West Coast Explorer
3 day tour

  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Connemara
  • Galway
  • Clonmacnoise

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 charms, 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 per person
Tour inclusions
  • All road tolls and the Killimer to Tarbet ferry
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

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 discover 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 directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.


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.


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.You can find a selection of hotels at hotels.rabbies.com.


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.


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 room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is between €30.00 - €65.00 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 €45 - €60 per night.


Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel is between €55 - €65 per person per night.


Hostels

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. 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 €20 - €25 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).


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Internationally recognised for our award winning experiences

Meet our guides

Meet more guides

Recommended tours

Kilkenny, Waterford & Kinsale - 3 day tour
Prices from €239

Kilkenny, Waterford & Kinsale - 3 day tour

Highlights: mountains, abbeys, castles, beaches, national parks

Explore this tour
Discover Northern Ireland - 3 day tour
Prices from €239

Discover Northern Ireland - 3 day tour

Highlights: film locations, mountains, beaches, boat cruises, lochs, cathedrals

Explore this tour
Escape to the South West - 5 day tour
Prices from €309

Escape to the South West - 5 day tour

Highlights: ferry, distilleries, gaelic culture, cathedrals, walks, waterfalls

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

Sign up for our newsletter