Backpacking Ireland's Coast - Alumni

Credit: Rich Brame

Backpacking Ireland's Coast - Alumni

Join a group of NOLS grads and instructors for a week of spectacular walking along Ireland's stunning west coast as we trek between small hotels and B&B's during the Emerald Isle's late summer.

Connecting our string of inns gives us the chance to savor Irish cuisine and culture while mixing with other, mostly European travelers, in a comfortable setting. Sleeping and dining in Irish Inns allows us to considerably lighten our packs for our daily hikes (average move is ~5 miles) along the green valleys, rocky peaks and wild coast of this romantic area.

The trip starts and ends in the quaint city of Ennis where traditional Irish music is everywhere. Participants can fly in and out of Shannon, or Dublin. Consider staying extra days on either end of the trip to explore the sights of Ireland.

As a group from Ennis, we will take a series of trains, busses, shuttles and ferries as we connect our hiking segments.

The trip spends 5-nights in the "field" at inns, and 6-days hiking as well as a hotel night on either end in historic Ennis. Unlike a standard NOLS expedition, we won't carry cook gear, or heavy rations—even pads and sleeping bags are not needed at the inns—but we'll do "real" trail walking up and down varied terrain with our light packs.

This trip will re-acquaint you with NOLS skills in a convivial, relaxing and visually stunning location. Instruction is geared to your interests, with optional walk-up peaks, Gaelic "word(s) of the day," time for journal-writing, experiencing traditional Irish music and dance, photography, and more. Of course, non-alumni adult friends and family members are also invited— this is a great way to introduce NOLS to your sidekicks.

Activity Rating*:

*Enjoy variable hikes, light packs, and upscale inns along the Emerald Isle’s coast.



2020 Dates

July 11 – July 17, 2020

Tuition: $2,395
Details: Includes pre and post-trip lodging in Ennis!

July 18 – July 24, 2020

Tuition: $2,395
Details: Includes pre and post-trip lodging in Ennis!


All course information at a glance




7 days

Minimum Age

18 yrs.


July 11, 2020 - Course Description, Logistics, and Gear List

July 18, 2020 - Course Description, Logistics, and Gear List


Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

Fly in/out

Shannon Airport (code: SNN)

Walking Ireland's Coast Media


If you have questions about enrollment or including families/guests on a particular alumni trip, then contact:

NOLS Alumni Department

Other Alumni Courses

What Our Grads Say

"The NOLS Alumni trip to Ireland was the perfect way to experience Ireland’s beautiful scenery and stunning landscapes. I loved staying in B&Bs in the small towns and really experiencing the local culture. The food was great and the locals were welcoming and eager to share their region’s history. Everyone in the group was very friendly and easy-going. Getting to know everyone and forming friendships truly enriched the experience for me."