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Connemara & Western Way – 8 Day
3 - Ireland, Connemara & The West | Self-Guided Walking Tours | 8 Days | £585
This 8 Day tour encompasses the Wild Atlantic Way from the shores of Lough Corrib in Ougtherard through the Connemara Mountains, passing the shores of Killary Harbour, Irelands only natural Fjord, and on to the slopes of Croagh Patrick where you will finish in Westport.
Tour Pricing & Dates
8 Day Tour – £585 per person sharing
Single Supplement – +£210
Tour Dates – Available March to October
Tour Grade – Easy to Moderate
Accommodation – Guesthouse (en suite)
Day 1 Travel to Oughterard
Travel to Oughterard where you will be picked up and taken to your guesthouse. Oughterard is a traditional village, nestled beside Lough Corrib (the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland), at the start of the Connemara Mountain Range and only 17km from Galway City.
Day 2 The Shores of Lough Corrib
Your first walk on the Western Way Connemara takes you along the southwestern shore of Lough Corrib one of the great western lakes of Europe, known practically all over for its trout and salmon fishing and its myriad of islands. Onto the town land of Curraun More, across the Owenree River and through the forest of Folore to join the Maam Road and your first glimpses of the breathtaking mountains of Connemara. This is a perfect introduction to walking in Connemara countryside, where you will see the landscape change from picturesque to truly wild, where it has largely been untouched by the modern world. Distance: 21km, Ascent: 110 m Approximate Walking Time: 5.30 hours
Day 3 The Pilgrim Trail
You will witness today the transformation of the landscape from yesterdays delightful scenery to the increasingly untamed, as you walk amidst the splendour of the Mamturk Mountains (The Pass of the Pig). The trail follows an old pilgrim route that rises gently between mountains at Maumean (the valley of the bird), passing St. Patrick’s Church and Holy Well as you travel. It is said that St. Patrick rested in this spot on his way to Croagh Patrick near Westport. Crossing the spine of the Mamturk Mountains you will be presented with some fantastic views in both directions, back into the Maam Valley and ahead to the “Twelve Bens” mountain range on the far side of the Inagh Valley with its stunning lake dotted with islands and a Crannog (an ancient manmade lake dwelling). Distance: 15 km, Ascent 280 m Approximate walking time 4.5 hrs
Day 4 Lough Inagh to Leenaun
You depart Lough Inagh by walking directly from your accommodation via an old road that dates back hundreds or possibly thousands of years. The trail contours the base of the Mamturk Mountains passing some old ruined deserted settlements as you travel. This area is now completely uninhabited and has been since the time of the great famine of 1845. This is one of the most remote parts of the trail where there is a sense of peace and a great distance from the bustle of modern life and its conflicts. As you descend into the village of Leenaun some great views will open up to you of Ireland’s only fjord “Killary Fjord”. Glaciers moving off the mountains over ten thousand years ago, carved this fjord from the underlying rock and was subsequently filled by the Atlantic Ocean. Your day finishes in Leenaun, a village nestling on the shore of Killary Harbour and backed by the mountains. Distance: 14 km, Ascent 85 m Approximate walking time 4 hrs
Day 5 Rest Day
You could take a taxi and visit Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled gardens, or do a walk along the old Famine Road from Leenaune to Rossroe harbour, a picturesque rural fishing community. Ludwig Wittgenstein took up residence here after World War II, taking advantage of its peaceful and remote setting, to concentrate on his writing. The famine road runs for 9km along the edge of Killary fjord. During the 19th century this road was built as part of a program to provide food in exchange for labour during the famine.
Day 6 Leenaun to Drummin
Today’s trail takes you northeast from Leenaun to the head of Killary Fjord and across the county border into Mayo. Here you will have an option to take a short detour to visit the famous Assleagh Falls, where the Erriff River (world famous for salmon fishing), cascades to meet the inlet of Killary. When the rivers are full in late summer you often see the salmon leap as they travel upstream to spawn. The route takes you through some open farmland where sheep farming is the predominant activity. You will cross the Sheeffry Hills from where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Erriff Valley and your last glimpse of the Connemara Mountains. Your day finishes in the quiet hamlet of Drummin. Distance: 15 km, Ascent 200 m Approximate walking time 4.5 hrs
Day 7 Drummin to Westport
On your final walking day you will walk in the shadow of Ireland’s Holy Mountain; Croagh Patrick. This mountain is a spectacular sight and many pilgrims from around the world come to climb it every year, many barefoot or on their knees. It is believed that the saint fasted here for 40 days and 40 nights. Following a small country road, the trail leads you to the wild and beautiful townlands of Bartaglanna and Glencally. Here you will have the option to take a detour to climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick or continue along the Western Way into the picturesque yet lively award winning Distance: 23 km, Ascent 420 m Approximate walking time 6.5 hrs
Day 8 Depart
After Breakfast you will depart from Westport by public transport on your onward journey.
✓ 7 nights B&B
✓ All accommodation is pre-booked in approved family-run guesthouses with all rooms en-suite
✓ Luggage transfers daily while you walk
✓ Maps and all route notes
✓ All information on trains or buses needed to get to your first accommodation and back at the end of the tour
✓ Full back up service should you require it while on our tour
X Lunches & Evening Meals