Burren Trails

Connemara/Galway Ireland: (IT-IRRT03)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ireland_burren_trails.aspx

Introduction
Connemara/Galway Ireland
Ireland is undoubtedly a nature lover's paradise. In the West of Ireland, a truly unique combination of sand-and limestone soils, bog lands, lakes and woodlands exist.

The peat or bog land is one of Ireland’s greatest natural assets, not only as an energy source, but as some of its last wild areas. In some places, you can even spot the Celtic toughers still crossing the bogs. The Burren is a unique limestone landscape with a truly spectacular beauty. The high degree of light, the Gulf Stream and the warm limestone enables arctic-alpine and contrasting Mediterranean plants to grow together. For thousands of years it has been used as excellent grazing land. The rich concentration of stone monuments, castles, churches and tower houses prove the significance of settlers in this natural treasure. Riding along the never ending stone walls and historical famine roads is an exclusive Irish experience. For six days you will be discovering Ireland's beauty and colorful history on horseback. Your horse will be carrying you about 150km from County Galway, westwards through the rural areas of County Clare and into the unique Burren region.

The ride begins with the peaceful forests of the Slieve Aughty Mountains and their fascinating views over the majestic Lough Derg and River Shannon. Along the track we will be passing old farm ruins and miles of stonewalls, before we head across the extensive areas of bog land. Leaving sheltered pasture, we then head for the top of the hills and onto the sandy shores of Lough Graney. Lovely wood tracks take us further westwards overlooking Glandaria, the wide fertile valley of the River Shannon, and we will cross the boggy uplands. County Clare unfolds around us, in the distance rising hills of the famous Burren National Park. The distinctive scenery of the world renowned Burren will accompany us for the last two days of the ride. The lunar like landscape of this limestone area not only bears an immensely individual flora and fauna, but boasts a stunning variety of prehistoric settlements. Dolmens and Wedge Tombs line up next to Norman stone fort ruins and Celtic ring forts. Eventually we head westwards through the Burren and up the last hill for the breathtaking view over the Atlantic Sea, the famous Aran Islands and the rugged Connemara Mountains. The extremely rough shore  line of County Clare stretches out under us for the last hard gallop!

Accomodation


Accommodations

8-day trip: This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent at different locations. You will be staying in 3 different locations total.
6-day trip: This is a stationary ride, so all nights will be spent in the same location.

Description
All accommodations host double/twin rooms with private bathrooms. Laundry can usually be done in Lisdoonvarna for an extra fee.

8-day trip Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1, 2, 3, & 4: Farmhouse
Night 5: Corofin
Night 6 & 7: Lisdoonvarna

Farmhouse
We will overnight in the tastefully restored 300 year-old farmhouse - the heart of the riding center. The ambiance of old times gone by is carefully maintained and yet all modern facilities for the riding guests are provided. You can relax peacefully in your individually decorated rooms with private bath. It's said that this special place, called "The Mountain", is an inspiration to all who stand on its threshold and recapture the simplicity and peace of this idyllic setting. You'll find yourself in a home away from home as you cozy up to the peat fire with a tea or coffee in hand with the sounds of the farm and life to serenade you.
Washing machines are available to use, but we do not have a dryer. There is WIFI access at the riding center and farmhouse.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.



Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.

We'll enjoy our breakfasts at the accommodations we've stayed at the night before.
Lunches are had while on the trail.
Country-style dinners will be eaten in restaurants.

Alcohol is not included, but can be purchased or guests can bring their own.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Saturday is a resting day for our horses!

Horses
The Irish horse is renowned for its stamina, versatility and gentleness and will therefore provide an ideal companion for an unforgettable vacation. You will make friends here with proud examples of several typical Irish breeds such as the tall but gentle Irish Draught, the lively and clever Connemara, the fine and energetic Irish Hunter, the beautifully coloured Irish Piebald and the intelligent and comfortable Irish Cob.

