- Island hop to the Gaelic-speaking Aran Islands and explore the barracks of Inisbofin Island
- Explore the island stronghold of Ireland’s infamous Pirate Queen
- Iconic sites like the Cliffs of Moher & Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain
- 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, starting in Galway and finishing in Westport
- 6 days of hiking on the breathtaking peninsulas and rugged islands of Ireland’s southwest
- All ferries and transfers to each island on the itinerary
- Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary
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?
On your island hopping journey, relax in a cosy, home-sweet-home each night. 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.
You will be met by your Wilderness Ireland Guide at Galway Train Station at 12.00pm on Day 1 of your trip. You will be dropped off at Westport Train Station by 1.00pm on the last day of your trip. For full details on how to get to Galway, please see our Travel to Ireland section here.
Join us on an island hopping adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way…
On this trip, NEW for 2020, you’ll explore Ireland’s iconic west coast on a unique adventure that visits four of Ireland’s most spectacular islands! Bastions of tradition, culture and even the ancient Irish language, islands hold a special place when it comes to the Irish wilds.
Combined with gentle hikes, you’ll explore Ireland’s west coast and Wild Atlantic Way from a new perspective with your guide! Meet local characters in remote Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) communities, hear the ancient myths and stories of Ireland’s island communities – such as the Pirate Queen of Clew Bay, sample traditional dishes by a roaring fire, and feel fresh island breeze as you walk along the wild Atlantic shores. At the end of the day, kick back by a roaring fire at your cosy, hand-picked accommodations!
Hiking & Island Hopping – Ireland’s West Coast
Day 1 – The Burren National Park, Ireland’s Middle Earth
Start your island hopping adventure in the City of Tribes before making your way on the Wild Atlantic Way to the craggy, alien landscapes of the Burren National Park, a place said to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspiration for Middle Earth. Kick off your trip with a hike through this wild place, keeping an eye out for the vast bouquet of wildflowers blanketing the region. (L,D)
Distance: 5.5km/ 3.5 miles
Day 2 – The Aran Islands & the Cliffs of Moher
For our first island hopping excursion, we’ll set sail to the least-visited of the Aran Islands. With over 7,000 years of history, Inish Meain (or Inishman), is a true bastion of Irish tradition and Irish language. Your hike follows quiet island roads and trails around Inis Meain island. In the evening after most tourists are gone, enjoy a breathtaking visit to the Cliffs of Moher. (B,L)
Distance: 13km/ 8 miles
Day 3 – Explore the Connemara Gaeltacht on Garumna Island
Heading north into the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region), we island hop over the the little-known Garumna Isand. Follow the trail as it meanders through a series of local lanes and paths culminating at a bucolic graveyard and its neatly-preserved medieval church. Along the shores of the bay, you’ll pass coral beaches and the rocky foreshore but it’s the views of Connemara’s mountain ranges that set the scene.(B,L)
Distance: 8km/ 5 miles
Day 4 – Inisbofin Island
Another day, another island! Today we head to iconic Inisbofin Island, where you can take in some of the most stunning Atlantic Coast scenery. A coastal hike across the island offers aw-dropping views of the island’s blowholes and sea arch and sea stacks. Look out for resident seals and seabirds as well as an Iron Age promontory fort. Kick back at the day’s end with a pint of Guinness in hand. (B,L)
Distance: 16km/ 10 miles
Day 5 – On the Shores of Killary Fjord
Among Ireland’s most spectacular coastal hikes, this gentle walk along Killary Fjord – one of just 3 fjords in Ireland – takes you past rocky outcroppings of sheep-shorn grass with views of the fjord below you. Overlooking a necklace of white sand beaches along the shoreline, 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 brings to life the rich ancient histories of this little-changing landscape. (B,L)
Distance: 12km/ 7.5 miles
Day 6 – Clare Island, A Pirate’s Hideaway
Clare Island, the final island on our tour, was once the stronghold of the famous 16th century Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, who ruled the wild north Atlantic coast of Ireland. Guarding the entrance to Clew Bay, explore Clare Island’s castle, cliffs, beaches and ruins. Our hike follows the cliffs on the northern coast, from the dramatically situated lighthouse to the island’s highest point before descending back to the little harbour village to relax on the sandy beach. (B,L,D)
Distance: 11km/ 7 miles
Day 7 – Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain
The imposing silhouette of the pilgrimage site of Croagh Patrick Mountain dominates the surrounding countryside. We’ll enjoy a short hike in the shadow of the mountain, walking along sheep tracks through heathery bogland and following the last few miles of the traditional pilgrimage route to the foot of the mountain. We’ll stop at a beautiful Augustinian friary before finishing up in lively Westport town. (B)
Distance: 4km/ 2.5 miles