July 6th – 8th 2018

Cost: €295pps,  Hilltoptreks Members: €255,
Single Supplement €75 (limited places)
Transport avail from Dublin: €40 return
Deposit: €35 required at the time of booking.

Pickup: Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street at 09:30am

Walking in the Wilds of Connemara

Tour Description

Connemara sits in the very west of Ireland in County Galway. Its coastline weaves in and out along the wild Atlantic way. There are wonderful small fishing villages along its way such as Roundstone, Clifden and Leenaun. The landscape of this region is beautiful with many spectacular lakes over shadowed by some high rise hills in the background. The Maumturk and the 12 Bens are the two most prominent mountain regions in this area and offer a great selection of walking options. There is of course then the Connemara National Park with Diamond hill which overlooks Galway Bay and surrounding areas.

This walking weekend is designed to show you some of the highlights of this famous Irish landscape. There are walks along Killary Fjord, Ireland’s only Fjord and a visit to the National Park. You will walk along the old famine road along this Fjord and its stone walls and watch as local fishermen pass by. We will also be taking in some of the landmark locations such as Kylemore Abbey and Clifden were we will be staying.

Connemara has a truly remarkable landscape from sharp rising stone scrapped mountains to wide expansive waterways and coastlines.

Includes

  • 2 nights BB with breakfast in the Foyles Hotel in Clifden town
  • 1 Evening meal
  • Entrance into Kylemore Abbey
  • 3 Guided walks with qualified guides.

Pickup: From the Molly Malone statue on Suffolk Street (Dublin) at 09:30am

If you are making your own way down we will meet you in Foyles Hotel in Clifden at 14:00

Itinerary

Day 1) Transfer from Dublin, Connemara National Park and Diamond Hill.

In the morning we will leave Dublin and make our way to Clifden in the heart of Connemara with a stop along the way.

On arrival to Clifden and after settling into our accommodation we can take a short scenic trip to the Connemara National Park and walk on Diamond Hill.

Walk on Diamond Hill: Our walk starts near the small town of Letterfrack in the National Park at the visitor centre. 
Following a well marked trail that zig – zags up wards to the summit of this cone shaped hill at 445m. This is a beautiful walk with incredible views in all directions. You can look to the sea to Inishturk, Inishbofin and Inishshark; to Tully Mountain rising over Ballynakill Harbour and along the intricate Connemara coastline.  

To the north and east, the Twelve Bens are nothing short of sensational. To the northeast, Kylemore Abbey’s gothic turrets stand out from neighbouring Kylemore Lough; and directly north, the summit of Mweelrea, Connaught’s highest mountain.

Grade: moderate Length 7 km, Duration: 2.5 hrs, Ascent: 400m, Terrain: Gravel tracks and paved mountain paths

Afterwards return to Clifden to refresh, enjoy dinner and relax

Overnight in Clifden – famous for being the capital of Connemara, music and its Oyster festival.

Day 2) Walk in Connemara – visit Kylemore Abbey- stay in Clifden
Walk: Killary Harbour famine Walk

This morning after breakfast we travel out towards Leenaun for one of the most scenic flat walks in this area.

Killary Fjord – Famine Walk – Ireland’s only real Fjord called Killary. This walk is a wonderful easy type walk along the side of this Fjord on a clear path or track.  The walk is along the southern side of the Fjord with Mweelrea Connaught’s or Mayo’s highest Mountain on the other side

We start this walk from Rossroe, which sits at the very southern end of the Fjord and return back by the famine walk. It is called the famine walk due to the fact that the pathway was built during the famine 1845- 49 as relief work in the area and there is also a famine village close by where many of the local people perished during this period in Ireland.

Grade easy moderate Length 8 km, Duration: 2.5 – 3 hrs, Ascent: 120m, Terrain: Clear paths and tracks.

Afterwards we can visit Kylemore Abbey – Kylemore is home to a community of nuns of the Benedictine Order who came here in 1920 after their abbey in Ypres, Belgium was destroyed in World War I – A beautiful place to visit with a gothic church and Victorian Gardens.

After our visit we can make our way back to Clifden to freshen up and relax for the evening

There are many great bars to enjoy some live music in the town.

Day 3) Walk on Omey Islandd – return to Dublin
After breakfast we will take a short drive to start a short walk before returning to Dublin

Walk on Omey Island – (This is tide dependent) – otherwise we will do a short walk closeby.

Omey is in Claddaghduff is accessible at low tide every day by crossing acres of firm sandy beach, either in a car or on foot.
Omey Island has a wealth of antiquities. The ruins of Teampaill Féichín (Feichin’s Church), a medieval church built on a 7th century Christian settlement lie close to the north coast. The church was covered in sand until 1981 and it is surrounded by the remains of a semi-sunken village that was wiped out during the Famine. St Feichin’s Holy Well can also be found to the west, just above a rocky inlet. The island is now largely abandoned, with some part-time residents during the summer months. It once supported a population of over four hundred souls. It is however the main burial ground for this region, utilizing an ancient burial ground associated with St Brendan.

Walk easy: Length 4 km, Duration: 2.5 hrs, Ascent: 50m, Terrain: sand, rock and grassland.


This trip is open to those who who have appropriate footwear and rain gear. We have had great fun on previous weekends away so are hoping for a lively, easy going gang who love walking, and exploring some of the hidden treasures in this country.

A non-refundable deposit of €35 is required to secure your place and due to the limited accommodation options, we are capping numbers initially at 20.

What to Bring

Here is a short list of extras you will need to bring along for this walking weekend.

N.B. Ireland’s climate is of a moderate type and suited to walking all year round. Although it is quite changeable so starting a walk on a fine clear morning may not be the case for the afternoon.

  • Hill walking Boots
  • Rucksack for walks (25L)
  • Walking Trousers (Not Jeans)
  • Waterproofs (Just in Case)
  • Walking Socks
  • Thermal top / T-shirt (Not Cotton)
  • Sun Cream
FAQ

About the walks and fitness levels:

All the walks are taken at a pace to suit the group.
The groups can have a mixed level of fitness and age usually.
If the weather is to bad on a certain day to do the suggested walk, then the guide will suggest an alternative one.
The Guide will have the final say on the day of the chosen walk for the safety of the group.

The Accommodation: The Milltimes Hotel

• All bedrooms are en-suite with bath & shower, tea & coffee making facilities, iron & ironing board and hairdryer.
• A comfortable lounge area, fine dining restaurant with seasonal & locally sourced food produce..
• There are live music sessions in Uncle Sam’s Café Bar every weekend.
• Award winning Temptations Restaurant, – has been recommended on Taste of Ireland for the excellent cuisine, using locally sourced produce and reviewed on Great places to stay and eat by Lucinda O’Sullivan
• Fresh breakfast is cooked to order with table service
• There are free limited basement car parking, otherwise there are very reasonable pay and display parking adjacent to the hotel.

Food:

1 evening meal is included as part of the tour

Breakfasts are included and there is a wide selection to choose from including a Full Irish, fruit, cereals etc.

Lunches for the walks: We will stop in the mornings at Delis or shops to get these.

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