Horseback riding in Donegal, Ireland

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Donegal North Explorer Ride

Itinerary for Donegal North Explorer Ride

Sample Itinerary -
subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival
You will arrive at the hotel in the afternoon, where you will meet your hosts Derek and Gerarda. After check in, you can relax and explore the village or simply unwind with a gentle stroll along Killahoey Strand just a few minutes walk from the hotel. The quaint whitewashed yard of stables is literally up the garden path beside the old Lookout Tower. Call up to the Stables and meet Helen and the welcoming staff who will introduce you to your horse which Helen has selected for you from the information you have provided. In the evening you will enjoy dinner at your leisure, complemented by fine wines in the Tramore Restaurant overlooking Sheephaven Bay and Horn Head.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 2 (Sunday): Introductory Ride
After breakfast, stroll through the magnificent gardens and meet your horse and guide at the stables, conveniently located in the hotel grounds. The morning is given over to assessment to ensure each rider and horse is suitably matched. This ride consists of an hour on the beach and the second hour ambling up an incline skirting the forest to the top of Horn Head allowing the rider to soak in the beautiful scenery and panoramic views of Sheephaven Bay and its wonderful patchwork of rugged coastline and sandy secluded strands, the Derryveagh Mountain Range with impressive Muckish Mountain andMount Errigal, Portnablagh and the charming coastal village of Dunfanaghy itself. This ride is permitted by the tide as you need to be able to cross the bay to reach Horn Head. Return to the hotel for lunch. You will have the afternoon free to explore the village or just relax.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 3 (Monday): Muckish Mountain Ride
Leaving the coast for a day, with a packed lunch, we head towards the impressive Muckish Mountain. Traversing old tracks built 150 years ago during the famine takes us into eerie silence, only horses can use the tracks as they were originally built for them. Nowadays they are overgrown but serve our purpose very well. As we get closer to this mountain, we come into the now dismantled Falcarragh-Burtonport railway, made famous by Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in the film 'The Railway Man'. The surface is ideal for long canters. After lunch we cross three rivers by means of ancient fords. We hack amid a patchwork of stonewalls and quiet country lanes, taking us in the direction of Errarooey, where the horses overnight in a green pasture. The horses have one of the most awe inspiring wild view, (although they'd never realise it as they happily munch on the sweet grass after a long day), they overlook the Atlantic, heavenly golden beaches and Tory Island, legendary Kingdom of the Celtic cyclops Balor of the Evil Eye. Our tired riders return to the hotel for a well deserved dinner and overnight.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 4 (Tuesday): Ride back to the Stables
After a hearty Irish breakfast riders are reunited with their horses who have a belly full of summer's sweet grass at Errarooey. Tidal and weather conditions permitting, the day starts with another long memorable canter on the beach. Today's ride is a contrast from the wild and remote heather clad hills as we experience the diversity of the countryside. We walk past old farm buildings, along a small twisty country lane with grass growing in the middle of it to get to some rough pasture and farmland by the sea. We cling to the hillside as we cross a high headland, the intense beauty of the Atlantic ocean and the high rocky cliffs, as we turn a corner the view of Tramore beach below is an unforgettable sight. As we descend the anticipation of the canter on the beach is felt. Cantering along the waters edge as the waves crash is long awaited. We have worked up a great hunger and so happily return for a well deserved lunch.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 5 (Wednesday): Free Day (no riding)
This day is yours to relax and unwind, with plenty of things to do in Dunfanaghy, why not take a stroll around the village and visit The Workhouse and the variety of exclusive Irish Craft shops all within walking distance of the hotel. If you enjoy walking, you can choose from the many beautiful local walks in the area from the publication 'Rambles in Dunfanaghy' which is available at reception. We can also arrange fishing trips, bicycle hire with ordanance survey map and suggested routes, which will allow you to explore some of the scenic beauty spots around Sheephaven Bay and Horn Head. If you would prefer a leisurely round of golf around the breathtaking scenery of Dunfanaghy Links Course, just five minutes from the hotel, we can also arrange this for you.
The village has several speciality shops for you to browse through at your leisure. The Tweed 'n' Fashion/Crafts Shop has a fine selection of quality Irish garments and crafts for sale as well as a fine range of Irish made Chutneys, Jams and Irish made chocolates.
Muck'n'Muffins produce individually designed handmade pottery on site. You can also choose from the wide range of pottery available and just to round it off, you can enjoy a cappuccino upstairs in the cosy teashop overlooking Sheephaven Bay.  Just outside the village we have The Workhouse, first opened on the eve of the Great Famine in 1845 with an exhibition of the harrowing experiences of the famine victims. You can also purchase Irish made crafts in the craft shop and enjoy a coffee and home bakes in the coffee shop. Next door The Gallery/Craft shop has a fine exhibition of paintings by various artists, including the famous watercolour artist Frank Eggington as well as Irish crafts for sale.
Virginia's Health Studio, Portnablagh. Virginia specialises in personal health treatments including Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Reiki and Stress management.
Narosa School of Surf Why not get out on one of the fantastic local blue flag beaches with Narosa? Fantastically fun and fully qualified instructors help you into your first waves, they provide all the just bring along some suncream and a towel!
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 6 (Thursday): Sheephaven Bay Ride
Today the trail ride takes us through meandering country lanes bordered by weathered stonewalls, overlooking the indescribable view of Sheephaven Bay. With Port na Blagh (the Port of Many Colours) picturesquely sheltered against the Atlantic. We have an exhilerating canter along the strand at Marble Hill to open up the pipes. As we progress through the day, we leave behind the coastal scene and approach the rugged expanse of the Derryveagh Mountains. We ride under the shadow of the mighty Muckish Mountain and its foothills, where the Golden Eagle reigns supreme. We follow abandoned railway tracks through the wilderness with nothing but sheep to block the way.
We descend out of the mountains returning to the coast, to home just in time for dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 7 (Friday): Tramore Beach Ride
As we saddle up for the final day of the Trail Ride, mixed emotions overcome the group. We head back over to the ever stretching strand of Tramore - a wild and windswept affair that impresses those who make the journey. We have a last glance of the natural beauty of Donegal, we hear the final thunder of our horses hooves across Tramore's golden sand...
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at country hotel in Dunfanaghy

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Departure after breakfast
Meals included: Breakfast

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Donegal North Explorer Ride
Tour Code: IT-IRDON1
8 days / 7 nights ~$2,110.00
Dates : May to Sept

Trip Rating :
Difficulty : Riding Level
Riding Level Explained
Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
D Strong Intermediate
Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
Lodging: Standard
Lodging Level Explained
= Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
 Accommodations with superior comforts.
 = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
 = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

Online Reservation

Check here for details and availability
Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
C 2021 05/01 - 05/08 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (low) 4 /10 Expired
C 2021 05/08 - 05/15 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (low) 4 /10 Expired
B 2021 05/22 - 05/29 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (mid) 4 /10 Expired
A 2021 07/03 - 07/10 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (high) 4 /10 Sold Out
A 2021 07/17 - 07/24 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (high) 4 /10 Sold Out
A 2021 08/14 - 08/21 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (high) 4 /10 Reserve
A 2021 08/27 - 09/03 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (high) 4 /10 Reserve
B 2021 09/03 - 09/10 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (mid) 4 /10 Sold Out
B 2021 09/18 - 09/25 8d / 7n 8 day Ride (mid) 4 /10 Reserve
Day to Day Itinerary
Rates | Dates
Tack: English
Horses: Irish Sportshorse, Connemara
Pace: Moderate with walk, trot, canter and s...
Walk, Trot, Canter, Gallop,
Airport: Donegal (CFN), Derry
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