Eire Mountain climbing and Cultural Journey April 2024

To essentially expertise Eire – it’s essential to really feel it – really feel its land, its rain, its temperate local weather and most of all – its soul. This can be a nation that can’t be rushed and exploring it on foot is among the greatest methods to expertise it. This permits you the chance to fulfill the locals, come head to head with 1000’s of years of historical past and see what it’s that makes Irish folks so distinctive.

I’ve partnered with information extraordinaire, Rachel Nolan of Rachel’s Irish Adventures, to place collectively an Ottsworld tour that might carry Nation Mayo’s landscapes, climbing, native tradition, and distinctive touches collectively in an unbelievable personalized tour.

Ireland tour county mayo hiking
Ottsworld Eire Tour – A novel option to see Eire!

Overview and Map

Dates: April 20 – 27, 2024

Value: €2,780* (€450 single complement)
This can be a small group tour – solely 7 folks + me! The house will refill quick so enroll rapidly.

*All costs will likely be charged within the Euro – some USD worth fluctuations may happen by the point of your ultimate fee – nonetheless you’ll be able to pay in full at any time and lock within the worth.

This isn’t your run of the mill Eire tour. That is an unique personalized Ottsworld tour within the firm of me as your host, accompanied by our skilled native Irish information – Rachel. Our small group of seven folks will get to go to a few of Eire’s greatest stored secrets and techniques, hike on distant trails, keep in boutique lodging, meet locals, expertise distinctive Irish tradition, and benefit from the lush inexperienced of the Eire panorama within the spring.

I can even supply pictures instruction for these of you who’re considering enhancing your pictures (cellphone or digicam). As well as, I will likely be taking pictures of your entire tour and every visitor will get a obtain of all photos I take. So should you don’t wish to take footage – I’ll do it for you!

The journey will discover the entire great thing about County Mayo’s stretch of shoreline alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner and it’s islands. What’s that – you haven’t heard of County Mayo? That’s precisely why I selected it! It’s a hidden gem away from the closely traveled websites in Eire.

county Mayo Map
County Mayo is in darkish inexperienced

Whereas most individuals head to the Ring of Kerry or the Cliffs of Moher, we’ll have the gorgeous shoreline of County Mayo all to ourselves.

Learn how to E book This Tour

I’d like to speak to you first to reply any of your questions previous to you reserving. Due to this fact comply with these steps to guide:

  1. Ship me an e-mail at [email protected] letting me learn about your curiosity. We are going to arrange a name to debate any questions you’ve gotten. This will likely be on a primary come first serve foundation – there are solely 7 spots accessible on this tour.
  2. I’ll ship you a fee hyperlink to Rachel’s web site the place you’ll be able to guide your deposit and safe your spot for this practice tour. 500€ non refundable deposit is required to safe spot.
  3. Ultimate fee is due January 21, 2024 (90 Days previous to April 20, 2024)

Cancellation Coverage and Price

  • In case you cancel greater than 90 days earlier than the beginning date of the vacation, you’ll lose the deposit quantity.
  • In case you cancel between 89 – 42 days earlier than beginning date of the vacation, you’ll lose 50% of vacation value
  • In case you cancel lower than 42 days earlier than the beginning date of the vacation, you’ll lose 100% of the vacation value

I extremely advocate that you simply get journey insurance coverage to cowl any dangers of cancellation. I usually use Allianz Travel Insurance for my very own travels and it is vitally moderately priced.

Each day Itinerary

The itinerary is one-of-a-kind and is full of included experiences equivalent to a number of ‘spa’ experiences, visits to sheep farms, entrance to historic websites, lamb cuddling, cooking expertise, falconry, whiskey tasting, and the prospect to fulfill plenty of locals. As well as, we have now included loads of hikes, walks, and even some biking!

Observe: The journey begins in Ballina and ends in Westport. You can be reponsible on your personal transportation to the beginning and from the end, nonetheless there’s a common prepare and buses which can be straightforward to take from Dublin with a number of departures instances throughout any given day.

Day 1 – April 20 – Arrival in Ballina Eire

Your vacation kicks off within the charming city of Ballina in County Mayo the place your information will meet you on arrival and switch you to the lodge. Settle into your room and take within the magnificent view over the River Moy and Belleek Woods, go to a museum, and revel in a river stroll.

