Horseback riding in Connemara, Ireland

Connemara Coastal Trail

This amazing trail ride in Ireland is perfect for lovers of Irish hospitality and beach rides. Discover the beauty of the Connemara coast on horseback and experience the mountains and coastline of Galway. This trail has been operating for about 50 years and is a renewed success every each!
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
8 days / 6 days riding
From £1,310
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Discover an iconic region of Ireland on horseback, famous for its unspoiled beaches and dramatic scenery.
- Explore sandy beaches perfect for long canter.
- Enjoy typical Irish hospitality. Irish people are very welcoming and always happy to share a Guinness with you.
- Choose between B&B's or hotel accommodation
  • Day 1 1: UK - DUBLIN - GALWAY - No riding

    You can fly to either Dublin or Galway airport - flights are not included.

    If flying to Dublin airport then you should take a bus to downtown Galway and your hotel (www.citylink.ie / www.buseireann.ie)

    If flying to Galway then you should take the airport transfer into downtown and your hotel. Your transfers and this first hotel night are not included, but we can arrange accommodation for you on request.

    You will have dinner and spend the night in Galway.
  • Day 2 2: GALWAY - SHANNDAONNELL - 3-4 hours riding

    You will be collected from your hotel at around 10:00 transferred to Tumbiola where the horses will be waiting for you. After being allocated a horse according to your experience and preferences, you will ride over Cashel Hill and have lunch overlooking the sea near Bolgers. In the afternoon, a shorter ride takes you to Shannadonnell where you leave the horses to roam free for the night.

    You will have dinner and spend the night in either a B&B or hotel depending on your choice when booking.
  • Day 3 3: SHANNADONNELL - MWEENISH - 4-5 hours riding

    In the morning, you drive to Shannadonnell's mountains to catch your horses. This morning's ride will take you to the beautiful lakes dotting the mountains and enjoying the beautiful views of green Connemara. Lunch will be had by a lake, followed by an afternoon ride that sees you riding towards the sea. Depending on the tide, you could ride to Mweenish or ride out to Mweenish Island.

    In the evening, you will return to your B&B/hotel.
  • Day 4 4: MWEENISH - CARNA - 4-5 hours riding

    As on Tuesday eve, depending on the tide, you ride out to Mweenish Island this morning and explore the different beaches here. Alternatively you will ride to Finish Island. After coming back on shore from the Island, you will enjoy a lovely lunch at your guide Willie's beach house. After lunch we can enjoy a fun canter on the beach and explore the sea side around Carna Village.

    Back to your hotel for the night
  • Day 5 5: CARNA - KILKERRIN - DERRYRUSH - 4-5 hours riding

    The day's ride will continue through little pathways into Carna Village. You will ride over mountains and beautiful lakes overlooking the sea. Throughout the day's ride, you should come across herds of the famous Connemara ponies which roam the area. You will stop for your lunch near a former mill and then continue riding along a mountainous path to Kilkerrin and its salmon farm.

    Your ride will come to an end at Derryrush where you will leave the horses in a meadow and you will be transferred to your hotel/B&B.
  • Day 6 6: DERRYRUSH - OUGHTERARD - 4-5 hours riding

    Today you ride from Derryrush to Rosmuck village through coastal pathways. An early lunch is on the cards today, to make sure you have enough time for the long afternoon ride to Screebe house and fishery. You will be taken back to your accommodation for the night.
  • Day 7 7: DARTFIELD - 5 hour riding

    You will be collected from your hotel in the morning and taken to the equestrian centre where you will ride around the 350 acres estate, passing through woodland and across fields. There will be the option to jump some of the cross country fences too.

    Lunch will be had at the centre and there will be the chance to visit their museum dedicated to the Irish horse breeds. You will have another oppoturtunity to hack around the estate in the afternoon.

    Last dinner and overnight in Ireland.
  • Day 8 8: LOUGHREA - GALWAY - DUBLIN - LONDON - No riding

    Transfer by bus from Loughrea back to either Galway or Dublin airport for your flight home (bus and flight not included). We recommend a flight in the afternoon to allow time for the bus journey.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights and transportation to your destination (Galway) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.     

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room during the ride. 

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 1 international riders and a maximum of 20 riders, plus guides. 

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of €200/£185 in 2020 and 2021. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date. 

- The first night in Galway is not included, so you can choose whether you would prefer to stay in a hotel, B&B, guesthouse, etc. We can arrange this first night for you on request.

- If you wish to upgrade to hotel accommodation during the ride (rather than B&B) there is then a supplement (2020-21 rates):
> €140/£130 in April, May, June & September
> €110/£100 in July & August
> Single supplement for hotel accommodation is €250/£225

- Weight limit: 110kg. Heavier riders please contact us.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 vehicle and driver
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle

Inland transports

Private bus for 10 riders

Accommodation

Double room in Bed and Breakfast

Meals

Full board from the pack lunch on day 2 to lunch on day 7.