Non-Riders
Non-riders are also welcome, there is plenty to for them to do including hiking, cycling, sightseeing, fishing, golf etc

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary: 8-day program - subject to changes

Note: Subject to changes due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control without prior notice

Day 1 (Saturday): Failte to Ireland
Transfer approximately 1.5 hours to our Riding Centre from Shannon airport. 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 walking trails around our property. For the more adventurous among you, there is also the possibility to go on a guided boat tour to historic Holy Island with its monastic settlement of the 9th 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 our Riding Centre by candlelight and turf fire.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 2 (Sunday): Binor Ride 
After breakfast, you will be brought to the start of the trail, where your guide will allocate the horses according to your experience. Every rider can then get used to his horse for the week by brushing and tacking up - don’t worry there are always lots of helping hands around you! We will then leave for an easy ride across the extensive areas of bog land. There we might see 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 5000 years ago. Much more recent (about 9th century) are the ruins of the monastic settlement on Holy Island, which we can easily spot by the typical round tower.
We finish the first day ride on one of our fields where the horses stay overnight and we drive back to the guesthouse for lunch. For the afternoon, riders and horses take a rest and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 3 (Monday): Inis Cealtra Ride 
Today’s ride brings us across huge areas of heather and bog land with fascinating views over the majestic Lough Derg and River Shannon.
Along the track we will be passing old farm ruins and miles of stonewalls and your guide will tell you about Ireland's most significant incident in history: about 150 years ago many farms and villages where left because of the Famine. This was the time of the severe potato blight, which destroyed for a couple of years the sole source of food supply for the rural and poor Irish peasant and their livestock. In addition to that, a Typhus and Cholera epidemic enforced the disaster, leading to a flood of thousands of people emigrating to other countries.
After our lunch break in the forest we will head on along the surrounding peaceful trails through the Slieve Aughty Mountains and ride past some rural farms to a new overnight field for the horses.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 4 (Tuesday): Lough Graney Ride 
Leaving the sheltered pasture, we are heading this morning for the top of the hills overlooking endless woods and grazing land to the north, west, and south. Long before we get there we can spot way under us the sandy shores of Lough Graney. After lunch our trail ride goes along the water and then we will be splashing right across the refreshing lake with our horses! The ride in the later afternoon takes us through typical farmland of rural Ireland with its juicy green fields and the endless old stone walls surrounding the peacefully grazing sheep and cattle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 5 (Wednesday): Glandaria Ride 
Today’s lovely wood tracks take us further westwards overlooking Glandaria (the valley of the Kings) the wide fertile valley of the River Shannon, where hundreds of years ago Irelands kings preferably used to settle. After the lunch break near a typical mountain river, we will cross the boggy uplands. County Clare unfolds all around us up to the in the distance rising hills of the famous Burren National Park. On a clear day we will even catch the first glimpse of Galway Bay. This afternoon our horses will be transferred by lorry across the main road to tomorrow’s ride across the fascinating landscape of the Burren. You will be staying tonight in the charming village of Corofin with its countless pubs and great Irish music sessions.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Corofin


Day 6 (Thursday): Mullaghmore Ride 
The totally different and unique scenery of the world renowned Burren will accompany us 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. With a beautiful view across the Burren landscape, we will enjoy our lunch. It is amazing how many eye-catching sites this at first sight so vast looking landscape can offer us. The next two nights you will be staying in the Lisdoonvarna area, which is famous for the traditional music in the pubs.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Lisdoonvarna


Day 7 (Friday): Atlantic Coast ride 
Today we head westwards through the Burren, learning about the impressive Poulnabrone Dolmen, and the extensive - and dangerous - cave systems in this special area. We rest for lunch overlooking the story-telling rocky landscape. After the break we lead our horses up the last hill for the breathtaking view over the Atlantic Sea, the famous Aran Islands and the rugged Connemara Mountains. The extremely rough shore of County Clare stretches out way below us as we enjoy the last canters along the old stone walled tracks on Slieve Elva. In the glittering afternoon sunlight the impressive silhouette of the Cliffs of Moher rise in front of us. Near the ruins of the spooky looking Ballinalaken Castle our ride ends.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Lisdoonvarna


Day 8 (Saturday): Slan Abhaile 
After breakfast onwards journey or transfer back to Shannon Airport.
Meals included: Breakfast

------------------------------

Sample Itinerary: 6-day program - subject to changes

Follows same first 6 days of the 8-day itinerary.

