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The Connemara Way

The Connemara Way

Tour details

Rating
Average rating:   0,  0 reviews
Country
Ireland
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
8 days & 7 nights
Difficulty
Moderate
Accomodation
Comfortable
Availability
April - October

Itinerary


Day 1: Oughterard
Day 2: Maam
Day 3: Lough Inagh Valley
Day 4: Connemara National Park
Day 5: Leenane
Day 6: Drummin
Day 7: Westport
Day 8: Departure

Overview for The Connemara Way

Follow the Connemara Way and get on a journey through an ever-changing landscape of majestic mountains, mist-covered lakes, pre-historic bogs, hidden bays and coves, and shady glens. Connemara is a region in County Galway on the West Coast of Ireland with beautiful landscapes, peppered with quaint but lively villages, where you will have the opportunity to step back in time.

Highlights

  • Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
  • Breathtaking views from the Maamturks ridges
  • Connemara National Park – 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands

Itinerary for The Connemara Way

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Day 1: Arrival Oughterard

Arrive in the small town of Oughterard on the banks of the Owenriff River close to the western shore of Lough Corrib. It was the country of the O’Flaherty clan, feared throughout the land and eventually reduced to obedience in the reign of Elizabeth 1. The ruins of their castle at Aughanure are just outside the village. Lough Corrib is the second largest lake in Éire and a real paradise for every birdwatcher. Early risers can enjoy the spring dawn chorus, a spectacular celebration of the new day.

  • Overnight: Oughterard townland by Lough Corrib.

Day 2: Oughterard – Maam

From the shores of Lough Corrib, follow the Way through pine forest, climbing gently through the valleys of the Owenroe and Folore Rivers into a magnificent wilderness of mountain and bog to reach civilization again at the village of Maam Bridge.

  • Overnight: Farm guesthouse at Maam. Evening meal available at the guesthouse (not included)
  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 5 hours, ↑90m 

Day 3: Walk Maam – Lough Inagh Valley

The farming countryside of Maam climbs steadily through rugged hill country along the old mountain road, to the low pass of Mám Éan (The Pass of the Birds) and a lovely hillside chapel of St. Patrick. An alternative route takes you high into the Maamturks on a demanding climb to 700m rewarded with fantastic views to the Atlantic and Galway Bay.

  • Overnight: Lough Inagh Valley. Evening meal available at the guesthouse (not included)
  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 5 hours, ↑220 m
  • Walking for the day (alternative route via Binn Chaorigh): 15 km, 7 hours, ↑770 m

Day 4: Connemara National Park

Today you will have a few walking options.

  • Follow the spectacular undulating ridge of the Maumturks to reach Letterbreckaun (667m).
  • Visit the Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Gardens. Originally a Castle, built as a romantic gift for the beautiful Margaret Henry in 1867, Kylemore Abbey is steeped in tales of romance, tragedy, spirituality, and innovation.
  • The Connemara National Park and Visitor Centre are also within striking distance. Your hosts can assist you with transfers to your chosen route.
  • Overnight: Lough Inagh Valley
  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 6 hours, ↑667 m

Day 5: Lough Inagh – Leenane

After breakfast, take a gentle walk through the pine forest and bogland of Luggagtarriff and Lettershanbally. The Way climbs briefly to Glencraff before skirting the northern flanks of the Maumturks to view Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. The day finishes in the village of Leenane (An Líonán – Where the tide fills), a lovely hamlet nestling under the impressive Mweelrea Mountains of County Mayo.

  • Overnight: Leenane village
  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 5 hours, ↑70 m 

Day 6: Leenane – Drummin

Taxi transfer to Aasleagh Waterfall. The Way rises through forest over Tawnyard Lough descending to Sheefry Bridge over the Owenmore River in the Sheefry Hills. You can choose an alternative route via Lough Lugacolliwee which climbs a deep stream ravine crossing at 480m to see the first glimpse of the quartzite cone of Croagh Patrick. The glaciated coum Lough Lugacolliwee is a peaceful place in the midst of such mountain splendour.

  • Overnight: Liscarney. Evening meal available at the guesthouse (not included)
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4 hours, ↑80 m
  • Walking for the day (Alternative Route via Lough Lugacolliwee): 23 km, 7 hours, ↑430 m

Day 7: Drummin – Westport

The route takes you to the south of Croagh Patrick, sheep grazing country, rising to open moorland, before crossing a pass at 250m to see island studded Clew Bay. The Way descends through the remains of a Famine village, then wanders through drumlins, glacial mounds deposited in the flatland surrounding Westport town. As one of Ireland’s few planned towns, designed by the well-known architect of the Georgian period – James Wyatt, Westport Mayo has earned its place among Ireland’s designated Heritage Towns. Enjoy your last evening on the Way and maybe go for a pint to meet the locals.

  • Overnight: Westport town
  • Walking for the day: 24 km, 6 hours, ↑230 m

Day 8: Departure

Depart Westport by direct train to Dublin or take a bus to Shannon (via Galway).

Hotels for The Connemara Way

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Accommodations on this tour include a mix of welcoming B&Bs and guesthouses. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere, cuisine and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Note that it is sometimes necessary to accommodate you a short walk away from the trail itself, as there is not always suitable accommodation close to the trail. Details will be given in your pre-departure info pack.

Sample accommodations: Forest Hill B&B in Oughterard, Lough Inagh Ranch in Inagh Valley, The Convent Guesthouse in Leenane, Moher House B&B in Liscarney, Westwood B&B in Wesport.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse your are staying at or at the village inns and restaurants.

Travel for The Connemara Way

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You are best to fly in and out of Dublin and Shannon airports.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily, so do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

  • Dublin Airport is easily accessible from the UK with several low-cost airlines covering the route as well as scheduled international carriers. Irish Ferries also operate from Holyhead to Dublin. Take bus 747 (every 15 minutes) from the airport to Heuston railway station in Dublin for your journey (approx. 2h30) to Galway with Irish Rail. From Dublin Airport there is a direct bus to Galway (approx. 3h45). For further information, timetables and tickets, visit Bus Éireann.
  • Shannon Airport: Flights are available to Shannon Airport from Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, London Heathrow and Birmingham, as well as Boston and New York JFK. From Shannon Airport take a bus (approx. 2 hours) to Galway.
  • Buses from Galway to Oughterard run five times daily. For more details, visit Citylink.

Baggage Transfers

All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).

Travel Insurance

A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads Logo to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.

Buy travel insurance online

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on Ireland is available here

Trip Info for The Connemara Way

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This itinerary is suitable for regular walkers. The total length of the walk is 84 km. The hikes each day will vary from 14-24 km and cross some rough, wet and rocky terrain. Less than half of the route is on tarmac roads, because rights of way are almost non-existent in Ireland, and this is common for most Irish trails. The road walking is mostly along quiet and scenic lanes and there are only a few busier stretches where you will need to be cautious with traffic.

Read more about difficulty grades

Route Navigation

The routes are waymarked, and the itinerary is easy to follow. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from early April till the end of October. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several T-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included for The Connemara Way

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  • 7 nights in private en-suite rooms (B&Bs and guesthouses)
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information (road notes, 1:50000 maps)
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (subject to availability); note that single rooms may be of inferior standard to double/twin rooms
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price.

To see the price of the holiday for your desired dates, including the cost of different options and supplements, please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above.

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • All lunches and dinners
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request

Gallery for The Connemara Way

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