Connemara Trail & Coast Trail

The Connemara and Coast Trails are week long Inn to Inn rides taking you through quaint villages and across the mountains and beaches of Connemara, County Galway. From high in the mountains you will experience the wild and untamed beauty that is Connemara. Oh yes, some lovely gallops along the unspoilt beaches. Along the way a leisurely picnic lunch is provided among stone and castle ruins. At day's end you will be taken to your night's luxurious accommodation where you can share the day's experience over a delicious meal, or perhaps over a nightcap in the pub.

Your host, Willie Leahy, has an incredible knack for perfectly matching horse & rider, and provides horses to suit novice to advanced riders. Your horse companion for the week's ride will be a trusty Connemara or horse. The average day is 4 to 6 hours of riding. You should be comfortable at the posting trot as well as comfortable cantering in controlled situations. You will also have an opportunity to do a bit of jumping over some Irish stone walls, however the jumping is limited and is optional. Western saddles can be provided, however please keep in mind these horses are not Western trained.

The meeting place for the Trail is the Great Southern Hotel, Eyre Square in Galway City, Co. Galway. Galway is a charming city bustling with activity with plenty of shopping, restaurants, discos and pubs, or enjoy a ferry ride to the Aran Islands and tour the island by pony trap or bicycle.

All rides begin on Monday and include 6 days of riding, 6 nights of your choice of Hotel or B&B Accommodations through Saturday nights. All meals are included through to Sunday breakfast. As these are Inn to Inn rides, your luggage will be transferred by car to your Hotel or B&B. For NONRIDERS golf, fishing, and hiking may be arranged in advanced.

The hotels are 3 and 4 Star Country Hotels and Inns. They are quite charming with private baths, tea & coffee making services, and excellent food. The B&B Accommodations tend to be in newer houses, most with private baths, however, there is no guarantee. All prices are based on 2 persons sharing. When booking please advise Double, Twin, or Single. Singles are not always available

RIDERS MUST WEAR A PROPERLY SECURED HARD HAT WHILE MOUNTED. This is an insurance requirement for THE CONNEMARA TRAIL & AILLE CROSS EQUESTRIAN CENTRE. It is adviseable to bring your own hard hat.

Getting There: Shannon Airport is the closest major airport to Galway City, about an hour drive and transportation to Galway is available by bus, taxi, or rental car. From Dublin you can easily reach Galway by train, bus, or you can fly direct to Galway Airport.

For More Information:

Connemara Trail & Coast Trail - 2016 Dates & Prices

Hotel Accommodation:

1,575 EURO May/June/September
1,625 EURO July/August
Single Supplement 200 Euro

Non-Riders 40% less

Bed & Breakfast Accomodation:

1,435 EURO May/June/September
1,485 EURO July/August
Single Supplement 150 Euros

Non-Riders 40% less

2015 Dates

Connemara Trail

April 25th -30th

May 9th - 14th & May 23rd - 28th

June 6th - 11th & June 20th - 25th

July 4th - 9th & July 18th - 23rd

August 1st- 6th,  August 15th - 20th & August 29th - Sept 3rd

Sept. 12th - 17th & Sept. 26th - Oct 1st

Please note: Dates are from Monday to Saturday. Accomodations are included Saturday night with Sunday being the departure day after breakfast.

Coast Trail


May 2nd - 7th - 16th - 21st & May 30th - June 4th

June 13th - 18th & June 27th - July 2nd   

July 11th - 16th &  July 25th - 30th

August 8th - 13th & August 22nd- 27th

September 5th - 10th &  September 19th - 24th



Booking & Payment

An $800.00 non-refundable deposit (per person) is required in order to confirm a booking. The balance of payment is due ten (10) weeks prior to beginning of trip. Payment for balances are due upon receipt of invoice. If the bance due is not received within 10 days, the payment will be recalculated based on current exchange rates. Payments received less than 4 weeks prior to start of trip are subject to a $100 late fee. Please note: Prices are quoted in Euros and therefore subject to change based on fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. In Please make payment payable to: FOREST LUCK EQUESTRIAN.


Date Change: $100 per person. Deposits are not refundable. We will refund the balance of the payment (excluding deposit) if notice is given 60 days or more before the trip begins. Please notify Forest Luck Equestrian in writing. No refund will be given for cancellations 60 days or under. Please note some rides allow rebooking within 12 months of cancellation.


Forest Luck Equestrian is acting solely as a marketing representative for equestrian facilities and makes arrangements on behalf of these facilities. We have no liability other than to reserve your trip. Forest Luck Equestrian is not liable for actions of carriers, hotels, injury, or loss of property for any reason whatsoever. We are specifically not responsible for accident or injury caused by horses, aircraft, automobiles, riding facilities, contractors. Clients will be provided with a liability release form to sign & return with final payment.


Please check with your health insurance carrier as you may want to purchase additional coverage.

Please Note: The Trail reserves the right to change or alter the itinerary without prior notice.

Connemara Trail - Itinerary


1st Day A Trip Back in Time... Meet at Noon at the Meyrick Hotel (formerly the Great Southern), Eyre Square, in Galway, and drive to Cloonabinnia starting point (20 minute drive). The ride will take us through unusual rock formations similar to those found in the burren in County Clare. At the end of the day we enjoy a lovely stop for tea on the grounds of 13th Century Aughnanure Castle, then ride the last 2 miles to the horses nights pasture and return to the hotel in Oughterard.

