Trip created by Patricia Doe
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Described by Irish writer Oscar Wilde as ‘a savage beauty’, you’ll discover the wild and sparsely populated areas of Connemara and Mayo, taking in some of the most unspoilt scenery Ireland has to offer.
Over seven days, explore some of the best hiking in Connemara – and Ireland! – while immersing yourself in Ireland’s archaeology, geology and natural history. From a tiny shrine in the remote hills of Connemara to the summit of Ireland’s most famous pilgrimage mountain Croagh Patrick, your route will follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s famous patron saint, Saint Patrick.
En route, we’ll tackle three of the highest mountains in the west of Ireland including Mweelrea, the highest peak in Connacht. At what feels like the edge of the world, breathe in the some of the freshest air in Europe as we take in stunning Atlantic views at every turn. Far from the traditional tourist track, you’ll explore a secret Ireland that few visitors will ever see. Hiking in Connemara and Mayo offers the best way to truly experience the wild landscapes of the west of Ireland.
Leaving the busy city of Galway behind, we head west into the rural landscapes of Connemara for a hike along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Climbing to the summit of Errisbeg, a small peak with spectacular views of the white sand beaches below, you’ll overlook the layers of mountains through which our journey will take us. We’ll finish up at a traditional pub overlooking the harbour in the quaint village of Roundstone. (L,D)
Distance 4 miles/6km, approx 3-4 hrs.
Today, we’ll take the path less travelled through Connemara National Park and hike amongst the Twelve Bens mountain range – sharp, quartzite peaks that are an ever present feature of hiking in Connemara. These beautiful mountains offer some of Western Ireland’s wildest (and boggiest!) landscapes, with sweeping views over Kylemore Abbey, Connemara and the shimmering Atlantic. (B,L,D)
Distance 8 miles/13km, approx 6hrs.
Today, we’re in for a treat! Following a small trail up Leenane Hill, we explore a little-known part of Mayo that few other hikers get to experience. On the way up, beautiful views of Killary Fjord spill out on one side, while the wild bogs of Mayo extend out on the other. A fast-disappearing terrain, learn a little about the importance of Irish bogs from an ecological as well as historical perspective. From the top of Leenane Hill, enjoy 360 degree views over the beautiful and rugged MaamTurks Mountains, Mweelrea Mountain, and out across the fjord to the Atlantic Ocean. (B,L,D)
Distance 8 miles/ 13km, approx 4-5hrs.
Certainly one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal hikes, this gentle walk along Killary Fjord takes us past rocky outcroppings of sheep-shorn grass with the distant Atlantic spreading out before us. Overlooking a necklace of powdery white beaches along the Atlantic shoreline, sharp eyes can spot pods of dolphins on the surface of a seascape dotted with islands. Delve into Irish history as we pass a famine-era abandoned village while your guide explains the rich ancient histories of this little-changing landscape. (B, L,D)
Distance: 7 miles/11.2 km, approx 3 hrs
Mweelrea, the highest mountain in the west of Ireland, is a great place to hike with breathtaking panoramic views. The south falls steeply to the waters of Killary Harbour, Ireland’s largest fjord. To the east stretches the sprawling Sheffry Hills and Ben Gorm mountain, and to the west lies sandy, white Atlantic shores. In the evening, enjoy some Irish traditional music in the pubs of the colourful coastal village of Westport. (B,L,D)
Distance 8 miles / 13km, approx 7 hrs.
The pilgrimage up the rocky sides of Croagh Patrick is a 5,000-year-old tradition where barefoot pilgrims gather to summit Croagh Patrick at the end of each July. Our hike takes us on a less-travelled route, following the ridge to the tiny church clinging to the summit. From here, we’ll drink in the spectacular vista of Clew Bay and its 365 drumlin islands – one for each day of the year! Ask your guide about the 16th century pirate queen, Grace O’Malley, who once reigned these waters. After the hike, head into Westport town to enjoy Westport’s lovely cafes, pubs and shops. (B,L,D)
Distance 8 miles/12km, approx 6hrs.
This morning, it’s time to say goodbye to the Wild Atlantic Way, but before you do so, you’ll have the chance to tuck into a final hearty breakfast and enjoy the bustling market town of Westport. Crowned by the iconic peak of Croagh Patrick that we conquered earlier this week, you’ll have time for a bit of last-minute souvenir shopping, a walk around the colourful streets or have a peek at Westport’s many historical sites before we part ways at Westport Train Station.
After a long day of hiking through Connemara’s mountains, curl up by the fire in one of our hand-picked hotels for a night of relaxation before heading off to start your next day’s adventure! The accommodations on this trip are comfortable, family-owned hotels and guesthouses tucked into the Irish countryside in the extraordinary counties of Galway and Mayo. This trip features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. All accommodations provide breakfast.
