Travel Ireland & Experience Irish History & Mythology

Landscape & Lore, Music & Myth/Storytelling Tour with Guide, Dave Hogan

2018 Tour Date: Depart USA April 30 to Arrive Ireland May 1 and Return USA May 11
$3200 plus airfare and insurance (Details FAQ page)

This extraordinary tour throughout Connemara (northwest of Galway City) has been described as “a sensory extravaganza” by previous enthusiastic travelers.  Based in part in charming Clifden city, on the Atlantic coast, travelers enjoy day trips to sites throughout Counties Clare, Galway, and Mayo. This is a spectacularly wild and mostly still untamed region with stone fenced patchwork fields, bogs, mountains, valleys, lakes and streams.

Our tour guide is Dave Hogan, an academic ecologist, and wildlife biologist.  He is without question one of Ireland’s most knowledgeable guides with keen interest in the early history of Ireland and mythology. He is fluent in the Irish language and a musician who has contributed to several CD’s.

Dave will guide us through ancient and historical sites seldom seen and introduce us to a variety of landscape features: the bog and burren regions, holy wells, Bronze Age stone circles, and ring forts. Travels include two boat trips to remote islands with ancient monastic sites, leisurely time in the city of Galway, Claddagh Village, Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, Maamturk Mountains, Connemara National Park, 13th Century Cong Abbey, Monk’s Fishing House, Cliffs of Moher, Brigit’s Garden, Clonmacnoise and Rathcroghan. 

Each day’s tour begins after a leisurely morning breakfast and ends late-afternoon, giving ample time to discover back roads or walk village streets on your own. The itinerary allows for generous time to rest, reflect, and photograph quiet places of stunning beauty throughout this region.

This tour has the flexibility to be invited as an Adult Academic Tour or University Study or Study/Service Tour.

Travelers purchase separately arrange their own flights once the tour has been filled. Note that departure and arrival dates are not the same when you secure an overnight flight, as you arrive the day after you leave the USA.

Join one of our scheduled tours (below) OR schedule your choice of tour dates with your own group of 30 travelers.  All tours are ten days in-Ireland, beginning on morning of arrival date and not including departure date.


  • Notify us of your interest through our CONTACT page or by phone 612.616.3782.  We welcome your inquiries and referrals!
  • After we notify you regarding your reserved place on our tour, you may then purchase your plane ticket.
  • At least two months before the tour departs, all travelers complete the Irish Byways LLC TRAVELER INFORMATION FORM.

    Irish Byways tour makes possible an uncommon cultural experience into the heart of Ireland offering travelers a more relaxed “off-the-bus” adventure in contrast to fast-paced and lower priced site-seeing tours A review of our itinerary details the vast richness of our tours.

    The tour highlights (basic Itinerary) and description of all that is included in the tour cost is given below.


    Tour Highlights Include:

    • Galway City (a delight for shopping and eating, with its narrow cobblestone streets, old stone and wooden shop front, quaint pubs and fine dining)
    • Travelers may choose to spend some of their time in Galway visiting the Claddagh Village (home of the Claddagh Ring, a romantic icon in the hearts and songs of Irish-Americans for generations)
    • Kylemore Abbey and Gardens (currently a Benedictine all-girls boarding school)
    • Maumturk Mountains, Twleve Bens
    • Connemara National Park
    • Cong Village including Cong Abbey (Augustine, dating from early 13th Century) & Monk’s Fishing House
    • Cliffs of Moher (one of Ireland’s most spectacular natural features)
    • Castles, abundant throughout the tour, include the famous Ashford Castle in Cong, Bunratty Castle in Shannon and the recently opened 16th Century Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard
    • Thatched roof cottages
    • Boat excursion to one of two islands: Inchagoill (9th century church and many ancient remains and carvings) or Inish Bofin (population 200, a haven of tranquility, and breathtaking scenes)
    • Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site which develped into a major Cathedral City, now ruined
    • Ancient stone circles in open fields (dating to the Bronze Age)
    • Rathcroghan, the site of the inauguration of the ancient kings of Connacht
    • Holy Wells
    • Ring Forts
    • Kilnaboy with ruined church and seldom found sheela-na-gig over doorway
    • Dolmens (including 5,000-year-old Poulnabrone Dolmen)
    • Bog and Burren regions
    • Ample time for private reflection with the land and the sea
    • Ancient historical and sacred sites seldom seen
    • Famine ruins
    • The finest local craft shops
    • Intimate meetings with Irish musicians, artists, storytellers/historians
    • Music at local pubs available many evenings beginning about 10 pm
    • Three Festive Dining/Music Nights.  We arrange two evenings with an elegant dinner arranged for our group and featuring accomplished local musicians, the third evening is your invitation to one of Bunratty Castle’s Medieval Banquets! 

    • Most early mornings are free for leisurely awakening and preparations for the day. Other area activities not included on the itinerary can be arranged at reasonable cost for travelers. The majority of evenings give ample space for reflection on the day, conversation with friends and new acquaintances, exploration on one’s own, and visits to local pubs.

      TOUR COST See our FAQ page

      Guides reserve the right to make changes to our Itinerary in the event of extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.  Arrangements can also be made (at additional traveler’s expense) for self-chosen local activities such as horseback riding or for additional self-chosen taxi service.

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