Extra equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Dinner not included on day 1 and 7
Beverages and personal extra

Transports

Transfer from Galway Airport to your hotel on day 1 and 8
International flights

Extra

Tips to local team
Park, museum and touristic sites fees

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement in B&B
Single room supplement in hotel
Upgrade for a double room in hotel
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    12/07/2020 19/07/2020 £1,365 Full
    26/07/2020 02/08/2020 £1,365 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/08/2020 16/08/2020 £1,365 Open Book now
    23/08/2020 30/08/2020 £1,365 Open Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/09/2020 13/09/2020 £1,310 Open Book now
    20/09/2020 27/09/2020 £1,310 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    25/04/2021 02/05/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    09/05/2021 16/05/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
    23/05/2021 30/05/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
    06/06/2021 13/06/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
    20/06/2021 27/06/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/07/2021 11/07/2021 £1,530 Open Book now
    18/07/2021 25/07/2021 £1,530 Open Book now
    01/08/2021 08/08/2021 £1,530 Open Book now
    15/08/2021 22/08/2021 £1,530 Open Book now
    29/08/2021 05/09/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    12/09/2021 19/09/2021 £1,465 Open Book now
    26/09/2021 03/10/2021 £1,465 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

Most of the horses are Connemara ponies or Irish hunters. They are very versatile, sure-footed, docile and steadfast.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be comfortable riding at all paces and be able to control your horse across open terrain. It is mandatory to wear a riding helmet on this ride.

Weight limit: 110kg. Heavier riders please contact us.

Pace

There are plenty of opportunities for trots and canters where the terrain allows, and even some gallops on the sandy beaches.

Tacking ability and participation

You are required to groom, tack and untack your own horse during the week. You are also welcome to help with feeding and watering the horses if you wish.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

There are no particular difficulties, but you should be prepared for a variable climate and rain is always a possibility.
Previous experience of riding a trail for several days would be an advantage but is not essential.
Please note that the riding is in large groups and you must be able to control your horse in a group.

Equestrian equipment

Riding helmets are required and you should take your own to ensure the correct fit.

English tack.
Saddlebags are not provided so if you wish to have one then you shall take your own.

Travel info

Comfort

You will be staying in small hotels or typical B&B's in double/twin rooms with private bathrooms.

Meals

Breakfasts are provided at the hotels/B&B's.
Lunches are picnics whilst on the trail.
Dinners are included in local restaurants or hotels.

Climate

Galway has an oceanic climate which is changeable and can be wet. In Spring the temperatures range from 8-12c. April is particularly pleasant. In summer (May-July) the highest average temperatures are 18-20c, whilst in Autumn (Aug - Oct) the temperatures range from 14-18c. September is considered to be mild and temperate. The coldest months are January and February and sometimes temperatures drop below zero. Snow is rare, but there can be heavy rainfall at any time of year.

Guide and local team

Your guide is a local Irishman called Willie. Willie has been guiding the trails for over 40 years: he's a skilled horseman and has a fun, charismatic personality! He knows the region like the back of his hand and truly loves his horses.

Tips

Tipping is not obligatory, however one can be made to the local team at your discretion.

Packing list

Head
- A riding helmet is mandatory. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding

Upper Body
- Thermals in case of cold weather (long or short-sleeved T-shirts)
- Short or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm Goretex-style jacket (water-proof and breathable)

Legs
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or long leather trousers
- 1 change of trousers (riding trousers or jeans)
- 1 pair of waterproof over trousers
- A swim suit may be useful
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- 1 pair of comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps or long boots.
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Other useful items
- Small bumbag to be worn whilst riding
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle
- Backpacks are not to be worn whilst riding. Everything should be kept either in pockets or in a bumbag: lip balm, sun screen, small camera, glasses, rope etc.
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it after use
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Vitamin C tablets
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Painkillers
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

General information
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

Visas
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Ireland

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ireland/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade de la République d'Irlande
    4 rue Rude
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01 44 17 67 00
    Fax : 01 44 17 67 60
    paris@dfa.ie
  • Ambassade à l'étranger
    66 Fitzwilliam Lane
    Dublin
    Tél. : 353 (1) 277 50 00
    Fax : 353 (1) 277 50 01
    admin-francais.dublin-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr
  • Ambassade d'Irlande
    Kirchenfeldstrasse 68
    3005 Bern
    Tél. : +41 31 352 14 42/43
    Fax : +41 31 352 14 55
    berneembassy(at)dfa.ie
  • Ambassade d'Irlande
    89/93 Rue Froissart
    1040 Bruxelles
    Tél. : (02) 230 53 37
    Fax : (02) 230 53 12

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Ireland. The country has a relatively good public health infrastucture, with hospitals, generally good doctors and widely available medicines etc.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

The electrical supply in Ireland is 230v 50hz. The plugs and sockets are a three-pronged formation, the same as those used in the United Kingdom. If your appliances operate on a different current you will need a power converter and plug adapter.

Budget and money

Ireland has adopted the Euro (ISO code: EUR, symbol: €) as its official currency. One Euro is divided into 100 cents, which is sometimes referred to as eurocents, especially when distinguishing them with the US cents.
Euro banknotes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500. The highest three denominations are rarely used in everyday transactions. All Euro banknotes have a common design for each denomination on both sides throughout the Eurozone.
The Euro coins are 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1 and €2. Some countries in the Eurozone have law which requires cash transactions to be rounded to the nearest 5 cents. All Euro coins have a common design on the denomination (value) side, while the opposite side may have a different image from one country to another. Although the image side may be different, all Euro coins remain legal tender throughout the Eurozone.
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted, though American Express can be a bit harder.

Telephone and jetlag

The telephone dialling code is +353
Ireland is in the same time zone as the UK, so GMT.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Connemara Pony Show

Every year, the Irish hold a festival to celebrate their beloved Connemara pony: the Connemara Pony Show.

This festival takes place in the city of Clifden, Co. Galway, always mid-August. Every year, the city teems with horse lovers come from all over the world to admire the best Connemara ponies of Ireland. Ponies compete in in-hand classes, ridden classes, working hunter classes, and in a puissance competition.