Day 1 (Saturday): Failte to Ireland
Transfer approximately 1.5 hours to our Riding Centre from Shannon airport. You will be staying here for all nights. On the arrival day you can just relax and recover from your journey, or take a stroll on the walking trails around our property. For the more adventurous among you, there is also the possibility to go on a guided boat tour to historic Holy Island with its monastic settlement of the 9th 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 our Riding Centre by candlelight and turf fire.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 2 (Sunday): Binor Ride 
After breakfast you will be brought to the start of the trail, where your guide will allocate the horses according to your experience. Every rider can then get used to his horse for the week by brushing and tacking up - don’t worry there are always lots of helping hands around you! We will then leave for an easy ride across the extensive areas of bog land. There we might see 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 5000 years ago. Much more recent (about 9th century) are the ruins of the monastic settlement on Holy Island, which we can easily spot by the typical round tower.
We finish the first day ride on one of our fields where the horses stay overnight and we drive back to the guesthouse for lunch. For the afternoon, riders and horses take a rest and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 3 (Monday): Inis Cealtra Ride 
Today’s ride brings us across huge areas of heather and bog land with fascinating views over the majestic Lough Derg and River Shannon.
Along the track we will be passing old farm ruins and miles of stonewalls and your guide will tell you about Ireland's most significant incident in history: About 150 years ago many farms and villages where left because of the Famine. This was the time of the severe potato blight, which destroyed for a couple of years the sole source of food supply for the rural and poor Irish peasant and their livestock. In addition to that, a Typhus and Cholera epidemic enforced the disaster, leading to a flood of thousands of people emigrating to other countries.
After our lunch break in the forest we will head on along the surrounding peaceful trails through the Slieve Aughty Mountains and ride past some rural farms to a new overnight field for the horses.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 4 (Tuesday): Lough Graney Ride 
Leaving the sheltered pasture, we are heading this morning for the top of the hills overlooking endless woods and grazing land to the north, west, and south. Long before we get there we can spot way under us the sandy shores of Lough Graney. After lunch our trail ride goes along the water and then we will be splashing right across the refreshing lake with our horses! The ride in the later afternoon takes us through typical farmland of rural Ireland with its juicy green fields and the endless old stone walls surrounding the peacefully grazing sheep and cattle.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 5 (Wednesday): Glandaria Ride 
Today’s lovely wood tracks take us further westwards overlooking Glandaria (the valley of the Kings) the wide fertile valley of the River Shannon, where hundreds of years ago Irelands kings preferably used to settle. After the lunch break near a typical mountain river, we will cross the boggy uplands. County Clare unfolds all around us up to the in the distance rising hills of the famous Burren National Park. On a clear day we will even catch the first glimpse of Galway Bay. Head back to the farm.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Farmhouse


Day 6 (Thursday): Departure
After breakfast onwards journey or transfer back to Shannon Airport.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Burren Trails

Rates include:


8-day trip: Accommodation, All meals, 5.5 riding days & Luggage transport.
6-day trip: Accommodation, All meals, 3.5 riding days & Luggage transport.
Hard hats can be provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP (High)€1500$1695
    • Single Supplement€170$195
  • B
    20208 day trip, AP (Low)€1390$1575
    • Single Supplement€170$195
  • C
    20206 day trip (3.5 riding days), AP€975$1105
    • Single supplement€170$195
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer round trip from Shannon airport or hotel, per person, return 85 $100
2020 Non-rider rate, dbl, pp 655 $740

