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Hiking the Mountains of Connemara and Mayo

  • Challenge yourself by summiting three of the west of Ireland’s highest peaks
  • Join local guides who will help you to really get under the skin of this fascinating landscape
  • Follow in the steps of St Patrick as we follow ancient pilgrimage routes that date to pre-Christian times
  • Explore the wildest and most sparsely populated area of Ireland
  • 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 among the wild landscapes and mountains of western Ireland
  • Entrance and admission fees as stated in the itinerary

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?

 

After a long day of hiking through Connemara’s mountains, curl up by the fire in one of out hotels for a night of relaxation before heading off to start your next day’s adventure! Hotels are comfortable, family-owned hotels 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.

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 noon on the last day of your trip. For full details on travelling to/from Galway and Westport, please see our travel section here.

Customer Kudos

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.

5 star 19

4 star 0

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Thomas Valind 03/07/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Communication from Erin and Louise was excellent . We booked far enough in advance that hearing from them and getting reminders was nice. The final trip information from Erin was excellent.

I assume that almost everyone from outside Ireland flies into Dublin so some specific web sites for bus and/or train to get to Galway the pick-up point would be nice. We did fine but I wonder if we could have been more efficient . We took a taxi to Heuston rail station and then a train to Galway.
Trip Comments
Georgia is the gold standard for guides. She modified our itinerary as necessary. She adjusted for a rainy day and swapped a climbing day with a long hike day. Georgia even helped my wife and I mutiny on the last day hike to Crough Patrick and set up a bike ride for me and gave great tips for my wife explore Westport.

The hikes were excellent. Georgia set a good pace and was both friendly and informative. By the end of the week it felt like we were one family, which is a testament to how warm and friendly Georgia was the entire week.

The selection of B&B and hotels was excellent. Great locations and warm local atmosphere (ie. pubs)
Accommodation and Food
The accommodations were great. The breakfasts were all good and dinner selections were fantastic.

Georgia was excellent at getting lunches for the hike. The magic van that never seemed to need petrol, quick and tasty local sandwich shops and we were on our way. She made it look easy.
Your Guide
As stated, Georgia set a gold standard. She set the right hiking pace, adjusted and necessary and made it all look easy.
The Bottom Line
Wilderness Ireland is not cheap but the overall experience was more than worth it. A vacation to remember. I would book again.

by Jason Macdoombe 02/07/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I called and spoke to Louise to understand about the fitness requirements for the trip and other logistical details. Louise was only too happy to help and provided additional information regarding ascents and train times.

Having spoken to my guide Georgia during the trip, I understand that the ascent figures provided to me were incorrect (too high) but this was not a big problem as it only meant I worked on my fitness more before the trip!
Trip Comments
While I enjoyed every day, my highlights of the trip mainly due to the best weather of the week and the wonderful views were the ascents to Mweelrea and Croagh Patrick. Both were tough going at times but Georgia, our guide kept us going at a decent pace with sufficient rest breaks for the whole group.
Accommodation and Food
The various accommodation we stayed at ranged from the very homely and personal Quay House to the more upmarket hotel experience at the Westford Plaza Hotel. I enjoyed every place we stayed and the breakfast was great at each place.
Your Guide
Georgia was a wonderful guide and I was very lucky to be in a small group meaning Georgia could get to know us better and accommodate all of our wishes. I believe we all got on quite well and it was nice that Georgia joined us for all the meals.

The walks were great and Georgia seemed to know the hidden/less common trails and areas which meant for most of the walks we did not encounter other people which I particularly appreciated. She also had an encyclopedic knowledge of Irish history, wildlife and fauna which she imparted to us during the walks.

Furthermore, kudos to Georgia for her driving skills too manoeuvring the big van winding down the country roads.
The Bottom Line

by Lisa L. 27/06/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
I had a fantastic time in Connemara and Mayo with Wilderness Ireland. Everything ran smoothly and we were able to go on some epic hikes in mostly great weather ( always a bonus!). We had a great group of people who all got along well and our guide was wonderful. Would definitely book again!
Accommodation and Food
The B and B and hotels we stayed at were all great - clean, comfortable and sometimes quirky. Meals were excellent too - lots of fresh seafood!
Your Guide
Our guide Michelle was absolutely fantastic. Her passion for Ireland and Connemara really showed. She expertly chose the best options for our walks depending on the weather and group ability. The flexibility to change things up meant we got to experience a few bonus activities which we all very much appreciated. Michelle went out of her way to ensure that everyone in the group had a memorable trip.
The Bottom Line

