West Coast Explorer
3 day tour

Discover the soaring mountains, spectacular wildlife, and mystical history of Ireland’s West Coast.

Tour map

Highlights

National Parks
Castles
Walks
Film Locations
Universities
Lough Lakes

Places you'll explore


The Burren - This national park is home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural culture.

The Cliffs of Moher - An awe-inspiring 700ft drop into the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Galway City - After the sights of Galway Bay, this lively place will be your home. Plenty of excellent food and cosy pubs to choose from.

Kylemore Abbey - A home for Benedictine nuns fleeing World War 1, this incredible neo-gothic building is steeped in the scars and bravery of world history.

Connemara National Park - Stunning vistas and superb wildlife abound within this famously serene park, from the towering peaks of the Twelve Bens to the panoramic Sky Road.

Clonmacnoise - A 1500 year old abbey, whose ancient spirituality pervades the whole area. The heart of Ireland’s Golden Age of Learning.

Locke’s Distillery - The oldest licensed distillery on Earth has something for the history buff and the beverage connoisseur.


Your journey


This compact tour is your perfect introduction to Ireland’s highlights and tucked away treasures.

You visit the country’s superstar wonders, such as the Cliffs of Moher and Galway City. You venture to hidden away treasures, like Locke’s Distillery and the Connemara National Park. And you learn all the adventurous stories from your passionate guide.

Join this trip and sample the best of Ireland.


Tour Details

Departs
08.00 - opposite the Kilkenny Shop, Nassau St, Dublin
Returns
19.00
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag, and one carry-on bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • All road tolls and the Killimer to Tarbet ferry
  • Transport on a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Meals and refreshments
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Stare at the stunning Dunguaire Castle, perched on an isolated, rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay
  • Discover the Burren, a land of ancient spirituality and natural beauty, ripe for exploration
  • The Cliffs of Moher, where cliff top trails boast gorgeous views over the rugged Atlantic waves

Departing Dublin, you travel west through the counties of Kildare and Offaly. The first stop is the attractive village of Kinvara, where you get a chance to take some superb photos of Dunguaire Castle and its remarkable historical legacy.

From here you head to the Burren. This is one of Ireland’s true national treasures: a land of limestone pavements, rare flora and ancient stone monuments. The Burren was also home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland.

From there, you head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Here, you can walk the stunning cliff trails and watch rare seabirds swooping through the air. You can also delve into the excellent and award winning environmental exhibition nearby.

After exploring the area thoroughly, you head to Galway City, where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. On the way, you pass through the famous Galway Bay. Picturesque views, excellent food and cosy pubs await you within this lively student town.

Day 2

  • See the iconic locations from “The Quiet Man” on the scenic shores of Lough Corrib
  • Stroll through the superb grounds of Kylemore Abbey
  • Explore the verdant marshes and awesome Diamond Hill of the Connemara National Park
  • Prepare to be stunned by the legendary Twelve Bens, the famously jagged mountain range in Connemara

Travel inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong, the setting for the film classic, “The Quiet man”. You’re free here to visit the local museum devoted to the movie, or discover the magnificently restored 12th century Cong Abbey.

You continue through the heart of Connemara and the beautiful house and grounds at Kylemore Abbey, where grand buildings and magnificent man-made gardens are a treat for the eyes and soul.

Your journey continues to Connemara National Park, where abundant wildlife resides amidst the ancient tombs and wood paths. Here you’ll see the magnificent Diamond Hill, a 500m peak that rivals any summit in Europe.

And then we travel to Clifden, famous for being the location of the first transatlantic flight landing. In the National Park, you’ll also enjoy the majesty of the Sky Road, as well as the sharp peaks of the Twelve Bens of Connemara.

You then travel back for the night to your cosy residence in Galway City.

Day 3

  • Connect with your spirituality at Clonmacnoise, home to an early Christian site brimming with stone crosses and legends
  • Wade through the core of Ireland’s unique peat bog scenery and discover the startling array of wildlife
  • Enjoy a drink at Locke’s Distillery, the oldest legal distillery in the world!

We wave goodbye to Galway and take some of the quaint back roads through central Ireland.

Clonmacnoise is the first major highlight of the day. It’s the site of an early Christian settlement and boasts a famed collection of churches, fabulous stone crosses and round towers.

After lunch in a local village, the tour continues through the peatiest Irish bogs you’ll ever see. The flora and fauna will take your breath away, as a local guide shows you the incredible biodiversity of the bogs.

Then you make your way to your final stop before Dublin: Locke’s Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery on the planet. Here you can relax with a glass of their famed whisky; and after a drink (or two!), you’ll head back east to Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Exceeded Our Expectations!

Angie Bakke Posted on 30/09/2016

First, we are not tour people! When we travel, we like to do our own thing and not be on someone elses schedule. Well this tour has changed my mind! We chose the Western Explorer 3 day tour out of Dublin and I am so glad we did! This was a true small group tour! Just me, my husband and one other couple and the driver! We were escorted about in a very comfortable Mercedes mini van. The driver had thought of everything. Water, itinerary, restaurants, and even chocolate! But the best part was our input. He had a plan for each day, but we were given other options to suit our tastes. Our day started at 9 and ended at 7. The days were full, but not jam packed. And we had lots of stops. Our driver was a local and took such pride in Ireland. We even got to see where he used to live as a child. With his knowledge of the area, we were able to get off the beaten path and see things that I would not have been able to see if we were on our own or had gone with a large tour. For example, New Grange! It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest burial tombs from 3000 BC. On our way we got to hear stories of the Fairy Hills as the tombs were called. Sometimes, the scenery would be so beautiful, he would just stop and let us look in awe! We saw everything on the itinerary and more. I cant say enough good things about this tour. I cant wait to go on another! LOVED EVERY MINUTE!

Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay in Galway City for two nights.


How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.


I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation hosts directly. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

Due to availability, we may not be able to reserve your first choice of accommodation. When this happens we’ll book your second choice, and If there are any further issues we’ll contact you.


What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum amendment charge of £5.00 will apply, increasing to a maximum of £25.00 depending on the length of your tour.


I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. And if you’re unsure, please check with us first.


Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.


What are the accommodation types and what do they cost?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. But during busy periods there can be a walk of up to 30 minutes.


We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.


B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other rooms in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is between £30.00 - £35.00 per person per night. A single standard is between £35.00 - £60.00 per night.



B&B En/suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost for a room, based on two people sharing, will be between £40.00 – £50.00 per person per night.

The expected cost for a single room will be between *£55.00 - £65.00 per night. If you travel during a busy period, you can expect to pay up to *£75 - £80 per night. Rooms with a view are limited and may be more expensive.

In Ireland B&B's will be around €45 - €55 per person per night.


Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel 3* is between £65.00 - £85.00 per person per night. Hotel 4* is approximately £75.00 - £120.00 per person per night. Please be advised that 4* hotels aren’t available in some smaller rural areas of the Scottish Highlands and islands.

In Ireland, Hotels are around €55 - €65 per person per night.


Hostels

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. Towels aren’t provided, but you can hire towels there. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost is between £15.00- £25.00 per person per night.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together). If you have a preference, please let us know at the time of booking.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, feel free to call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Our small group travel style lets you head off the beaten track

Guaranteed experience
or your money back

Guaranteed departures

Award winning customer service

Meet our guides

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Ally Palmer

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Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Green Tourism Award

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