Day long tours to Connemara or Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands off Galway Bay or to the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare taking in the unique scenery of The Burren can be taken by special arrangement with your Tour Guide, Jim.
Irish or Gaeilge is the predominant tongue in Connemara and Áran, and Jim Ward is a fluent speaker (a Gaeilgeóir!), so it helps.
Jim’s knowledge of Irish placenames and their origins (Logainmneacha) comes into play on these trips
These bespoke tours are more suitable for groups as bus travel and ferry bookings need to be arranged in advance.
Cross West across the River Corrib and you are officially in Connemara. Connemara is, however, thankfully, a big place. Head further west along the scenic coast road and you will come to the ‘real’ Connemara, comprising the traditional Connemara Gaeltacht (where Irish is the first language) in the south, fishing, beautiful rugged scenery and landscape of blanket bogs, then head further north to the Maamturk Mountain range and further north again to the Twelve Pins and Clifden.
Places of interest
An Spidéal – Spiddal, home of the Morris Clan (a Tribe of Galway, aka Lord Killanin). The house was the place where The Waterboys recorded their iconic Fisherman’s Blues Album.
Costello House, last home of J. B. Ismay of the ill-fated Titanic infamy.
Pearse’s Cottage, Rosmuc, where the Irish Revolutionary Patrick Pearse spent his summers learning Irish and where he wrote much of his work including his oration for the Fenian, O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral.
The tour takes you by the shores of Lough Corrib, second largest lake in Ireland, with views (and stories!) of some of its islands and through the historic village of Cong, famous for the Hollywood film The Quiet Man, and also for Ashford castle.
Burren – Cliffs of Moher
The day trip to the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare takes us through South Galway, passing through the villages of Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Kinvara (a stop at the Castle), before entering the historic and cultured County Clare, home to The Burren.
The Burren is a ‘remarkable place where geology, ecology, archaeology, agriculture, history, food and traditional music are all deeply rooted in the landscape and culture of the region’. Where you find 75 percent of all Ireland’s plant species, 23 orchid species and where Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean flowers grow side by side. Human settlement goes back 6,000 years.
The natural phenomenon that are the Cliffs of Moher is the second most visited tourist attraction in Ireland. 5 km of naturally formed cliffs, 200 metres high, with views of the Aran Islands to the north and Kerry to the south.
The return journey goes along the coast through Ballyvaughan, with connections to J. R. R. Tolkien, and home via Lisdoonvarna, town of the famous ‘matchmaking festival’.
Aran Islands – Inis Mór
The Aran ferry leaves Ros a Mhíl port in south Connemara and arrives in Kilronan on the island of Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands.
You can either hire bicycles to tour or take a shuttle bus to Dún Aenghusa, one of several prehistoric forts on the islands. Dún Aenghusa is on the western edge of the island and backs on to the Atlantic Ocean. ‘On a clear day you can almost see Boston, MA, or could it be the mythical Tír na nÓg – The Land of Youth?’