Immerse yourself in the culture and nature of western Ireland on this 8-day hiking trip. Enjoy hearty Irish pub meals, spend your days hiking on the rocky cliffs and wind-swept moors, and spend the night in comfortable accommodations in town. See medieval and prehistoric ruins and hear stories of bygone eras as you explore Mayo County's highlights: iconic Croagh Patrick, beautiful Clew Bay, and the stunning views of Killary Fjord.

Highlights

  • Follow the follow Tochar Phadraig monastic route through Croagh Patrick
  • Hike through rocky hillsides, thick forests, and ancient bogs in Clew Bay
  • Explore Cromwell-era ruins on Inish Boffin Island
  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic coast on a hike in Killary Fiord

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival Achill
Day 2 Achill Island Achill
Day 3 Mulranny to Westport Westport
Day 4 Clare Island Westport
Day 5 Croagh Patrick Westport
Day 6 Kilary Harbour Walk Clifden, Co Galway
Day 7 Inishbofin Island Clifden, Co Galway
Day 8 Departure Day  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Shopping street in Castlebar
Shopping street in Castlebar

Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in the capital of Mayo County—Castlebar. Meet with your guide, then transfer to Achill Island, your base for the next two nights. Go for an evening stroll to the neighborhood pub for your first dinner together. 

Day 2: Achill Island

Sunny day on Achill Island
Sunny day on Achill Island

Fill up with a hearty Irish breakfast and pick up your picnic lunch, then depart from the accommodation to begin your hike for the day. Your first stop of the day is a hidden mountain lake, which supplies most of the island with water. From here, continue across open mountainsides, moorland and bogs as you explore the north coast of the island. 

This area has lots of secluded lakes, wildlife, and beautiful nature. Hike through the area to reach an old signal tower and an old deserted village before rejoining your driver and returning to your overnight accommodation. In the evening, explore the area and enjoy dinner out in town. 

Walk distance: 8.7 miles/ 14 km

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & grassy, muddy trails.  Open hillsides with no trails & rough underfoot conditions.

Day 3: Mulranny to Westport

Breathtaking views from the hillsides
Breathtaking views from the hillsides

Leave the island behind you today and head southeast to the town of Mulranny. Just east of here, follow an old track into the hills to see the beautiful countryside, then continue south to your overnight accommodation just outside the town of Westport. You'll stay here for the next three nights. 

In the morning before departing, visit Achill Island's Keem Beach—voted Ireland's best beach! Enjoy the panoramic views across the island all the way to Clare Island to the south. Start your way just east of Mulranny and follow a track along the foothills of the Nephin Mountains overlooking the clustered islands of Clew Bay. Finish your hike and meet up with your transfer vehicle, then travel on to Westport. Enjoy dinner and a good nights rest in Westport. 

Walk distance: 10 miles/ 16 km

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & grassy, muddy trails.  Some off-trail walking over open hillsides with muddy & boggy conditions underfoot.

Day 4: Clare Island

Island Hopping
Island Hopping

Your day today starts with a beautiful drive around the shores of Clew Bay to reach a small harbor on the western tip of the lake. From here, take a ride on a local ferry across the lake to reach the island. This island is home to many legends and heroes, including the famous Pirate Queen—Grace O'Malley. Explore the island and its tumultuous history, then return to Westport for a free evening in town. 

If bad weather prevents the ferry from safely crossing to the island, head out for a guided wilderness hike on Croagh Patrick. Walking west from the pier, climb to the highest point of the island for sweeping views of the ocean. This is the largest island on Clew Bay, and the western rocky slopes protect the land from the ravages of the Atlantic storms. 

Walk distance: 10 miles/ 16 km

Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & some grassy, uneven & muddy trails.  Off-trail walking with some steep climbs.

Day 5: Croagh Patrick

Landscapes of Croagh Patrick
Landscapes of Croagh Patrick

Today is a full day out in nature to hike around the iconic landscapes of Croagh Patrick. This site is a must-see on every visit to Mayo County, and its legends and stories precede it. 

Travel south from Westport to reach the ancient woodlands of Brackloon. From here, follow Tochar Phadraig, part of the old pilgrim route from the monastic settlement at Aghagower. Continue through the forest and backcountry roads to reach the foothills of Croagh Patrick. After a tough, short hike across the moor, you'll reach your highest point as you follow the southern flanks of the mountain to reach the "shoulder". The last stretch is a short and steep hike to the top of the mountain. 

Back at the bottom, visit the visitor's center at the base to learn about local culture, geology, and legends. Enjoy some well-earned snacks, then head back to Westport for the night. 

Walk distance: 8.7 miles/ 14 km
Walk details: Gravel tracks, loose scree, rocky & uneven conditions underfoot, muddy trails. 

Day 6: Kilary Harbour Walk

Hiking in a fjord
Hiking in a fjord

Today travel south through a wild and remote region of mountains and boglands to reach the village of Leenane, which sits on the eastern end of Ireland's only fjord—Kilary Harbour. Hiking in this untamed region under the shadows of the Sheffry Hills is a treat for any visitor to the region. Walk through the forest along a stream to emerge into open countryside with breathtaking views of the hills. If the weather conditions are right, head higher into the hills for bigger views. 

Return to your vehicle, then stop for a quick pick-me-up near Leenane. Continue through Connemara, then head west to the coast to reach the town of Clifden. Enjoy a quiet evening in town, followed by a well-deserved rest. 

Walk distance: 6.2 miles/ 10 km

 Walk details: Paved roads, gravel tracks & open hillsides with uneven, rocky & boggy sections underfoot.

Day 7: Inishbofin Island

Ruins on Inishbofin Island
Ruins on Inishbofin Island

Drive out of Clifden and travel northwest to reach Cleggan Pier. From here take a small ferry to the beautiful island of Inishbofin—famous for its rich history, time-honored traditions, and friendly locals. Enjoy a walk along the shores of the island to explore medieval ruins. The local fortresses dating back to the time of Cromwell are referenced often in the local lore. See what the stories are talking about in this full-day wandering adventure. 

In the afternoon, return to Clifden and your accommodation. Enjoy a final farewell dinner, compare stories, and enjoy live music before your travels tomorrow. 

Day 8: Departure Day

Local shepherd with his flock 
Local shepherd with his flock 

After your final Irish breakfast, transfer back to the bus and train station in Tralee. From here, connections to all major airports, cities, and ports in Ireland are available. Safe travels! 

Map

Map of Hiking Ireland's Atlantic Way - 8 Days
Map of Hiking Ireland's Atlantic Way - 8 Days