Mountain Climbing & Hill Walking
All the mountains South and West of Westport provide wonderful climbing and magnificent views of Clew Bay and the Connemara mountains. It is no wonder that Westport’s surrounding areas are home to some of the best hiking, mountain climbing and hill walking routes with some of the most stunning views in the west of Ireland.
Sitting just outside Westport town, County Mayo, is Croagh Patrick, arguably our most well-known peak. It’s a tough drag up the side of the conical tower over uneven rocks and loose scree. But you will be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the hundreds of tiny drumlin islands in Clew Bay. Focloir says that there is 365 islands, one for every day of the year. The bay is overlooked by Croagh Patrick and its views are renowned as some of the very best of the Wild Atlantic Way. Catch your breath at mass in the gem of a church that sits on the summit.
The hike will take about three or four hours to get up and back down, on what is a 14km round trip. You don’t need to know how to navigate just follow the people, which is ironically the only downfall of this climb, during the high season it’s busy!
“Reek Sunday” is one of the most popular days of the year for those wishing to tackle Croagh Patrick. Also known as Garland Sunday, Reek Sunday is an annual day of pilgrimage in Ireland. On the last Sunday in July, pilgrims climb Ireland’s holiest mountain, Croagh Patrick (764 metres) in County Mayo. However, we advise to be extra cautious when climbing the reek on the days leading up to, on, and after Reek Sunday due to the volume of climbers.
MWEELREA HIKES & HOLIDAYS
As Connacht’s highest mountain, Mweelrea offers a great day’s hiking for all hill walking and mountaineering enthusiasts. The finest mountain in the West of Ireland, Mweelrea can be tackled along a number of routes, with a firm favourite being anti-clockwise from the southern end of Doo Lough over the mountain to Delphi Mountain Resort. This is a serious 8-hour hike and is for experienced hillwalkers only *.
Mweelrea mountain hike -19 km; ascent 950 m; approx. 8 hrs.
* Note : Mweelrea is among Ireland’s most dangerous mountains, with numerous tragedies over recent years, often involving experienced hillwalkers. Under no circumstances should you hike this mountain without a compass and waterproof map and the knowledge of how to use them. Do not venture into this mountain alone and always bring a fully-charged mobile phone, plus mobile charging device.
To learn more about Mweelrea hikes and other mountain ranges in mayo, go to http://tourismpurewalking.com/tag/mweelrea/
Phone: 098 68761 or Mobile/Cell: 087 7764385.
TOCHAR PHADRAIG WALK
An ancient pilgrim path across country from Ballintubber Abbey through Aughagower to Croagh Patrick.
DIAMOND HILL WALK
Connemara is Irish landscape at its most dramatic. With soaring mountains, scattered loughs and an intricate coastline, this remote part of Galway is a world away from the trappings of urban life
Two mountain ranges dominate the area – the rugged Maumturks and the cluster of quartzite peaks known as the Twelve Bens. Between them, they offer up some of the most challenging and exciting hill walking in the country.
Connemara National Park, near Letterfrack, is the perfect place to start exploring. Encompassing almost 3,000 hectares of mountain, bog and woodland, the Park’s visitor centre is the ideal spot to start your 7km walk up the 400m high Diamond Hill – the undisputed highlight of the Park.
THE NEPHIN BEG RANGE
This is one for serious walkers. The Nephin traverse is a big undertaking over rough ground requiring good fitness and the ability to navigate. The trek begins at F865 226, the Bangor Trail starting point. You’ll cover a little under 40km in total with about 16 hours of walking over two days. Shorter routes are possible such as the Corranabinnia to Ben Gorm horseshoe or Nephin itself. Both would make excellent day walks of 20km and 8km respectively.
Starting either at Dugort Pier or the Deserted Village, this is a truly magnificentent walk if you have navigation skills. It’s about 5kms long and will take the bones of three hours because of all the climbing. The view from the summit is a feast for the eyes. Taking in Keel bay, the Twelve Bens, Mweelrea and Croagh Patrick.
LOCAL WALKING ROUTES
Please see details of local walking routes on our explore section