A Taste of the Wild Atlantic Way Walking Tour
WALKING TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
- Escape from the hustle and bustle of a busy life and experience true quiet amid unspoiled natural beauties as you walk these trails, paths and coastal ways.
- Follow in the footsteps of those who have walked this way over hundreds of years and discover their fascinating stories.
- Experience the unique scenery and lifestyle of a traditional island community existing on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, with a boat trip to Inishbofin island.
- Choose to climb the pilgrim path to the summit of Ireland’s ‘Holy Mountain’, Croagh Patrick, and marvel at the ancient custom of travelling this rocky path barefoot.
Gabriel’s must-do activity: Climbing Croagh Patrick when I first arrived in the west of Ireland is an experience I will always treasure – the sense of achievement, the endless views and the camaraderie of other climbers passing you by all helped to create an unforgettable experience.
Your Tour in brief
This is a 7-day (6 night) tour starting every Friday from April to October.
The tour starts in the village of Leenane in Connemara, Co Galway and finishes in Westport town in neighbouring Co Mayo.
A Taste of the Wild Atlantic Way Tour consists of moderate walking on back-roads, trails and, a rockier ascent on Croagh Patrick mountain.
Equipment and information:
Correct rain proof gear and walking boots are essential to bring with you.
Full route notes and an Ordnance Survey Ireland map of the area are also provided and explained to you.
You can choose from two accommodation options - 3* hotels or approved B&Bs and guesthouses – where you will enjoy a full Irish breakfast on each morning.
Your luggage will be transferred every day to your next accommodation.
Transfers and travel:
We will collect you from Maam Cross bus stop and bring you to Leenane on arrival day. Citylink bus company has 5 daily buses from Galway city to Maam Cross on the Galway - Clifden bus line.
We will also bring you to and from the start and finish of each walk as indicated.
The return ticket for the ferry for Inishbofin Island is included.
Further information on getting to/from Ireland can be found here
Alternative start days - €70 extra per booking.
Arrival to Leenane Village
You will feel as though you have entered another world, where time stands still, when you arrive in Leenane Village. Nestled against a backdrop of steep hills and at the head of Killary Fjord it is far from any urban centre yet connects a wide and close-knit community in this part of Connemara. The views all around you are spectacular and, like the weather patterns, ever-changing. Conor or Gabriel will meet you at your accommodation, either on the evening of arrival or the following morning (depending on your arrival time), to go through your itinerary and answer any questions you may have about your Connemara hiking tour.
Famine Trail - 15 kms
So-called because it was built as a famine-relief project during the Great Famine of the 1840s, the greenway along the shores of Killary Fjord brought outlying communities closer together in the nineteenth century. When you hike along the path you cannot help but sense the history and lives of all those who have walked this way before you. With mountains rising out of the water on either side and few signs of civilisation along the way, this is a true escape and a rare find in the modern world. You will be transferred to the starting point and your walk will finish again in Leenane. A cold pint of Guinness in an authentic west of Ireland pub is just the thing to end the day!
15 kms/80 m elevation/3-4 hours walking
Maumean - 16 kms
You will be transferred to the starting point of today’s walk which follows an ancient pilgrim’s path to Maumean (translated from Gaelic as the ‘pass of the birds’). The summit of Maumean at a height of 320m is marked by a small chapel and other religious features associated with Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick. There is much ritual and myth attached to this site and it will give you a fascinating insight into religious practice in Ireland over the past few centuries and before. You will then follow the Western Way, a marked walking trail, to the tranquillity of the Inagh Valley where you will stay tonight. The valley is surrounded by the majestic Maam Turks and Twelve Bens mountain ranges and is a perfect haven for complete rest and relaxation after a day on the hills.
16 kms / 250 m elevation / 4-5 hours walking
Inishbofin Island - From 6 to 15 kms
Today you will be transferred to the fishing village of Cleggan where you will take the ferry to Inishbofin island. Bofin or 'Inis Bo Finne' (Island of the White Cow) lies seven miles off Connemara’s coast in the Atlantic Ocean. It is estimated that it was inhabited as far back as 8000 – 4000 B.C. As you sail around the tower and signal light into the harbour, you will come upon a sixteenth century ruined barracks. This was used as a prison for Catholic priests from all over Ireland after the English Statute of 1585 declared them guilty of high treason. There are several looped walks around the island which you are free to explore, after which you might find yourself drawn into a cosy pub by the traditional music you can hear inside!
Choice of walks between 6 and 15 kms, elevation from 60 to 180m, from 1 to 5 hours walking
Renvyle Peninsula - Diamond Hill (7 km / 400 m ascent)
After returning once again to the mainland by ferry, you will be met and brought to the start of your walk on the Renvyle Peninsula in the National Park of Connemara. This is a relatively easy walk but a very rewarding one with stunningly beautiful views over Kylemore Abbey and lake. The summit also offers views onto the whole peninsula, the islands of Inishbofin and Inishturk to the west and north west, the Maamturk mountains and the Ben Choona mountain range to the south. You will be brought to your accommodation on the Renvyle peninsula, another wonderful place which will add to your authentic Connemara experience.
7 kms / elevation 400 m / 2 to 3 hours walking
Croagh Patrick and Westport - 7 km / 764 m ascent
After breakfast you will be transferred to the start of today's hike at Murrisk, on the shores of Clew Bay in Co. Mayo. A place of ancient history, Croagh Patrick is Ireland’s sacred mountain, and a rich vein of archaeological heritage. This dazzling quartzite pyramid (764m) even has a small chapel at its peak. Ireland’s fifth-century patron saint, St Patrick, is said to have fasted on its summit for forty days. It is a challenging climb but the 360-degree views with which you will be rewarded make it worth the effort. No walking trip in Ireland would be complete without reaching its impressive peak. On returning to sea level you will be transferred to your final night’s accommodation in the vibrant, picturesque town of Westport where you will find superb restaurants, pubs, live music and craic.
7 kms / elevation 764m / 4 to 5 hours walking
Breakfast and departure
Breakfast and depart Westport for your onward journey.
The B&B option means you will get to stay in a family home where the personal touch and attention to detail is second to none. A true Irish welcome awaits you as well as home-cooked food, comfort and a taste of traditional Irish life.
While you may be staying in part of the family home this does not mean that you will not have privacy and high standards of accommodation you require. Cosy rooms, modern facilities and care and attention are what these properties excel in.
When you select this tour you will have the chance to stay in either hotels or B&B/guesthouse accommodation. The 3* hotels that have been selected are all comfortable, well-appointed properties which also boast their own character and style. You may find yourself in a historic manor house hotel, one with a modern twist or get a 'room with a view' overlooking a shimmering lake or a golden beach.
However they all share the same high standards of hospitality and service and will guarantee you a warm welcome, good food and a relaxing experience after your day on the road.
"Everyone was so friendly and helpful from the very beggining to the last accommodation, all of the drivers, etc. Everything was very well coordinated and very easy for me to figure out."
Brittany, July 2018
"After the meeting with Conor everything was so easy to follow and simple to figure and the walks were just marvelous, even when it rained! Thanks so much!"
Mary - May 2018
Double/ Twin/ Triple
Terms and conditions
To secure your booking, we will request 30% deposit per person. Please note this is a non-refundable payment. The balance payment is due 30 days before the tour starts.
If your tour start date is within 30 days of booking, the full, non-refundable payment is required upon booking.
We do not organise travel to/from Ireland. However there is some useful information on our “Getting To Ireland” page.