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 of €250 but this is subject to availability.
All meals are included in the price of this trip with the exception of dinner on one night. Breakfast is provided each morning, as well as lunch and snacks throughout the trip. Dinner is provided every night except one night, when you have a free evening and can dine where you choose. 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.
You will be met by your Wilderness Ireland Guide at Galway Ceannt Train Station at 12.00pm on Day 1 of your trip. You will be dropped off at Westport Train Station by 1.00pm noon on the last day of your trip. For full details on travelling to/from Galway and Westport, please see our travel section here.
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|11th Jul - 17th Jul 2020||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||€1,795|
|29th Aug - 4th Sep 2020||6 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
|12th Sep - 18th Sep 2020||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||€1,795|
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|17th Apr - 23rd Apr 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
|29th May - 4th Jun 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
|26th Jun - 2nd Jul 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
|24th Jul - 30th Jul 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
|28th Aug - 3rd Sep 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
|25th Sep - 1st Oct 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||€1,795||Book Now|
Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.
An avid cyclist and hiker, Patricia enjoys exploring Ireland’s wild landscapes every chance she gets – she particularly loves the under-appreciated regions of Mayo, Connemara, Sligo and Donegal. Having spent many years in the hospitality industry, Patricia is an expert on Ireland’s luxury and unique accommodations. As Wilderness Ireland’s General Manager and head of the sales team, Patricia is ready to help make your Irish adventure spectacular!
- Patricia DoeAsk Patricia a Question
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 blue-graded trips involve exploring some of Ireland’s best hiking regions, introducing some steeper climbs to summits as well as valley and coastal hikes. The hike will be conducted at a steady pace and you will typically hike 5-7 hours per day. The terrain underfoot can be anything from well maintained hiker’s trails to rough or boggy ground, boulder fields and mountain tops.
The daily hikes will occasionally involve a mountain ascent of over 3000ft / 900m high. More challenging days are interspersed with lower level valley, coastal or forest walks which would include some cultural highlights along the way.
Can you comfortably hike for around 10 miles (16km) with the occasional longer day? Are you happy with some ascents of 3,000ft / 900m? Are you comfortable on a variety of terrain from good paths to rough mountain tracks?
Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 27 review(s) of Hiking the Mountains of Connemara and Mayo
Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made vacation 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 vacations truly memorable.
Reviewed on 09/09/2019
Age: 60 - 70
Country: United States
Trip Date: 31/08/2019
Trips Taken: 1
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Quality of accommodation varied, for obvious reason of economy. I would like improvement in that regard by charging a bit more.
Liam was a knowledgeable, patient and enthusiastic guide introducing Ireland in its totality ranging from beauty of connemara, history of Ireland’s struggles, food and drinks, and irish people and culture. Appreciate him greatly.
Outstanding guided trip ! This allowed me to understand Ireland and Irish people and culture on top of fantastic daily hiking in the beautiful wilderness-mountains, wind and rain. Your soul will be renewed and reinvigorated and ready to face the world with more compassion. Recommend Wilderness Ireland wholeheartedly to everyone!
Reviewed on 09/09/2019
Age: 60 - 70
Country: United Kingdom
Trip Date: 31/08/2019
Trips Taken: 5
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Full of information and advice. Quick to respond, by phone where requested.
The rain! Seriously, the propaganda worked and we ended up seeing it as a positive! The wildness, the views, the great climbs.
Nothing bad. The best was at Clifden and wondered if it was necessary to move to Tullycross for the next two nights, not that the next hotel was bad, just better not to have to move. I prefer family-run hotels to chains like Westport Plaza, but that was absolutely fine too.
Fantastic. Full of historical, geographical and cultural knowledge and always ready to impart it. Instilled confidence on the mountains, great company and sense of humour, good driver.
Go for it. You won't regret it!
Reviewed on 25/07/2019
Age: 70 - 80
Trip Date: 13/07/2019
Trips Taken: 2
Accommodation & Food
The Bottom Line
Very friendly & informative with updates & reminders regarding the trip. My contact was Erin who was a pleasure to deal with.
Our guide Callium ( apologies if the spelling is incorrect ) was very good great people skills a wealth of local knowledge & Irish history. The climbs were challenging but the views were rewarding plus the fact we had good weather through out the trip apart from one day but hiking in the rain was part of the fun.
Can not say enough good things about the quality & presentation of the meals. The accommodation was also very good but would have preferred our last stay in Westport to have been in a smaller more local hotel.
Having previously commented on Callium our guide can only reiterate he was first class.
The hikes & climbs were both interesting & (for me) challenging , food & accomadation were very good and our guide & group made the trip made the trip memorable.
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