The Western Way offers a great opportunity to discover many of the secret places and isolated parts of Ireland. This 114 km walking route provides an excellent introduction for walkers to the beautiful and scenic wildernesses of Connemara, County Galway and County Mayo.
Starting in the famous angler’s town of Oughterard on Lough Corrib, it follows the western edge of the lake northwards into a magnificent wilderness of mountain and bog to reach civilisation again at the village of Maam Bridge. It was from here that the Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo planned the modern roads of Connemara in the early 19th century.
From the Maam Valley the route crosses the rugged Maumturk Mountains by a pass, at the top of which is Maum Ean, a holy place that has attracted pilgrims since the early Christian period. Descending again into the beautiful Inagh Valley the route passes between the Twelve Bens and the Maumturks, and through a wild landscape to reach the shores of Killary Harbour and the picturesque village of Leenane, one of the locations for the movie The Field.
The terrain is a mixture of quiet roads, bog paths, open moorland, forest trails, mountain tracks, boreens and a causeway through a timber bog (some parts of the route can be very wet and boggy, particularly after a period of heavy rain, when there is a fast run-off from the Connemara mountains).
Select “Let’s Go” to customise your route; start-finish points, stages in-between and options you would like to have. You can walk or cycle any of our ways.