About Mayo & Connemara
About Mayo & Connemara
Welcome to Mayo and Connemara, in the wild West of Ireland. Here is some information about our land and where I would be delighted to bring you on guided walking tours, along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Please note that I do not lead groups on mountain hikes.
Mayo is wonderful for walking tours – a coastal county, boasting magnificent cliffs, countless offshore islands (most of which are uninhabited) and long, empty beaches.
Just like the coastline, Mayo’s inland landscape of mountains and blanket bog is dominated by the North Atlantic ocean. Our climate is mild, but wet. Our home is one of vast blanket bogs, studded with glorious lakes, both very large like Loughs Conn, Mask, Cullin and Carra and extremely small bog pools.
Rising from the surrounding bogs, we love the mountains of the Nephin Beg range, the Maumtrasna plateau and the Sheeffrys. Mweelrea, at 814 m and Connacht’s highest peak, towers over the ocean to its immediate west and Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only genuine fjord, to its immediate south. The ‘holy mountain’ of Croagh Patrick, on the very shore of Clew Bay, attracts tens of thousands of hikers every year.
Among Mayo’s more attractive towns and villages are the thriving hotspot of Westport and the quiet country retreats of Newport, Mulranny and Belmullet, all by the sea. Perhaps the prettiest of all is the inland village of Cong, set amongst wonderful native and mixed woodland and traversed by the many channels of the Cong River that join Lough Mask to Lough Corrib.
Ballycroy National Park and The Bangor Trail are among the excellent walking destinations in Mayo, not to forget stunning breath-taking cliff-top trails and hillwalking ways.
County Mayo is sparsely populated, at only 23 persons per km2. Indeed, if the towns of Castlebar, Ballina and Westport were removed, the rural population is just 18 per km2. Plenty of space for great outdoor activities ! This is remote, wild Ireland at its best.
Follow up your day of walking, cycling, surfing or whatever you’re here to enjoy, with a visit to one of Mayo’s many lovely, traditional, quaint and friendly pubs. Enjoy!
Past the city of Galway and out towards the Atlantic Ocean lies the western half of the county. Connemara is known the world over for its dry stone walls, small rock-strewn fields, tiny beaches hidden in the highly indented coastline and its wild internal landscape – all perfect for walking tours.
The Twelve Bens mountain range looks down over Clifden, Letterfrack and Roundstone, towards the Aran Islands in the ocean beyond. Hiking over Benbaun, Bencollaghduff, Bencorr and other modest peaks makes for great days out. Connemara offers fantastic hiking trails, the National Park, the Maumturk mountains and so much more, all to its backdrop of lake-studded boglands.
Among the walks I lead in Connemara is The Western Way, meandering below the Maumturks to one side and The Bens to the other, northwards towards the Killary.
Off its south coast lie the Aran Islands, with their rich archaeological remains and bare limestone landscape, while Inishbofin, to the west, makes for another beautiful island visit. Parts of Connemara do indeed boast the most beautiful rugged scenery in Ireland.
Wonderful little villages like Leenane, Letterfrack and Roundstone, along with the larger Clifden, all welcome you into their pubs at night for the ‘craic’ after a day’s hiking.