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2020 05/09 - 05/16 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 05/09 - 05/14 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 05/16 - 05/21 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
B 2020 05/16 - 05/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Expired
B 2020 05/23 - 05/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 05/23 - 05/28 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 05/30 - 06/04 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
A 2020 05/30 - 06/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Expired
A 2020 06/06 - 06/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 06/06 - 06/11 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 06/13 - 06/18 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
A 2020 06/13 - 06/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Expired
A 2020 06/20 - 06/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 06/20 - 06/25 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 06/27 - 07/02 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
A 2020 06/27 - 07/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Expired
A 2020 07/04 - 07/11 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 07/04 - 07/09 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Expired
C 2020 07/11 - 07/16 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 07/11 - 07/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 07/18 - 07/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 07/18 - 07/23 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 07/25 - 07/30 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 07/25 - 08/01 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/01 - 08/08 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 08/01 - 08/06 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 08/08 - 08/13 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/08 - 08/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/15 - 08/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Sold Out
C 2020 08/15 - 08/20 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Sold Out
C 2020 08/22 - 08/27 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/22 - 08/29 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/29 - 09/05 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 08/29 - 09/03 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 09/05 - 09/10 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
B 2020 09/05 - 09/12 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Reserve
B 2020 09/12 - 09/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 09/12 - 09/17 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
C 2020 09/19 - 09/24 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Reserve
B 2020 09/19 - 09/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Reserve
B 2020 09/26 - 10/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 3 /8 Sold Out
C 2020 09/26 - 10/01 6d / 5n 6 day trip (3.5 riding days)... 3 /8 Sold Out

Dates Note:
Weekly departures from Saturday to Saturday!

Rates do not include:

Insurance (mandatory), Airport transfers & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Whitegate
Airport: Shannon
Transfer: Shannon

Climate:
                                            Crusheen area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

48

49

52

56

61

65

67

67

64

58

52

48

Average Low Temperature (°F)

38

38

40

42

46

51

55

54

51

47

42

39

Average High Temperature (°C)

9

9

11

13

16

18

20

19

18

14

11

9

Average Low Temperature (°C)

3

3

4

5

8

11

13

12

11

8

5

4

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

16

13

15

12

14

12

13

14

13

15

15

16

Source: NOAA
 

Seasons
In the West of Ireland, 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.
The dominant influence on Ireland's climate is the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently, Ireland does not suffer from the extremes of temperature experienced by many other countries at similar latitude.

Average annual temperature is about 9 °C. In the middle and east of the country temperatures tend to be somewhat more extreme than in other parts of the country. For example, summer mean daily maximum is about 19 °C and winter mean daily minimum is about 2.5 °C in these areas.

Mean annual wind-speed varies between about 4 m/sec in the east midlands and 7 m/sec in the northwest. Strong winds tend to be more frequent in winter than in summer. With southwesterly winds from the Atlantic dominating, rainfall figures are highest in the northwest, west and southwest of the country, especially over the higher ground. Rainfall accumulation tends to be highest in winter and lowest in early summer.

Average rainfall varies between about 800 and 2,800mm.

What To Bring:
Riders must wear equestrian hard hats and suitable footwear.
A client's helmet will need to meet one of these standards:
  • PAS 015:1998
  • SNELL E2001
  • ASTM F1163
  • AS/NZS3838 2003
  • VG1 01.040 2014-12
A relatively warm waterproof coat or jacket and warm sweater should also be included, as the Irish weather can be unpredictable!

We can provide hard hats for you, although you can also choose to bring your own. Your own is best to guarantee comfort.

Saddle bags are not provided, but you  are welcome to bring your own. You may even bring your own saddle if you prefer. 

Please keep in mind that credit card and traveler cheque acceptance is very, very low in the rural West of Ireland!! Please get EURO cash at the airport upon arrival or bring some EURO with you  from home (your bank branch can usually order Euros in for you and you will also get a better rate of exchange than at the airport). Most bank debit cards will work in Irish ATM's. Cell phone rental is available and can be pre-booked through www.rentaphone-ireland.com

If you are traveling from the USA you may wish to check out unlocking your cell phone to use and Irish SIM card. Check out www.unlockitfree.com or  www.bilemo.com/unlock
We highly recommend you have your own medical and travel insurance!!

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Personal Travel Insurance information
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Jodhpurs or comfortable jeans (used if possible!)
Long riding boots: leather or rubber or boots and mini chaps. Running shoes are not safe riding wear
Riding helmet  (mandatory)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Lightweight Waterproof pants and jacket or long riding coat. No capes.

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra batteries
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm