POETRY, MYTH & MUSIC FOR THE SOUL
A Week in the West of Ireland
June 29 - July 6, 2024
Applications for the 2024 Ireland walking tour will open in November or December of 2023. To be notified, sign up for David Whyte's email list at the bottom of this page.
David’s tour in the west of Ireland is a celebration of Ireland’s Celtic culture, both traditional and emerging, set on Galway Bay in County Clare. The tour offers an intimate experience of Ireland from the inside out, with morning poetry sessions setting the stage for afternoon walking pilgrimages. You will have the opportunity to hear world-class musicians and experience why County Clare is renowned for carrying the soul of traditional Irish music. David will introduce people not only to the place and culture, but also to some of his closest friends - people deeply connected to the landscape, firmly occupying their unique place in the world.
THE PARTICIPANTS. An eclectic, often an international group of 35 fellow adventurers interested in both the poetry talks and the Celtic culture of Ireland. Almost everyone has previous experience with at least one of David’s talks or has followed his work on audio recordings.
ACCOMMODATION. Our lodgings are rustic, traditional cottages located throughout the village of Ballyvaughan, on the shores of Galway Bay. Each cottage holds four or five people with a living room and peat fire, and includes a kitchen, one or two bathrooms with both bathtub and shower, and laundry facilities. David’s morning talks occur in the staff cottage. Rooms are shared with one other person, with a limited number of single rooms available for a supplement of $600. Please note that we are not able to guarantee en suite bathrooms. Even with a single supplement, you may still be sharing a bathroom.
THE WALKING AND HIKING. Most of our walks are through the limestone, wildflowers, and grasses of the Burren. Walking this landscape requires a high degree of attention and sure-footedness due to rocky, uneven ground and deep fissures in the stone that can turn an ankle in an instant. Several of the walks last four or more hours in duration. While they are not strenuous in the traditional sense of steep and continuous elevation gain, we find that for some, the physical balance and stamina required in sustained walking over this rough terrain can be too difficult, especially if you have any challenges with balance or limitations of mobility with knees or hips. Before applying for the tour, we ask that you be as realistic as possible in assessing your abilities in this regard.
A WORD ABOUT MEALS AND DIETARY RESTRICTIONS. All breakfasts, together with either lunch or dinner, are provided. You will be responsible for either lunch or dinner each day. Budget 10-15 euros for lunch and 20-25 for dinner. Meals will be buffet feasts or generous packed lunches, depending on our walks or travels on a particular day. There will always be a hearty vegetarian option, as well as fruit and vegetables. We do our best to cover all bases, however, if you are gluten free, vegan, or have other food intolerances, there is a market in Ballyvaughan where you can purchase things to fill in the occasional gap.
AMENITIES. There is no wifi in the cottages. It is somewhat nomadically available at establishments in Ballyvaughan. There is a good signal for cellular services.
ARRIVAL. Please time your flights to arrive at Shannon Airport in the west of Ireland by two o’clock pm on Saturday, May 6th, 2023. If you are arriving in Ireland before the 6th of May, you will arrange with Angela to either meet the group at Shannon airport or make your own way to Ballyvaughan.
DEPARTURE. The minibuses will depart Ballyvaughan for Shannon Airport on the morning of May 13th. Please schedule your departing flight no earlier than 8:30am, as the first minibus will arrive at Shannon Airport at 6:30am. If you need to depart earlier, please let us know, as this will require a taxi at an additional charge. We apologize that we are unable to transport people in the afternoon.
PASSPORT. Each participant needs a passport valid for six months beyond your departure date.
COST. Total cost for the tour is $4500. If you request a single room, there is an additional charge of $600, bringing the total to $5100.
WHAT THE TRIP PRICE INCLUDES. David’s services as seminar leader and guide. All accommodations for the nights of May 6th through May 12th, inclusive. All breakfasts and either lunch or dinner each day. All transport in-country during the trip (with the possible exception of additional taxi fare if your flight is scheduled outside the time parameters), pick up from Shannon Airport on May 6th and return to Shannon airport the morning of May 13th. NOT INCLUDED: Airfare. Lunch or dinner each day, depending upon the day’s activities.
APPLICATION PROCESS AND PAYMENT. We do not accept participants on a first come, first served basis. Instead, we collect applications through January 15th, 2023, and notify you of the status of your application on January 31st, 2023. If you are accepted on the trip, the first payment of $2200 is due January 31st in order to secure your place. If you apply after January 15th, 2023, we will notify you of the status of your application within 30 days. The second and final payment of $2300 ($2900 if you have elected to have a single room and its availability has been confirmed) is due March 6th, 2023. Please note, we only accept payment via credit card.
CANCELLATION POLICY. If, after acceptance, you need to withdraw your application prior to April 6th, Many Rivers will retain $500 of your deposit. If you withdraw after April 6th, Many Rivers will issue you a refund, minus $500, only if we are able to fill your spot. If Many Rivers cancels the tour at any point, all accepted applicants will receive a full refund.
CURRENCY AND SPENDING MONEY. You are advised to bring at least $40 per day for a meal, drinks, etc. - more if you wish to buy local crafts and woolens, or if your appetites extend to the gourmet. The currency in Ireland is the euro. There is no ATM in Ballyvaughan, so it is best to withdraw money at Shannon Airport. Credit cards are accepted in most places.
WE STRONGLY ADVISE THAT YOU COVER YOURSELF FOR BAGGAGE, ACCIDENT AND TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE.