Day 1 | Meet at the airport at 5.30am for Ryanair flight to Shannon departing at 7.30am. On arrival, meet up with representative at airport and transfer to Westport. Midway stop at Galway, one of the brightest and most intriguing jewels of the West of Ireland. The city is wild and bohemian, and at the same time full of culture, artistry, exceptional food and music. As well as being a popular seaside destination with long sandy beaches, Galway is also a thriving and cosmopolitan city centre. It is always a joy to explore with its wonderful cobbled streets, colourful shop facades and offbeat café/bar culture. Check in and free time to explore the area. Westport town is a pleasant 15 minute walk away from the Bed and Breakfast and it is lined with colourful flowers, traditional shop fronts, pubs and restaurants.
Day 2 | Breakfast followed by full day optional excursion. First stop will be at Killary Fjord. Dramatically surrounded by mountains that rise steeply from the water’s edge, Killary Fjord stretches 16 kilometres inland to the picturesque village of Leenane and forms a natural border between the counties of Galway and Mayo. A boat tour (included) will be available to allow wonderful views of the surrounding scenery and its unique natural beauty. Stop at Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Gardens. Originally built as a castle in 1867 as a romantic gift, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history. It became home to a community of Benedictine Nuns in 1920 and has been renowned as a place of spirituality and education. Learn of tales of tragedy, romance, engineering initiatives and royal visits. Next stop will be at Connemara National Park which features over 2000 hectares of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests. Optional trek to unleash its beauty.
Day 3 | Start off the day with a visit to the pretty village of Cong, where the 1952 Oscar-winning movie, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, was filmed. Enjoy a leisurely walk in the beautiful Cong Forest. Next stop will be at Newport, a heritage town at the heart of the Great Western Greenway, stunningly located on the shores of Clew Bay which is famous for its 365 islands. A magnificent 19th century red sandstone viaduct, the ancestral home of Princess Grace of Monaco, and a beautiful Romanesque church, housing the last stained glass window designed by Harry Clarke, are just some of its many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The rest of the day will be spent on the spectacular Achill Island. Achill Island is set right on the edge of Europe, full of incredible beaches to explore amidst a magnificent mountain landscape. It is a place where sheep wander the roads, cliffs soar from the sea and outstanding views of raw landscape dominate everywhere you look.
Day 4 | Morning at leisure in Westport. Westport is a charming small town with fabulous, picturesque views. Just a 10-minute drive away from the bed and breakfast is Westport House, a grand country estate. Designed by the architects Richard Cassels and James Wyatt in the 18th century, Westport House is situated in a parkland setting with a lake, terraces, gardens and views overlooking Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Achill, Clare Island and Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. In the afternoon, transfer to Shannon Airport for our flight departing at 5.25pm. Land in Malta at 10.10pm.