Monastic Ruins Getaway
Connemara/Galway Ireland: (IT-IRRT03C)
Enjoy the pleasant combination of visiting ancient Irish castles and monastic ruins while riding lovely guided trail rides through the Irish bogs, fields and local farmlands. On this 4-day ride you will visit the impressive Portumna Castle, which was the seat of the Earl of Clanricarde, and the Pallas Castle, one of the best preserved tower houses and castle grounds dating back to the 14th century. You will also take a lovely boat ride to Holy Island on the River Shannon to explore the ruins of one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements, and you will have the chance to ride the horses to lunch at Williamstad House, a beautiful landlord residence from the 18th century!
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 en-suite rooms. In the comfortable dining room the guests
enjoy the hearty Irish Breakfast and traditional farmhouse cooking,
sitting by the open turf fire. 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
There is WIFI access at the riding center and farmhouse.
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Ireland is rightly proud of their fine and trusty 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 colored Irish piebald and the
intelligent and comfortable Irish cob.
Day 1 - Saturday - Arrival in Shannon Airport and transfer (if booked) to our riding centre. Transfer from Shannon to Whitegate approx. two hours.
You will be staying here for 5 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. 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.
Day 2 - Sunday – After breakfast we will go out to the horses and every rider can then get used to his own horse for the next days by brushing and tacking it itself - don’t worry there are always lots of helping hands around you! Our first ride (2 and ½ hours) brings us up into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains with fascinating views over the majestic River Shannon. After lunch you will be driven to nearby Mountshannon harbour, from where you will visit Holy Island by boat. Pilgrims travelled to this island until the mid-19th century. You will see the ruins of five churches, early monastic cells, a pre-12th century cemetery and an 80 foot round tower. Back to the riding centre for a delicious dinner.
Day 3 – Monday – Today is a full day ride. The 2 hour morning ride brings us through typical rural farmland to the former landlords residence of Williamstad house. You will have lunch here and time to visit the lovingly restored 18th century property with its beautiful garden. The 2 hour afternoon ride brings us back into the Slieve Aughty Mountains. After dinner you can join us to enjoy the locals and the Guinness on a visit to an Irish village pub.
Day 4 – Tuesday - This morning’s ride (2 and ½ hours) will take you on forest tracks and small country lanes across beautiful Irish countryside. In the afternoon you will get to visit the impressive Portumna Castle of the 17th century. You will also have time for shopping in the town. Relax by the peat fire
and a traditional home cooked dinner.
Day 5 - Wednesday - On your last ride (2 and ½ hours) you will enjoy the beauty of the magical landscape of bog and heather. This afternoon’s visit will bring you to Pallas castle, one of the best preserved tower-houses and walled castle grounds of the 14th century. Final dinner in the comfy atmosphere of the riding centre.
Day 6 – Thursday - After breakfast it is time to say “slan abhaile” and to get ready for the transfer (if booked) back to Shannon.
**The itinerary may change due to weather conditions or other circumstances beyond our control without prior notice, however do our very best to avoid this.
Day 1 -Saturday- Transfer (if booked) from Shannon airport to the An Sibin Riding Centre in County Clare. Lunch snack in the riding centre. Followed by a boat ride to Holy Island to visit the ruins of one of Ireland's most important monastic settlements. Then you will enjoy a traditional home cooked dinner by the open peat fire
Day 2 -Sunday- You will start the day off with a full Irish breakfast. 2 hour ride through the beautiful Irish countryside. Then back to the riding centre for tasty lunch. 1 hour ride on ancient Celtic trails. A candle light dinner, then come along and enjoy the locals on a visit to a village pub
Day 3 -Monday- After breakfast drive to the famous horse fair in Ballinasloe. Spend all day between hundreds of horses – just looking…drive back to An Sibin in the late afternoon for dinner
Day 4 -Tuesday- following a full Irish breakfast you will ride 2 hours through rural farmland. lunch snack in Williamstad house, visit the landlords house and beautiful garden 2 hour ride on quiet country lanes. dinner in the comfy atmosphere of the riding centre
Day 5 -Wednesday- full Irish breakfast. 2 hour ride across the magical landscape of peat and heather. After the lunch snack in the riding centre visit to the impressive Portumna Castle the seat of the Earl of Clanricarde in the 17th century. Time for shopping in Portumna town. Drive back to An Sibin for dinner
Day 6 -Thursday- Starting off with a full Irish breakfast. Then time to say “slan abhaile” to your Irish mount. Transfer (if booked) back to Shannon airport / rent a car.
**The itinerary might change due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control…
Rates and Dates for Monastic Ruins Getaway
Accommodations with private bath, all meals, 4 riding days, sightseeing trips, entry fees
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Shannon airport pp return
- to be paid locally
Rates do not include:
Riding helmets are mandatory.
In the West of Ireland there is a
unique combination of sand-and limestone soils, bog lands, 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!"
The diverse landscape offers great
shelter and plenty of food supply for a large variety of animals. The
common deer, fox, hare and pheasant can often be spotted from the
horse. More difficult to find are the badger and the pine martin.
Ireland's large bird population is evident where ever you go. And if
you are lucky you could even see some, like the grouse, which are
getting dangerously close to extinction.
The abundance of lakes and rivers in Ireland attract course and game
anglers alike. Often you can spot the pike lying in the shallow waters,
taking in the heat of the summer sun. In the clear waters the lively
Salmon and Trout challenge every anglers skill.
The peat or bog land is one of
Ireland’s great natural assets, not only as an energy source, but as
some of its last wild areas. It can be difficult and dangerous to
access. But as long as you stay on the old bog roads,you will be
alright. In some places you could even spot the Celtic toughers still
crossing the bogs.
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
What To Bring:
Average annual temperature is about 9 °C. In the middle and eastern side of the
country temperatures tend to be somewhat more extreme than in other
parts of the country. For example, summer average daily maximum is about
19 °C and winter average 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. Sunshine duration is highest in the
southeast of the country. Average rainfall varies between about 800 and
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.
Riders must wear equestrian hard hats and suitable footwear.
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!! On our trail ride there is only one day
where an ATM machine is available!! 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
|Personal Travel Insurance information
|Visa (check with your consulate)
|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)
|Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
|Lightweight Waterproof pants and jacket or long riding coat. No capes.
|Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
|Underwear and socks
|Bag for dirty clothes
|Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
|ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
|Sore cream (for an emergency)
|Adapter for electric appliances
|Camera and extra batteries
|Sun glasses with strap
|Sun tan lotion and lip balm