Join me on a 10 day trip in lightly populated Western Ireland. We’ll use a huge traditional Irish house in the picturesque town of Westport for a base for most of our trip; the house is a five minute walk from a pub featuring lively Irish music each night. We’ll be exploring ancient abbeys, remote coastlines, and much more! The trip starts and ends in Shannon. I’m partnering with Strabo Tours on this adventure. The photography tour adventure company has years of experience in Ireland.
September 10 U.S. – Shannon
Our journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S. to Shannon, Ireland.
September 11-18 Shannon – Westport
We will be met at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport and driven north to Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay. Settle into our home base at the Westport Coast Hotel, having dinner here,
and perhaps followed by a sunset photo shoot. The hotel, which will be our base for most of our stay in Ireland, is strategically located right on Clew Bay right along the quay at Westport Harbor. The hotel is also located close to some pubs (where we might be able to enjoy local music), shops and restaurants. The Westport Coast Hotel offers different levels of rooms. We’ve booked standard rooms. Notice on the website that there are upgrades available. Let me know if you want to upgrade to a waterfront room or a suite. We’ll contact the hotel and get these rooms for you at a discount. The cost will be passed along on your invoice. (Example: waterfront room is approximately 30 euro more per night, therefore estimated additional cost with exchange rate $300 per room).
Each day you will visit typical areas from Westport. It is not possible to see everything in this region during your visit, so you will visit key areas. Our guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and special events taking place during your time in Ireland. Staying in the Town of Westport also offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in town life. You can also take an optional trip to Clare Island, photographing sea birds nestled on the Cliffs of Clare. We often start each trip with a visit to Ballintubber Abbey, or Baile Tobair Padraig, in Irish. It is one of the oldest Abbeys in Ireland dating back to the twelfth century, named for the natural spring nearby, where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts. We will be able to photograph inside the abbey as well as outside along the cloister walk. While details and patterns abound, we will not overlook the larger views at this lovely location.
The City of Westport and the Village of Newport, both capture the flavor of true Irish towns colorful doorways, charming architectural details, and lovely Irish faces. We will drive to Murrisk Abbey, at the foot of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. Later in the day we will be at the ocean on the west coast of Mayo at a remote rocky shore called Barnabawn Point.
Burrishoole Abbey is a great place to start one of our days. We will visit the Letterkeen Forest, and later in the afternoon visit Carrigahowley Castle, one of the many strongholds of Grace O’Malley, the adventurous sixteenth century Pirate Queen. Driving north, our first stop will be along the ocean on the Atlantic drive in Mulranny. After Lunch on Achill Island we will continue photographing along the ocean and given time wind up at the deserted famine village at Keel. Achill Island is the largest island off the Irish coast. To get there, we will drive over the bridge at Achill Sound. The island wrought by wind and water — an arrangement of rock, cloud, and cliffs falling off to the sea. If weather permits, we’ll venture down to the shoreline for details of shells and rocks in the surf. We photograph along the shores of Doo Lough and the Connemara Mountains, where we will see some of the most stunning landscapes in all of Ireland. After lunch in the town of Louisburgh, we will spend the afternoon in the Sheeffrey Hills, a place where we must be careful not to disturb the leprechauns who inhabit the forest. Overnights B&B Westport, (B, D each day)
September 19 Westport – Ennis
Leave early this morning, driving south to County Clare, where you spend the evening in Ennis. Prior to Ennis, you will spend time photographing in County Galway near the town of Gort. There lies a 16th century Norman castle with a small cottage attached. The Irish Literary Revival began near this castle – in Coole Park, an estate owned by Lady Gregory where she hosted the likes of George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats and J. M. Synge. It was a haven – a place of retreat for William Butler Yeats. Ennis is a charming riverside town with colorful storefronts and narrow cobblestone streets. There will be plenty of time to photograph this lovely village and its architecture. Tonight stay at the Temple Gate Hotel (or similar) in Ennis and enjoy dinner on your own. The hotel rests on the site of a nineteenth century convent. (B)
September 20 Shannon – U.S.
After breakfast this morning, we will return to Shannon Airport for afternoon flights for home. (B)
Land cost: $2995*, based upon minimum of 6 paying passengers, maximum of 12. All our program prices are based on double occupancy. There is a small
group surcharge of $400 if 4 or 5 paying passengers.
Single room supplement: $395*, Single rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. We try to accommodate single travelers who request single accommodations, as well as single travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, we are unable to find a suitable roommate.
*Note: The trip cost is based upon the current exchange rate between the Euro and U.S. Dollar. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change, there may need to be an adjustment in the trip price.
The land cost includes:
• Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
• Accommodations based on two people sharing a room.
• Services of driver guide during the tour.
• Meals listed as included in itinerary. We’ll be reserving four dinners at the hotel. These will be a set menu with an option of five starters, five entrees, and five desserts. We will have other meals out (you’ll be responsible for paying for some of these), which gives us great options for flexibility to catch great light and other photo moments.
• Extensive predeparture information and services.
The land cost does not include: International air fare; air fare tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; meals not listed as included in itinerary; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport expenses; personal
medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature or those not listed in what is included; tips to guides and service staff. Please contact Strabo Tours if you would like assistance on International Airfare.
DEPOSITS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
A deposit of $500 per person is required. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 90 days before the departure date. Space is subject
to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due. If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo
International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:
• 121 days or more before departure: $100 cancellation fee.
• 91-120 days before departure: $300 cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in
your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
• 31-90 days before departure: $500 minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services
included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
• 30 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.
Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.
FITNESS AND HEALTH
The trip is not strenuous and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights
and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and should be able to carry and manage your own
equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators. If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your
Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas. We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” noted above).
Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons. There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.