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Ireland Family Expedition

  • Trip Type: Family
  • 8 Days | Round-trip Dublin
  • Group Size: Max 25

Expedition Details

 

Delve into the mystical landscapes of Ireland’s west coast as we explore mountains and serene lakes, spectacular cliffs and beaches, fishing villages and castles from Sligo to Connemara. Hear stories of legendary pirates and Celtic heroes, meet lively musicians, and discover prehistoric ruins on hikes and bike rides along the coast. Immerse yourselves in the myths, the magic, and the vivid culture of Ireland’s wild west.

Trip Highlights

  • Go horseback riding on the shores of Enniscrone Strand, or join an archaeologist on a beach walk to hear tales of piracy and shipwrecks.
  • Ride bikes on the award-winning Great Western Greenway, a gorgeous coastal trail from Achill Island to Westport.
  • Try your hand at deep-sea fishing, falconry, and pottery; and learn about the rich traditions of Irish music and dance.
  • Watch sheepdogs orchestrate their herds in beautiful Connemara.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Day 1 — Dublin, Ireland/County Sligo

Fåilte go hÉireann—Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Dublin and travel west to County Sligo. After a festive pub lunch, listen to Celtic legends as you hike up nearby Knocknarea Mountain. This evening, sit down to a welcome dinner at the beautiful Mount Falcon Estate, followed by storytelling and local music.
Mount Falcon Estate (L,D)

Day 2 — County Mayo

Hop on bikes for a leisurely ride down through the scenic landscapes of County Mayo, keeping an eye out for bird species like the mistle thrush and the willow warbler. Stop for a picnic lunch on a white-sand shore. Then explore the dwellings and tombs of Céide Fields, an approximately 6,000-year-old field system. Later, join a local falconer with a Harris hawk, and learn firsthand about the art of falconry.
Mount Falcon Estate (B,L,D)

Day 3 — County Sligo

Discover the region’s millennia-old past during a hike through the megalithic cemetery of Carrowkeel in County Sligo, where tombs are between 5,400 and 5,100 years old, predating the pyramids of Egypt. Join a local archaeologist and explore the 14 ancient passage tomb cairns in this remote landscape. Then visit the Coleman Irish Music and Cultural Centre for a high-stepping time with your children’s pen pals. Enjoy dinner tonight at a cozy pub.
Mount Falcon Estate (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Enniscrone/Mulranny

In 1588, severe storms sent ships from the Spanish Armada crashing onto the shores of western Ireland. Learn about this turbulent time in the region’s history as you explore Enniscrone Strand. Ride horseback along the beach or on a countryside trail; or walk the shore with a marine archaeologist, hearing tales of pirates and battles fought here many centuries ago. After a beachside seafood restaurant lunch, head south to the picturesque town of Mulranny.
Mulranny Park Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Great Western Greenway

Set out on bikes—mountain or electric— to discover the sites along the Great Western Greenway, a beautiful coastal trail that follows the route of a former railway. Visit the deserted village of Slievemore, look out over vertical cliffs that drop to the sea, and see Bronze Age forts and medieval castles. Stop for lunch in Newport, and continue by bike or vehicle to the charming town of Westport. Enjoy an evening at leisure to explore and dine with your family.
Mulranny Park Hotel (B,L)

Day 6 — Mulranny/Inishbofin

Take to the seas aboard a fishing vessel, sailing among the isles of Clew Bay as we hear the legend of the pirate queen Grace O’Malley, who once plied these waters. Grab a pole and try your hand at deep-sea fishing. Back on land, pay a visit to Kylemore Abbey and explore its walled gardens. This afternoon, board the ferry for Inishbofin, an emerald island off the coast of Galway.
Dolphin Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 7 — Inishbofin

This tiny island is a cross-section of all things western Ireland: beautiful beaches, brilliant green valleys, ancient ruins, blowholes and sea arches, and friendly artists and musicians. Put on your hiking shoes for a full day of exploration, following bog roads along the cliffs and through meadows speckled with wildflowers. Stop to explore Iron Age forts and medieval monasteries, meet the locals, or photograph a seal colony; and keep your eye out for nesting seabirds. At a pottery studio, sculpt your own souvenir with the guidance of a local potter. Celebrate our adventure with a pub dinner and lively Irish music tonight.
Dolphin Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 8 — Connemara/Dublin/U.S.

Take the ferry back to the mainland after breakfast and travel into the wild and gorgeous landscapes of Connemara. Then visit a working sheep farm, where we’ll be welcomed by the farmer for tea. Continue to the airport for your flight home.
(B,L)

Related Trips

Dates

2017
  • Jul 09 - 16, 2017
  • Jul 30 - Aug 06, 2017

Plan a private spring break trip for your family with our travel specialists.

Please call 1-888-966-8687 to get started.

Expedition Cost

2017

Adult

$5,390

Child (under age 18)

$5,190

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,000.

International airfare to/from Dublin is not included in the expedition cost.

About this Expedition

We tap into National Geographic’s vast network to design unique travel experiences for the whole family, filled with hands-on activities and memorable moments. A special aspect of this expedition is the Kid-to-Kid Connection, where kids will meet their pen pals at a traditional music center in County Sligo and kick up their heels together as they take part in an interactive Irish step dancing demonstration.

Expedition Team

Our dynamic Expedition Leaders enrich each experience with their insights, knowledge, and energy, and a Young Explorer Leader joins every group to facilitate fun activities that help kids get the most out of the places we go. As we travel, we’ll also meet up with fascinating people doing meaningful work in the field.