by William (Bill) Ridley 10/06/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Excellent communication
Trip Comments
Michelle Hughes, our guide, did everything that she could to ensure that our trip was an enjoyable one. She adapted well to the ever changing (and sometimes horrible) weather! On the long drives to the hills, Michelle also kept us informed and entertained with interesting stories of Irish history of the region.
Accommodation and Food
Food was excellent.
Hotels were comfortable. We enjoyed the quirkiness of the The Quay House in Clifden and the authenticity of the Maol Reihd in Tullycross. Unfortunately, we found the Westport Plaza to be excessively scented, i.e., too much perfumed.
Your Guide
Michelle had an amazing knowledge of the region. One could tell that she knew all of the trails like the back of her hand. She was professional and personable. In a nutshell, Michelle made the trip.
The Bottom Line
Excellent trip. Extremely positive experience.

by Susan Moore 10/06/2019

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Staff was very responsive to my inquiries and provided thorough answers.
Trip Comments
The guide, Michelle, was awesome. She knew loads about the area and was able to suggest changes to the itinerary adapting to the weather. The group was small so we could easily discuss and agree on changes. I would have hated to do Croagh Patrick in a downpour. By adapting the agenda to the weather, we had clear weather for Croagh Patrick and amazing views. Michelle was also great at proving tips and encouragement when terrain was tricky or steep.
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Michelle is an amazing guide and was a perfect fit for my group.
The Bottom Line

by Philip Chambers 10/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Certainly the best help I have received when booking a trip thanks to Louise
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
The Quay House was superb
Your Guide
Duncan is a brilliant guide with great stories
The Bottom Line
A truly enjoyable trip
Some difficult terrain so be wary if not particularly fit or unfamiliar with hill walking

by Inga Ebert 07/09/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I like to talk to people - disappointing when they don`t call you back as promised.
Trip Comments
I had a good knowledge of Western Ireland so I really appreciated being back in such a wonderful place with a professional guide. Got to see places I had not seen before - like the top of mount Mweelrea! (sorry for the spelling).
Accommodation and Food
The guesthouse in Cliffden is fantastic - just loved my 4 poster bed! Hosts very hospitable and food good and generous. Other 2 places great too - but more with an international flair - except for the missing wi-fi in Delphi.
Your Guide
Duncan is the kindest person and he saw to it that we all had a wonderful time. He is top pro - and his knowledge of the region is enviable.
The Bottom Line
I loved (almost) every minute of it - and we got the most out of it. Pls keep it in your programme cause it is worth it! You could consider staying in Leenane instead of Delphi - it is beautifully situated by Killery harbour.

by Charlotte Chambers 06/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We decided to drive to Ireland and extend our stay either side of the trip. Louise at Wilderness Ireland was incredibly helpful with hotel suggestions and what to do while there.
Trip Comments
The trip gave a real flavour of the walking experience in Ireland
Accommodation and Food
Generally the food was good quality, though we found the portions enormous. The best accommodation was Quayhouse which was brilliant but all the hotels were good with comfy beds and clean rooms
Your Guide
Duncan was amazing. He had excellent local knowledge. He was a natural guide, dealing with all our individual requirements for a good trip. We felt totally safe in his hands and appreciated his humour and kindness. If there was a guide of the year he would get our vote
The Bottom Line
We really enjoyed the trip. The walking level was as described and the accommodation perfect for walking, comfy beds and good bathrooms.
It was our first trip with Wilderness Ireland and the service they provided could not be faulted.
Excellent all round

by Kevin Mawe 04/09/2018

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
The website gives good information on the different trips. Written materials were very helpful. Louise promptly answered my questions and was helpful in directing me to resources.
Trip Comments
The hikes up the hills were strenuous, but exhilarating. The best hike was the one up Mweelrea Man where the wind and rain whipped up as we approached the summit. Our guide, Duncan, was brilliant in every respect, including telling stories. My fellow travelers were very enjoyable. The seafood and Guinness were delicious!
Accommodation and Food
The abundance of fresh seafood was a delight. The accommodations were better than I expected given the "classic" rating.
Your Guide
Duncan was on top of all details. He has an easy going and friendly demeanor, but was obviously keeping a close eye on conditions and the well being of all. He is an ideal guide for such a trip and the kind of guy with whom you'd like to have a beer with at the end of the day - which we repeatedly did.
The Bottom Line
The trip was wonderful in every regard. My cautionary note is for those who have knee issues. The last three hikes involved ascents and descents of over 2,000 feet. I enjoyed the ascents, but the descents were hard on my knees (even with trekking poles) and took longer than the ascents. It was definitely worth it, but if I had it to do over again, I would do more to strengthen the muscles supporting my knees and would incorporate more steep ascents and descents into my hikes.

