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    Self Drive

    Ireland’s Surf Coast to Westport

    1 review(s)

    Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    From €2,195

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    Trip created by Patricia Doe
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    Region: Ireland;North West – Donegal & Sligo
    Trip Type: Self Drive
    Accommodation: Classic
    Deposit From: €548.75 €548.75

    Grading: Your Own Pace

    Carbon Footprint: 136kg ? What does this mean?
    Click here to find out about our carbon labelling project and what we're doing to be more sustainable.

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

    Download Itinerary

    Perhaps the Wild Atlantic Way’s least-visited section, the Surf Coast of Sligo and Mayo are as wild and dramatic as they are laid-back and carefree. As the childhood inspiration of Ireland’s national poet, W.B. Yeats, Sligo has a plethora of ancient Neolithic monuments older than the Pyramids of Giza. Explore the mysteries and mythologies along the Wild Atlantic Way northwest on a private tour of this little-known but wonderful region.

    On this self drive trip, you’ll hike Ireland’s only roadless hills, paddle the gentle waters of one of Ireland’s most breathtaking lakes and cycle along Ireland’s first greenway. Your trip along the Wild Atlantic Way will end in a bustling market town reminiscent of a bygone Ireland.

    On our Self Drive trips, enjoy the flexibility to travel at your own pace as well as benefit from passionate, local guides on certain days (marked G) who will interpret the landscape and introduce you to the culture and history of Ireland. Leave the planning and reservations to us – we’ve identified the very best of each region to get a great sampling of the nature, history and culture of Ireland. Hikes and other outdoor activities are matched to your ability levels. The minimum group size is 2.

    Trip Highlights

    • Hike and kayak in the most remote and wild corners of the Emerald Isle
    • Cycle along Ireland's first car-free greenway
    • Enjoy some of the strongest bastions of traditional Irish music and food

    Day by Day Itinerary

    Day 1 – Explore Yeats Country in Sligo

    It’s easy to see how the windswept landscapes of Sligo captured the imagination of Irish national poet W.B. Yeats. Explore the hidden gems of this quiet corner of Ireland, such as a hike at the foot of iconic Ben Bulben Mountain or a visit to the childhood home of a famous Irish revolutionary and suffragette. Great local seafood and secret sand beaches are icing on the cake.

    Day 2 – Kayaking the Secrets of Sligo

    The inlets around Sligo Bay make for some excellent kayaking. With your private kayak guide, take to the water to paddle some of our favourite local routes to visit a seal colony with picturesque views of Knocknarea Mountain topped with its enormous megalithic cairn or explore the ancient forests and secluded islands of Lough Gill, nestled in some of Europe’s most ancient mountains. Sligo is a hub of traditional Irish music and it is well worth venturing into town this evening to find a session and a pint. (B, G)

    Day 3 – Ancient Mysteries of the Ceide Coast

    Leave the hub of Sligo behind, heading towards the wilds of North Mayo. We’ll recommend amazing experiences such as an authentic seaweed bath – complete with original cast iron tubs – which will feel all the more indulgent after a hike in the ancient hills of the Ox Mountains. Along the way, learn about how millennia of human interaction have shaped Ireland’s landscapes, visit dramatic blow holes and stand atop wild cliffs in this forlorn but breathtaking region. (B)

    Day 4 – The Wilds of Mayo

    With a local guide, explore the area on a day hike through some of Ireland’s most wild and untouched scenery. There is a range of options to suit all experience levels but our favourite is possibly Ireland’s most spectacular coastal walk. Along the way, learn about the fascinating flora of Ireland’s blanket bog landscape and brush up on your Irish mythology with the ancient story of the Children of Lir, who were turned into swans for 900 years. The best part is you’ll have it all to yourself. (B, G)

    Day 5 – Market Town of Westport

    The vibrant market town of Westport lies at the edge of the Wild Nephin wilderness and on the shores of Clew Bay, known for the hundreds of tiny islands created by glaciers millennia ago. A bustling regional hub and host to some of Ireland’s most musical pubs, you might like to arrive in town early to explore the colourful streets and visit some fantastic shops and artisans! Or opt for the scenic route for a more leisurely journey along the coast and into town. (B)

