Archaeological tour of Ireland with an archaeologist

Join Irish Archaeologist Michael Gibbons exploring the ancient sites of Inis Mór and the Dingle Peninsula

August 8-15, 2016

Discover the archaeology and rugged natural beauty of the Aran Islands and the Dingle Peninsula with archaeologist Michael Gibbons as your guide.  Explore fascinating prehistoric and early Christian archaeological sites steeped in myth and lore. Trace Ireland’s transition from paganism to Christianity, and traditions rooted in ancient times that continue still today. Most of our touring with Michael will be on foot, which in many cases is the only way to reach the sites we’ll be visiting. You’ll not only learn about Ireland’s archaeology, but you’ll also discover Ireland’s gourmet nouvelle cuisine, learn about some of Ireland’s literary figures, and of course there will be time for visiting pubs and enjoying traditional music. This is an active trip involving walking and is limited to 12 participants. Group size is limted to approximately 12 participants The tour begins and ends at Ireland’s Shannon Aiport (SNN).

Price: $3249.00 per person double occupancy / Single Supplement: $535

Female Room Share Available-Solo travelers save on single supplement

To reserve you space email: or call 207.236.0110 See tour itinerary below.

Day 1: (Galway)
Transfer by minibus form Shannon Airport (SNN) to the city of Galway. After checking in at our 4-star hotel at Eyre Square in the city center, you’ll have time to relax before our afternoon walking tour of the medieval city center with our local guide.  Learn about the 14 tribes of Galway and of the city’s history.  We’ll visit the famous Browne Door at Eyre Square, St Nicholas’ Church, the “Spanish Arch,” the Lynch Castle, and the infamous Lynch Memorial Window. After which we’ll have a welcome dinner at one of Galway’s finest restaurants.

(D) Day 2: (Inis Mór)
Transfer from Galway to Ros a Milh (Rossaveal) from where we will travel by ferry to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. Our B&B with its own 12th century stone church and stunning Celtic cross, inscribed onto a 2000-year-old standing stone on the grounds, is within a short walk to the Aran’s most spectacular site, Dun Aonghasa. With archaeologist Michael Gibbons we will walk Aran east and west over two exhilarating days exploring Dun Aonghasa, one of Europe’s most impressive cliff edge forts. Built over 3000 years ago, its function is unknown, perhaps an ancient temple or a reat Celtic fort. From Dun Aonghasa we’ll walk along the scenic cliffs along the edge of the Atlantic to “Pól na bPeist,” one of nature’s wonders, a naturally formed wormhole.   We’ll stop to purchase lunch at a local pub. Then we pass through a myriad of tiny walled orchid-rich fields on the way to Gort na gCapall, a traditional fishing village and home of one of Ireland’s famous writers, Liam O’Flaherty. Return by minibus to our B&B in time to enjoy a hearty family-style Irish dinner. (B, D)

Day 3: (Inis Mór)
Today Michael will take us along the eastern shores of Killeany, a rarely visited part of the island. You’ll see extraordinary landscapes and ancient monuments, and among the highlights, a recently discovered ancient harbor located near a 17th century Cromwellian fort. This lost landscape of ancient stonewalls and houses is partially covered by the sea and sand. We will also visit Teampall Bheanain, a stunning 10th century church overlooking the entire island. Finally, we will visit “the Black Fort” a fortified village on a walled headland, bounded by beautiful cliffs. Transfer back to our B&B. (B, L)

Day 4: (Doolin)
Travel by ferry/minibus to the village of Doolin. Those wishing to hike to the Cliffs of Mohr along the newly opened coastal trail will have an opportunity to do so. In the evening enjoy a delicious dinner at our guesthouse. Optional – visit to a local pub for traditional Irish music. (B, L, D)

Day 5: (Dingle)
We’ll continue south crossing the River Shannon from Killimer, in Co. Clare to Tarbert in Co. Kerry to the Dingle Peninsula. We will stay in the medieval town of Dingle, a vibrant small town with great traditional Irish music, food and drink. Our hotel in in the heart of the town and is known for its old world charm.  Enjoy a group dinner at one of Dingle’s excellent restaurants. (B, D)

Day 6: (Dingle)
In the morning we’ll explore beautiful hiking trails dotted with ancient sites and breathtaking vistas. Stop for lunch before an afternoon fieldtrip to see some of the areas famous monastic sites. Visit Gallarus Oratory, Ireland’s best-preserved early Christian church, and Kilmalkeder, founded in the 7th century by St. Maolcethair. The latter is famed for its Ogham stone sundial and a 12th century Romanesque church. (B)

