The Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara - 8 Day Guided Hike - Group 10+

Drumin, The Burren, Co. Louth, Ireland

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Benny's Ireland Vacations Inc.
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Duration: 8 days
Group size: 10 - 50
The Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara - 8 Day Guided Hike - Group 10+
Drumin, The Burren, Co. Louth, Ireland

Benny's Ireland Vacations Inc.
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Duration: 8 days
Group size: 10 - 50

About this trip

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The Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara 8 Day Hike


THE BURREN AND CONNEMARA FACE EACH OTHER ACROSS GALWAY BAY, WITH THE GLORIOUS ARAN ISLANDS STRATEGICALLY PLACED IN BETWEEN.

It is hard to imagine two more contrasting landscapes. ‘Burren’ is derived from the Irish word boireann meaning ‘place of stone’, and the name could not be more apt. There is no part of Ireland where rock so obviously dominates the landscape as it does in the Northwest corner of County Clare.


The Burren covers an area of some 260 square kilometres and is famous for its bare limestone pavements dissected by deep crevices and traversed by countless stone walls. Surprisingly, this bizarre and apparently hostile environment is a botanist’s paradise as around ¾ of Ireland’s plant species are found in the Burren (more than any other region).


By contrast – Connemara is an imposing landscape of lakes, moorland and rugged mountains. It has some of the most extensive areas of blanket bog in Europe and is home to many heathland and bogland plants such as the insectivorous sundew and butterwort and a rich variety of heaths and heathers. The two main mountain groups – the Twelve Bens of Connemara and the Maamturk Mountains – are separated by the deep valley in which Lough Inagh lies. One of the most typical Connemara scenes is to see the jagged peaks glistening with quartz reflected in the still waters of a bogland pool.


In between these 2 contrasting landscapes lie the Aran Islands, Inisheer (near island), Inishmaan (Middle Island) and Inishmore (big island). Although the Aran Islands belong to Co. Galway, geologically they are similar to the Burren in Co. Clare with many of the fields consisting of little more than bare limestone. The islanders have eked out a living by improving the soil over generations with sand and seaweed.


Aran is also a bastion of Irish culture. Irish is still the everyday language of most islanders, making it the strongest Gaeltacht in the country. Many traditions that have been lost on the mainland have been maintained here. It also has a wealth of archaeological and historical remains, notably its prehistoric stone forts and Early Christian sites. Aran has been a mecca for scholars and discerning travellers ever since John Millington Synge’s brilliant depiction of the islanders’ life in The Playboy of the Western World.

Grading

Comfortable: Terrain varied & occasionally wet underfoot. Best suited to people capable of walking up to 12kms (7.5 miles) daily. You encounter uphill & downhill sections with a max. height of 600 metres (1,950 feet) approx. Ideal first walking holiday or less experienced walkers.


Moderate: Takes you across open-mountain & bogland (wet conditions). Terrain is varied each day with uphill & downhill hiking, some of which may be steep. Max. height is 950 metres (3,100 feet) approx. Suitable for people with good level of fitness & capable of walking up to 20kms (12.5 miles) a day.


Please note that Ireland can be a bit ‘damp’ both underfoot and overhead, with some liquid sunshine! Irish weather is unpredictable and the nature of hikes can change quickly and dramatically because of the weather. This is one of the many pleasant aspects of hiking in Ireland. Benny’s Ireland Vacations, Inc. reserves the right to alter this itinerary due to weather conditions or the walking ability of each group.

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