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All through the summer, Irish Horse Riding offers a guided Galway - Clare - Burren trail ride, where you can discover Ireland’s beautiful nature and colourful history from horseback. Your horse will willingly carry you through scenic rural Ireland with a wide variety of landscapes from extensive bogs, enchanted forests, fresh rivers, peaceful lakes, and the famous Burren National Park, finishing near the stunning Cliffs of Moher, overlooking the famous Aran Islands, and riding along the wild Atlantic Way.
In this tour, you will be accommodated in a comfortable en-suite accommodation for four nights at An Sibin Guesthouse in the An Sibin Riding Centre in Whitegate, one night at Bed & Breakfast in Corofin, County Clare, and two nights at a three-star hotel in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare.
The tastefully restored 300-year-old farmhouse is in the heart of the riding centre. The ambiance of old times gone by is carefully maintained and yet all modern facilities for the riding guests are provided. The guests can relax in individually decorated ensuite rooms.
You will arrive in Shannon Airport (SNN) and be transferred to the An Sibin Riding Centre in Whitegate. Transfer from Shannon to Whitegate takes approximately two hours. You will be staying here for the first four nights. On the arrival day, you can just relax and recover from your journey, or take a stroll on the well-mapped nearby East Clare walking trail.
For the more adventurous under you, there is also the possibility to go on a guided boat tour to the historic Holy Island with its monastic settlement of the ninth century. In the evening, you will get to know all your fellow riders for this week. You will have dinner in the tastefully restored 300-year old farmhouse in the An Sibin Riding Centre by candlelight and open turf fire.
After breakfast, you will be brought to the start of the trail, where your guide will allocate the horses to you according to your experience. Every rider can then get used to his own horse for the week by brushing and tacking up, don’t worry - there are always lots of helping hands around you. You will then leave for an easy ride into the surrounding peaceful forests and huge areas of heather and bog land using old tracks through the Slieve Aughty mountains. You will ride your horses to a field where they stay overnight and you will be driven back to the the An Sibin Riding Centre for lunch. Riders and horses take a rest for the afternoon and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Today’s ride brings you up over the hills of the Slieve Aughty mountains with fascinating views over the majestic Lough Derg and River Shannon. Along the track, you will be passing old farm ruins and miles of stone walls, and your guide will tell you about Ireland's most significant incident in history.
About 150 years ago, many farms and villages were left because of the famine. This was the time of the severe potato disease, which destroyed for a couple of years the sole source of food supply for the rural and poor Irish peasant and his stock. In addition to that, a typhus and cholera epidemic enforced the disaster, leading to a flood of millions of people emigrating to other countries or starving with the hunger.
Knowing about those times, you will be greeting the tasty lunch waiting for you before you head across the extensive areas of bogland in the afternoon. There, you will pass local farmers cutting and drying the turf in the traditional way. A Neolithic dolmen with the legendary name Oisin’s and Grainne’s Grave beside the track proves that this area was already mystified about 5,000 years ago. Much younger (about the ninth century) are the ruins of a monastic settlement on Holy Island, which you can easily spot by the well kept typical round tower.
Leaving the sheltered pasture, you are heading this morning for the top of the hills again overlooking endless woods and grazing land to the north, west, and south. Long before you get there, you can spot way under you the sandy shores of Lough Graney where you are heading for.
The beach invites you to a canter along the water and on the trails goes right across the refreshing lake. The ride in the later afternoon takes you through the typical farmland of rural Ireland with its juicy green fields and the endless old stonewalls surrounding the peacefully grazing sheep and cattle.
Today’s lovely wood tracks take you further westwards overlooking Glandaria (the valley of the Kings), the wide fertile valley of the River Shannon, where hundreds of years ago Ireland's kings preferably used to settle. After the lunch break near a typical mountain river, you will cross the boggy uplands.
County Clare unfolds all around you up to the in the distance rising hills of the famous Burren National Park. On a clear day, you will even get the first glimpse of Galway Bay. This afternoon, your horses will be transferred by lorry across the busy valley to tomorrow’s start at the Mullaghmore mountain in the Burren. You will be staying tonight in the charming village of Corofin with its countless pubs.
The totally different and unique scenery of the world-renowned Burren will accompany you for the next two days. The moon-like landscape of this limestone area bears not only an immensely colourful flora and fauna with a large number of very rare species but also reveals a stunning variety of prehistoric settlements. Dolmens and Wedge Tombs line up next to Norman stone fort ruins and Celtic ring forts.
Close to a Fulacht fiadh, an ancient cooking site, you will enjoy your lunch. It is amazing how many eye-catching sites this at first sight so vast looking landscape can offer you. The next two nights, you will be staying in the Lisdoonvarna area, which is famous for the traditional music in the pubs.
Today, you head westwards through the Burren, learning about the impressive Poulnabrone dolmen, and the huge and dangerous cave systems in this special area. You rest for lunch overlooking the storytelling rocky landscape. After the break, you lead your horses up the last hill for the breathtaking view over the Atlantic Sea, the famous Aran Islands, and the rugged Connemara Mountains.
You look down to the extremely rocky shore of County Clare way underneath you and enjoy your last gallop. In the glittering afternoon sunlight, the impressive silhouette of the Cliffs of Moher rise in front of you. Near the ruins of the spooky looking Ballinalaken Castle, your ride ends.
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airport for your onwards journey.
Note: Riders have to be physically fit and safe in the saddle at walk, trot, and canter in the outdoors. Non-riders are also welcome, there is plenty to for them to do including hiking, cycling, sightseeing, golf, etc.
You will be discovering Ireland’s beautiful nature and colourful history on horseback. Your horse will be carrying you about 140 miles from County Galway, which is situated in the Midwest of Ireland, westwards through the rural areas of County Clare, into the unique Burren region, and on to the rough Atlantic coast overlooking the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.
Ireland is undoubtedly a nature lover’s paradise. Especially in the West of Ireland, there is a unique combination of sand and limestone soils, boglands, lakes, and woodlands. An immense variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees burst into bloom every year.
The influence of the Gulf Stream with its warm, moist and “soft” air stream and the very small winter / summer temperature differential enhances the growth of many commonly known plants, as well as several rare kinds of flora. No wonder the local farmers praise every day as it comes “grand soft day today, thank the Lord!”
Ireland’s colourful history is reflected in a stunning variety of prehistoric evidence, like megalithic tombs and dolmens, Celtic ring forts, and burial sites, each of them with its own local legend and myth. The Celtic culture and language dominated Irish history for thousands of years, and even now, the legacy is still with it.
Irish Horse Riding will serve you meals from arrival day evening meal to departure day breakfast, with daily lunch. Tea, coffee, and water will be also available.
Transfer available for additional US$352 per person
Transfer available for additional US$42 per person
Transfer from Loughrea (Galway route) for EUR 45 per person. You can get there with Eireann bus company. Transfer from Portumna bus stop is also available for 15 EUR per person. You can get there with Kearns Transport bus company. Meanwhile, a transfer from Whitegate bus stop is available for free. You can get there with Bus Éireann bus company.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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