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: $3,890 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Traditional thatched cottage amid the landscape  Typical landscape in Ireland. Credit: Ireland Tourism  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 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 $3,890

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

SOLO TRAVELERS

No single supplement for solo travelers! (Limited availability. Book early to ensure your place.)

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. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

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. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2017 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, there’s a two-hour transfer through the Irish countryside to Westport and your charming, centrally located hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a welcome kit with maps and general information about Westport and County Mayo. There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow Smithsonian travelers for a walking tour of Westport.

Visit Westport House, the 18th-century home of the descendants of Grace O’Malley, a pirate queen who followed in the footsteps of her seafaring father and Gaelic chieftain. Tour the house and its beautiful parkland setting. Meet new friends this evening with a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D) 

Day 3 – Westport

A full Irish-style buffet breakfast is included each morning at the hotel. Start the day with a fascinating presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. After a “pub lunch,” explore the National Museum of Ireland. Learn about Irish folkways, crafts, domestic life, and festivals. This evening, gather in small groups to explore some of the quaint restaurants in and around Westport. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Westport and County Sligo

Travel northeast of Westport to Country Sligo and explore its cultural and historical highlights. Visit the famous Foxford woolen mills established in the late 1900’s and still working today producing luxury woolen goods. Discover Yeat’s Country where the poet William Butler Yeats spent a great deal of time and is buried at Drumcliffe. After lunch featuring local specialties, continue to Lissadell House. Lissadell is a stately home built in the 1830’s and residence of Constance Markievicz, an Irish nationalist and the first woman to win a seat in the British House of Commons. While at Lissadell House, attend a fascinating talk by a Yeat’s Society Fellow on Irish literature and W.B. Yeats. On the return to Westport, make a stop at Carrowmore, the largest complex of megalithic tombs in Ireland. (B,L)

Day 5 – Westport and Achill Island

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 Atlantic Drive and visit the deserted village at Slievemore, which dates back to the 12th century, and see the nearby megalithic tombs. Lunch will be served in Keel and will feature local specialties. Join fellow travelers for a talk by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Later, gather with fellow travelers and your expert in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner for a lively discussion. (B,L)

Day 6 – Westport and Connemara

Today explore one of Ireland’s most scenic regions known for its “savage” beauty, a stark landscape created by the movement of ancient glaciers. Marvel at the beauty of Croagh Patrick Mountain and cruise on Killary Fjord with lunch on board. Continue to Kylemore Castle, built in 1867 by Mitchell and Margaret Henry, which served as a Benedictine convent and school from 1923-2010. The castle is said to be the most romantic building in Ireland. This afternoon your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will give an engaging talk. Dinner this evening will be served in the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Westport, Cong and Galway

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, and now on the grounds of stunning Ashford Castle. Continue to Galway City to explore this unique university city. Enjoy a guided tour of the Galway City Museum and then have some time on your own. (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. (B,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)

2018 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 motorcoach for a drive through the Irish countryside to the seaport village of Kinvara, County Galloway, where a stop will be made for coffee, tea, and scones. Continue to the upscale and centrally located Westport Plaza Hotel. 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 overlooking the Bay of Galway. In 2012, Westport won the title of “The Best Place to Live in Ireland.” Meet fellow participants this evening at a festive welcome reception where local Irish dancers will entertain. Then enjoy welcome remarks by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert followed by dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 – Westport

A full Irish buffet breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. Start the day with a fascinating presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Then visit the Museum of Country Life, for a talk by the museum staff. Following the talk, there is time to explore the museum on your own. Travel to Westport House, one of Ireland's most historic homes and 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. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – County Sligo

Travel northeast of Westport to Country Sligo and explore its cultural and historical highlights. Visit the famous Foxford woolen mills established in the late 1800’s and still working today producing luxury woolen goods. Discover Yeat’s Country where the poet William Butler Yeats spent much of his time.Visit Lissadell House, a stately home built in the 1830’s and residence of Constance Markievicz, an Irish nationalist, and the first woman to win a seat in the British House of Commons. Stop at Drumcliff Cemetery where Yeats is buried. After lunch in Sligo, attend a fascinating talk on Irish literature and W. B. 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. Make a stop at 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, and see an old Benedictine convent that’s said to be the most romantic building in Ireland. Head back to Westport for dinner 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 guided tour of the Galway City Museum and then enjoy time at leisure to explore on your own. (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. (B,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)