Photo by: Betty Sederquist
Location: Ireland
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Ireland Essence

  • 9 days with accomplished photo tour leader.
  • Photograph the quiet side of Ireland ~ County Mayo.
  • Tour limited to 12 passengers.
  • Accommodations hotel and spa walking distance to center of Westport with lively traditional Irish music sessions each evening.
  • Experience Western Ireland while spending the majority of your evenings in one accommodation.
  • Everyone now has ensuite accommodations. Discount available for non-waterfront rooms.
  • Relaxed & flexible itinerary to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
Region

Europe

Destination

Ireland and Northern Ireland

Dates

May 28-Jun 7 2020

Duration

10 days

$3195

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 9 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 5-8 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $495.

Tour Overview

Your home away from home is a lovely hotel on the Quay (harbor) of Westport, County Mayo. It is walking distance to the quaint town center, with its many shops and pubs of Westport. There is a pool and optional spa facilities available. You can also receive a discount for non-waterview room, $230 per room for the 8 nights in Westport. You will enjoy traditional Irish breakfasts and dinners during your stay. Lunch will be at various restaurants and pubs, or we can stop in town and have a picnic...

Your home away from home is a lovely hotel on the Quay (harbor) of Westport, County Mayo. It is walking distance to the quaint town center, with its many shops and pubs of Westport. There is a pool and optional spa facilities available. You can also receive a discount for non-waterview room, $230 per room for the 8 nights in Westport. You will enjoy traditional Irish breakfasts and dinners during your stay. Lunch will be at various restaurants and pubs, or we can stop in town and have a picnic lunch wrapped for our daily excursions in the field. Transportation is provided in a roomy tour van, which is large enough for both the group and our equipment.

Your itinerary is set in the unspoiled villages, rugged ancient abbeys, broad peat lowlands, and the dramatic coastline of Western Ireland. The soft pastel shades of the mountains and clouds appeal to the artist and photographer. These natural landscapes, along with the people render this Isle a place of inspirational beauty. We will visit places you could never locate on your own — tiny villages, hidden beaches, castles, and ancient abbeys.

Please join your tour leader for this incredible cultural and photographic opportunity. The emphasis of the trip is on photography, yet this is much more, one that non-photographic travelers can enjoy just as well. Days will be filled with unique photographic opportunities, in that there are so many wonderful hidden places to explore. Your leader will seek out obscure settings to visit and photograph, places you would not find on your own.

Photo Leader

Betty Sederquist

I have experienced “once in a life” experiences viewing and photographing wildlife in their natural habitats on her excursions to Alaska and East Africa. What wonderful memories! Thank you, Betty!

— Laurie Edwards

Betty doesn’t just love her art form of photography, she enthuses it through her teachings and it shines out from every cell of her being.

— Javsir Samrai

Tour Itinerary

May 28: Home

Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S. to Shannon Airport, Ireland.

May 29: Shannon - Westport

You will be met at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport and driven north to Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay. Depending on the time of year there may be an opportunity for the group to photograph the sunset over Clew Bay. (D)

May 30-Jun 5: Western Ireland

Each day you will visit some of these typical areas from your home base. There is no possible way to visit all of them, so your tour leader and guide will plan each day considering the interests of the group. The evenings can be spent over photographic discussions in the hotel, or walk to town and enjoy the sights and sounds of the many Irish pubs in Westport. They abound with traditional Irish music every evening of the week.

Visit Ballintubber Abbey, or Baile Tobair Padraig, in Irish. It is one of the oldest Abbeys in Ireland dating back to the twelfth century, named for the natural spring nearby, where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts. After working for a few hours in and around the Abbey you can photograph the ruins of Moore Hall, a Georgian mansion destroyed during the war of independence. Later in the afternoon, photograph Castle Bourke, on the shores of Lough Carra.

Westport and the Village of Newport, both capture the flavor of true Irish towns with their tree- lined canals and colorful shops. Both capture the flavor of true Irish towns with their tree-lined canals and colorful shops. After a stop in Westport, drive to Murrisk Abbey, at the foot of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. Later in the day you will be at the ocean on the west coast of Mayo at a remote rocky shore called Barnabawn Point. Your last stop of the day will be at Tully House, a private residence at the end of a quarter mile tree-lined avenue. There is an old mill along the Bunowen River, a short walk from the house. Another day spend the morning photographing in and around the town of Cong. Photo locations include Ashford Castle, Cong Abbey, the forest and river, as well as the town itself. After lunch you will have the opportunity to photograph an area of rolling hill, sheep, and a myriad of stonewall, on a hillside flowing down to Lough Corrib.

The picturesque village of Cong was the setting for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s film The Quiet Man. The King of Connacht founded the abbey ruins in the twelfth century. In 1198 the last High King of Ireland died in the abbey. Driving north today, your first stop will be along the ocean on the Atlantic drive in Mulranny. After lunch on Achill Island, continue photographing along the ocean, and wind up at the deserted famine village at Keel. Achill Island, wrought by wind and water, is an arrangement of rock, cloud, and cliffs falling off to the sea. Another day, photograph in the morning along the shores of Doo Lough, visiting two locations. After lunch in the town of Louisburgh, spend the afternoon photographing in the Sheeffrey Hills, a place where you must be careful not to disturb the leprechauns who inhabit the forest.

Burrishoole Abbey is a great place to start one of your days. Nearby is Carrigahowley Castle, one of the many strongholds of Grace O’Malley, the adventurous sixteenth century Pirate Queen. Later in the afternoon visit Letterkeen Forest. (B each day, three D)  

June 6: Westport - Shannon

Leave Westport early this morning, driving south to County Clare, where you spend the evening not far from Shannon Airport. Photograph in County Galway near the town of Gort. There lies a 16th century Norman castle with a small cottage attached. The Irish Literary Revival began near this castle – in Coole Park, an estate owned by Lady Gregory where she hosted the likes of George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats and J. M. Synge. It was a haven – a place of retreat for William Butler Yeats.

Finish the tour with the terrific Quinn Abbey, followed by dinner on your own at a local restaurant or the hotel. Overnight Shannon Hotel (B)  

June 7: Shannon - Home

After breakfast this morning, there will be a group transfer for early afternoon flights home. Should your flight depart at a different time, the hotel can call you a taxi, as the airport is just 5-10 minutes away. (B)