Western Way Walking Tours in Connemara (Ireland)
Walking the Western Way in Connemara
The beautiful region of Connemara can be found in County Galway along Ireland’s rugged west coast. Exploring this area slowly via the Connemara Western Way hike is the perfect way to take in the rolling countryside, quiet forests, remote mountain valleys, lakes, and meandering rivers and streams.
This stunning area of diverse landscapes and people is one you won’t want to miss during your trip to Ireland! If you’d prefer walking with a guide, take a look instead at our Connemara, The Burren, & Aran Islands Guided Walking Tour.
We offer multiple options for self-guided Western Way walking tours in Connemara, which you can peruse below. You can choose the number of days you’d like to walk and what you would like to prioritise during your journey. Take up to eight days to explore, including opting for a day of rest to visit the famous Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle. Learn more about the route or skip below to our hiking options!
Explore Connemara’s Western Way Hike
Stretching from Galway Bay to Killary Harbour and bounded on the east by Lough Corrib & Lough Mask, the principal range of mountains in this region is the Twelve Bens and the smaller Maumturks.
Grey quartzite peaks shimmer over bogs and small loughs, which are fed by an average rainfall of 1700mm a year!
Connemara is a wild place, with some of the finest scenery Ireland has to offer. And the Western Way in Connemara is the perfect walking trail to experience the west of Ireland.
Connemara – translated as “the Conmaicne” meaning “Tribe of the Sea” – even the name is wildly inspired!
Early settlements in this area were mainly on the coast, the interior deemed too infertile and wet for any useful occupation. The area suffered huge population loss in the mid 19th century due to the Great Famine but, through the guidance of the Irish Land Commission, land leases were offered to tenant farmers. Fishing was structured and the area was slowly rejuvenated.
Today, much of the valley land is now under forestry schemes and intensive fish farming fills the coastal loughs. The predominance of hills and water means a relatively small road network but, despite this, a strong native population remains.
Walking the western way route
The Western Way runs from Oughterard in County Galway to Ballina in northern County Mayo. Our selected Western Way walking itineraries cover the south and central sections – often distinguished in literature as Western Way Connemara and Western Way Mayo.
From the Pass of Mám Éan, the Western Way descends to the beautiful Lough Inagh Valley, with the Maumturk Mountains on one side and the equally awe-inspiring Bens on the other.
The Western Way continues into County Mayo and the lower Sheeffry Mountains before reaching granite hills, crossing forest and bogland.
It is truly wild and the landscape is some of the most stunning in the country.
Under the towering bulk of Croagh Patrick, the Western Way meanders to the island-studded Clew Bay and the historic town of Westport, where there is still a strong tradition in Irish music and a rural way of life.
Be sure to peruse our other self guided walking tours in Ireland to see other routes and opportunities across the country. We also offer a variety of small group guided walking tours of Ireland if you’d prefer to walk with others.
And if you have any questions at all, feel free to get in touch. We would be delighted to chat with you about the options!