Immerse yourself in the glorious scenery of western Ireland on this eight-day walking itinerary. Start in the coastal village of Doolin to hike through the lunar landscape of The Burren, along the Cliffs of Moher, and out to the Irish-speaking island of Inis Mór. Skirt inland mountain ranges and the lakes of Connemara to end your adventure in Galway, where cozy pubs and live music await. Luggage transfers and daily breakfasts mean all you have to do is set off with your day pack and enjoy the scenery.


  • Walk along the colossal Cliffs of Moher above the wild Atlantic
  • Explore the otherworldly limestone landscape of The Burren
  • Experience traditional island life and hear the Irish tongue on Inis Mór
  • Toast your trip in the city of Galway at one of its live music bars

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Doolin Doolin
Day 2 Green Road Walk via The Burren Doolin
Day 3 Cliffs of Moher Hike & Ferry to Inis Mór Inis Mór
Day 4 Inis Mór & Dun Aonghasa Fort Walk Inis Mór
Day 5 Ferry to Connemara & Maumeen Pass Hike Lough Inagh Valley
Day 6 Lough Inagh to Leenane Walk Leenane, Aasleagh
Day 7 Transfer to Galway, Explore Ireland's Bohemian Capital Galway
Day 8 Depart Galway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Doolin

Doolin at sunset
A colorful sunset over Doolin, home of traditional Irish music

A warm welcome to the Emerald Isle! You'll transfer from the airport to a cheerful Irish scene: the traditional village of Doolin in County Clare. On the far edge of Europe, Ireland's "wild west" is a place of tight-knit communities and spectacular coastal scenery. 

For many, Doolin is their favorite settlement in the west, with an inspiring coastal setting, brightly painted houses, and bands frequently playing in its pubs. It's hailed as the home of traditional Irish music, after all! Get a taste of Irish tradition over dinner tonight at Gus O'Connor's Pub, one of Ireland's best-loved boozers since 1832. Tuck into seafood chowder or Atlantic mussels while settling in for an evening of merry music. 

Day 2: Green Road Walk via The Burren

Rock formations along the Burren Way
Traverse The Burren's moon-like limestone formations on today's walk

Catch a ride after breakfast to the start of the Green Road route near Fanore Beach. Today's 11-mile (18 km) trail takes you around the base of Black Head Mountain with limestone formations underfoot. Take in the views out to Galway Bay and the Aran Islands as you continue over Gleninagh Mountain.

Intercept The Burren Way as you descend into Burren National Park. Named for the Irish word boireann, meaning "rocky place," you'll find miles of limestone, hazel scrub, woodland, springs, and cliffs. Walk over the hill of Slieve Elva, with its spongey moss terrain, before reaching the settlement of Craggagh. After about six hours of walking, it's a transfer back to tuneful Doolin to spend another night.

Day 3: Cliffs of Moher Hike & Ferry to Inis Mór

Cliffs in bloom
Hike along County Clare's windswept Cliffs of Moher

Discover Ireland's most renowned landscape today with a three-hour, 9-mile (14 km) hike along the Cliffs of Moher. Rising from the raging Atlantic to 700 feet (214 m) at their highest point, standing here is like teetering at the world's edge. Close to Doolin, pause at O'Brien's Tower, a 19th-century stone-built observation tower that marks the cliffs' highest point. The panorama provides views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, and the Maumturk mountain range.

Walk all the way to the visitor center for more incredible views, and then backtrack up the coastal trail until you reach Doolin's ferry terminal. Your luggage will have been collected and transferred to meet you here. Cruise over to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, where you'll spend the next couple of nights. The Aran Islands are home to a wide expanse of natural landscape, deserted villages, monastic sites, plus wildlife such as wintering birds and passing whales.

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Day 4: Inis Mór & Dun Aonghasa Fort Walk

Aerial view of the fort
An eerial view of Inis Mór's Iron Age Dun Aonghasa fort

Spend your day clambering over Inis Mór along small paths and quiet roads. Along today's six-hour, 11-mile (17 km) trek, you'll discover prehistoric churches atop towering cliffs, including the famous stone fort of Dun Aonghasa, 330 feet (100 m) above the Atlantic waves. The fort was once described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe," and its stone medieval defense measures known as chevaux-de-frise are still visible. Keep an ear out for Irish Gaelic being spoken in the streets as you return to your lodging in the evening.

Day 5: Ferry to Connemara & Maumeen Pass Hike

On the lakeshore
Hike through stunning Connemara scenery on a historic pilgrimage route

Your island adventure comes to an end this morning as you take the morning ferry back to the mainland. Disembark at the Rossaveel ferry terminal and meet your transfer to start today's four-hour, 9-mile (14 km) walk. You'll set off on the Western Way, an old long-distance pilgrimage route.

Begin at Teernakill Bridge, near the village of Maam and over the Maumeen Pass (Mám Éan). The pass is home to an ancient shrine to Saint Patrick, stations, and a holy well still visited by pilgrims. You could take a short detour to the Maumahoge mountain lake, over an "off-trail" mountain heath, to enjoy the majesty of this pool between the peaks. You'll then descend to quiet country roads to bring you to your lodging for the evening, where your luggage will be waiting for you.

Day 6: Lough Inagh to Leenane Walk

Follow the stones
Follow the stones as you continue along the Western Way 

Start this morning on the shore of Lough Inagh, one of Connemara's most spectacular lakes. Today's five-hour hike finds you back on the Western Way trail, where you'll take the 10-mile (16 km) route through the Inagh Valley. Enjoy views of the Maumturk mountains on your right and the Twelve Pins range on your left.

You'll go through Letterbreckaun to Tullyconor, then follow a road through a conifer plantation forest that will deliver you to a path down to Killary Harbour fjord. The trail hugs the fjord until you reach the small seaside village of Leenane, known for its inspiring setting between the mountains and sea.

Day 7: Transfer to Galway, Explore Ireland's Bohemian Capital

Galway by evening
Galway on a moonlit night welcomes you at the end of your hiking adventure

Take a more relaxed form of transit today as you catch a taxi to Maam Cross to join the Galway-Clifden bus route. The bus will take you to Galway, the most dynamic city along the Wild Atlantic Way, in a spot where the River Corrib meets the ocean.

This medieval maritime hub is now the bohemian capital of Ireland, prized for its art scene, street performances, live music, and buildings painted in primary colors. Head to the quayside to walk beneath the Spanish Arch and continue to Galway Bay—this relaxing stroll offers distant views of The Burren's hilly limestone landscape across the water. Music pours from the pubs of Galway, so sink a pint and enjoy the live entertainment to celebrate your last night.

Day 8: Depart Galway

Sneak in your last-minute souvenirs
Take a final walk down Galway's Quay Street before your departure

Linger over one last Irish breakfast or stroll through Galway's energetic center before you fly home or head off on your next adventure. Safe travels!

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Map of Western Ireland on Foot: The Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara - 8 Days
Map of Western Ireland on Foot: The Burren, Aran Islands & Connemara - 8 Days