

Trip Leader Jon Bowen