Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Croagh Patrick County Mayo Ireland

Ireland Find Inspiration in the West Coast

Southern Vermont Arts Center

Led by Ron Rosenstock and Anne Corso

  • Nine days with accomplished tour leader, photographer, and honorary citizen of Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland, Ron Rosenstock and Anne Corso, Executive Director of SVAC.
  • Unique visits to local artists, painters, printmakers, photographers, and traditional art and craft studios.
  • Beginners to professionals are welcome to join this distinctive experience with like-minded Southern Vermont Arts Center members.
  • Experience the quiet side of Ireland and enjoy traditional Irish music.
  • Tour limited to 12 passengers.
  • Accommodations include rooms overlooking the Quay (harbor) of Westport, with spa and pool facilities available.
  • Experience western Ireland while spending the majority of your evenings in one accommodation.
  • Relaxed & flexible itinerary to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.





May 7-16, 2023


9 days


per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 9 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-8 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 $445.

Tour Overview

The West Coast of the Emerald Isle has captured the heart and mind of many a traveler over the centuries. It has particularly inspired many an artist. Now it’s your turn. Join a small group to explore and experience this visually and culturally rich land .

The trip at a glance

  • Dates: May 7-16, 2023. Nine days in the region of Westport, County Mayo, led by Ron Rosenstock, a SVAC member, award-winning photographer, and accomplished tour leader who was even named an honorary...

The West Coast of the Emerald Isle has captured the heart and mind of many a traveler over the centuries. It has particularly inspired many an artist. Now it’s your turn. Join a small group to explore and experience this visually and culturally rich land .

The trip at a glance

  • Dates: May 7-16, 2023. Nine days in the region of Westport, County Mayo, led by Ron Rosenstock, a SVAC member, award-winning photographer, and accomplished tour leader who was even named an honorary citizen of Westport.
  • Anne Corso, Executive Director at SVAC is proud to co-lead the program with Ron.
  • Group size: Tour limited to 12 participants; open to SVAC members and a companion.
  • $3,495 per person, exclusive of round-trip airfare.
  • Itinerary: Relaxed pace with unique visits to local artists’ studios, museums, galleries as well as historic sites and rugged landscapes that you can sketch and photograph. Daily explorations should appeal equally to artists and non-artists alike.
  • Accommodations: Venture throughout the region from the convenience of a single hotel as your base. Rooms at the Westport Coast Hotel offer a great view of the quay (harbor) and the hotel boasts its own spa and pool and a first-class dining room. Spend evenings exploring entertainment options in town, including pubs featuring traditional Irish music. Breakfast is provided each day along with other meals as noted in the itinerary.

What makes this trip unique?

  1. This trip has been customized for SVAC members to highlight the arts community in this region of Ireland. Meet local artists in their studios. See for yourself the landscapes that inspire them—from vantage points only locals would know.
  2. Rather than adhere to a set, fast-paced itinerary, this trip will be more relaxed and opportunistic. While there are plenty of can’t-be-missed sites to visit during the course of the tour, the daily itinerary will be crafted based on the weather and local events.
  3. A smaller number of participants (12 max.) means you can travel in a smaller van which can access locations not navigable by a conventional tour bus.
  4. This is an opportunity to travel exclusively with your friends within SVAC, to deepen your relationships and to share common sights that you can sketch or photograph and use to inspire artistic creations back home.
  5. No other tour operator knows this geographic area quite like Ron. He has been leading tours here for decades. He knows local artists personally—as well as the best locations to visit and the best times to see them. Even non-artist companions will find their days amply filled with things to see and do.

About Ron Rosenstock

Since the mid-1970s, Ron has led hundreds of tours to many exotic destinations worldwide, including Morocco, Bhutan, Japan, Italy, and Greenland. While he has catered principally to photographers, he is customizing tours for the Southern Vermont Arts Center to appeal to a broader range of artists. That said, he believes that all artists can improve their artistic vision by taking better photographs.

Ron taught photography at Clark University for 30 years while maintaining his tour business. He has published six books—based on his black and white work, color, and infrared photography. His work is featured regularly at SVAC as well as other exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum, and the International Center of Photography in New York City. Check out his work for yourself at

About Anne Corso

Anne Corso has served as Executive Director of the Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) since January of 2019. The arts have been Anne’s profession for two decades. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Museum Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Anne participated in the nationally known Getty Leadership Institute’s Executive Education program for museum leaders. She was also honored as a Woman of Distinction in the arts category from the YWCA of Hampton Roads in 2017 for her commitment to community engagement. In Vermont, Anne serves as president of the board of the Manchester Business Association and participates in the Vermont Curators Group. At SVAC, she has curated Out of the Vault: Selections from the Permanent Collection, The Women of SVAC, and both the More Than Meets the Eye, and the Women Take Wilson exhibition series.