Get pleasure from a day baking expertise in Marjorie’s kitchen, hosted by Rachel’s mom in her kitchen. Marjorie is the writer of 4 cookery books and loves nothing greater than to share her ardour within the kitchen, adopted by savoring the fruits of your labor over a scorching cuppa tea.

Marjorie Ballina
Marjorie’s dwelling baking class – Photograph by Susan Portnoy

We are going to get pleasure from a welcome dinner for the group to get to know each other. After diner if in case you have any vitality left, we’ll hit the city and go to Pat Rouse’s bar, Ballina’s oldest family-owned pub the place a conventional Irish music session and singsong will go on late into the night time. You might even get the prospect to drag your personal pint of Guinness.

Day 1 Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Sligo Coast – Following the traces of the Historic Queen Maeve of Connacht

After a refreshing sleep and a scrumptious breakfast. It’s off to hit the paths of Mayo and get our boots soiled for the primary time. Right now we’ll hike the fantastic Knocknarea hill and add a stone to the 1000’s adorning the imposing grave or cairn of Maeve, the good warrior queen, which overlooks Strandhill.

Distance: 7.5km | Elevation achieve 404m | 2-3 hours

Knocknara hike
Queen Maeve’s Hike

It’s time to get pleasure from an natural, fair-trade espresso on the excellent Shells Café which overlooks the strand, having fun with one in all their delicious home made treats. With time to chill out and discover this quaint location.

Go to Aughris Head Seashore bar – a conventional thatch roof pub and revel in a warming Irish espresso.

Get pleasure from a completely distinctive native expertise and unwind with a seaweed tub in Enniscrone. Seaweed baths are literally a centuries-old follow in Eire. Relationship again to the twelfth century, monks harvested the seaweed from the coastlines and gave it to the poor as a nourishing meals. We’ll get pleasure from a soak on the 100+ yr previous Kilcullen’s Bathtub Home perched proper on the coast the place they harvest their seaweed.

Get pleasure from a hearty dinner in Ballina and conventional Irish music at Lilly’s Bar.

Day 2 Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3: Conventional Irish Trades & Treats

Begin the morning assembly and dealing with birds of prey. The Birds of Prey Expertise is a novel alternative to fulfill and deal with quite a lot of Birds on the Mount Falcon Aviary.  Get an enchanting perception into the lives of those magnificent creatures and get the prospect to carry and admire them shut up; it’s a really visceral and satisfying expertise!

Ireland Falconry

Tour the Foxford Woollen Mills and study the historical past of the mill in addition to how essential it’s to the close by village. Have an opportunity to buy any wool mementos. Get pleasure from lunch on the Woolen Mills Cafe.

Head again to Ballina and get fitted for bikes at Rachel’s bike shed. We’ll cycle to the Monasteries of the Moy, discover the Belleek woods, and Rosserk Abbey. There will likely be a number of events to cease off and take footage and study concerning the historical past and traditions of the area…just like the Fairy Path!

For anybody who doesn’t wish to cycle right now, an alternative choice is to relax out and revel in a soothing therapy in an award-winning spa (at your personal value).

This night you’ve gotten an actual deal with earlier than dinner. A whiskey appreciation masterclass, your whisky knowledgeable will take you thru a number of Irish Whiskey and educate you on this world-famous spirit and its origins. Style the completely different whiskeys and ask any questions you’ll have. Following the masterclass, we’ll have dinner at Quay West.

Day 3 Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: North Mayo coast (The Ceide Coast)

Depart Ballina with a scenic drive to the coast the place we’ll take a simple strolling route alongside the coast to a hidden seashore. We’ll additionally make a cease on the iconic Downpatrick Head the place your information will carry this place to life with details and folklore about time passed by.

Downpatrick Head
Downpatrick Head

Now it time to reward you on your morning’s journey with some scrumptious lunch and residential baked treats at Mary’s Cottage Kitchen. The proper place to cease for some tasty dwelling cooking located within the coastal village of Ballycastle. Mary’s Cottage Kitchen was constructed within the early 1800’s and maintains many conventional options such because the stone wall exterior, open loft, uncovered beams, flag flooring and a great open fireplace.

