Ireland's West Coast Islands
Embark on an extraordinary journey through the enchanting landscapes and fascinating history of western Ireland. Explore Ireland’s western coastal reaches, through the picturesque rolling green countryside to wild seascapes and heather-clad mountains. Marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of the Burren National Park, venture into the breathtaking landscapes of Connemara, and enjoy the delights of traditional Irish music and pubs in rural villages.
Get Ready For
- A unique island-hopping adventure on the west coast of Ireland
- Galway City stop and hike along the legendary cliffs of Moher
- Visit and hike Inishbofin, the remote Aran Islands and Clare
- Discover Killary Fjord, the rugged MaamTurks Mountains and the surreal landscape of the Burren
- Hike Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s ancient pilgrimage mountain
Elevate your experience
While every aspect of your walking holiday is important, it is our local expert guides who will really elevate your trip to Ireland. Our guides are enthusiastic, passionate and experienced hikers and climbers who are committed to providing you with the best possible experience of Ireland and a trip to remember. They lead trips in Ireland for an average of 100 days each year so their skills, knowledge and experience is vast. And they all genuinely love to share their local knowledge about Ireland’s west coast and islands.
On the Trail
What's it like underfoot?
This trip combines walks of varying lengths (3 to 13km), trail conditions and gradients. A lot of the Island walks are quite moderate but there are steep climbs up the mountain of Croagh Patrick and Leenane Hill. So if you want to do these particular days be prepared for steeper gradients; also with Croagh Patrick it is very rocky underfoot (you’ll be in the company of many non-walkers on that day who aim to reach the summit barefoot!). Sometimes you’ll be walking along dirt trails, other times wide paths along the cliffs and open mountains.
Embark on your island-hopping journey starting from Galway, often referred to as the City of Tribes. Moving away from the lively city, our route takes us south along the Wild Atlantic Way to the rugged and surreal terrains of the Burren. This unique place is believed to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings. During our first hike of the trip, we will look for clusters of wildflowers scattered across this unusual rocky landscape as we head for the summit of the iconic Mullaghmore mountain.
Meals: L, D
On our initial island-hopping expedition, we’ll sail to the lesser-explored Inis Meáin, one of the Aran Islands situated in the middle. Inis Meáin stands as a stronghold of Irish customs, its roots stretching back approximately 7,000 years. Over centuries, the Aran Islands have been inhabited by diverse communities, each leaving their historical, cultural, and traditional legacy. Today’s trek takes us along tranquil roads and pathways on Inis Meáin the least populated of these remote islands, offering a glimpse into traditional Irish island life, characterized by its unspoiled natural beauty, ancient stone forts, and a deep sense of community heritage.
Meals: B, L
Embark on an exhilarating hike along the world-renowned Cliffs of Moher, where sheer cliffs plummet dramatically into the wild Atlantic Ocean below. As you traverse the rugged pathways, marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views stretching along the Irish coastline, with waves crashing against the cliffs and seabirds soaring overhead. Your journey will be accompanied by the melodic calls of seabirds, creating a symphony of sounds as you immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of one of Ireland’s most iconic natural wonders.
Meals: B, L
Yet another day of island exploration awaits! Today, our destination is Inishbofin Island, renowned for its breathtaking Atlantic Coast vistas. Your coastal hike will lead you along the island’s edges, revealing mesmerizing sights of Inishbofin’s natural wonders such as the sea arch, blowholes, and sea stacks. Further along the trail, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Dún More Cliffs and the ruins of an Iron Age promontory fort, as well as the charming Trá Gheal beach and an ancient famine road. The path meanders through grassy tracks, turf banks, and pebbled shingle beaches, providing a varied and picturesque terrain. After your exploration, savour one of the finest pints of Guinness on the west coast at the harbour before boarding the ferry back to the mainland.
Meals: B, L
Today’s hike offers a unique and memorable experience! We’ll follow a lesser-known trail up Leenane Hill, granting you the opportunity to explore a hidden gem in Mayo that is often overlooked by tourists. As you ascend, take in the stunning vistas of Killary Fjord on one side, contrasting with the untamed expanses of Mayo’s wild bogs on the other. Gain insights into the ecological and historical significance of Irish bogs, a disappearing landscape of great importance. Upon reaching the summit of Leenane Hill, be captivated by the panoramic 360-degree views encompassing the picturesque and rugged MaamTurks Mountains, the imposing Mweelrea Mountain, and the vast expanse of the fjord extending out to the wild Atlantic Ocean.
Meals: B, L
Welcome to the final island of our adventure: Clare Island. In the 16th century, the untamed northern coast of Ireland was under the rule of Grace O’Malley, a fierce Gaelic pirate queen who dominated the Northern European seas. Clare Island, a rarely visited gem, stands as the guardian at the entrance to Clew Bay, which was once the Pirate Queen’s formidable stronghold. Explore the enchanting ruins, jagged cliffs, and unspoiled beaches of this mystical place, including the Pirate Queen’s castle. Our hiking route traces an ancient green path, passing by historic abbeys and Neolithic remnants, eventually leading to the dramatically positioned lighthouse perched on the island’s northern cliffs.
Meals: B, L
The commanding outline of Croagh Patrick Mountain, a revered pilgrimage destination, casts a significant presence over the nearby landscape. We will head out on a brief hike beneath the awe-inspiring mountain, tracing sheep paths through heathery bog areas, covering the last stretch of the ancient pilgrimage trail leading to the base of Croagh Patrick. Along the way, we will visit a picturesque Augustinian friary, immersing ourselves in the area’s rich history and spirituality. Our adventure concludes in the vibrant town of Westport at lunchtime today.