Prior to her tenure at SVAC, Anne held positions at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, the Reading Public Museum in Pennsylvania and at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington.

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock


Nice course, nice class today! It’s such a pleasure seeing your work…. and learning more about the “vision” you put into creating individual photographs. You’re as much a master of coaxing from software what you want the final print to be, as Ansel was in his physical darkroom work. And your images are every bit as striking as his. Maybe even more so. As I said, I learned a lot. And I think you for that. – Nick

— N. Miles
Our trip was a wonderful experience. Your planning which gave a savory taste of so much of what Ireland offers will be a memory I will always cherish. Thank you for the special stops that you did just because of my requests. I’ve already learned to play “Twinkle, Twinkle” on the tin whistle. Thank you for the high crosses and the dolmen. They were my favorites though there were many more…the areas of the potato famine were very moving.
— R. Smith

Hi Jacque, We wanted to say how much we enjoyed the tour with Ron. He was so organized and knew just where to go  despite the weather and all the other issues he was dealing with during the worldwide health crisis. And the organizational credit also goes to you!  We send you a huge thank you. We knew that you and Ron were working together trying to insure that we had plane reservations for home and hotels during our stay, etc. The woman behind the ‘curtain’…. we knew that you were doing your best to make everything happen. So a huge thank you to you as well.

Hope you stay healthy and we all keep our sound minds during this ‘strange’ time… as the Irish keep saying!


— J & S Morrell

Fantastic, simply fantastic. Having a knowledgeable tour guide that knew the best places to photograph and eat along with a driver that seamlessly navigated the irish roads are the primary reasons for taking this type of tour. Ron, however, went beyond this; he was able to include a lot of Irish history, culture and spirituality along with his unique presentations on the art of photography. Would like to do another tour with Ron.

— J Hopewell

It was great to travel with Ron, whose work I’ve long admired, and who knows the area, its people, and is so flexible with the itinerary. Aside from being inspired by his photographs, discussions, and the beautiful and interesting places he led us to, it was a wonderful to meet his local friends and even to be welcomed by some to their homes.

— S Skoloff

In my humble opinion this was a well run trip that delivered just what it promised.  The pacing worked perfectly for me.  I liked stopping at lots of different locales.  We seldom stayed anywhere that was too short or too long for me.  Can’t think of anything that would have improved the trip for me. I give the trip and Ron Rosenstock a 10 out of 10.

— E. Clark

The tour leader, Ron Rosenstock, set the tone immediately with his calm, confident, caring cordial and altogether welcoming engagement with each participant. I loved the freedom to explore what I wanted to photograph insead of being told how to shoot. That said, when I asked for some feedback it was candid and helpful and made a lot of difference to how I approached what I shot thereafter….. and the thereafter shots were a great deal better!!!

— M. McKiel

Ron was a gracious host and wonderful tour leader.  He made sure every one of us was comfortable and that we had the best opportunities for photographing.  His itinerary was diverse, interesting, and fun.  I loved his stories!  Jacque was amazing about the details.  The food was delicious.  The tour days were exciting and interesting.

— K.Gagne

The highlght of my trip was the end of the day.  Staying in the house and being waited on, discussions at night and info sharing.  Of COURSE the Irish countryside was great, but every Irish tour would  have this.  Ron is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I feel privileged to have taken this photo tour with him as the leader.  He has so much information to share and practical advice, plus good stories and humor.   I am lucky to have made his aquaintance.  

— M.Coughlan

Ron was a gracious host and wonderful tour leader.  He made sure every one of us was comfortable and that we had the best opportunities for photographing.  His itinerary was diverse, interesting and fun.  I loved his stories!  Jacque was amazing about the details.  The food was delicious.  The tour days were exciting and interesting.

— K.Gagne

Ron was very helpful in all areas of the trip. I enjoyed his ‘tutorials’ each evening, especially the one where he took us through the editing process by showing us his before and after shots. He was also helpful when we were out shooting if we had any questions. He didn’t speak above our heads but shared information in a clear way – the mark of a good teacher! He wa enthusiastic and fun to be with, which set the tone for a great trip.

— J. Procell

This trip exceeded expectations by far! This was the result of your continuing concerns and interest in presenting to us so many aspects and views of Ireland.

— J. Bromley

Ron was a perfect trip leader. He dealt with all personalities of the group in a tactful manner. He made decisions based on what was best for all. He’s got a special talent.

— J. & B. Cummings

Ron, you provided ample opportunities to capture the essence of the landscape. However, I cherish most your times of sharing on creating your images, and the suggestions and comments you gave me regarding my own photographs. I am often recalling something you said or an image comes to mind as I contemplate some scene. I expect to see long-term results from my time with you.

