Wild Atlantic Way (North West) – Guided Walking Tour – 8 Days
Our walking tour of the Wild Atlantic Way north-west takes in two of the most magnificent counties that Ireland has to offer, County Galway and County Mayo. As we travel along the highways and byways of the north-west coast, you will encounter quaint villages and lively towns. Take in some spectacular views of the wild Atlantic Ocean and the green and beautiful rolling countryside and lots of traditional music and craic.
The first town we visit on our walking tour is Clifden, where we will spend two nights. A vibrant town on the very edge of Europe. The town is known as the “Capital of Connemara” with a population of just under 3.000.
From here, our walking journey along the Wild Atlantic Way takes us through Connemara National Park and on to Killary Fjord and into the county of Mayo. Through the town of Westport and on to the magical island of Achill. Achill Island is the largest islands off the coast of Ireland (24km x 19km) with a population of just under 2700. The island is made up of rugged mountains, sea cliffs, peat bogs and of course warm hospitality. We will be spending two nights on this magical island.
Our next adventure takes us further north following the Wild Atlantic Coastline to the Erris Head Peninsula. A designated Special Area of Conservation, situated on the north-west corner of County Mayo. Voted the Best Place to Go Wild in Ireland 2014. The peninsula offers breath-taking beauty, a rugged and dramatic coastline, towering sea cliffs and one of the largest areas of blanket bog in Ireland. Once again we will spend two nights here before moving to our final night in the townlands of Ballycastle. (Baile an Chaisil) Is Irish, translated, it means “Town of the Castle”. Its coastline is home to the Stags of Broadhaven (600 million-year-old rocks) and the oldest stone age settlement in Europe, the “Céide Fields” dating back nearly 6,000 years.
“Tiny roads wander along a coastline studded with islands, unexpectedly white beaches and intriguing old villages.
Tour Pricing & Dates
|8 Day Tour||€1,389 per person sharing
Saturday to Saturday
|Saturday, 16th May to Saturday 23rd May 2020 (no single rooms left)
Sunday, 27th September to Sunday 4th October 2020
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Saturday, 15th May to Saturday 22nd May 2021
|Accommodation||Family Operated Guesthouses & Small Hotels|
|BOOKING||BOOK THIS TOUR|
- Day 1 / Transfer from Dublin to Clifden
We will pick you up at Dublin Airport at 1.30 pm and transfer you to Clifden, travel time to our destination is approximately 4-hours, making several stops along the way. After checking in to your accommodation we will do a short walk to explore the town and it's many shops and pubs. Clifden is a lively town, packed with places to see and things to do, we guarantee you won't be bored here. Overnight: Clifden
- Day 2 / Omey Island
Our tour starts off with a visit to the uninhabited Omey Island. An enchanted island that lies 600 metres off-shore, on the western edge of Connemara in County Galway and is accessed at low tide across a causeway. The island is made up of mostly granite and covered with sand blown in from the wild Atlantic ocean. Because of its good drainage, you will find many varieties of wildflowers growing in the short grass. In the early 7th century, St Feichin founded a monastic settlement on Omey and the ruins of his church can be seen to this day. Our walk starts on the mainland just outside the village of Claddaghduff and takes us across the causeway to the island. We will walk the island in a clockwise direction, taking the ruins of St Feichin's Church and holy well and the beautiful landscape that the island has to offer.
Distance: Approximately 7.5 km / Ascent: 120 m Overnight: Clifden
- Day 3 / Connemara National Park and Achill Island
Today our adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way sees us leaving Clifden and driving north to the Connemara National Park. Here we will take a short tour of the national park's visitors centre and Exhibition on the Connemara Landscape. Followed by a short low-level walk on one of the magnificent Nature Trails that the park has to offer. A short drive from the Park takes us to Ballinakil Bay Working Oyster Farm. The tour goes through the history of the farm, the life cycle of an oyster & the many processes that the staff carry out to help create a tasty oyster - from farm to plate, including grading, cleaning, purification, etc. Finishes with a tasting of a freshly harvested oyster. The final part of our journey today takes us through the Connemara Mountain, into the county of Mayo with a 1 hr stop in the pictures town of Westport before finishing our day on Achill Island.
