Wild Connemara & Galway

Rugged beauty in Ireland’s timeless west
 

Holiday Highlights

Rugged beauty | Experience the wild scenery of Ireland’s western coast.
Kylemore Abbey | Tickets are included for a tour of this spectacular abbey and gardens.
Authentic island life | Discover Inishbofin– relaxed, unhurried and with a magical natural charm.
Walking in the Maamturks | Explore the foothills of this imposing range.
Vibrant Galway | End your holiday amid Galway’s colourful streets and lively music scene.
Wild Connemara & Galway. 7 nights
Wild Connemara & Galway. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

Walking holidays in Connemara

Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Ireland’s wild Atlantic coast on this self-guided walking holiday, with luggage transfers included. Scenic hikes are complemented by the chance to experience island life on Inishbofin, to tour historic Kylemore Abbey, and to stay in vibrant Galway.
“A savage beauty”, wrote Oscar Wilde, of the region that teeters on Ireland’s Atlantic edge, in the northwest corner of County Galway. This is Connemara, a land that is both wild and still – its misty mountains, rugged coast and rich contrasting colour adding drama to an otherwise serene and timeless landscape.

Connemara is made for rewarding walking holidays, and on this trip – which begins on the shores of Ireland’s only true fjord and features stays by a remote lough, on the magical island of Inishbofin and in dynamic Galway – discoveries of natural magnificence and cultural heritage go hand in hand. Combine explorations of landmark sites such as Kylemore Abbey with forays into the haunting expanses of the Connemara National Park, and experience the warmth and hospitality of locals at our welcoming hotels – from where traditional live music, deliciously fresh seafood and superb coast-and-mountain views are never far away.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel walking holidays in Connemara is flexibility. For example, you can start on the day of your choice.

All transfers mentioned in the route descriptions below are included in the holiday price, with the exception of the short bus journey between Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara National Park.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 8 9 10 12 15 17 18 18 16 13 10 8
    mm 104 80 85 81 82 85 82 98 78 99 99 110
  • Arrival in Leenane
    Night 1: at Leenane Hotel (the first of two nights here), or upgrade to Delphi Resort.
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Around Leenane: 14km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 425m
    Great natural beauty and poignant history await you on this introductory route, which begins by taxi and returns to Leenane along the Famine Road. This 19th-century track was constructed during the Great Famine to provide employment for struggling locals, and is also notable for its inspiring surroundings – it traces Killary Fjord, Ireland’s only glacial fjord. As you’re soaking in the amazing panoramas, look out for the shellfish farms that are a feature of the area, and don’t miss the chance to visit Killary Sheep Farm, a traditional working mountain farm with daily March-September tours (advance booking recommended).
    Killary Fjord
    Around Leenane: 14km
  • Leenane to Lough Inagh: 14.5km, 5hrs; ascent 255m/descent 230m
    Today you leave Leenane on the Western Way, following this long-distance trail as it traverses Connemara’s vast boglands – a hauntingly beautiful and remote environment with rare birdlife, unique flora, and a true sense of tranquillity. Framing the route are both the jagged peaks of the Twelve Bens and the great rugged mountains of the Maamturks. Your destination for the night, Lough Inagh lodge, is found on the edge of its eponymous lake.
    Lough Inagh
    Leenane to Lough Inagh: 14.5km
  • Lough Inagh to Inishbofin via the Connemara National Park
    This delightfully varied day starts with a transfer to Kylemore Abbey, a spectacularly sited Benedictine abbey with an absorbing history and a walled garden that is as impressive as it is extensive. You have plenty of time to visit the abbey (tickets included) and to enjoy woodland and lakeshore walks through its grounds before catching an afternoon bus to the Connemara National Park. Here, your choice of routes (1.5-7km) includes the Upper Diamond Hill trail, a challenging ascent which rewards with panoramas across the whole of Connemara. At day’s end, you are transferred first by taxi and then ferry to the island of Inishbofin, for two nights at Murray’s Doonmore Hotel or Dolphin Hotel.
    Kylemore Abbey
    Connemara National Park: up to 7km
  • Choice of walks on Inishbofin: 5-16km
    Only eight kilometres separate tiny Inishbofin from the mainland, but there’s a sense of having travelled much further. You’ll soon attune to the relaxed and unhurried pace of life here – described by locals as ‘Bofin time’ – and on our circular loop of the island (which can be enjoyed in sections) will discover the island’s long history and magical natural charm. Inishbofin is also an excellent place to birdwatch, being a breeding ground for the rare corncrake.
    Spot corncrakes from Inishbofin
    On Inishbofin: up to 16km
  • Inishbofin to Galway: by ferry & bus
    A full morning on Inishbofin allows time for further walking or exploration before you catch the early afternoon ferry back to the mainland, followed by onward bus to Galway. Your two nights in this most vibrant of Irish cities are spent at HYDE Hotel, with the option to upgrade to The Hardiman Hotel.
  • Explore Galway
    There’s a wonderful energy to Galway – most famously in the traditional pubs with their lively music scene, but also in the streets that hum with people and performers. Our self-guided trail will lead you expertly around the city, picking out the best landmarks to visit – St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and the Spanish Arch are two of our favourites – as well as the best places to sample its famous seafood and to see its uplifting, brightly painted houses.
    The Claddagh
    Vibrant Galway
 