Day 7: (Dingle)
Visit the remote and wildly beautiful Blasket Island. To reach the island we’ll take a two-mile boat trip starting at Dun Quin, a beautiful departure point on the western tip of the peninsula. The island is now largely abandoned and we will hike through its large deserted village before climbing up ancient donkey trails to the 5km-long summit ridge (1100 feet), which is crowned by a number of ancient forts. In the 1920s and 1930s, the island was home to a unique group of island writers, who between them published almost 20 books, the most famous of these writers being Peig Sayers. Evening farewell dinner at one of Dingle’s best restaurants. (B, D)

Day 8: Back to Shannon Airport
After breakfast at our hotel, transfer to Shannon Airport (SNN) in time for 11:30 am flights home. (B)


This unique tour of Ireland exploring the archaeology of the Aran Islands and the Dingle Peninsula with Irish archaeologist Michael Gibbons is limited to 12 participants. To reach many of the fascinating sites to be visited, walking is required. The difficulty of the walks ranges from moderate to strenuous. All tour participants must be able to hike up and down hills on uneven terrain. Walks will range from 1-4 hours. Thus the tour requires a degree of physical fitness.

This tour is NOT appropriate for those with limited mobility or anyone with hip, knee, leg or foot problems. Although the focus of the tour will be archaeology, we will also explore Irish culture, cuisine (Ireland’s best kept secret), literature, and more.

August is one of the warmest months in Ireland. The average high temperature is about 66 F with an average low of 53 F. Daytime temperatures can get into the 70s; evenings can be cool. Average rainfall is 3-4 inches/month.

To ensure you a hassle-free vacation, the tour will be escorted by Erja Lipponen, owner and founder of Eurynome Journeys, LLC. Erja and Michael have worked together for ten years. We highly recommend that you take out travel insurance for the full tour amount.

Archaeological finds on the western coast of Ireland

Exploring the coast of Ireland


Michael Gibbons is one of Ireland’s leading field archaeologists with a degree from University College Galway in History and Archaeology. He is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland with thirty years of experience as an archaeologist and completed a 5 year term on the Archaeology Committee of the Heritage Council. Michael has worked with the Department of Antiquities in Jerusalem and for the Museum of London City Excavation Program. In Ireland, he worked on the Donegal Archaeological Survey and Galway Archaeological Survey before being appointed as co-director of the National Sites and Monuments Record, Office of Public Works for a period of ten years. He has directed surveys and excavations on Croagh Patrick and has mapped the uplands and islands of the Connacht Coast. He is currently serving a term with Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann – The Folklore of Ireland Council. Michael is a member of the Nautical Archaeology Society and his current research interests include the archaeology of Irish uplands and islands, in particular the maritime pilgrimage tradition. He has carried out detailed research on some of the most important of these including Skellig Michael World Heritage Site, St MacDara’s Island and Caher Island. Michael is a brilliant lecturer/guide who has worked with leading tour companies and has guided an archaeological field trip on Eurynome Journeys/WanderWoman®’s annual In Search of Grace O’Malley tour for the past 10 years.  


The group will meet at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport (SNN), from where we transfer to our hotel in Galway city. Although international airfare to Shannon is NOT included, we will gladly help with making your flight arrangements. Also we are available to assist you with any pre-or post-tour arrangements in Ireland and beyond. The tour concludes at Shannon International Airport on August 15th.


ALL tours will be lead by archaeologist Michael Gibbons, with the exception of the walking tour of medieval Galway city, which will be guided by a local expert. The price includes privately guided tours of the archaeological sites as per the itienrary and any admissions fees to these sites.


The accommodation in Galway city is at a centrally located  4-star property within walking distance to the sites of the medieval section of the city and its numerous restaurants and shops. On Inis Mor we will stay at a family-run, traditional Irish B-n-B within a short walk to Dun Aonghasa archaeological site. On the mainland near Doolin enjoy the night at an award-winning guest house.  And finally in the heart of Dingle our hotel is a smaller Irish-style property known for its old world charm.  All rooms have a private bathroom.  The two hotels have direct dial telephones and TVs. Most of the properties are within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and points of interest. All have WiFi.

PRICE: $3249.oo  for reservations received not later than May 15th

Price is PER PERSON based on double occupancy. Single supplement for private room: $535

Price includes: 7 nights accommodations in Ireland; domestic transportation within Ireland as per the itinerary including ferry, air conditioned coach, taxis, etc. Also included are hearty Irish-style meals as noted above (drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included, other than water and breakfast beverages, unless specified above).


To reserve your space, call or email Eurynome Journeys for an application form and terms and conditions. We will hold your space for up to two weeks at which time a $700 deposit per person is due. Add $100 to deposit for pre or post-tour options. Within 95 days of departure, payment in full is due. Travel insurance should be purchased within 14 days of your first payment.

Click here for a free travel insurance quote from Travel Guard Insurance. This is an active vacation and involves walking, hiking, and climbing stairs and thus requires a certain degree of physical fitness. This tour is NOT sitable for those with limited mobility. All group activities are NON-SMOKING.


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