Best of Western Ireland

Best of Western Ireland information and booking

from
$2420
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    6-14
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    moderate
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 7 nights B&B's
Equipment Required
Wet weather gear, sunscreen, walking boots, warm clothes, day pack and sun hat – walking sticks are recommended. A comprehensive gear list is included in the pre-departure information provided on booking.

Highlights

  • Exploring Yeat's country in County Sligo
  • Hiking in the spectacular Connemara landscape
  • Experiencing history, mythology and traditional Irish Culture
  • Enjoying Irish hospitality in family run B&B's and hotels

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

To really experience Ireland you need to feel it – its land, its rain, its temperate climate and most of all, its soul. This is a country that cannot be rushed and exploring it on foot is one of the best ways to experience it. This allows you the opportunity to meet the locals, come face to face with thousands of years of history and see what it is that makes Irish people so unique. We have chosen our best and favourite hikes along the north west coast of Ireland for you to enjoy. Using Galway as our starting point, we travel to Ardara in County Donegal where the coastal hikes are breathtaking before immersing ourselves in "Yeats country" close to Sligo to appreciate this inspirational landscape. Continuing south we explore the spectacular Connemara region before returning to Galway. Staying in atmospheric B&B's and guided by a local walking guide you will be sure to receive a healthy dose of Irish hospitality.

What's included

  • 7 full irish breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 7 dinners (does not include drinks) irish breakfasts are served and usually start with porridge or cereals followed by fried eggs, bacon/sausages, tomato, toast (or any combination you prefer), coffee, tea and juices. this is a great start to the walking day. picnic lunches will be assembled by you after breakfast from our supplies. you should bring a thermos flask for hot water, a water bottle (at least one litre), a lunch box and a knife and spoon for your lunches. lunches consist of sandwiches and fruit. dinner will be booked for 7pm at the guesthouse, local pub or restaurant. note: if you have any special dietary requirements please advise us in advance so we can organise alternatives for you.
  • 7 nights accommodation in bed & breakfast guesthouses on a twin share basis
  • 6 days walking with expert irish guide
  • Mini-bus transport to/from walking locations (public buses may also be used)
  • Luggage transfer

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Galway, drive to Ardara
Meet in Galway's Hotel Meyrick on Eyre Square at 12 noon. From here, we leave the city of Galway behind us and drive north to Ardara in north-west Donegal. We stop along the way to have some time in Donegal town - famous for the "Four Masters" and the Annals they wrote, giving us tremendous history and knowledge of this region in early Christian times. A welcome dinner and briefing session awaits us in our hotel in Ardara.
Day 2 Walk to Glencolumbkille and around the Pilgrim Trail, return to Ardara (4.5hrs)
Our first hike takes us to Glencolumbkille - made famous by St Columba who founded a monastery in these parts before fleeing to Iona Island off Scotland. We hike around the glorious Pilgrim Trail here with spectacular sea views, before venturing across country to the hidden village of Port and back again to finish in Glencolumbkille. At the end of our walk we return to our hotel in Ardara for dinner and overnight. Distance 12km, ascent +380m.
Day 3 Walk to sea cliffs in Slieve League, option to attempt the One Mans Pass (5.5hrs)
Today we undertake a spectacular hike to visit the highest sea cliffs in Ireland at Slieve League. Starting from the village of Teelin we follow an old bog track into the heart of the mountain. These tracks were used until recently to allow locals to cut turf in the mountains, enabling them to keep their home fires burning and ensuring a way of cooking. We then visit an old oratory that dates back to the 6th Century before continuing to the cliff top. Here the brave can attempt the amazing One Mans Pass before we descend along the cliff edge to the viewing area. After a well earned drink we return to Ardara for dinner and overnight. Distance 14km, ascent +650m.
Day 4 Drive to Yeat's country in Sligo, explore the region on foot (5hrs)
Moving south, we drive from Ardara to Sligo via Donegal town. Here we immerse ourselves into Yeat's country - the land that inspired more than one of our literary greats, and it's easy to see why. Walking through this region of Ireland resembles a Swiss valley - transformed by glacial erosion. In the evening we treat ourselves to a dinner in an Irish home with Yeats recitals as we eat. Distance 12km, ascent +550m.
Day 5 Drive to Croagh Patrick for a hike overlooking Clew Bay, then on to Leenane (5hrs)
We drive south again to leave Yeat's country and reach St Patrick's country. The spectacular Croagh Patrick can be seen from miles around and we drive to this holy and inspiring mountain known locally as The Reek for a beautiful hike. Overlooking Clew Bay - the view from up high is amazing as you gaze down on the promised "one island for every day of the year" and learn about St Patrick's experiences on the mountainside. From here we continue driving south to the village of Leenane for our overnight. Distance 10km, ascent +475m.
Day 6 Hike the Killary Harbour fjord along the Famine road (4.5hrs)
The famous Killary Harbour is Ireland's only fjord in all of its hidden coves and inlets - it was once a hiding place for the British Naval fleet. This spectacular place is like an oasis in the desert - and evidence of earlier "mankind" is all around us - the reality of which brings home just what we can be driven to in order to ensure we have food on our tables. Our hike today takes us along an incredible "Famine" road on the shores of this stunning fjord with glorious views across the Atlantic to the west and inland over the impressive Connemara landscape. Distance 12km, ascent +265m.
Day 7 Walk through Connemara's National Park and up Diamond Hill (3hrs)
Our final hike is in Connemara's National Park as we capture the jewel in the crown and hike up Diamond Hill. This 3000 hectare parkland captures some of Connemara's most dramatic scenery and the Visitor Centre explains so much about the formation of this wild land. A hike up Diamond Hill gives us a real taste of this incredible landscape with wonderful views all around (weather permitting!). If time allows after our hike, we will visit some of the well known places in this region such as Kylemore Abbey. Distance 7km, ascent +465m.
Day 8 Return to Galway, trip concludes
After breakfast we depart south back to Galway where the trip concludes at approximately 10:00am.