A WONDERFULLY WITTY, INTELLECTUAL TOUR OF IRELAND
The Wild Atlantic Day Tours is just a few short years in operation and they have already established themselves as one of Ireland's premiere tour operators providing personalised day tours to all areas along the worlds longest defined coastal touring routes. I opted for their tour of the smallest of the Aran Islands Inisheer and the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.
The tour departs at 9am from Kinlay Hostel which is just off Eyre Square in Galway. I stayed at the hostel for two nights. This was my first experience staying in a hostel dorm and I was very impressed with it. The hostel was so clean and has a real family enviroment, fantastic fascilities and very helpful friendly staff. A perfect place to lay your head while experiencing all the West has to offer.
Our tour guide was Phil Davenport who has years of experience in the business. Phil is a mind of information and throughout the route fascinated his audience with historical, economical and local information. His witty sense of humour had the whole bus laughing and before we knew it we had reached our first destination, the fishing town of Doolin where we set sail on the ferry to Inisheer.
The ferry ride only takes half an hour and if you are lucky enough you will get to meet Dusty the Dolphin who often follows the ferry. Unfortunately I did not get to see Dusty but I did get to sit in the captains chair and steer the boat which was a Brucey Bonus for me.
As I mentioned, Inisheer is the smallest of the Aran Isands which are 3 rocky islands guarding the mouth of Galway and are renowned for their ancient sites. The largest of the islands is Inishmore and the second is Inishmaan.
As we approached the island I was struck by its beauty and I could not wait to explore it. Phil had informed us on the bus that there were numerous ways we could explore the island; by foot, bike or pony and trap. The cost of this is very reasonable. It is only 10euro for either the bike or pony ride. I chose the pony and trap which was extremely enjoyable. Our guide Eanadh told us all about the history of the island and we learned things only a local would know.
We stopped at the iconic Plassey which is a shipwreck that went down in 1960 and is an integral part of the community. This shipwreck is also featured in the opening credits to Father Ted so of course I am not one to miss a good photo opportunity.
After the pony and trap ride I still had time to explore some of the island by foot and I was really taken by the peace and tranquility that surrounded me and it was also wonderful to hear all the locals speaking in our native tongue.
I sat by the rocks looking out at the torquoise ocean and promised myself to return and stay a weekend on this gem of an island. It was then time to head back to the ferry for the next leg of the journey.
The ferry sail back is a real treat for passengers because the boat passes right under the Cliffs of Moher. As Irish music played over the speakers I was truly taken by the beauty that surrounded me and as I looked at O'Briens Tower at the top of Cliffs I could not wait to see the view from the top.
Ireland's most spectacular natural wonder - The Cliffs of Moher stand at 702ft at their highest point just north of O'Briens Tower. The visitor centre has a wonderful gift shop and coffee shop to stop off and get some refreshments before heading out onto the Cliffs. As the sun beamed down and the wild Atlantic crashed against the rocks I started off on my exploration across the cliffs. I climbed to the top of O'Briens Tower which is a great spot to take a picture from not to mention breathtakingly beautiful.
Being quite scared of heights I took my time walking along the cliffs because when you look down the reality of how high these cliffs are really hits you. To stand at the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher was one of my bucket list items and it certainly did not disappoint.
When we all returned to the bus Phil had one last stop for us on the way home - The Baby Cliffs of Ballyreen. Another stunning location for some more great photo opportunities.
My trip with the Wild Atlantic Way Day Tours is one I will never forget. I had the most amazing day. We all spend so much time exploring other countries and we forget the beauty that is on our own door doorstep. This tour is spectacular and I cannot speak highly enough of our tour guide Phil (Twitter @thetourcreator) who brought so much fun to the trip.
If you wish to book a trip with the Wild Atlantic Way Day Tours and find out what other tours they have available please click on the link below.
Top Marks 5/5
Massive thanks to Rita Scott Radio Disk Jockey (Radio DJ) at Rocker's Dive Radio the crypt radio show for this wonderful review.