Monastic Ruins Getaway

Connemara/Galway Ireland: (IT-IRRT03C)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/ireland_catles_ruins.aspx

Introduction
Connemara/Galway Ireland
Enjoy a combination of visiting the ancient Irish castles and monastic ruins with lovely guided trail rides through Irish bogs, fields and local farmland.

On this 4 day ride you will visit the impressive Portumna Castle which was the seat of the Earl of Clanricarde and Pallas castle - one of the best preserved tower houses and castle grounds of the 14th century. You will also take a 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 ride to a 5000 year old Celtic tomb.
 

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a stationary ride so all nights will be spent in one location.

Description
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 is we are unable to find another rider to share.



Meals

All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 6. In the comfortable dining room the guests enjoy the hearty Irish Breakfast and traditional farmhouse cooking, sitting by the open turf fire. You will enjoy fresh home cooked meals, gourmet-style with many locally grown ingredients, and traditional homemade bread and cakes. 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.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes


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 sign-posted nearby walking trails. In the evening, you will get to know all your fellow riders for this week. You will have dinner at 7:00pm in the tastefully restored 300 year old farmhouse in the 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 their own horse for the next days by brushing and tacking up themselves - don’t worry there are always lots of helping hands around you! Our first ride (2 hours) takes us along forest tracks and country lanes, passed abandoned farms of the 18th century famine times. 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 a round tower. After this visit you will have time for a stroll through the village and drop into the pub for a glass of porter.
Back to the riding centre for a delicious dinner.

Day 3 - Monday
On today’s ride (2 and ½ hours) you will ride into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains and enjoy fascinating views over the majestic River Shannon. In the afternoon you will get to visit the Portumna workhouse museum, where the poor and destitute took shelter many years ago during the famine times.
You will also visit the impressive Portumna Castle of the 17th century with it’s beautifully restored walled garden. The 4th Earl of Clanricade built this Renaissance castle and lived a lavish life here.
You will also have time for shopping in the town or enjoy another Irish pub.
Relax by the peat fire and a traditional home cooked dinner back at the riding centre.

Day 4 - Tuesday
This morning’s ride (2 and ½ hours) will take you on quiet tracks through Ireland’s beautiful rural countryside. This afternoon’s visit will bring you to the ruins of Pallas castle, one of the best preserved tower-houses and walled castle grounds of the Irish gentry in the 14th century.
In the evening you will enjoy your dinner again at the riding centre.

Day 5 - Wednesday
Today is a full day ride. The 2 hour morning ride brings us across the magical landscape of bog and heather. We will have our lunch picnic out on the trail, where we meet our minibus with all the supplies for horses & riders. On the 2 hour afternoon ride we will pass by a typical Celtic dolmen, which is believed to be 5000 years old!
The ride will finish on a field where the horses are happily turned out.
Tonight is the 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 might change due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control without prior notice...


Rates and Dates for Monastic Ruins Getaway

Rates include:

Accommodations with private bath, all meals, 4 riding days (3 days of 2.5 hours riding and 1 day of 4 hours riding), sightseeing trips, entry fees

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20206 day trip, AP€1070$1230
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.15

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer round trip from Shannon airport (9:00am-2:00pm) or hotel, per person, return 85 $105
2020 Single supplement 120 $140
2020 Non-rider rate, dbl, pp 775 $890

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 04/18 - 04/23 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 04/25 - 04/30 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 05/02 - 05/07 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 05/16 - 05/21 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 05/30 - 06/04 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 06/13 - 06/18 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 06/20 - 06/25 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 06/27 - 07/02 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 07/11 - 07/16 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 07/25 - 07/30 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/08 - 08/13 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/15 - 08/20 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 08/22 - 08/27 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 09/05 - 09/10 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 09/12 - 09/17 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve
A 2020 10/10 - 10/15 6d / 5n 6 day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Insurance and Riding helmets (both mandatory).. We can provide hard hats for you, although it is better to bring your own.

Other Info
Meeting: Whitegate
Airport: Shannon
Transfer: Shannon

Climate:
                                               Whitegate area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

48

48

50

53

57

62

65

65

62

57

52

49

Average Low Temperature (°F)

40

40

41

43

47

51

55

55

52

49

44

41

Average High Temperature (°C)

9

9

10

12

14

17

18

18

17

14

11

9

Average Low Temperature (°C)

5

4

5

6

8

11

13

13

11

9

7

5

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

17

14

15

12

14

12

12

13

13

15

15

17

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.comwww.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