For non-riders: sight-seeing in Galway & meet everyone for the evening at the hotel in Oughterard.


Up in the Mountains.....Start around 12:00 for the impressive ride to Maam Cross. It will take about 6 hours over mountains & bogs. In the evening we will come upon the old abandoned Galway-Clifden Railway for a lovely canter. An open air picnic will be provided as it will be for the rest of the week. The horses will stay the night in a field by the lake at Maam Cross while we drive back for our last night in Oughterard.

For non-riders: Golf in Oughterard Willis' park 18 hole golf course, fishing on Lough Corrib. Oughterard is famous for its craft shops & V'soske carpet factory.


In the Middle of Connemara.. Start around 11:30 for a beautiful ride from Maam Cross to Ballynafad, a few miles from Ballynahinch. We'll enjoy a long canter along the railway and then start up the mountains. Lunch on a small village green before tackling the mountains. Late in the afternoon we'll stop for a refreshing cup of tea before the last canter of the day. We will leave the horses grazing in Ballynafad and drive to Clifden for the night. For non riders: Golf, fishing and hiking, or visit the cottage made famous from the movie 'The Quiet Man' starring John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara.


Forest Canters & Castle Pub... Our ride offers a beautiful variety of scenery and some nice long canters. it will take us to Ballyconneely, on the sea south of Clifden. On the way we will stop for a drink in the Ballynahinch Castle, built in the 15th Century and the ancestral home of the Martyn Family. Lunch by a small cottage on the railway. The horses will graze in a field for the evening. We will drive back to Clifden for the night. For non riders: Ballynahinch Castle and its famous salmon fishing (by special arrangement), cycling, or hiking.


Unforgettable Beach Rides....A full day on the fantastic Mannin Beach. Cantering, optional jumping of some stone walls and sandy banks, and swimming with the horses in the sea. This is truly a most enjoyable day and we would like for everyone, riders and non-riders, to spend the day together on the beach.


A Leprechaun Sighting??...We ride along the coast and over the mountains overlooking the sea to the fields where the horses will be spending the weekend. We will drive back to Galway for our last night where we enjoy our last meal and share the weeks experiences. Customers who have booked two weeks have the choice of staying in Clifden or Galway. For non-riders: deep sea fishing, tennis, golf, shopping in Clifden for its famous tweeds.

Please Note: The Connemara Trail reserves the right to change any detail without prior notice.

The Coast Trail - Itinerary


1st Day, Famine Village Ruins...Meet at 11:00am at the Meyrick Hotel (formerly the Great Southern Hotel), Eyre Square, in Galway, and drive to Ballynahinch near Clifden (approx. 1 hour). We will enjoy a picnic lunch before starting off on our ride to Shannadonnell. We'll ride across the mountains towards the beautiful bay of Cashel, where we'll stop for a drink at Bolger's Pub, after which we ride to the Hidden Ridge homestead deep in the mountains. We turn the horses out to graze for the night and drive to the village of Cashel where we stay for the night.

For non-riders: Fishing (by special arrangement) or hiking.


Willie's Mountains...In the morning we will enjoy a ride to Carna, mostly over a mountain range. The scenery is magnificent and has to be seen to be believed! We will have lunch at the beach house in Carna. In the afternoon we explore the coastline and will have several lovely canters along the beaches and commonage. We will leave the horses in a field near the beach house and drive back to Cashel for the second night.

For non-riders: Fishing, cycling, hiking, exploring Clifden.


Ride into the Sea... Today is a special day with awesome beach rides ! The day starts with a ride along the shore where you will enjoy taking a swim with your horse so be sure to pack to bathing suit ! After swimming with the horses we will have lunch at the beach house and have an afternoon ride to the beach on the other side of the island with fabulous views of the Aran Islands. Truly a most memorable day.

For non riders: We invite everyone to share the day on the beach.


Sea Crossing to Finish Island... Tide permitting we will ride on the beach again before crossing the mountains and having a picnic lunch along the way. We will the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest old Irish music and dancing which is unique to this area. At the end of the day we will reach Screebe House, an and shooting and fishing lodge of Ballynahinch Castle.

For non-riders: Cycling and fishing from Screebe House.


To the Mountain Top...From Screebe House we ride to a mountain village where we will have lunch. In the afternoon we ride to the mountain top, where we overlook the blanket bog reaching right down to the edge of the rugged coastline. In the evening we reach Shanafeistin where the horses will graze and we drive to Oughterard to spend the night.

For non-riders: Golf at Oughterard's Willis' park 18 hole golf course and fishing on Lough Corrib.


The Forest Trail...Starting a little before 11:00, we enjoy a long canter along forest roads before lunch. The beautiful Lough Corrib comes into view as we start our last ride to Cloonabinnia a few miles west of Galway. As we slowly tread back to reality we appreciate the magic of the ConnemaraÕs untamed beauty.The horses stay in Cloonabinnia for the weekend and we drive back to Galway for our last night. For customers who have booked for a second week you can spend Sunday exploring Galway and its vicinity and we will meet them again on Monday. For non-riders: Sight-seeing and shopping in Galway City.

Please Note: The Connemara Trail reserves the right to change any detail without prior notice.