Luxury itinerary day-by-day
1. Day one
Arrival to Delphi Mountain Resort
We will meet you from Galway, Westport or Knock Airport and transfer you to your first night’s accommodation at Delphi Resort, situated in the scenically breathtaking Delphi Valley in Connemara. Quiet colours, natural materials and a tranquil atmosphere will greet you at this sensitively designed four-star resort. Wander through their forest trails, where no signs of civilisation can be seen, or treat yourself to a relaxing evening at the award-winning spa. Your host will meet you either on the evening of arrival or the following morning (depending on your arrival time) to go through your itinerary and answer any questions you have about your tour.
2. Day two
The Famine Trail and Killary Fjord
So-called because it was built as a famine-relief project during the Great Famine of the 1840s, the greenway along the shores of Killary Fjord brought outlying communities closer together in the nineteenth century. When you hike along the path this morning, you cannot help but sense the history and lives of all those who have walked this way before you. With mountains rising out of the water on either side and few signs of civilisation along the way, this is a true escape and a rare find in the modern world. You will be transferred to the starting point by speedboat (weather dependent) and your walk will finish again in Leenane. Lunch will be waiting for you in the Leenane Hotel before being driven back to the Delphi Resort.
9 miles (15 km) / 250 ft (80 m) elevation / 3-4 hours walking
3. Day three
You will be transferred to the starting point of today’s walk in Connemara which follows an ancient pilgrim’s path to Maumean (translated from Gaelic as the ‘pass of the birds’). The summit of Maumean at a height of 320m is marked by a small chapel and other religious features associated with Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick. There is much ritual and myth attached to this site and it will give you a fascinating insight into religious practice in Ireland through the ages. You will then follow the Western Way, to the tranquillity of the Inagh Valley where you will stay tonight in Lough Inagh Lodge. This country house hotel rests on the shores of Lough Inagh, one of Connemara's most romantic lake-settings, and is surrounded by the impressive Maamturk and Twelve Bens mountain ranges. It is a perfect haven for complete relaxation and offers you all the comforts and pleasures of an elegant, modern hotel in an old-world atmosphere. Lough Inagh is also perfectly placed for you to take advantage of several extra outdoor pursuits and activities like hill walking or fly-fishing!
10 miles (16 kms) / 1,670 ft (250 m) elevation / 4-5 hours walking
4. Day four
Today you will be picked up from your hotel and brought to Cleggan pier where you will take the ferry to Inishbofin. Bofin or 'Inis Bo Finne' (Island of the White Cow) lies seven miles off Connemara’s coast. The first documented history of the island dates from early Christian times. As you sail around the tower and signal light at the entrance to the island’s harbour, you will see Cromwell’s 16th Century Barracks. set high above the crashing waves. There are looped walks around the island which you are free to explore and the island is renowned for its traditional music sessions which you can experience in any of the local pubs come evening. Your hotel, the Inishbofin House Hotel and Marine Spa is far removed from the daily distractions of the mainland. The hotel is guaranteed to provide a warm welcome, a menu of delicious locally-sourced produce and superbly appointed bedrooms with endless sea views, all in keeping with the island's naturally beautiful setting.
Choice of walks between 4 and 9 miles (6 and 15 kms), elevation from 200 - 600 ft (60 to 180m), from 1 to 5 hours walking
5. Day five
After spending the morning on the island, you will take the ferry back to Cleggan pier, where you will be met and brought to the start of your walk on the Renvyle Peninsula in the National Park of Connemara. This is a relatively easy walk and a rewarding one for the extensive views it provides. Reaching the summit of Diamond Hill you will look over the whole peninsula, the islands of the Atlantic to the west and north west and the mountain ranges of Connemara to the south. After your walk we will bring you to your accommodation on the Renvyle Peninsula. Reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, Renvyle is peppered with archaeological sites, historical ruins and white-sand beaches. It is also home to a thriving and close-knit community. Your arrival at Renvyle House Hotel, along a sweeping driveway, brings you to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean once more. An historic country house hotel, it is located on 150 acres, which include a private lake, a 9-hole golf course, a beach, woodlands, gardens and numerous activities on site.
4.5 miles (7 kms) / elevation 1300 ft (400 m) / 2 to 3 hours walking
6. Day six
Croagh Patrick and Westport
After breakfast you will be transferred to the start of today's hike at Murrisk, on the shores of Clew Bay in Co. Mayo. A place of ancient history, Croagh Patrick is Ireland’s sacred mountain, and a rich vein of archaeological heritage. This dazzling quartzite pyramid (764m) has been a holy mountain since before Christian times and even has a small chapel at the very peak. It is a hugely rewarding climb for the endless 360 degree views of coast and land alike and no walking trip in Ireland is complete without it. After you have conquered Croagh Patrick you will be collected and brought to Westport, where you will stay at the Westport Plaza hotel. The Plaza is an opulent, modern hotel which offers all the luxuries and facilities that you could want. It is still run as part of a family business with a personal touch and a long history of hospitality in the west of Ireland. The Gold Experience at the Plaza includes an hour in their soothing thermal suite allowing you to cleanse the road from your body and mind. Perfect after a day climbing the pilgrim's mountain!
4.5 miles (7 kms) / elevation 2,500 ft (764m) / 4 to 5 hours walking
7. Day seven
Depart from Westport on your onward journey
There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't met yet. WB Yeats