15-24 June 2016
10 days
14 to 18

On the Tracks of the early Christian Celtic Monks through Ireland

Discover three of the most important sites associated with the early Irish Celtic church and feel the energy, power and silence of these holy places, to where Irish monks withdrew 1400 years ago as they followed their spiritual path.
The tour will be led by Elizabeth Zollinger, founder of the project “Celtic Spirit” on Inis Mór and participants will also be accompanied by local experts: Dara Molloy, Celtic priest and author on the Aran Islands, and award winning poet and expert on the Skelligs, Paddy Bushe. Tony Kirby, an experienced guide, reveals an unexpected side of the Burren and catholic priest Michael Rodgers introduces the history and spirit of Glendalough, where he lives and has developed a spiritual centre.

More detailed tour information is given in the Itinerary Section.




Dublin Airport (flight individually or with other participants), bus to Galway.

Meet in Galway at meeting point at 16.15


9 nights B+B sharing

All transport (excluding flights)

4 evening meals

Guided tours and other activities in accordance with program.


5 evening meals and lunches

Beverages and Tips


3 nights in Kilmurvey House, Inis Mór,

1 night in B+B in Galway,

3 nights in Butler Arms Hotel, Waterville (garden side),

2 nights in Tudor Lodge, Glendalough


Approx. CHF 1760. – (depending on rate of Euro) from Galway to Dublin airport.

Additional nights in Galway, Dublin and on Inis Mór: starting from Euro 35. (CHF38)-B+B sharing.


Double room with sea view in the Butler Arms Hotel (3 Nights):Euro 45.(CHF49)-// single rooms: Euro 280 (CHF305), with seaview in Butler Arms Hotel (3 Nights):Euro 330.(CHF359)
(As the hotels/guesthouses are small there are not many single rooms available and we would appreciate if people are willing to share.)


Contact us for details

Christianity arrived in Ireland with Saint Patrick in 432 and existed as Celtic Christianity until the invasion by the Normans in 1169. It was a fusion of Celtic and Christian spirituality. Celtic Christians differed from Roman Christians in outward appearance such as clothing and tonsure, were not urban, had little or no hierarchical structure and saw God as always present, everywhere and in everything. Respect for nature was of great importance as was respect for women. Opposed both by the Pope and the Synod of Cashel, Celtic Christianity was finally destroyed in the 1200s.

The world would most likely look different today if the Irish and not the Roman model of Christianity had survived. Our 10 day trip takes us to some of Ireland’s most powerful Celtic Christian sites where the remains of early worship structures have become part of the landscape over several centuries.

Elizabeth Zollinger, an artist from Zurich, lives part-time on Inis Mór since 1974 and is strongly connected with the island, its people and its culture. In cooperation with some Islanders she created the project “Celtic Spirit “in 1996, offering Cultural Weeks which aim to retain the culture and heritage of Inis Mór while developing and promoting a sustainable tourism on the island.

Download the full programme here >>

Additional information

DestinationInis Mór, Co. Galway, Kerry, Wicklow

Day 1: Getting There

Flight to Dublin, individually or with other participants, bus to Galway, meeting point approx. 16.15, trip to Inis Mór, evening meal in Kilmurvey House.

Day 2 : Information about the island and program

Lecture from Dara Molloy: background and philosophy of the Irish Celtic monks, walk to the Seven Churches, monastery settlement from 600 AD., where Treasa Ni Mhiolláin sings ancient Gaelic songs, then along the cliffs to the well-known prehistoric Dun Aonghasa.

Day 3: Inis Mór Walks

To the soft sand dunes of Kileany, the holy place of Saint Enda, the founder of the Irish form of monastery communities, walk along the cliffs to the prehistoric Dun Dubh Chathair, time for shopping in Kilronan, vegetarian Buffet in Joel’s, music session in the local pub.

Day 4: Church ruins and return to Galway

Visit to the church ruins of Assurnai’s church , built by the only known female saint on the island and to the monastery settlement of Saint Kieran, ancient ritual at the holy well with Dara Molloy, evening boat and bus back to Galway, one night in a friendly B+B.

Day 5: Travel to Kerry

Travel by private bus through fantastic landscapes to Waterville, Co. Kerry (Iveragh peninsula), along the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, on the way a visit to the mysterious, hidden holy well of Saint Coleman in the Burren with Tony Kirby, evening meal in the Butler Arms Hotel.

Day 6: Skellig Micheal and Portmagee

Visit the island monastery settlement Skellig Micheal with time to explore the pretty fishing village Portmagee en route.

Day 7: Wild Mountains

Poet Paddy Bushe reveals his favourite hidden prehistoric and early Christian sites in the Waterville area, including a short scenic walk with spectacular views of the wild mountains and the Atlantic.

Day 8: Journey to Glendalough

By private bus to the enchanting green valley of Glendalough, along the Ring of Kerry, evening meal in Glendalough

Day 9: Return

Pilgrimage through Glendalough, the monastic settlement of Saint Kevin with Micheal Rodgers.

Day 10: Return

8.30 Transfer to Dublin Airport (arr. 9.45)

(Note: Walks can be shortened!)

Inis Mór, Co.Galway

Waterville, Co.Kerry

Glendalough, Co. Wicklow

Celtic Spirit Tours
Celtic Spirit Tours
Celtic Spirit - Celtic Monks
Celtic Spirit - Celtic Monks
On the Tracks of the early Christian Celtic Monks through Ireland
Seven Chruches
On the Tracks of the early Christian Celtic Monks through Ireland
On the Tracks of the early Christian Celtic Monks through Ireland