Treasures of Ireland's West Coast

The Best Hikes of Galway, Mayo, and Connemara

Overview

The storied west coast of Ireland is blessed with islands, peninsulas, and the most stunning sea cliffs in Europe. With our legendary Irish Trip Leaders, you’ll be immersed in this stronghold of Irish culture as you hike atop the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, through the moonscapes of the Burren, with its Bronze Age burial sites, along pilgrim trails on Ireland’s holy mountain, and in wild Connemara and the fascinating Aran Islands. Meet farmers, musicians, and artists, savor sea-to-table cuisine, hear the lilting sound of the fiddle in local pubs, and enjoy a warm welcome at our historic lodges and island guesthouses.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Galway / The Burren

We begin in the karst landscape of the Burren, whose limestone hills and hidden glens hold Bronze Age burial sites and Celtic high crosses. With sea spray in the air and wildflowers dotting the coastal grass, we’ll go on magical hikes in this surreal place. One evening, we’ll head to our “insider” spot to savor a fine sunset. Our family-run lodge sources ingredients for meals from local artisan-producers in the Burren.

Hazelwood Lodge
Ballyvaughan, Ireland
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Drumcreehy Country House
Ballyvaughan, Ireland
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Days 3-5
County Mayo / Clare Island / Westport

Heading into County Mayo, with its island-filled bays, we follow pilgrim trails across the striking quartz peak of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest mountain, Christianized by St. Patrick in the 5th century. Out on Clare Island, once the domain of the Gaelic pirate queen Grace O’Malley, we hike Ireland’s finest cliff ramparts (and best-kept secret!) and visit a good friend and sheep farmer to see his collies in action. In Westport, famed for its traditional music, we enjoy a festive pub evening.

The Wyatt Hotel
Westport, Ireland
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Lough Inagh Lodge
Recess, Connemara, Ireland
Days 5 to 8 (4 nights)
Days 6-9
Connemara / Aran Islands / Galway

Hiking a pilgrim route into the Maumturk Mountains brings us right to our lakeside Victorian lodge in a wild region of Connemara. In the otherworldly Aran Islands, we walk through an ancient landscape of stone-walled fields and sea cliffs to reach Dún Aonghasa, a magnificent Stone Age fort that has been called an acropolis of the Celtic world. Depart on Day 9 via Galway.

Lough Inagh Lodge
Recess, Connemara, Ireland
Days 5 to 8 (4 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Inspiring Trip Leaders who bring a deep understanding of Ireland’s history and culture
Hikes on Ireland’s holy mountain and along the cliff ramparts of charming Clare Island
Sea-to-table cuisine, with specialties from oysters to fresh wild salmon
Insider experiences including music nights in pubs and meeting local farmers
Lodgings of character, including a lakeside manor house in Connemara and a charming guesthouse on Clare Island

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $6395  
Arrive: Galway, Ireland
Depart: Galway, Ireland
Lodging: 8 nights inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, 3-6 hours a day, van support

Other Trips You Might be Interested in: