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    Hiking & Island Hopping

    Ireland’s West Coast

    49 review(s)

    Next Trip: 13th - 19th Apr 2024 Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From €2,290 View Prices & Dates

    Travel Planning & Advice

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    Trip created by Darragh Devaney
    View Darragh's Profile

    Region: West – Connemara, Burren & Aran Islands
    Trip Type: Hiking
    Accommodation: Classic
    Max Group Size: 8
    Confirmed: When 2 Travellers Book
    Deposit From: €572.50 €572.50


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    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

    Download Itinerary

    Join us on this exciting Island Hopping adventure in Connemara and Mayo across Ireland’s rugged west coast. From coast to island, on foot and by boat, explore this ever-popular region of the Wild Atlantic Way on a unique hiking adventure.

    Travel through some of Ireland’s most beloved landscapes in a unique fashion on this trip. Leave the crowds behind to explore the little-visited islands, hills and headlands of Ireland’s west coast.

    Imagine yourself standing at the edge of the epic Cliffs of Moher before climbing aboard a small boat to hop over to the most remote island of the Aran Islands where Irish tradition reigns strong. Here, immerse yourself in local Irish traditions such as music, the Irish language and crafting. Discover vast blankets of wildflowers and wildlife while hiking the wild Burren National Park, visit infamous pirate queen Grace O’Malley’s ancient island stronghold on Clare Island, and see the crumbling Cromwellian barracks while hiking the pristine windswept landscapes of the island of Inisbofin.

    On this fully-guided small group tour of Ireland’s islands and west coast, learn about the rich cultural, mythological, archeological and geological history of these rocky wild landscapes while staying in comfortable, authentic accommodation handpicked by our expert trip designers. Along the way, meet some of the west coast’s most colourful characters and maybe even pick a few Gaelic words.

    Trip Highlights

    • Island hop to the Gaelic-speaking Aran Islands & boat to Inisbofin Island's fort
    • Explore the island stronghold of Ireland's infamous Pirate Queen
    • Iconic sites visits - the Cliffs of Moher, Croagh Patrick - Ireland's Holy Mountain & Burren National Park

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Hiking the Burren

    Your island hopping adventure kicks off in Galway, the City of Tribes. Leaving the vibrant city behind, we head south on the Wild Atlantic Way to the craggy, alien landscapes of the Burren, a place said to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspiration for Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings. Keep an eye out for natural bouquets of wildflowers as we cross this strange stony landscape on our first hike of the trip. (L, D)

    Hike Details: 5.5 km/ 3.5 miles | approx. 2-3 hrs.

    Day 2 – The Aran Islands

    For our first island hopping excursion, we’ll set sail to the least-visited of the Aran Islands. Inis Meáin (the middle of the three islands) is a bastion of Irish tradition. First settled about 7,000 years ago, the Aran Islands have since been home to centuries of settlers, each leaving an imprint of their history, heritage and tradition. Today’s hike follows quiet roads and trails around Inis Meáin. Sailing back to the mainland, pass under the Cliffs of Moher (the stand-in for the Cliffs of Insanity for the cult classic, The Princess Bride) for a unique view most who visit the cliffs never experience. (B, L)

    Hike Details: 13km/ 8 miles | approx. 4-5 hrs.

    Day 3 – The Cliffs of Moher

    The Cliffs of Moher are quite possibly the most iconic spot in all of Ireland. Rising 700 feet out of the swirling Atlantic, many visitors only experience a small section of these jaw-dropping cliffs. But to truly get a sense of their enormity and beauty, we will follow the length of the Cliffs of Moher end to end. From the Napoleonic tower in the south to the cheery village of Doolin with its music-filled pubs and vibrant centre, hike the cliff-side path for stunning vistas, dramatic panoramas and diving seabirds. (B, L)

    Hike Details: 12 km/ 7 miles | approx. 3-4 hrs.

    Day 4 – Inisbofin Island

    Another day, another island! Today we head to Inishbofin Island, where you can take in some of the most stunning Atlantic Coast scenery. Your coastal hike winds along the island’s shores, offering jaw-dropping views of Inishbofin’s sea arch, blowholes, and sea stacks where the island’s seal colony reside. Further along, we’ll explore the Dún More Cliffs and Iron Age promontory fort ruins, the picturesque Trá Gheal beach and an old famine road. The track rambles over grass paths, turf banks and shingle beach pebbles. Back at the harbour, one of the west coast’s best pints of Guinness awaits before ferrying back to the mainland. (B, L)

    Hike Details: 11 km/ 7 miles| approx. 3-4 hrs.

    Day 5 – On the Shores of Killary Fjord

    Certainly one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal hikes, this gentle walk along Killary Fjord takes you past rocky outcroppings of sheep-shorn grass with distant ocean views spreading before us. Overlooking a necklace of white sand beaches along the shoreline, sharp eyes may spot pods of dolphins or diving seabirds on the surface of the island-dotted seascape. Delve into Irish history at a famine-era abandoned village as your guide brings to life the rich and ancient histories of this little-changing landscape. (B, L)

    Hike Details: 11km/ 7 miles | 4 hrs.

    Day 6 – Clare Island, A Pirate's Hideaway

    Welcome to Clare Island, the final island on our tour. In the 16th century, the wild north Atlantic coast of Ireland was ruled by Grace O’Malley, a formidable Gaelic pirate queen, who ruled the seas of Northern Europe. The little-visited Clare Island guards the entrance to Clew Bay, the Pirate Queen’s former stronghold. Explore the Pirate Queen’s castle, the jagged cliffs, pristine beaches and wondrous ruins of this magical place. Our hike follows an old green road past abbeys and Neolithic ruins before winding upwards to the dramatically situated lighthouse on the island’s northern cliffs. (B, L, D)

    Hike Details: 12 km/ 7.5 miles | 3-4 hrs.

