Culture and sights of Ireland

A riding holiday offering a combination of relaxed riding across the Irish countryside and cultural pursuits. Your mornings will be dedicated to trail rides along narrow side roads that will lead you through the quaint countryside of the West of Ireland. In the afternoons, time off the saddle will provide many opportunities for sightseeing and tours, including visits of medieval Irish castles and a boat tour to explore the ruins of one of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. And of course, no trip to Ireland is complete without a visit (or visits!) to the local pub! This riding holiday in Ireland is a great choice for riders looking for a peaceful riding holiday and those interested in learning more about Ireland’s rich history and cultural heritage. Also perfect for accompanying non-riders!
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Trail Riding
6 days/ 4 riding
From £1,180
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Discover many places of cultural importance, including a 5000 year-old Celtic dolmen!
- Take a boat ride to Holy island and explore the monastic settlements.
- This is a centre-based holiday, suitable for riders who do not want to pack/unpack every day. You will be staying in a lovely farm setting, ideal for those who would like to reconnect with nature.
- Non-riders are very welcome and will be able to take part in the afternoon's activities.
  • Day 1 1: AN SIBIN RIDING CENTRE

    An Sibin farm
    Arrive in Shannon airport on the West coast of Ireland. Flights are not included but can be booked on request. At around 4:00 pm, you will be transferred from Shannon airport to the equestrian farm, approx. one hour 30 minutes – this is where you will be staying for the first four nights. Please see “dates and prices” for notes on transfer arrangements and costs.

    Today you can just relax and recover from your journey before starting your riding holiday tomorrow, or explore the walking trails around the property. For the more adventurous among you, there is also the possibility to go on a guided boat tour to historic Holy Island with its monastic settlement of the 9th century. In the evening, you will get to know all your fellow riders for this week. You will have dinner in a tastefully restored 300-year-old equestrian farmhouse by candlelight and turf fire.
  • Day 2 2: FOREST TRACKS & HOLY ISLAND - APPROX. 2 HOURS RIDING

    An Sibin farm
    After a hearty breakfast, go to the stables to meet your horse for the week and tack up for the first ride.
    Your morning will be spent riding along forest tracks and country lanes that will take you through abandoned farms from the 18th century.
    Get back to the riding centrein time for lunch, and after a quick rest you will be driven to nearby Mountshannon harbour, from where you will visit Holy Island by boat. Here you will have the opportunity to see church ruins, early monastic cells, a pre-12th century cemetery and a round tower. After this visit enjoy some free time which you can spend at a nearby pub, perhaps enjoying a glass of your favourite drink!

    Finish your day with a delicious dinner back at the riding centre.
  • Day 3 SLIEVE AUGHTY MOUNTAINS & PORTUMNA CASTLE - Approx. 2 HOURS RIDING

    An Sibin farm
    Today ride into the hills of the Slieve Aughty Mountains and enjoy amazing views over the River Shannon.
    In the afternoon you will visit the Portumna workhouse museum, where the poor and destitute took shelter many years ago during the famine times. Afterwards, visit the 17th century Portumna Castle with its beautifully restored walled garden. For the rest of the afternoon, you will have time to do some shopping and visit another Irish pub if you like!

    Enjoy a heart-warming dinner back at the riding centre.
  • Day 4 4: RURAL COUNTRYSIDE & PALLAS CASTLE - Approx. 2 HOURS RIDING

    An Sibin farm
    The day starts with another ride through Ireland’s beautiful rural countryside, riding on quiet tracks.
    In the afternoon, you will visit the secluded ruins of the Pallas castle, one of the best preserved tower-houses and walled castle grounds of the Irish gentry in the 14th century.
    Relax by the peat fire and a traditional home-cooked meal back at the riding centre.
  • Day 5 5: CELTIC DOLMEN - Approx. 4 HOURS RIDING

    An Sibin farm
    Today is a full trail ride. In the morning you ride across traditional Irish landscapes of bog and heather. Afterwards you will be met by a minibus with all the supplies necessary to have a picnic out on the trail.
    In the afternoon, get back on your horse and explore the surrounding area. You will pass by a typical Celtic dolmen, which is believed to be 5000 years old!

    Back at the riding centre for your last dinner.
  • Day 6 6: SHANNON AIRPORT - HOME - No riding

    Transfer to the airport after breakfast for flights after 12:00 noon.