Accommodation

The accommodation on this Connemara walking holiday takes you from a traditional Irish village to vibrant Galway, via the shores of a remote lough and the tiny isle of Inishbofin.

To make your holiday all the more special, we offer upgrade options in Leenane and Galway.

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 01 April 2024 - 30 September 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 30 September 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 25 Apr 2024 £1465 £580
    26 Apr - 23 Sep 2024 £1585 £630
    1 - 25 Apr 2025 £1525 £605
    26 Apr - 23 Sep 2025 £1650 £660
    3rd & 4th person discount -£410 to -£425
    Single traveller supplement £410 to £430

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • 7 nights staying at Delphi Resort & The Hardiman Hotel: 01 April 2024 - 30 September 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 30 September 2025

    Start Any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2024 £1825 £705
    1 May - 23 Sep 2024 £1940 £705
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £1900 £735
    1 May - 23 Sep 2025 £2020 £735
    3rd & 4th person discount -£410 to -£425
    Single traveller supplement £410 to £430

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Lough Inagh Lodge, Lough Inagh
    Deluxe double: 01 Apr - 30 Sep 2024 £24
    Deluxe double: 01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £25
    HYDE Hotel, Galway
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Apr 2024 £60
    Superior: 01 Apr - 30 Apr 2025 £62
  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Lough Inagh Lodge, Lough Inagh
    Deluxe double: 01 Apr - 30 Sep 2024 £24
    Deluxe double: 01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £25
    The Hardiman Hotel, Galway
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 30 Sep 2024 £24
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £25
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Dublin, Shannon

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Dublin. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Dublin Ryanair,  Various carriers (contact us) 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Dublin Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Dublin Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Dublin. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Dublin

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Dublin airport to Galway (2h30), bus Galway to Maam Cross (1h), taxi Maam Cross to Leenane (0h30) £24-£25 1200
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    bus Galway to Dublin airport (2h30) £24-£25 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Shannon

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    bus Shannon airport to Galway (1h50), bus Galway to Maam Cross (1h), taxi Maam Cross to Leenane (0h30) £15-£16 1200
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    bus Galway to Shannon airport (1h50) £15-£16 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 2 dinners (3 on upgrade)
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes & maps
  • GPS navigation
  • return ferry to Inishbofin
  • transfers on days 1, 3 & 5
  • visit to Kylemore Abbey
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a British citizen, you do not need a passport nor visa to travel to Ireland, but some carriers and airlines might require identification, and proof of British nationality may also be required on entry (please check the Ireland Citizens Information Board for guidance on acceptable ID). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The principal language is English, though Irish is spoken as a first language in certain areas. The currency is the Euro. Irish time is GMT/UTC. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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