    Day 7 – Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain

    The imposing silhouette of the pilgrimage site, Croagh Patrick Mountain, dominates the surrounding countryside. On our way past, we’ll take a short hike in the shadow of the sacred mountain, following sheep tracks through heathery bogland along the final miles of the traditional pilgrimage route to the foot of Croagh Patrick. We’ll stop at a beautiful Augustinian friary before finishing up in lively Westport town. (B)

    Hike Details: 4km/ 2.5 miles | approx. 2 hrs.

    *This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements. All hiking times are approximate. 

    Ireland’s West Coast

    To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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    Trip Dates & Prices

    Trip Dates for 2024AvailabilityStatusPriceBook
    13th Apr - 19th Apr 20248 places leftUNCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now
    4th May - 10th May 2024Trip FullFULLY BOOKED€2,290
    25th May - 31st May 20241 place leftCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now
    8th Jun - 14th Jun 2024Trip FullFULLY BOOKED€2,290
    29th Jun - 5th Jul 20241 place leftCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now
    27th Jul - 2nd Aug 20248 places leftUNCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now
    17th Aug - 23rd Aug 2024 Women only departure8 places leftUNCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now
    14th Sep - 20th Sep 2024Trip FullFULLY BOOKED€2,290
    21st Sep - 27th Sep 20248 places leftUNCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now
    5th Oct - 11th Oct 20248 places leftUNCONFIRMED€2,290Book Now

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    Kick off your hiking boots and relax by the evening fire on chilly nights or on the outdoor terraces on mild evenings after an exciting day of island hopping along the Wild Atlantic Way in Connemara, Mayo, the Burren, and the Aran Islands. The accommodations chosen for this trip are tucked into the heart of some of Ireland’s most beautiful wilderness and are recognised for their uniqueness and conviviality – all part of your Wilderness Ireland adventure!

    This trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. All accommodations provide breakfast. Each day, lunch is either a Wilderness Picnic or taken at a local cafe/pub. Water and snacks are provided throughout the day.

    Evening meals are included on the first and last nights only. For the other evenings, your Wilderness Guide can provide expert recommendations.

    We do not charge single-person supplements to people booking on their own. However, you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. If you specifically require a single room, you will have to pay the single supplement charge, which is subject to availability.

    Meals Read More

    Most meals are included in the price of this trip. Breakfast is provided each morning, as well as lunch and snacks throughout the trip. Dinner is provided the first and last night. Other evenings, can dine where you choose – your guide can help you by making recommendations and reservations. Local pubs and restaurants offer a wide choice of local dishes.

    On this trip, we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.

    Inclusions Read More
    • 6 nights accommodation in unique and cosy guest houses and hotels
    • Most meals during the trip (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable hiking guide/driver throughout
    • Pickup and transport throughout the trip
    • 7 days of hiking among the wild landscapes and islands of Ireland’s west coast
    • All boat/ferry transfers to/from the Aran Islands
    • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
    Trip Grading Read More

    Green Graded 1-3

    Our green graded trips include shorter hikes, with few ascents, and are generally over smoother (but usually not paved) terrain. We include more cultural stops along the way and walk at a leisurely pace.

    Often our green graded trips include hikes in flatter coastal areas or in valleys, and will last around 2-4 hours each day. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

    Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascents, over generally good terrain?

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    You will be met by your Wilderness Ireland Guide at Galway Train Station at 12.00 on Day 1 of your trip. You will be dropped off at Westport Train Station by 12.30 on the last day of your trip. For full details on how to get to Galway, please see the travel section of our website here.

    Photo Gallery

    Make This Trip Private

    Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.

    Speak to an Expert

    Darragh Devaney

    One of our team members, Darragh is Wilderness Ireland’s Operations Manager. As the team’s resident bike expert, Darragh has helped research, design and even guide many of Wilderness Ireland’s hiking and bike trips. Darragh particularly loves the northwest and the west coast of Ireland. When not in the office, Darragh can usually be found exploring a little-known corner of Ireland on two wheels or camping in the countryside with his family.

    Ask Darragh a Question

    Meet Your Guide

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    Green Grades 1-3

    Our hiking trips range from very straightforward low-level hikes to trips that include more challenging itineraries which will take you to a new mountain top each day.

    Our green graded trips include shorter hikes, with few ascents, and are generally over smoother (but usually not paved) terrain. We include more cultural stops along the way and walk at a leisurely pace.

    Often our green graded trips include hikes in flatter coastal areas or in valleys, and will last around 2-4 hours each day. To help you decide if you are fit enough for this trip, ask yourself:

    Can you comfortably hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascents, over generally good terrain?

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 4.94 out of 5 based on 49 review(s) of Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast


    Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

    That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


    Rachel Lee

    Reviewed on 08/11/2023

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 07/10/2023
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line


    Frances Antonovitz

    Reviewed on 25/10/2023

    Age: 60 - 70
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 07/10/2023
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Really exceptional except for the accommodations which were adequate but could be improved. I can’t wait to take another trip. This one was perfect for my fitness level and interests.


    Shida Rastegari Henneberry

    Reviewed on 24/10/2023

    Age: 70 - 80
    Country: United States
    Trip Date: 07/10/2023
    Trips Taken: 1

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    The tour was very well planned and unique. It gave the participants once in a lifetime opportunity to visit places that usually tourists do not see.

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