Countryside wanders, corking views and cracking hospitality on Ireland’s West Coast...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 2
Galway, Connemara and Ballycroy – just the names evoke thoughts of wild Irish countryside, stunning views and an escape from normal life.
Well my friends, welcome to eight days of just that!
Staying in a guest house close to the town of Westport, known as the Riviera of the West Atlantic Way, we spend our time exploring this beautiful stretch of Irish coastline.
Each day is different but will revolve around easy or moderate walks and visits to craft shops and cafes, followed by evenings spent sampling some of Ireland’s best hospitality.
- Saturday 23rd – Sunday 31st May 2020
- Saturday 15th – Sunday 23rd August 2020
In a nutshell:
- Wander through Western Ireland’s wonderland – cliff top strolls, mountain ambles and forest rambles.
- Warm to the Irish craic that will include great food, live music and a healthy sprinkling of wit.
- While away time watching wildlife and wallowing in the scenery with a lovely group of fellow walkers.
About the Area
Galway and Mayo, Ireland
Two famous counties in the west of Ireland, Galway and Mayo are famed for their beauty. Once part of the ancient kingdom of Connacht, the landscape is made of high mountain peaks, miles of spectacular coastline, and inland countryside, comprising several National Parks, as well as limestone country and the famous bogs.
Alongside the views and excellent walks, there are dozens of welcoming towns, such as Westport and Letterfrack, where visitors can while away the hours in the many pubs and cafes. As well as walking, take time to visit the many ancient sites, dating back thousands of years, or look out for wildlife on the great Atlantic coast.
Day 1 – Saturday
Today we’ll collect you from Dublin airport or the ferry port and begin the drive to the other side of the country. Please see the bottom of the page for travel suggestions. This drive will take several hours, so it’s likely we’ll stop off at a site for a quick wander, and have plenty of chances for breaks and leg stretches!
In the afternoon we’ll arrive at our guesthouse and after a few minutes the hot drinks will be served while you settle in.
Tonight it’s likely we’ll eat in and go through the plans for the week ahead.
Days 2-8 – Sunday to Saturday
On each of these days we’ll start with a sit-down breakfast and make plans for the day ahead. We’ll normally go on an easy/moderate guided walk for part of the day before exploring a local site, browsing craft shops, doing a spot of wildlife watching or quite simply relishing a big slice of cake in a tearoom.
Here are some ideas of the places we’ll head to:
- Connemara National Park: In County Galway, just south of Mayo lies the spectacular Connemara National Park. We’ll weave our way through the hills and valleys and look out for the area’s unique wildlife. Created in 1980, the Park is noted for its bird life, and has a variety of walking trails for us to enjoy, whether our aim is a valley stroll through woodland or a small hill.
- Ballycroy National Park: A vast, unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg hills, Ballycroy is certainly a good place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Protected for its unique wildlife and hosting acres of forest alongside its fantastic hill scenery, we’ll find plenty of places to walk and experience Ireland’s remote side.
- Croagh Patrick: Famous as the holiest mountain in Ireland. St Patrick was said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit, making this peak a key destination for pilgrims to this day. With the right weather we can bag this summit which is above 700m but well within the abilities of most people. The views from the top are a great reward for all the hard work and we can then head to the Visitor Centre afterwards for a well-earned treat at the cafe.
- Tiernaur: North of Westport there are a number of walking options exploring the woodlands and coastal scenery of Tiernaur, with views over the islands of Clew Bay and up to the Nephin Beg hills. We can also walk to some of the large freshwater lakes of the area, including Lough Furnace and Lough Feagh.
- Mweelrea: As Mayo’s highest peak, this is definitely a walk to save until we have a good weather day! The ascent is fairly steep mountainous terrain – a good challenge if the group is up for it. The peak lies next to Killary Harbour and offers views across the ocean, the Ben Gorm Mountains and the Twelve Bens of Connemara. If you’re keen to do this, we can take our time and make a fantastic day of it.
Day 8 – Sunday
Our final day, we’ll pack up and leave the accommodation after breakfast to begin our drive back to Dublin. We can drop you at the airport or ferry port. Please see the information at the bottom of the page for timings.
Good to know:
For this 8-night stay we will be based in a guest house and we include all travel in Ireland. There will be plenty of chances to head into Westpoprt to experience some of the local culture and live music.
We will be collecting from Dublin airport at 11am on the first day and will return you to Dublin no earlier than 2pm on the last day.
- Return travel to Dublin and all travel in Ireland
- 8 nights guest house accommodation
- 7 days of gentle guided day walks along the Wild Atlantic Way
- Breakfast is included on each day along with a packed lunch. Please note lunch on the arrival day and the departure day are not included and evening meals are not included.
About the accommodation, we will be staying in guest house that has a mix of twins, quads and triples, all rooms will be on a single sex basis.
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What our members have to say...
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018