Subsequent, it’s time to go to the superbly Ceide Fields which is the oldest, most in depth Stone Age monument on this planet, which lies beneath our toes! Consisting of megalithic tombs, fields and homes, the relics are softly coated by a pure blanket bathroom, which itself is a surprise with its distinctive wildlife. Put together to be blown away on the viewing platform on the fringe of the 110-metre cliff shut by.

Tonight we keep on the luxurious Ceide Glamping Pods. Every of the 6 Glamping Pods comes with a shocking coastal view. And the perfect half is that we are going to have your entire space to ourselves. We’ll get pleasure from dinner within the widespread space whereas we benefit from the sound of the waves crashing on the coast.

Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Off the Crushed Path

After a refreshing sleep and a scrumptious breakfast. It’s off to hit probably the most beautiful trails in County Mayo. This area of the Wild Atlantic Manner has among the most dramatic shoreline to be discovered anyplace in Eire. The hike we’ll get pleasure from right now was described in Lonely planet as “The best sustained coastal stroll in western Eire, with a profusion of precipitous cliffs, crags, caves, chasms and islands alongside the distant North Mayo coast”.

County May hiking
County Mayo Cliff Hike

Distance: 7km | Elevation achieve: 300m | 2-3 hours 

After the difficult hike reward your self with a conventional heat whiskey and lunch at Connoly’s Pub and revel in assembly some locals at this tiny, distant institution.

Drive to Ballycroy Nationwide Park. Situated on the Western seaboard in northwest Mayo, the park covers an enormous 15,000 hectares of uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness, dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain vary. To the west of the mountains is the Owenduff Bathroom, one of many final intact lively blanket bathroom methods in Western Europe. If time permits we’ll do a brief stroll there.

Drive to Achill Island, the most important of the Irish isles but it solely has 2500 inhabitants. Right here we’ll keep on the secluded Bervie B&B. The magical beachside home was as soon as a coast guard station, and since 1932 has been the final word escape for the numerous visitors who’ve stayed right here. It’s a low, tucked-in form of place with a bit of wicket gate giving direct entry to the seashore. There may be an other-worldliness concerning the Bervie that could be very uncommon nowadays.

In spite of everything of that climbing – get pleasure from some scorching & chilly Atlantic remedy! Heat up within the cute beachside saunas after which cool off with a refreshing dip within the Atlantic Ocean…and repeat. Dinner at Bervie B&B.

Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Achill Island & Clew Bay

After having fun with the perfect breakfast on Achill Island, we’ll drive to Keem seashore which is honored as top-of-the-line seashores on this planet. From there we’ll hike as much as Eire’s highest sea cliffs (it’s steep – however quick)!

Subsequent we’ll go to the Abandoned Village at Slievemore which consists of some 80 – 100 stone cottages positioned alongside a mile lengthy stretch of highway on the southern slopes of Slievemore mountain. Settlement on this space dates from at the least early Mediaval instances and we’ll get to stroll by the village on a simple highway stroll.

Keem Beach Achill Island
Keem Seashore

After lunch on the island we’ll drive in the direction of the village of Westport. We are able to have a ‘select your personal journey’ afternoon with a number of stops to select from relying on curiosity, climate, time, and many others)

Keep within the common city of Westport tonight the place we’ll get pleasure from dinner, reside music, and iconic pubs.

Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Killary Fjord & South Mayo

Morning drive alongside Clew Bay and cease on the iconic Croagh Patrick to get pleasure from views of the notorious peak that 1000’s pilgrimage to the highest of.

Lunch outdoor if climate permits. For the animal lovers, we get to visist an iconic Eire sheep farm. The Killary Sheep Farm in Connemara is a conventional working mountain farm with approx 200 ewes and lambs roaming freely within the mountain overlooking Killary Fjord, on the Wild Atlantic Manner. Right here we’ll get to see a sheep canine demonstration, study concerning the farm, and even get to cuddle some spring lambs!

We’ll head again to Westport the place you’ll get time to do some ultimate souvenier purchasing and revel in extra of the colourful city. We’ll have our goodbye dinner (how did it go so quick?!) in Westport that night the place we will share our favourite Eire reminiscences and enjoy our new friendships.

Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: April 27 – Departure Day

After breakfast you’ll be able to catch the prepare again to Dublin, or possibly you’ll determine to stay round and revel in extra of Eire’s west coast!

Prepare to Dublin (direct):

  • 07:15 – 10:27
  • 09:45 – 13:04
  • 13:10 – 16:29
  • 18:20 – 21:36

(Instances may be barely completely different in 2024)

Bus to Galway:

  • 06:18
  • 09:19
  • 12:27
  • 15:19
  • 18:19

(Approx. 2 hours)

What’s Included

  • 7 nights keep in an en-suite room at our premium hand-picked lodging.
  • Scrumptious Full Irish breakfast every morning, and three Dinners.
  • 7 days actions with an knowledgeable Irish information who will accompany the group all through the vacation
  • All experiences as outlined within the itinerary; Whiskey Tasting, Foxford woollen mills, Baking class, Seaweed tub, Ceide fields, Sheep canine demonstration, Sauna Achill Island, Bike rental.
  • Courtesy transfers to and from every day’s strolling areas and all transport as outlined within the itinerary.
  • Primary pictures instruction through the journey.
  • Entry to a full gallery of pictures (shot by me!) of your entire journey, you need to use for private functions.

What’s Not Included:

  • Flights to/from Eire
  • Transportation to Ballina and departure from Westport
  • Journey Insurance coverage
  • Some dinners and lunches
  • Private drinks
  • Medical prices
  • Gratuities

Our Superior Native Information

When you’ve gotten the correct information, it will possibly ‘make’ a complete journey! Rachel is the final word outside information. She’s an unbelievable athlete and such an exquisite advocate of her dwelling area in County Mayo. Certainly one of my favourite issues about staying in Ballina is that it’s the city she grew up in (and nonetheless lives there) and with that comes unbelievable native connections. In actual fact, we may have particular cooking class from her mom. It doesn’t get far more native than that! Plus, Rachel ensures that we all know everybody on the town introducing us to the bartenders after we go right into a pub, restaurant homeowners, and even the native man who smokes fish.


What makes this tour ‘Ottsworld’? This isn’t your common tour…it’s an Ottsworld tour. I have to confess – that I’m kind of a journey snob. I don’t love to do the ‘anticipated’ or see the standard sights; I like to hunt out the weird, and fewer traveled. I’ve labored collectively very carefully with Rachel to place collectively a tour that impresses even me! It has all of my favourite parts in it: climbing, native journey, booze, hands-on native experiences, and pictures. Sure – all of this in solely 8 days! Right here what previous visitors needed to say beneath.

“Undoubtedly a ten! I actually loved the truth that the tour was a “white glove supply” experience- every thing was so meticulously deliberate so we didn’t have to fret about transportation, meals, what we’re doing for the day, or if we’re making an attempt to an excessive amount of or not sufficient. I went again to reread the outline of the tour (printed in Could) after we returned dwelling and couldn’t imagine that we hit EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. AS. PLANNED

“It was excellent for me, a bit difficult however that’s what I like. The primary day was essentially the most lovely, second essentially the most difficult, third very fascinating with the steps by the woods.”

“positively met expectations and in addition uncovered me to issues I’m certain I’d not have thought of if I used to be planning a visit.”

“Meals was AWESOME – approach higher than anticipated. Appreciated doing issues I’d not have completed alone”

“Thanks on your endurance in serving to us seize wonderful reminiscences! The one factor I knew earlier than your class was the rule of thirds, and now I’ve a fantastic basis of information to construct upon- no extra level and shoot! Instagram be careful!”

Who Ought to Take into account This Tour?

  • Individuals who prefer to discover the lesser-known locations, and be adventurous and lively.
  • People who find themselves versatile.  You have to be keen to exhibit flexibility, as itineraries could change resulting from climate, and it helps if in case you have a ‘keen to attempt new issues’ angle.
  • Individuals who don’t thoughts getting moist or having fun with the joy of inclement climate.
  • Individuals who really feel comfy climbing 3 to five miles in uneven terrain.


If in case you have any questions – please be at liberty to contact me at [email protected]. I’m glad to reply something concerning the journey!