Wilderness Ireland was great to work with and I look forward to booking another trip with them.

by Gunvor Rottensten 03/09/2018

4Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Several times I received mails saying I had booked trips, which I hadn't. It didn't bother me too much, and one of the times I received an apology. So ...
Trip Comments
Everything about the trip was great.
Accommodation and Food
I liked all the hotels, charming and good locations. Breakfast was very good in all the cases, and the places where we had dinner well chosen. Lunch was just the size it should be, and delicious too.
Your Guide
Duncan was the perfect guide, looking really well after everybody and always in a good mood. A really kind person. The walks he chose were wonderful and well suited to the weather.
The Bottom Line
I was very happy with my Wilderness Ireland trip. Walking we saw beautiful parts of Ireland, and when we didn't walk, we relaxed and had a good time in well chosen hotels and restaurants.
100% satisfaction guarantee - We beleive our tours are world class. To back that up, we are the only Irish travel company to offer a no strings attached, 100% satisfaction guarantee

Trip Details

As you discover the sparsely populated areas of Connemara and Mayo, you’ll take in some of the most unspoilt scenery Ireland has to offer.

Described by Irish writer Oscar Wilde as ‘a savage beauty’, the spectacular mountain and bog wilderness of Connemara is best experienced on foot.

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 on a remote hilltop in Connemara to the summit of Ireland’s most famous pilgrimage mountain Croagh Patrick, your route will follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick.

En route, we’ll tackle three of the highest mountains in the west of Ireland, breathing in the some of the freshest air in Europe as we take in stunning Atlantic views at every turn. Hiking in Connemara offers the best way to truly experience the west of Ireland.

Connemara and Mayo Hiking Tour

Day 1 – Roundstone & Errisbeg Hill

From Galway, we’ll travel west to Connemara to 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. (D)

Distance 4 miles/6km, approx 3-4 hrs.

Day 2 – Twelve Bens

Today, we’ll take the path less travelled in 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)

Distance 7.5 miles/12km, approx 6hrs.

Day 3Mám Éan

Hiking in Connemara’s beautiful mountain range, the Maumturks, you’ll discover Mám Éan, or the Pass of the Birds, an ancient path through the mountains with a shrine dedicated to St Patrick at the summit. A sacred spot that has been revered by local communities for thousands of years, pre-Christianity Mám Éan was associated with the ancient Celtic festival, Lughnasa, marking the beginning of harvest season. (B,L)

Distance 10 miles/ 16km, approx 5hrs.

Day 4 – Mweelrea Mountain

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 the mountain, Ben Gorm, and to the west, lies white sandy Atlantic shores. In the evening, enjoy some Irish traditional music in the pubs of the colourful coastal village of Westport. (B,L)

Distance 8 miles / 13km, approx 7 hrs.

Day 5Killary Fjord

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)

Distance 7.5 miles/12km, approx 4 hrs.

Day 6 – The Holy Mountain of Croagh Patrick

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. (B,L,D)

Distance 8.5 miles/14km, approx 6hrs.

Day 7Departure

This morning after a last bit of west coast exploration, we shall say goodbye to the Wild Atlantic Way coast and transfer to Westport Train Station. (B)

*This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements for 2019 departures. 

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Prices and Dates

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2019 Trip Dates

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31st Aug - 6th Sep 2019
€1,710
6 place(s) left

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30th May - 5th Jun 2020
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20th Jun - 26th Jun 2020
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11th Jul - 17th Jul 2020
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8th Aug - 14th Aug 2020
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29th Aug - 4th Sep 2020
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12th Sep - 18th Sep 2020
€1,710
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Get a group of friends together and make this trip private
100% satisfaction guarantee - We beleive our tours are world class. To back that up, we are the only Irish travel company to offer a no strings attached, 100% satisfaction guarantee

Price from: €1,710

Next trip: 31st August

Duration: 6 night(s)

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Location: West – Connemara, Burren & Aran Islands

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 5

19 review(s)

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Mountains near Doolough Pass
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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
Wilderness Ireland is not cheap but the overall experience was more than worth it. A vacation to remember. I would book again.

Thomas Valind
03/07/2019

5

Jason Macdoombe
02/07/2019

5

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 19 review(s) of Hiking the Mountains of Connemara and Mayo

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