8-Day Guided Walking Tour: Connemara, The Burren & Aran Islands (Ireland West)

8 Day Guided Walking Tour Connemara, The Burren and Aran Islands

A Guided Walking Holiday on the Gorgeous West Coast of Ireland

Join Footfalls Walking Holidays in the beautiful West of Ireland for this unique walking vacation in iconic locations. We start in County Galway in the heart of the Connemara Mountains, journey over to the largest of the Aran Islands, and we end our walking holiday in The Burren in County Clare.

This walking tour showcases the Ireland of old: a place rich in culture and tradition that seems worlds away from the pace of city life.

Walking in Connemara

Connemara is a wild and beautiful place. We begin our 8-day guided walk here, which is also part of the world-famous Wild Atlantic Way.

The name Connemara is Irish for ‘Inlets of the Sea’ and the scenery you’ll enjoy during this walk includes not only a stunning coastline, but also lakes, mountains, white cottages, woolly Highland sheep, fast-flowing streams, and many many stone walls!

Walking the The Burren

The latter part of our tour takes us to The Burren in County Clare. The Burren, with its unique and magical landscape of exposed and cracked limestone crust, is thought to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien (author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings).

The rock formation is exceptional and allows for a unique internal climate resulting in a micro-ecosystem of rare plants, some of which can only be found in Alpine or Mediterranean regions.

A Walking Tour of the Aran Islands

We also visit Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands, which lies right on the edge of Europe and holds the highest density of archaeological and cultural artefacts in Ireland.

You will certainly sense the spirits of Celts and early Christian settlers while enjoying life at a slower pace on the island. It’s ideal for a walking vacation in Ireland!

Still browsing options? You might want to explore our other guided walking tours of Ireland for alternative routes and locations. Or take a look at our self-guided walking tours of Ireland to go on your own schedule instead.

We are always delighted to chat about the routes and destinations where we offer walking tours, so do feel free to get in touch with any questions at all.

Guided Walk in Connemara, The Burren, & Aran Islands

Prices / Dates

Price:  €1,399 per person sharing
Saturday to Saturday

Single Supplement: +€395

Tour Dates 2024:

Saturday, 8th June to Saturday, 15th June. – This tour is now fully booked.

Saturday, 20th July to Saturday, 27th July – Sorry We Have No More Single Room Available On This Tour.

Tour Dates 2025:

Saturday, 7th to Saturday, 14th June

Saturday, 19th to Saturday 26th July

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Family Operated  Hotels

Included / Excluded

Connemara, Aran Islands, & The Burren Walking Itinerary

Day 1 - Dublin to Connemara

You will be collected at Dublin Airport at 12 noon and transferred to Connemara, County Galway.

Overnight in Leenane 

Day 2 - Diamond Hill & Connemara National Park

Our first guided walk is through Connemara National Park, a protected 3,000 hectares of mountains, bog, and woodland. The journey will begin from its splendid visitors’ centre.

After a visit to the centre, we will walk Diamond Hill, the undisputed highlight of the Park. From the hill, we will have a unique view of Kylemore Abbey with the awe-inspiring landscape of Connemara as its backdrop.

Overnight in Leenane

Distance: 10 km/6 miles, Ascent: 430 m/1290 ft

Day 3 - Killary Fjord & Lough Fee

Our walk today follows an old bog road along Lough Fee. Turf is still cut using traditional techniques along the bog and we will see the various stages of the process.

We will also pass by stone remains of settlements abandoned during the Great Famine. In the afternoon we walk a section of the beautiful and haunting old famine road along Killary Harbour. The Harbour is Ireland’s only fjord, stretching 20 km inland between the Mweelrea Mountains and Twelve Bens mountain ranges. From our path, we see abandoned potato furrows and penny-walls stretch up the glaciated fjord walls. The area contains some of Ireland’s most awe-inspiring and dramatic scenery.

