Pembrokeshire Coast Path – 4 Day Self-Guided Walking Tour

Wild Atlantic Way

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path was officially opened in 1970 and honoured to be the first National Way Marked Trail in Wales. The trail follows the coastline from Amroth in the south to St Dogmales in the north covering a distance of just under 300 km or 186 miles.
You will experience sandy bays, limestone cliffs, coastal flowers and fauna as well as evidence of human activity from Neolithic times to the present and some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in Wales.

For this 6-Day self-guided walking tour of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, the trail takes you from Amorth to Pembroke, covering just over 83 km / 51.9 miles. 

Prices / Dates

Price:  €637 per person sharing

Single Supplement: +€350

Tour Dates: 15 March to 31 October

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse or B&B

Included / Excluded

Travel to Oughterard where you will be picked up and taken to your guesthouse. Oughterard is a traditional village, nestled beside Lough Corrib (the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland), at the start of the Connemara Mountain Range and only 17km from Galway City.

Your first walk takes you along the south-western shore of Lough Corrib, one of the great western lakes of Europe, known for its trout and salmon fishing and its myriad of islands. You will continue into the townland of Curraun More, across the Owenree River and through the forest of Folore to join the Maam Road. From here, you will enjoy your first glimpses of the breathtaking mountains of Connemara. This is a perfect introduction to the Connemara countryside, where you will see the landscape change from picturesque to truly wild. It has largely been untouched by the modern world. You will stay overnight in Maam Cross.

Distance: 24 km / 15 miles, Ascent: 110 m / 360 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

On the first section of today’s walk, you will pass by the site of the famous movie “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara, a John Ford’s classic movie, filmed in 1952.

You will witness the transformation of the landscape from yesterdays delightful scenery to the increasingly untamed, as you walk amidst the splendour of the Maumturk Mountains (The Pass of the Pig). The trail follows an old pilgrim route that rises gently between mountains at Maumeen (the valley of the bird), passing St. Patrick’s Church and Holy Well as you travel.

It is said that St. Patrick rested in this spot on his way to “Croagh Patrick”, a sacred mountain that you will be passing on your way to Westport. Crossing the spine of the Maumturk Mountains, you will be presented with some fantastic views in both directions, back into the Maam Valley and ahead to the “Twelve Bens” mountain range. On the far side of the Inagh Valley, you will enjoy stunning views of the lake dotted with islands and a Crannog (an ancient man-made lake dwelling). You will stay overnight in Lough Inagh.

Distance: 25 km / 16 miles, Ascent: 280 m / 918 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hrs

You depart Lough Inagh by walking directly from your accommodation via an old road that dates back hundreds or possibly thousands of years.

The trail contours the base of the Maumturk Mountains, passing some old ruined deserted settlements as you travel. This area is now completely uninhabited and has been since the time of the great famine of 1845. This is one of the most remote parts of the trail where you will find a great sense of peace and distance from the bustle of modern life and its conflicts.

As you descend into the village of Leenaun, you will enjoy some fantastic views of Ireland’s only fjord “Killary Fjord”. Glaciers moving off the mountains over ten thousand years ago, carved this fjord from the underlying rock and was subsequently filled by the Atlantic Ocean. Your day finishes in Leenaun, a village nestling on the shore of Killary Harbour and backed by the mountains. Leenaun was brought to fame because of the famous John B. Keane literary work “The Field”, first performed in 1965. It was adapted into a film in 1990 by Jim Sheridan. It tells the story of a family and a community torn apart by conflicts over the ownership and control of land, a theme very common in Irish history. You will stay overnight In Leenaun.

Distance: 18 km / 11 miles, Ascent 85 m / 278 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hrs

You could take a taxi and visit Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled gardens, or do a walk along the old Famine Road from Leenane to Rossroe harbour, a picturesque rural fishing community. Ludwig Wittgenstein took up residence here after World War II, taking advantage of its peaceful and remote setting, to concentrate on his writing.

The famine road runs for 9 km along the edge of Killary fjord. During the 19th century, this road was built as part of a program to provide food in exchange for labour during the famine. As you travel this road, bear in mind the history that lies beneath your feet. You will again stay overnight in Leenaun.

Today’s trail takes you northeast from Leenaun to the head of Killary Fjord and across the county border into Mayo.

Here you will have an option to take a short detour to visit the famous Aasleagh Falls, where the Erriff River (world-famous for salmon fishing), cascades to meet the inlet of Killary. When the rivers are full in late summer, you often see the salmon leap as they travel upstream to spawn.

The route takes you through some open farmland where sheep farming is the predominant activity. You will cross the Sheeffry Hills from where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Erriff Valley and your last glimpse of the Connemara Mountains. Your day finishes in the quiet hamlet of Drummin, where you can relax over a pint of your favourite tipple. Your overnight stay will be in Drummin.

Distance: 21 km / 13 miles, Ascent: 200 m / 656 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

On your final walking day, you will walk in the shadow of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. This mountain is a spectacular sight and many pilgrims from around the world come to climb it every year, many barefoot or on their knees. It is believed that the saint fasted here for 40 days and 40 nights. The mountain was crucial to his campaign to convert Celtic people to Christianity.

Following a small country road, the trail leads you to the wild and beautiful townlands of Bartaglanna and Glencally. Here you will have the option to take a detour to climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick or continue along the Western Way into the picturesque, yet lively and award-winning, town of Westport where a strong tradition in Irish music and rural way of life still prevails. Your overnight stay will be in Westport.

Distance: 23 km / 14 miles, Ascent: 420 m / 1377 ft, Approximate walking time: 6 / 5 hours

After a hearty breakfast, you will depart for home.

A few words from our customers...

I am a single woman traveller embarking on a self-guided hiking trip. While it's common for woman to embark on such adventures these days, it's my first time ever to be on a self-navigated hiking trip overseas. This is why I feel so grateful that I have the Footfalls as my backbone
Joan
UK
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