We promised you we would do an article similar to our Top 12 Hikes in Munster and our Top Hikes in Leinster so here it is! At the moment we are in level 5 but that doesn’t mean we cant plan for brighter days ahead. I think Summer 2021 is going to be lots of outdoor fun and adventures.
This blog post will hopefully give you some inspiration for hikes to do in Connacht in Ireland when the time comes. Brighter days lie ahead. We will also be covering our top hikes in Ulster over the coming few weeks. Just in time for summer.
1) THE DIAMOND HILL TRAIL
The Diamond Hill Trail is located in in Connemara National Park and takes you on paths, a boardwalk and steps up Diamond Hill to the summit. It is worth the climb with spectacular views all around. Overall it is a strenuous hike and takes around two to three hours but it is a hike that offers picture perfect views.
2) BENBULBIN AND KINGS MOUNTAIN LOOP WALK
Benbulbin and Kings Mountain Loop Walk, Sligo. This walk is about 8km in distance and takes around 4 hours to complete. This is probably Ireland’s most distinctive mountain formed during the ice age by massive glaciers segmenting the landscape.
3) INISHBOFIN LOOP
Inishbofin is a small island full of walks to explore. There are a few looped walks on the island which are lovely to do on their own or short enough that they can be combined if you are looking for a longer walk. The first is the Westquarter loop which is perfect for seal and dolphin-spotting and for exploring the promontory Iron Age forts. The next is the Cloonamore Loop and this walk takes you along a green road to an 14th century church. The last loop is the Middlequarter Loop which offers panoramic views the islands surrounding Inishbofin and it also allows you to see the Iron and Bronze Age sites. A island waiting to be explored.
4) CROAGH PATRICK
Croagh Patrick rises to a height of 765m above sea level and is considered Ireland’s Holy mountain. This hike has been a pilgrimage route since ancient times and normally it takes about two hours to climb Croagh Patrick and approximately one and a half hours to descend. As you climb, you overlook the town of Westport, Clew Bay and the hundreds of islands populating the bay.
5) ACHILL HEAD
This hike takes you out around Achill head which is located on the western tip of Achill Island. This hike is approximately 9 miles and should take around 7 hours. As you hike, you can take in views from some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs. It is important to not that this is a strenuous walk so experience is needed. During this hike, you will be on the highest cliffs in Ireland at 688m/2,257 ft. It will give you the feeling that you are at the edge of the world.
6) CARROWTIEGE – THE CHILDREN OF LIR LOOP
This hike is located in North Mayo. This hike featured the legend of the story of the Irish legend of the Children of Lir. The four children of the sea god Lir were turned into swans for 900 years by their jealous step-mother. The hike should take about 2.5 hours and is around 6.2 miles in distance. It is relatively flat and will give you beautiful views of the Atlantic.
7) THE BANGOR TRAIL
This hike is based in Mayo and if you are looking for a trail that is wild, remote with a rugged landscape, this is for you. The hike itself will take around 10 hours and is 18 miles in distance. The hike will take you on the Erris Peninsula through the Nephin Beg mountain range. This is the hike to take if you are looking to escape from reality and the world for a bit and enjoy the remote hiking experience.
Have you any hikes or walks in Connacht to add to the list? We would love to hear all about them in the comments below. Give us some new hikes to explore when it’s safe to do so again.