Welcome to the Connemara Way.
- Lough Corrib, Lough Inagh, Killary Fjord. Glistening rock & water everywhere, Sea, lake, river, bog.
- Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park and the Twelve Bens
- The famine road by Killary harbour
Day 1 – Arrival to Oughterard
Arrival in Galway. Local bus transfer to Oughterard on the Owenariff River, the gateway to the hills. 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 Ireland after Lough Neagh, near Belfast. The dawn chorus is particularly spectacular for Springtime early risers!
Overnight Oughterard townland by Lough Corrib
Day 2 – Oughterard to 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 civilisation again at the village of Maam Bridge.
Distance 14km, Ascents 90m, approx. walking time 5 hours.
Accommodation tonight is in a farm guesthouse at Maam. Your evening meal will be in your guesthouse.
Day 3 – Walk Maam to Lough Inagh Valley
The farming countryside of Maam climbs steadily through rugged hill country along the old mountain road, to the low pass of Mam Ean 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.
Distance 15km. Ascents 220m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Alternative Route via Binn Chaorigh 15km Ascents 770m, approx. walking time 7 hours
Overnight accommodation in Lough Inagh Valley. Your evening meal will be in your guesthouse.
Day 4 – Free Day in Connemara
Free day with optional walks from Lough Inagh. If you missed the Maumturks yesterday it is possible to do a route today behind your guesthouse on Letterbreckaun at 667m. The Twelve Bens are across Lough Inagh with many wonderful routes available. The Connemara National Park and Visitor Centre is also within striking distance as are Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Gardens. Your hosts will assist you with transfers to your chosen route.
Distance 21km. Ascents 667m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Lough Inagh Valley.
Day 5 – Lough Inagh to Leenane
A mild day today; firstly pine forest and bogland of Luggagtarriff and Lettershanbally before climbing to Glencraff and skirting the northern flanks of the Maumturks to view Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. The day finishes in the village of Leenane, An Lionan, “the tide filling place”- a lovely hamlet nestling under the impressive Mweelrea Mountains of Co. Mayo.
Distance 14km. Ascents 70m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Leenane village.
Day 6 – Killary Harbour Famine Road
A taxi transfer takes you to the starting point at Rosroe to walk along the shore of Killary Harbour. The track was constructed after the Great Famine (1848) to provide some employment for the then extensive population of Connemara.
The route offers stunning views of Killary harbour, a glacial fjord, cascading waterfalls which descend under the track, the craggy backdrop of Maol Reidh (Mweelrea) and its gullies steeply descending into the fjord. Aquaculture is an important income for the local community now. There is a salmon farm at Rosroe and the fjord is studded with mussel rafts. You may even lucky enough to view dolphins or seals!
Distance 14km. Ascents 120m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Leenane village.
Day 7 – Leenane to Drummin
Taxi transfer to Aasleagh waterfall. Entering Co. Mayo today, The Way rises over Tawnyard Lough descending to Sheefry Bridge over the Owenmore River in the Sheefry Hills. 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.
Distance 12km. Ascents 80m. Approximate walking time 4 hours.
Distance 23km. Ascents 430m. Approximate walking time 7 hours.
Overnight Liscarney. Evening meal available at your guesthouse tonight.
Day 8 – Drummin to Westport
Walking under Croagh Patrick and 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. The town was the creation of James Wyatt and although classically planned, remains picturesque. Explore at will!
Distance 24km. Ascents 230m. Approximate walking time 6 hours.
Overnight accommodation in Westport town.
Day 9 – Pilgrims Trail
Optional free day in Westport town. Or walk the Pilgrim’s Trail from Ballintober to Westport town. A glorious countryside walk, through the farmlands of south county Mayo, and the valleys of the Camoge & Aille rivers. The Pilgrim trail follows the ancient prayer route from Ballintober Abbey to Croagh Patrick, St. Patrick’s Holy Mountain.
Distance 17km. Ascents 180m. Approximate walking time 5 hours.
Day 10 – Departure from Westport
Depart Westport by train for Dublin or by bus to Galway and Shannon.
Prices & Booking
€99 single supplement.
* Nine nights Bed & Breakfast guesthouse accommodation;
* Luggage transfers each day;
* Detailed route descriptions;
* Relevant 1:50000 maps.
What’s not included:
* Other meals.
* Entries or excursions.
* Public transfers to Galway, Galway-Oughterard and from Westport.
September 2014 – Nike & Alan, Amherst NY, USA
We had an absolutely grand time and we are already planning our next Ireland adventure.
October 2013 – Thea & Bert, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We had a wonderful week in one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland. We enjoyed the nice B&B’s, the very friendly people and the great walks. Even the rain was nice. Now we have only two of your tours we have not done!
Location & Grade