Expert Guide on tour for the tour duration.
7 nights stay, 6 days hiking
Moderate Walks each day – Previous Hiking experience required
“Very organised, very relaxed. Brilliant group Leaders. Even enjoyed the “soft rain”. Looking forward to my next walking holiday with IWHB.”
– Margaret, UK, 2016
Immerse yourself in the West of Ireland for an idyllic holiday as you discover this part of Ireland with a “local” on the Wild Atlantic Way. From delicious food, to outdoor activities, to local Irish culture and heritage, you will be amazed at how much you will discover as you uncover all that makes this region so unique. You’ll feel at one with nature during the day and the friendly Irish people will help you feel right at home as you embrace rural life. And by the time you leave, you’ll have had a taste of Irish life that is guaranteed to leaving you wanting more.
Mayo is still a relatively untouched & undiscovered part of Ireland. It treasures many of our iconic landscapes & continues to be a photographer’s haven for those promoting Ireland. It is here that you can still find so many of our more typical stone houses, untouched landscapes & traditional farming habits. It is best known for Ireland’s most sacred pilgrim mountain – Croagh Patrick – that iconic “cone” that dominates so much of the landscape in this region and is still one of our most climbed & popular “pilgrim days” – especially on “Reek” Sunday!! Mayo’s maritime history is long & fascinating, its ancient habitations date back to the time of the Egyptian Pyramids & everywhere you turn – there is more to discover, stories to hear & more beauty to be enthralled by.
Achill Island is Ireland’s largest island & was first inhabited 5,000 years ago. Now accessible by a bridge from the mainland, it is simply oozing with great walks, amazing scenery & history in abundance. Famous for its soaring mountains and dramatic cliffs and seascapes you will relax into island life before you realise you are doing so as you explore the hidden treasures of this place.
Not Included: Personal drinks, medical expenses or gratuities.
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You arrive to the capital of Mayo – Castlebar town. Here, your Guide will meet you at 16.00 hours, introduce you to your other group members & whisk you away to the western reaches of this glorious region to reach Achill Island. This is your base for your next 2 nights and your Guide will brief you on the coming days of your holiday & ensure you are properly prepared for each day. You will then walk to a nearby restaurant to enjoy your first dinner together & experience island nightlife!
After a scrumptious breakfast and armed with your picnic lunch, you will depart from your accommodation to start your walk, discovering the delights of this wonderful region – the “deserted village”, an old signal tower and some idyllic hidden lakes.
Leaving your accommodation, you reach a magnificent lake hidden in the mountains in an idyllic setting which supplies most of the island with its water. From there, you continue across open mountain, moorland & bogland with no defined tracks as you continue to the northern coast of this island. Here, you discover the delights of more hidden lakes, known only by the birds & keen walkers, as you follow across the hillsides to reach an old signal tower. Continuing, you reach an old deserted village before re-joining your minivan & returning to your accommodation.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 14kms. Highest point: 300mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & grassy, muddy trails. Open hillsides with no trails & rough underfoot conditions.
After your walk, you will have a free evening to enjoy this beautiful island where you overnight for your 2nd night.
Leaving this beautiful island, you continue south east to reach the town of Mulranny. Just east of here, you will follow a wonderful track into the hills to experience the beauty & untouched nature that is all around you. From here, you then continue south to reach your accommodation just outside the town of Westport. This is where you will be staying for your next 3 nights.
Before leaving Achill, your Guide will take you to see the beautiful Keem Beach – voted Ireland’s best beach!! With glorious views across the island, the Wild Atlantic & south to Clare Island, you will be fascinated by the beauty of this region. From here, you start your walk just east of Mulranny and follow a track along the foothills of the Nephin mountains overlooking Clew Bay. With as many islands as there are number of days in the year, Clew Bay is a fascinating place to watch & enjoy from a height. Complete your circuit & return to your minivan before travelling on to Westport where you stay for your next 3 nights. Dinner & overnight in Westport.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 16kms. Highest point: 200mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & grassy, muddy trails. Some off-trail walking over open hillsides with muddy & boggy conditions underfoot.
Your day starts today with a glorious drive around the shores of Clew Bay to then reach a small harbour on the western tip of these shores. From here, you take a small ferry across to the magnificent Clare Island. This is a legendary place – once home to our famous Pirate Queen – Grace O’Malley. Discovering some of the delights of this island, you then return to Westport for an evening at your own leisure. If for any reason weather prevents this trip – then your Guide will take you on a lovely walk into the wilderness that few discover east of Croagh Patrick.
Walking west from the pier, you will climb to the highest point of the island with wonderful 360 degree views all around. This is the largest island on Clew Bay and the western side of the island protects so much of the land from the ravages of the Wild Atlantic storms. With views south to Croagh Patrick & north to Slievemore on Achill, you will be spoilt with beauty.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 16kms. Highest point: 470mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & some grassy, uneven & muddy trails. Off-trail walking with some steep climbs.
Return to your accommodation in Westport for your overnight & a free evening at your leisure.
Today is your day for experiencing a pilgrimage as you hike the iconic mass of Croagh Patrick. No trip to Mayo is complete without a journey to this famous “Reek” as it dominates the landscape, and features in so much conversation around the locality. It is a glorious hike, and those that manage to complete it will have a huge sense of achievement.
Travelling south from Westport you reach the ancient woodlands of Brackloon. From here, you follow “Tochar Phadraig” part of the old pilgrim route from the monastic settlement at Aghagower. From here, you follow through woodlands and back country roads to reach the foothills of Croagh Patrick. With a tough, short hike across moorland you then reach your highest point as you follow around the southern flanks of the mountain to reach the “shoulder”. From there, you may ascend to the top if your Guide feels the conditions are right. Descending from the “shoulder” you will finish at the Visitor Centre at the base of Croagh Patrick. There, you can enjoy some well-earned refreshments and read some of the history of the mountain if you wish.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 14kms. Highest point: 765mts. Gravel tracks, loose scree, rocky & uneven conditions underfoot, muddy trails.
Driving back to your accommodation, you can enjoy the bustling town of Westport at your own leisure this evening.
Today, you travel south through a wild & untouched region of mountain and bogland to reach the village of Leenane at the eastern end of Ireland’s only fjord – Killary Harbour. Discovering the delights of this wilderness region you hike under the shadows of the Sheffry Hills. This a land that is untouched, untamed & unblemished by the test of time. Here, your Guide will take you on a beautiful walk, through forestry & beside a stream to emerge into open countryside with views that will literally take your breath away. Should weather conditions allow, a higher hike over the hills may be undertaken instead. Returning to your minivan, you then continue west to the coast to reach the lovely town of Clifden.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 10kms. Highest point: 400mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & open hillsides with uneven, rocky & boggy sections underfoot.
At the end of your walk, you will have time for some light refreshments near Leenane, before continuing through Connemara to reach Clifden. Enjoy a free evening in this lovely town as you check into your accommodation for your last 2 nights.
Driving out of Clifden, you travel northwest to reach Cleggan Pier. From here, you take a small ferry to the beautiful island of Inishbofin – awash with history, tradition & wonderful people.
Your final day takes you around Inishbofin Island on a day of discovery as you enjoy a circular walk around this historical island. With fortresses dating back to the time of Cromwell and a rich mythological history, you will be enthralled by the beauty of this island. Today is a day to wander and enjoy nature at its best as you soak up all that is wonderful around you in the most idyllic setting possible.
Walk Details – Distance: Up to 16kms with some “cut off points” for those wanting shorter distances. Highest point: 150mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & rocky, uneven off-trail sections.
At the end of your walk, you return to Clifden & your accommodation. Your final farewell dinner together is a great way to compare stories, reminisce and enjoy some great music before your onward journeys tomorrow.
After your final and substantial Irish Breakfast, you will transfer by minivan to reach the bus & train station in Galway. From Galway, you can then avail of the excellent bus/train service to all major airports, cities & ferry ports in Ireland. Your estimated arrival time to Galway is approx. 10.00am. (Please ensure any flights are booked for 17.00hrs earliest).