Distance 6 km / Ascent: 210 m Overnight: Achill Island
- Day 4, The Deserted Village of Slievemore
The first settlers arrived on Achill Island approximately 5,000 years ago. Since then the island has witnessed a checkered past, some of which we will see evidence of on our walk today. Our walk starts a short distance from our accommodation and sees us visiting one of the islands many Megalithic Tombs, positioned on the lower slopes of Slievemore Mountain. From here you will have stunning views over across to Keel Lough, Trawmore and out to the Atlantic Ocean. Our adventure continues along the base of Slievemore to a deserted village that has between 90 and 100 derelict stoned dwellings, scattered for 1.6 km along the side of the mountain. Here we will spend some time exploring the ruins and listening to some of the histories that this village has to offer. Our homeward journey takes us down into the village of Keel, across Trawmore beach and back to our accommodation.
Distance: 9 km / Ascent: 120 m Overnight: Achill Island
- Day 5, Ballycroy National Park County Mayo
Ballycroy National Park covers 11,000 hectares of wild Atlantic blanket bog, covering a vast uninhabited and unspoilt wilderness dominated by the Nephin Beg mountain range. The park is home to the last intact active blanket bog systems in Ireland and Western Europe. Our walk takes us on part of a countrywide network of high- quality circular walks called the Letterkeen Bothy Loop. The trail follows an old cattle road, through the lowlands of the Nephin Beg Mountains. And part of the Western Way. One of Ireland's national waymarked trails. In the afternoon we will visit the Ballycroy National Park Visitors Centre and exhibition before proceeding to our accommodation in Belmullet.
Distance: 6.5 km / Ascent: 180 m Overnight: Belmullet
- Day 6, Benwee Head & the Children of Lir Loop
This is probably one of the most spectacular sea cliff walks that you are going to find anywhere in Ireland. Benwee, An Bhinn Bhuí (An Irish word meaning: 'the yellow cliff') Our Walk starts in the small village of Carrowteige and takes us south-west to reach Dún Ceann Tire (Beach) Here the trail turns north-west to take us along the dramatic cliffs that overlooking Broad Haven Bay and the wild Atlantic Ocean. We will take in the Children of Lir sculpture along the way. The well-known legend tells the story of children who were turned into swans and condemned to wander the countryside for 900 years. Our trail turns inland and takes us through some wide-open countryside and back to the village of Carrowteige.
Distance: 10.5 km / Ascent 180 m Overnight: Belmullet
- Day 7, Cross Loop Walk and The Céide Fields
Our final walk on the Wild Atlantic Way takes us to the north-west of County Mayo to visit The Neolithic site of the Céide Fields. Contains the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world, dating back approximately 6,000 years. The remains of stone field-walls, houses and megalithic tombs were preserved beneath a blanket of peat over several square kilometres. On arrival at the Céide Fields, we will do a tour of the visitor’s centre, this will be followed by a guided tour of the field complex with one of their dedicated and informative guides. In the early afternoon, we will do a looped walk just outside the town of Belmullet called the Cross Loop Walk. This is a wonderfully refreshing walk that offers you a chance to totally relax and find your inner self.
Distance: 9 Km / Ascent 50 m Overnight: Belmullet
- Day 8, Depart For Dublin
After a hearty breakfast, we will depart for Dublin Airport, arriving between 14.00 & 15.00 hours
- All accommodation is approved and all rooms are en-suite.
- Meals to include: 7 breakfasts and 6 packed lunches.
- All transport to include pickup and return to Dublin Airport.
- All transport to and from walks and evenings out.
- Entry Fees to the Working Oyster Farm & The Céide Fields Visitors Centre
- Evening meals
- Lunch on day 1 and day 8