Our eight day Into the West walking tour introduces walkers to some of the most beautiful parts of the Connemara wilderness and the scenic coastline of West Mayo in the West of Ireland. The route, which follows much of the Western Way, starts in Maam, a tiny village on the shores of Lough Corrib in Galway county.
The walk leaves Maam, nestled amid the Maamturk mountains, to journey through the Inagh Valley, and on to Leenane and Killary Fjord, Drummin and into Westport. It then takes you through Newport, Mulranny and finishes on Achill Island.The terrain consists of quiet roads, bog roads, open moorland, forestry tracks, mountain paths and about 3km of timber bog bridge.
This walk gives visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the heart of the West of Ireland landscape and offers some of the most stunning scenery to be found in the west.
||9 days (8 nights)
|Tour Dates 2014:
||This tour starts every Tuesday (between May and September) - Alternative scheduling also available for €50 extra per booking
Varied terrain and occasional hills
||You are provided with route notes and maps, but correct rain proof gear and walking boots are essential to bring with you.
||All Irish Breakfasts, 2 dinners and 2 packed lunch
||All luggage transfers between your accommodations, taxi from Maam Cross bus stop to your first B&B, taxi from Keel back to Westport, bike rental or transfer to Achill Island
||Detailed route notes and maps.
||A Connemara Adventure Tours representative will meet you either on the afternoon of your arrival or the following morning.
||You depart from your last night's accommodation in Westport.
Visit our 'Getting Here' page for more transport information and options.
Day 1 Arrival day!
You will take a bus to Maam Cross in Connemara, where you will be met by your B&B host who will bring you to your accommodation. We will meet you here, once you have settled in, to go through your route notes and maps and answer any questions you have about your itinerary. Enjoy a cosy night at your B&B where your dinner is included before setting out on your journey in the morning!
Day 2 Maam to Inagh Valley:
Today after a hearty breakfast, you set out from your B&B at Maam Bridge for the Inagh Valley (collect your packed lunch before you take off, included in your package!). The farming countryside gives way to the rugged terrain of the Maam Turk Range and the old mountain road over Mamean known as the 'Pass of the Birds'. Once over the pass, the dramatic vista of the Twelve Bens mountain range comes into view with the lake at its feet. You then follow the Western Way into the Inagh Valley where tonight you will stay in Lough Inagh Ranch B&B. The B&B is close to the shores of Lough Inagh, one of Connemara's most spectacular lakes, and is surrounded by majestic Mam Turks and Twelve Bens mountain ranges on all sides. (16km)
Day 3 Lough Inagh to Leenane:
Today's walk takes you all the way along the Lough Inagh valley, flanked by mountains on either side, through the Coilte forest, coming out onto stunning views of Killary Harbour, Ireland's only true fjord. The walk follows the fjord inland to the very picturesque village of Leenane where you will spend the night at the lovely Portfinn Lodge B&B. (15km)
Day 4 Leenane to Drummin/Liscarney:
You will be dropped to the beautiful Ashleigh Falls just across the Mayo border and the site of the Errif Fishery where if you're lucky you might spot the salmon coming upstream to spawn. There is a gentle path up along the river, which joins the Western way at Tawnyard forest. Meandering through the trees, above the Lough, you will follow the Western Way trail which crosses the Owenmore River into the foothills of the Sheefry mountains and on to the tiny village of Drummin. (12km) You can opt to be picked up here or continue to walk to your B&B accommodation in Liscarney which is another 5km where dinner is included in your package for tonight.
Day 5 Drummin to Westport:
Your host will provide you with a packed lunch (included in your package) before she drops you to the start of your walk. Today you will follow very minor roads, as you walk into the foothills of Croagh Patrick, Irelands holy mountain (There's an option for you to climb the mountain today. On a clear day the views from the top are stunning and well worth the climb!). The path will take you through the drumlins, glacial mounds deposited on the flatlands and past the remains of a famine village, to the wonderful market town of Westport, winner of the Irish Tidy Town competition three times in the last 10 years. (24km)
Day 6 Westport to Achill Sound:
Today you have a choice to cycle along the Great Western Greenway to your destination Achill Island, or be transferred to your accommodation by taxi if you wish to spend more time soaking up the atmosphere and the delights of Westport town. The Greenway a new cycling trail follows the old railway line overlooking Clew Bay. The Westport Achill line opened in 1894 but was closed again in 1934. The route offers dramatic views of the bog inland and the sea all around off the roads with panaramic views of Clew Bay and its myriad of islands and is 42km long. With its Atlantic location, five Blue Flag beaches and breathtaking mountain landscape, Achill provides an unrivalled arena for outdoor activities and watersports of all types. Achill's romantic setting has also proved to be an inspirational creative retreat for artists and writers including Paul Henry, Heinrich Boll and Graham Greene
Day 7 Achill Sound to Keel:
Today you have a day on Achill Island to explore the many trails Achill has to offer, home of dramatic sea cliffs, golden beaches and a pace of life that is from a forgotten era. You will follow the walking trails to the opposite side of the island in Keel where you will spend your last night relaxing on this magical island reflecting on your achievements and highlights of the last week.
Day 8: Explore Keel:
Today you have the chance to further explore the beaches and trails on the west side of the island before being transferred back to Westport where you will spend your final night and finish your tour.
Day 9: Breakfast and departure
Accommodation & Price
€785 pps - Based on a booking for 2 people
€655 pps - Based on a booking for 4 people
All prices are in EURO, and based on per person sharing. Per person sharing means two people in one room.
"A very big thanks to Claire and Chloé for an excellente organisation of our Irish balade; the morning rain and even the afternoon rain didn't stop the walkers who stayed in a great mood all day; thanks again for your kindness and your flexibility!" Gérard, June 2012, France