Overnight in Leenane

Distance: 15 km/9.3 miles, Ascent: 230 m/690 ft

Day 4 - St. Patrick's Church & Kylemore Abbey

Today's walk begins in the valley of Maam, a valley made famous by the making of “The Quiet Man” starring Maureen O’ Hara and John Wayne.

Our journey takes us into the mountains on one of Ireland’s pilgrimage routes, through Maumeen Pass and to St. Patrick’s Church, situated in the heart of the Maumturk Mountains. Nearby we will visit a Holy Well, marked long before St. Patrick and Christianity, the well is believed to have healing powers and was visited by the Druids and Celts to promote strength and healing. It is their belief in an intrinsic power in the water that keeps people visiting Holy Wells to this very day.

In the afternoon, we will visit the highly photographed Kylemore Abbey, its Victorian Walled Gardens, and Neo-Gothic church. The estate has an incredibly engaging history which is always enchanting to discover while exploring the romantic architecture.

Overnight in Leenane

Distance: 10 km/6 miles, Ascent: 340 m/1020 ft.

 

Day 5 - The Burren & The Ballyvaughan Wood Loop

Today, we leave Connemara for The Burren in County Clare, taking the coast road along Galway Bay and stopping off in the Gaelic-speaking seaside village of Spiddal, or “An Spidéal”.

Our next stop on our adventure will be in the seaside village of Ballyvaughan. Here we will do a wonderful circular walking route through a mixture of lush hazel woodlands, country roads and laneways and, green pastures. The route passes close to Aillwee Cave, the best known of the Burren’s many ancient geological sites and boasts some wonderful views of Galway Bay.

After our walk, we will go to our final accommodation, situated in the town of Lahinch. 

Overnight in Lahinch. 

Distance: 8 km/5 miles, Ascent: 110 m/330 ft

Day 6 - Inishmore - "A Stress-Free Experience"

We begin our morning with a 1-hour ferry ride from the beautiful village of Doolin to the village of Kilronan on Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands.

Inis Mór is a land steeped in myth, legend, and ancient culture. It is famous for its stone forts, which are thought to date from the late Bronze Age (1100 BC) through to the Iron Age (300 BC-500 AD). Our walk takes us to the Black Fort (Dun Duchathair), a solitary fort situated on the cliffs at Cill Éinne on the southern side of the island.

Overnight in Lahinch. 

Distance: 12 km/7.5 miles, Ascent: 70 m/210 ft

Day 7 - The Cliffs Of Maher & The Burren Way

Our final walk of the week takes us along by the famous Cliffs of Moher, whose sheer rocky face rises directly from the sea to a height of 200 m/600 ft. The Cliffs are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, and when you see them yourself, you will understand why. The trail along the Cliffs provides views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, The Twelve Bens, and the Maumturk Mountains and the spectacular wild Atlantic.

Our full days walk is on part of the Burren Way, a long distance walking trail that guides us into the village of Doolin.

Overnight in Lahinch. 

Distance: 15 km/9 miles, Ascent: 310 m/930 ft

Day 8 - Depart

After a hearty breakfast, we will depart Co Clare for Dublin Airport arriving between 2 and 3 pm.

A few words from our customers...

We thoroughly enjoyed our weeks self-guided walking on the Connemara and Western Way. This emphasized for me that Footfalls are there with you along the way albeit in the background. The B&Bs chosen were excellent and taxi pick-ups were very efficient. Even though the Way is well sign-posted, Christopher had provided us with very comprehensive route notes. Overall a very well organized and enjoyable week. Thank you Christopher and Teresa.
Anne & Ita
Ireland
We did both a guided and self guided tour. Both were amazing. Christopher was our guide and was excellent, knew were to get away from the crowds, very knowledgeable, and great sense of humor. I had looked at other walking tours, all were a lot more expensive and it is difficult to imagine could be justified compared to Footfalls.
Manuel
USA