Dates & prices

Price details

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

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

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 3 riders and a maximum of 8 international 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 approx. $160/€150/£135. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.

- Transfers will be arranged from and to Shannon airport. It is payable locally at €55 per person, per way (based on a minimum of 4 riders). The pick-up is scheduled around 4:00 pm on arrival. On departure, please book a flight departing after 12:00 noon.

- Accompanying non-riders are welcome and will benefit from a discounted rate: $980/€950/£830. This includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Non-riders can enjoy the mornings off, or explore the surroundings on their own, they may join the riders for the picnic lunch and go sightseeing on the minibus.

- Accompanied young riders are welcome from 12+ yo, provided they match the riding requirements.

- Rider weight limit: 85 kilos, 187 lbs, 13.3 st. 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

Logistic

1 back-up vehicle and driver

Inland transports

Inland transfers as mentioned in the itinerary

Accommodation

Double or triple room at the equestrian farm

Meals

Full-board accommodation from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure

Extra equipment

First aid kit

Extras

Entry fees to sites mentionned in the itinerary

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra

Transports

Airport transfers at set times (see dates and prices above)
International flights

Extra

Tips to local team

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
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    01/04/2023 06/04/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    08/04/2023 13/04/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    22/04/2023 27/04/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    13/05/2023 18/05/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/05/2023 01/06/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    10/06/2023 15/06/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/06/2023 29/06/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    08/07/2023 13/07/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    05/08/2023 10/08/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    09/09/2023 14/09/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    16/09/2023 21/09/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    23/09/2023 28/09/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    07/10/2023 12/10/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now
    14/10/2023 19/10/2023 £1,180 €1,389 $1,381 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses available on this horse riding holiday in Ireland are, for the most part, Irish breeds live the Connemara, Irish Sport Horse, the Gypsy Vanner, and the Irish Cob.

Our local team breeds many of their horses at home. Each year some new foals join the growing herd. They are specifically trained by our guides to become the willing, safe and sure-footed trail horses they are – really the perfect mount for a week-long riding holiday in Ireland!

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be an intermediate or competent rider and able to control your horse at all paces in open spaces. You should be able to canter in forward seat and keep your balance.

Pace

The pace of this ride is overall moderate. There are opportunities for long trots and canters but it will vary depending on the terrain. The canters are carried out in single files. There are also long stretches of walking.

Tacking ability and participation

During this holiday, one horse will be assigned to you and you will be responsible for brushing, tacking, and untacking. In the evening, you are welcomed to help feed and water the horses.
Assistance is always on hand if necessary.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to this riding holiday. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding across rough terrain and open spaces. Hours in the saddle are however quite short and this is a relaxed riding holiday.

Equestrian equipment

English saddles and bridles. Small saddlebags are provided.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

On this riding holiday, you will be staying at a renovated equestrian farm that is our guides’ home base. Riding guests stay in double or triple en-suite rooms and can enjoy the cosy ambiance of the sitting rooms. This is quite a lovely farm setting and perfect for those who would like to reconnect with nature, including many friendly pet farm animals and sign-posted walking trails.

Meals

Full Irish breakfasts are served in the morning.
Lunches are varied and there is one picnic provided during your stay.
Three course dinners, always tasty and fresh – meat, potatoes, salads are a staple!
Vegetarian, lactose and gluten-free diets can be accommodated on request. Please make sure to mention it at the time of your booking.

Climate

The west coast of Ireland 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

Bertie and Nicola are your hosts. They are very friendly and open people. They have been operating trail rides in the west coast of Ireland and the Burren for many years now and are therefore very experienced.

Tips

Tips are appreciated but not expected. You should give what you feel is appropriate and you feel comfortable with.

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 for the evening.
- 1 pair of waterproof over trousers
- 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
- Small plastic bags for your 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.

ID
Ireland, along with the UK, is a member of the Common Travel Area. British nationals travelling from the UK don’t need a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality, particularly if you were born outside the UK. You are therefore advised to take your British passport with you.
For more information about the types of ID you might be asked to present, see the website of the Ireland Citizens Information Board.
Before travelling, check with your carrier about their ID requirements, as most airlines and other transport providers won’t carry passengers to and from Ireland unless they’ve seen satisfactory photographic ID.

Passport validity
If you’re using a passport to enter Ireland, it should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

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

UK Citizens: A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/


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.