Experience the essence of Irish culture through the eyes of its people in Westport, County Mayo, and the surrounding region. During this charming cultural stay program, enjoy day trips to historic sites and iconic landscapes in northwest Ireland, from Sligo to Galway.

Starting at: $4,140 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Westport town center. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  Typical landscape in Ireland. Credit: Ireland Tourism  Traditional thatched cottage amid the landscape  Irish step dancers  Seascape of County Mayo  Carrowmore megalithic site, Country Sligo  Cultural traditions reflected in modern life  Connemara landscape with sheep  Connemara's Kylemore Castle, later an abbey and school  Achill Island seascape  Westport House  The village of Clifden. Credit: Courtesy Ireland Tourism Bureau  The lively streets of Galway  Lively music in a pub. Credit: Brian Morrison, Ireland Tourism

County Mayo

A One-Week Stay in Northwest Ireland

9 days from $4,140

Experience the essence of Irish culture through the eyes of its people in Westport, County Mayo, and the surrounding region. During this charming cultural stay program, enjoy day trips to historic sites and iconic landscapes in northwest Ireland, from Sligo to Galway.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Gorgeous remote areas were accessible through Smithsonian and came to life with the sharing of knowledge in an interesting manner by both the dedicated local tour guide, and the knowledgeable coach driver. I’m still Smiling!!!

- Debra, V.

Though this trip centers in Westport, it is a fabulous journey through time and space in Western Ireland, capturing the politics, poetry, history and beautiful landscape of the region.

- Mary Anne, M.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person off of the 2019 departures when you book by December 7, 2018!

*No Single Supplement on 2019 departures!

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Experience the essence of Irish culture in Westport, County Mayo, where you’ll view Ireland through the eyes of its people. During this charming stay program, enjoy day trips to iconic landscapes and historic sites, always returning to your intimate small town and the comfortable Westport Plaza Hotel.

Highlights Include

  • Irish Traditions: In Westport, visit the National Museum of Ireland Country Life and historic Westport House. Enjoy a local dance and music performance, watch craftspeople at work, and join fellow travelers at the local pub.
  • County Sligo: Visit Lissadell House, where an expert will talk about the poet William Butler Yeats, and view Ireland’s largest cemetery of megalithic tombs.
  • Achill Island: Experience the rugged beauty that inspired writers and artists and the Deserted Village at Slievemore, with nearly 100 abandoned cottages.
  • Connemara: Travel through this legendary rugged landscape, cruise along Killary Fjord, and stop at Kylemore Abbey, a 19th-century English castle.
  • Galway: Explore colorful Galway, often referred to as the “most Irish” of Ireland’s cities. 

Gorgeous remote areas were accessible through Smithsonian and came to life with the sharing of knowledge in an interesting manner by both the dedicated local tour guide, and the knowledgeable coach driver. I’m still Smiling!!!

- Debra, V.

Though this trip centers in Westport, it is a fabulous journey through time and space in Western Ireland, capturing the politics, poetry, history and beautiful landscape of the region.

- Mary Anne, M.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on the overnight transatlantic flight to Shannon, Ireland.

Day 2 – Westport

After arrival at Shannon International Airport, depart by motor coach for a drive through the Irish countryside to the upscale and centrally located Westport Plaza Hotel. A rest stop will be made in Kinvara for refreshments and to see Dunguaire Castle. Upon arrival, each traveler will receive a Welcome Kit with maps and general information about Westport and County Mayo.

There’s time to unpack and settle in before joining fellow Smithsonian Travelers for a walking-tour of Westport. The town is situated at the foot of Croagh Patrick Mountain and overlooks the Bay of Galway. Hear interesting stories and learn about the local Pirate Queen and the rebellions that occurred here. 

Meet with fellow travelers this evening for a welcome reception and remarks by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Afterward, enjoy a Smithsonian Journeys welcome dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 – Westport

A full Irish buffet breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. Start the day with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, where you’ll learn about crafts, farming, domestic life and local festivals. There’s time to explore the museum on your own.

After lunch, travel to Westport House built in the 18th century. The house is one of Ireland’s most historic homes. Enjoy the splendid gardens and views overlooking Clew Bay, Anchill and Clare Islands and Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy mountain. Westport House is privately owned by the Browne family, descendants of the “pirate queen” Grace O’Malley who was chief of the O’Malley clan and ruled the seas around County Mayo

This evening, gather in small groups for a Westport Dine-Around at local restaurants.(B,L,D)

Day 4 – County Sligo

After breakfast, travel from Westport to Country Sligo and explore its cultural and historical highlights. Discover Yeat’s Country where the poet William Butler Yeats spent much of his time and the place he is buried at the foot of Benbulben Mountain. Spend time visiting the renowned Foxford Woolen Mills. Visit Lissadell House, a stately home built in the 1830’s and residence of Constance Markievicz, a renowned Irish nationalist, and the first woman to win a seat in the British House of Commons.

Travel to Sligo with a stop on the way at Drumcliff Cemetery, Yeats’ burial place. After lunch at Hargadon Bros. Pub in Sligo, attend a fascinating talk on Irish literature and Yeats by a Yeat’s Society Fellow.

On the return to Westport, make a stop at Carrowmore the largest complex of megalithic tombs in Ireland. (B,L)

Day 5 – Achill Island

This morning join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an engaging presentation, then a local expert will give a talk, A Vision of Ireland, about Irish history and how it's reflected in its art. Achill Island lies off the rugged coast of the Currane Peninsula. Explore this rugged and remote island that has inspired artists and writers like Graham Greene. Travel along the Atlantic Coastal drive and visit the deserted village of Slievemore ravaged by the Great Famine of 1845-1848. See the nearby megalithic tombs. Lunch will be served in Keel and will feature local organic specialties. Later, get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Traveler’s Corner for some lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 6 – Connemara

Today explore one of Ireland’s most scenic regions known for its “savage” beauty. It’s a stark landscape created by the movement of ancient glaciers. Marvel at the beauty of Croagh Patrick Mountain and see the National Famine Monument by sculptor John Behan.

Continue to Glen Keen Farm where you will see a fascinating sheepdog demonstration and talk about the history of the local family farm. Visit Kylemore Abbey, an old Benedictine convent that’s said to be the most romantic building in Ireland. Lunch will be served during your visit to the Abbey. Continue to Clifden, one of Ireland’s most beloved towns, where you can explore on your own. 

On the return drive to Westport, make a stop in Clifden, on the Connemara Coast, where you can explore on your own. Dinner this evening will be served in the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Cong and Galway

Start the day with a talk by a local expert about recent events that are shaping modern Ireland. Drive to the picturesque village of Cong, located on the shores of Lough Corrib. The village was the location for “The Quiet Man,” filmed in the 1950’s starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Explore Cong Abbey, an Augustinian Abbey thought to be founded in the 12th-century by Turlough O’Connor, High King of Ireland.  Continue to Galway City to explore this unique university city. Enjoy a culinary walking tour of the city, sample fine cheeses, local craft beers, artisan chocolates and more plus visit traditional family-run businesses with entrepreneurs who have a devotion and commitment to showcasing the best of Irish produce. (B)

Day 8 – Westport

The entire day is at leisure so that you can follow your own path.

This evening gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers and tour staff for a special farewell dinner at the hotel featuring the rich heritage of Irish music, dance, and song! A farewell dinner will immediately follow. (B,R,D)

Day 9 – Depart for the U.S.

Get an early start and transfer to Shannon International Airport for return flights to the United States. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)