— D. Lusk

Thank you for a fabulous trip! It was a blast and I actually learned some things too. I have made some progress on my Photoshop Elements skills, and am now able to selectively dodge and burn. Whoo-hoo! My next goal is to figure out how to work with layers.

— D. Broxterman

Ron, thank you especially for helping me see the beauty of clouds, of reflections of reeds in water, of silvery halos illuminating foxgloves in the forest, and of sunshine-patterned abbey windows on wet gravestones. Thanks to you, I leave with a new appreciation for the wonder and beauty of the world.

— J. Mitchell

Loved the boundless enthusiasm for all things Irish! His good humor and knowledge of the people, history, folklore, cuisine, and landscape of Mayo made the trip great. Loved going to pub sessions, too! He was very patient with all of us and I enjoyed the way he would point out his favorite spots to photograph.

— G. Alexander

Ron is my idea of the quintessential photo tour guide. He was happy to share his professional experience, knowledge and tricks of the trade with us. His love of Ireland, its people, history, architecture, and landscape came to life for us through Ron’s sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always interesting stories.

— S. Cocanour

Excellent presentation. I can’t think of any suggestions. Really enjoyed the variety of photos shown, plus the presentation and instructor’s knowledge. Very informative and fun to hear info and learning the material. I’m motivated to take better photos!

— Julie M.

Ron really was dedicated, and worked diligently to accomplish showing us the Ireland that he loves. Ron also has a wonderful personality for a tour leader: open, and humerous!

— J Bromley

We enjoyed all the history and stories of the areas we were visiting. ron is very knowledgeable, it was GREAT!!

— B & M Stewart

Ron’s attention to detail had a direct impact on the participants’ experience. He was always available to answer technical questions when asked.

— L Poirier

Your talk on photography and the spirituality of photography was a great revelation for me as I have always felt this way about it myself. Your talk was the affirmation I had been searching for. It was great beyond words to be participating with a group of Artists who were as passionate as I about photography and image making.

— M. McLaughlin

It is a photographers paradise-so much to shoot and in the most incredible light. But what makes Ron’s trip special is RON. Ron takes care of his people. Even the most timid, first time traveler is included, drawn out, mentored and educated. I truly look forward to exploring elsewhere under such positive circumstances.

— B. Bartel

Tour Itinerary

May 7: Home

Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S. to Shannon Airport in western Ireland. In past tours, some people choose to arrive a day earlier and stay close to the airport. Hotel options will be sent in your first packet of reading materials. 

May 8: Shannon

The tour group will assemble at the airport for a three-hour van ride north to Westport on the shores of Clew Bay. Depending on the arrival time and weather, you may see the sunset over Clew Bay. Overnight Westport (Dinner)

May 9-14: Westport County Mayo

The specific itinerary of each day will be set by Ron based on weather and local events. Among the likely destinations: Overnights Westport (all Breakfast, three Dinners)

  • Ballintubber Abbey, one of the oldest Abbeys in Ireland, dates back to the 12th Century and is named for the natural spring nearby where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts. Nearby is historic, vine-covered Castle Bourke on the shores of Lough Carra.
  • Westport and the village of Newport both capture the flavor of traditional Irish towns with their tree-lined canals, stone bridges, and colorful shops.
  • Historic Murrisk Abbey lies at the foot of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick.
  • Remote Barnabawn Point on the ocean features both a mile-long sandy beach with ruined cottages as well as a rocky shoreline.
  • The picturesque village of Cong was the set for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s film, The Quiet Man. Other nearby sights include Ashford Castle, Cong Abbey, the forest and riverwalk. This excursion typically is paired with Lough Corrib, where sheep graze peacefully on the rolling hills, laced by stone walls, which descend to a lake.
  • Taking Atlantic Drive north along the ocean, see Achill Island with its rocky shores, heather, and cliffs. Wind up at the remnants of Keel, a village abandoned during the potato famine.
  • Start a day at Burrishoole Abbey, beautifully situated on an inlet of Clew Bay, then take in Carrigahowley Castle, one of the many strongholds of Grace O’Malley, the adventurous 16th Century pirate queen.
May 15: Westport to Shannon

Leave Westport early, driving south to County Clare, where you will spend the evening close to Shannon Airport. Explore County Galway near the town of Gort. You may visit Thoor Ballylee, the 16th Century Norman tower and cottage that was home to poet William Butler Yeats. The Irish Literary Revival began nearby at Coole Park with its beautiful lake and forest walks. Your driver will take you to the Radisson Shannon Hotel. Overnight Shannon (B)

May 16: Shannon to Home

After breakfast, cross the parking lot to the airport terminal. Airport luggage carts are available just outside the hotel lobby door. (B)