    Day 6 – Cycle the Great Western Greenway

    Part of a project to restore abandoned railway tracks, the Great Western Greenway was refurbished as a car-free cycling track.  Pedal past rushing waterfalls, ancient ruins, megalithic tombs and scenic bridges on a canvas of coastal and mountain views as you learn how this fascinating prophecy came to be true. Enjoy as much of the 42 km Great Western Greenway as you’d like as we’ll arrange a return transfer back to town. (B, G)

    Day 7 – Depart

    Today, say goodbye to the wilds of the west coast of Ireland. From here, you may head straight to the airport – we will provide interesting stops along the way. Alternatively, why not combine this itinerary with Connemara, Dingle and the Cliff Coast and enjoy another fantastic week in Ireland. (B)

    Self Drive
    Ireland’s Surf Coast to Westport

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

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    Price from: €2,195
    Duration: 7 Days 6 Nights

    Trip Details

    Accommodation Read More

    This self drive trip features classic accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. Expect small, comfortable and characterful lodgings. You will have the choice between cosy B&Bs or 3-star family-run hotels or guesthouses, with options and in towns or rural communities. Accommodation rooming is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower.

    Meals Read More

    Each morning, enjoy a hearty homemade breakfast of your choice at your accommodation. We’ll provide local recommendations for afternoon and evening meals in each town or region as well as wilderness picnics for those days spent in the great outdoors.

    Inclusions Read More

    This trip includes the following:

    • 7 days / 6 nights accommodation in a hand-picked 3 star classic accommodations
    • A detailed itinerary and map outlining your itinerary, accommodations and stops
    • Breakfast every morning at your accommodation (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
    • The services of experienced and knowledgeable guides a various stages in the trip as stated in the itinerary (marked G)
    • Suggestions of self guided activities as stated in the itinerary
    • Recommended stops, hikes and points of interest along the way
    • 24/7 hour in-country support

    This trip includes all accommodation, some guiding and activities as well as breakfast. It does not include drinks or any gratuities you may choose to leave.

    Trip Grading Read More

    At Your Own Pace

    On this adventure, you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Ireland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle, low-level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready.

    On the other days of the trip, you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

    Travel – Arrival and Departure Read More

    This itinerary is designed to start and finish at Dublin Airport or to be joined up with our other self-drive trips such as the Belfast, Giant’s Causeway & Donegal or Connemara, Dingle & the Cliffs of Moher itineraries. Detailed driving directions during the trip will be provided as part of your information pack.

    Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More

    Extend Your Stay

    Why not extend your stay in Ireland with another exciting week exploring the Wild Atlantic Way? Our Self Drive – Connemara, Dingle & The Cliffs of Moher follows on from where you left off in Westport by continuing south to the breathtaking mountains of Connemara, following the Galway coast down to the rocky landscape of Clare and its famous Cliffs of Moher, and onward to the much-beloved Dingle Peninsula. Simply ask your Adventure Consultant for more info about extending your tour.

    Car Hire

    Planning to hire a car here in Ireland? Make your life easier by leaving the car rental process up to us. Just tell us your preferences and we’ll take care of the rest.

    Photo Gallery

    Speak to an Expert

    Patricia Doe

    An avid cyclist and hiker, Patricia enjoys exploring Ireland’s wild landscapes every chance she gets u2013 she particularly loves the under-appreciated regions of Mayo, Connemara, Sligo and Donegal. Having spent nearly a decade 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.

    Ask Patricia a Question

    Difficulty Grades Explained

    At your Own Pace

    Discovery journeys are self-drive with personal activity experiences tailored to your own personal activity level. They allow you to discover Ireland with one-to-one meet ups with local guides and experts who can lead you through activities and hikes at you own pace. They also include overnight stops at the very best local 4 and 5 star accommodations. For the days you are self-guided, we will provide you with suggestions of places to stop, eat and things to see along with maps and directions.

    Trip Reviews

    Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 review(s) of Self Drive – Ireland’s Surf Coast to Westport



    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.


    Amanda Sandberg

    Reviewed on 27/08/2022

    Age: 50 - 60
    Country: England
    Trip Date: 14/08/2022
    Trips Taken: 2

    The Bottom Line

    The Bottom Line

    Great fun and a lovely way to have a tasting experience Co. Mayo. We will definitely be visiting this part of Ireland again.

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