Meals: B, L
Your trips starts in the lively city of Galway, the gateway to adventures on the West Coast of Ireland. It is the capital of County Galway and is known for its vibrant arts scene, historic architecture, bustling streets, and strong sense of Irish identity. Often referred to as the “City of the Tribes” due to its historical association with 14 prominent merchant families, or “tribes,” that played a significant role in the city’s development.The city is a hub for traditional Irish music. You can often find live music sessions in many of the city’s pubs and venues.
Hike and overnight stay on the Aran Islands, staying in Inishmore. Due to their isolated location off the West coast and at the very edge of Europe, the Aran Islands have maintained their unique customs and ways of life for centuries with a rich traditional Irish culture and heritage. Also famous for their much sought-after knitwear!
The Cliffs of Moher are a stunning natural wonder and are one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Ireland. The cliffs rise to a height of over 214 meters (702 feet) above sea level. This elevation provides visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
Inishbofin is a picturesque island located off the western coast of Ireland, specifically in County Galway. It is one of the many beautiful islands scattered along the Wild Atlantic Way and is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant community. There are archaeological sites, such as ancient ring forts and early Christian monastic ruins, that offer glimpses into the island’s past. It’s a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the rugged charm of the Atlantic coastline while enjoying the warmth and hospitality of the island’s inhabitants.
Killary Fjord is situated in County Galway, in the Connemara region of western Ireland. It forms a natural border between County Galway to the south and County Mayo to the north. The fjord extends from the Atlantic Ocean inland for approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles), making it one of the only true fjords in Ireland. At the head of Killary Fjord lies the charming village of Leenane. Leenane is known for its cozy pubs, traditional Irish music sessions, and as the location for the filming of the movie “The Field.”
Clare Island is renowned for its rugged and varied landscape. Visitors can explore rocky shorelines, sandy beaches, rolling hills, and dramatic cliffs. The island offers numerous walking and hiking trails, providing opportunities to appreciate its natural beauty up close. One of the island’s most appealing qualities is its sense of tranquility and escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Croagh Patrick, often referred to simply as “The Reek,” is one of the most iconic and sacred mountains in Ireland. The mountain reaches an elevation of 764 meters (2,507 feet) above sea level, making it one of the tallest peaks in the west of Ireland. Its distinctive conical shape and the prominence of its location make it a recognizable landmark. Croagh Patrick is of immense religious importance in Ireland, and is associated with Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Legend has it that Saint Patrick climbed the mountain in the 5th century and spent 40 days and nights fasting and praying at its summit, during which he banished all the snakes from Ireland. As a result, Croagh Patrick is a place of pilgrimage
Westport is the finish of our trip and is famous for its well-preserved Georgian architecture, with charming streets lined with colorful, neatly arranged buildings. The town’s layout was designed by James Wyatt in the 18th century, with wide streets and a central town square.
- 6 nights twin-share accommodation
- Group transfers each day in a guide-driven minivan
- Experienced Mountain Leader (1:8 guide to client ratio)
- Breakfast each morning
- Lunch each day
- Dinner on first night
- Hikes and experiences mentioned in the itinerary
- All boat / ferries as required
- Snacks on transfer and hikes
- Gratuities for meals, accommodations and third-party services
- Single supplement $1300
- Travel insurance
- Meals not mentioned above
- Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
- Gratuities for lead guide
United Kingdom & Eire
Mountains of Kerry Hiking
- Explore the rugged Mountains of Kerry in Ireland
- Hike on the beautiful Dingle Peninsula
- Summit an ancient pilgrimage mountain
- Hike the famed Ring of Kerry
- Visit famine-era villages and stone circles
West Highland Way – Scotland
- Hike Scotland’s classic long-distance route
- Experience the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, the brooding majesty of Rannoch Moor and the staggering beauty of Glencoe
- Enjoy drams of whisky or a local ale in cosy inns
- Climb Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland
Arran Coastal Way – Scotland
- Explore ‘Scotland in miniature’ – highlands and lowlands
- Discover ancient stone circles and standing stones
- Look for seals, deer, eagles and native wildlife
- Visit local whisky distilleries
A Cornish Camino – Cornwall
- Travel the path of Saints and pilgrims along the Cornish coastline
- Wander along cobbled streets past pretty whitewashed cottages
- Follow the path through tranquil woods and country lanes
- Walk the ancient cobbled causeway to St Michael’s Mount
Coast to Coast
The Part-Guided Walk – Coast to Coast
- Part-guided and fully pack-free with our qualified mountain guide
- Ramble through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Be charmed by quintessential English villages and pubs
- Rolling hills, pastures and the world’s most charming sheep
The Self-Guided Walk – Cotswold Way
- Marvel at the fine Georgian architecture in World Heritage Bath
- Wander among age-old beech trees along quiet woodland trails
- Explore some of the worlds best-preserved ancient Roman baths
- Delight at the chocolate-box villages and picture-perfect countryside
South West Coast Path: St Ives to Penzance – Cornwall
- Walk the ancient narrow causeway to mystical St Michael’s Mount
- Experience the dramatic and isolated Cornish coastline
- Savour craggy landscapes, hidden coves and stunning views
- Explore ‘Poldark’ country and the heart of Cornish tin mining
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed