Trip created by Erin Elliott
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Join us on this exciting new 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 Inisbofin Island.
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.
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 National Park, a place said to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspiration for Middle Earth. 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)
Distance: 5.5km/ 3.5 miles, 4 hrs.*
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, 4.5 hrs.*
In the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region), we continue with our island-hopping adventure on a tiny peninsula, hiking to the little-visited Garumna Island. Here the trail meanders through a series of local lanes and paths as you head towards the Trawbaun graveyard with its neatly-preserved medieval church. Along the shore of Greatman’s Bay, you’ll pass coral beaches and the rocky foreshore but it is the views of Connemara’s Mamturk and Twelve Bens mountain ranges that really sets the scene. (B,L)
Distance: 8km/ 5 miles, 4.5 hrs.*
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, 6 hrs.*
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 out 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 while your guide brings to life the rich ancient histories of this little-changing landscape. (B,L)
Distance: 12km/ 7.5 miles, 4 hrs.*
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 the line of 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 at the sandy beach. (B,L,D)
Distance: 11km/ 7 miles, 4-5 hrs.*
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)
Distance: 4km/ 2.5 miles, 1.5 hrs.*
*This itinerary is subject to changes and improvements. All hiking times are approximate.
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 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 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 the travel section of our website here.
|Trip Dates for 2020||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|25th Apr - 1st May 2020||6 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||€1,870||Book Now|
|16th May - 22nd May 2020||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||€1,870|
|13th Jun - 19th Jun 2020||Trip Full||FULLY BOOKED||€1,870|
|25th Jul - 31st Jul 2020||3 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||€1,870||Book Now|
|15th Aug - 21st Aug 2020||1 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||€1,870||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.
Originally hailing from the wilds of Canada, Erin was drawn to Ireland’s emerald hills, rugged coasts and big waves in 2014 to surf, practice yoga and travel. Joining Wilderness Ireland in 2017, Erin draws from her own experiences travelling and living in North America and Ireland to create magical Ireland adventures. From Donegal to Clare to Cork, Erin knows all the best spots along the Wild Atlantic Way!
- Erin ElliottAsk Erin a Question
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?
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