This is more than a tour of Ireland – It’s an Ireland Adventure! It’s an event or, more specifically, it’s a string of events. Kind of like a festival, but across the entire island of Ireland. And the festival has a tiny capacity of just 22 seriously lucky guests. Here’s the nitty gritty…
Inhale Ireland is a tasty blend of festivals, islands, small towns and iconic landmarks, all wrapped together by our love of the outdoors and fresh air. We’ve been dreaming this tour up for a number of years, and July of 2020 has lined up to be the absolute best time to make this happen. Kind of like really great food, it’s important to source the ingredients at the right place at the right time of year. The string of events, activities and challenges are carefully chosen with July 2020 in mind.
This one is for those who are looking to get the absolute most out of Ireland. We’re talking about experiences, activities, in depth debates and analysis. Of course there will be plenty of time to sit back, go with the flow and take in the sights, but this one is for those who really want to get stuck in and experience Ireland to its fullest!
This is built for those of you who wish to hop across hundreds of years of heritage and Irish culture. From the monastic ruins on the remote islands of Skellig Michael and Inis Oirr to modern day Arts Festivals and Gaelic Sports. From surfing to whiskey tasting, from caving to kayaking, from biking to hiking, and everything in between. We guarantee the absolute time of your lives!
Starting at Dublin Airport we collect anyone who is arriving that morning. We then pop into Dublin City to gather everyone else who may have flown in any earlier that week.
We get out of Dublin, and get straight across to Galway City to get the action started!
Saturday’s in Galway City are magical as they are, but a Saturday during the Galway International Arts Festival is nearly spiritual!
Today is where we get you to fall back into our arms, as it were. You have no choice but to trust your driver and guide to take you out of Galway City and to explore more of what the surrounding area has in store. You can expect some kind of physical activity and will certainly get your heart rate up. But that’s all we’re saying for now! 🙂
Today, we take a few steps back in time. Inis Oirr is the smallest and least populated of the three Aran Islands, which is located approx 20km’s (12.5 miles) off shore. While has become a fairly popular destination for day-trippers, the island completely winds down after the 4pm sailing departs the island. After that it will essentially be us, the 200 locals that live on the island and a handful of other visitors. There are three pubs and a few eateries available, so you will be well taken care of in that regard. Each of the pubs have resident musicians who work the lunch-shift during the day and then play music and “have the craic” at night. So entertainment, and chat’s are in abundance.
If you’re up for it, take a late-night hike to the back (south) of the island. This will be one of the quietest and most remote experiences of your life. It’s simply amazing back there, and on a clear night you will see hundreds of thousands of stars.
The following morning is a late breakfast and a late departure by design. This is to allow you the time and space to really get your head straight, let go of any pent up stress and truly inhale the Irish Experience.
Off the island, we will take a scenic cruise under the Cliffs of Moher and into the harbor-town of Doolin. From there, you have the option of hiking the Cliffs of Moher trail – a 5km (mostly uphill) from sea level right up to the peak of the Cliffs of Moher at 767ft. The alternative is to hop on the awaiting coach to take you up to the Visitor Center at the top of the Cliffs.
Following the Cliffs of Moher, we will meander a little further down the road to our home for the next couple nights – Lahinch. A beautiful little seaside town, Lahinch is one of Ireland’s top surfing destinations and also home to one of Ireland’s premier golf courses. Being what it is, the locals are incredibly proud of what they have on their doorsteps. Their love for the outdoors, the ocean and fresh air is infectious, uplifting and encouraging.
An afternoon surf lesson with one of Ireland’s top surf schools is on the agenda, and will really whet that appetite for some top class seafood later that evening.
Keeping Lahinch as our base, we will reach a little further out into the surrounding area today. The region, known as the Burren, is characterised by it’s limestone base. Being a softer rock, limestone creates a natural landscape of sheer drops, crags, caves and crevices. Essentially, it’s a giant playground for the outdoors!
Today the group will get split into smaller groups allowing for the best possible experiences in rock climbing and sea kayaking. Prior experience in either is not at all essential, but having a background in either will encourage the instructors to push you a little further to slightly more intense challenges.
This day will be a bit more chilled out than the previous, allowing those muscles to cool down in prep for the next few days.
Our end destination is Portmagee, where we will be boarding the boats the following morning to get to Skellig Michael. En route, we will be driving onto a ferry to cross Ireland’s largest river, explore West Co. Clare and getting to know your new home of Co. Kerry.
We will take in the first half of the world famous Ring of Kerry and stopping off at some of the finest beaches, quaint villages and hidden gems along the way.
This one is a big one! Early rise to take part in what was probably the most difficult adventure to organise – A landing tour of Skellig Michael. Getting a tour AROUND the islands are relatively manageable, but getting one of one of the landing passes is incredibly rare. The actual landing itself if dependant on the sea conditions, but all going well we will be one of the select few to get to walk about this majestic monastic site. And yes – this is the island from Star Wars!
We will have a few hours to explore the island, learn about the monastic settlements there and why St Fionán founded a monastery there in the 6th century. We will also learn about the gannets, with Arctic terns, fulmars, cormorants and puffins all calling the islands home.
Coming back off the island onto the mainland we will complete the second half of the Ring of Kerry and explore Killarney National Park. As we meander through the valleys of the National Park we will learn more about the history of Ireland’s first National Park, the wildlife that live their, the drive for preservation and conservation as well as how the locals are embracing sustainable tourism.
Following that it’s onto the lively town of Killarney, our new home for the next two nights.
With a peak of 1,039 meters (Over 3000ft) Carrauntoohil is the tallest mountain in Ireland, and lies in the heart of the MacGillycuddy Reeks, the tallest mountain range in Ireland. And we’re hiking to the top of it!
While the “MacGillycuddy’s” are fun to say, the climb is a little bit less of a fun experiment. Our local guides will meet us at the base of the mountain where we will negotiate which route to take to the top.
This being the last remaining major challenge of the week, we anticipate that the thirst will be strong, so we will retreat back to Killarney soon after a successful decent off the mountain.
Hopefully having the “good-sore” leg’s feeling from the prior days massive achievement, we board the train to Dublin City. We decided on taking the train so as to allow maximum comfort, and plenty of space to stretch legs and wind down. There’s also a bar on board the train, so a couple lunchtime beers or Mimosa’s might be in order the day after climbing the highest mountain in Ireland!
On arrival into Dublin, we will will get settled into our City Center Hotel and prep for a day of sightseeing. There will be an option of a guided walking tour of Dublin City which will focus on the history of Dublin City, Irish Whiskey and the Irish fight for independence. We will also set everyone up with a pass for the Hop-On Hop-Off open-top bus tours so you can explore a bit more of Dublin City at your leisure.
This will be the final night that the group will be together, so we will enjoy one last group meal together to celebrate the week of adventure that we will have just completed together.
You are welcome to check out of the hotel at your leisure. We will provide transfer to the Airport for anyone who is flying out that day
You can certainly expect a wide variety of Irish hospitality throughout. 4 Star Hotels in the cities and larger towns and the coziest family guest houses available in more remote locations. We will be traveling as a group via private coach transport, all of which is no less than the highest standard.
There will be a private driver and a guide who will remain with the group for the entirety of the trip. The guide will also be taking part in each activity with the group. We will also bring on local guides, hosts and instructors throughout the trip to give the best possible understanding on the respective areas, subjects, activities and trails.