2018 - 10th Anniversary


Enjoy a unique combination of mountain and sea as Leenane is situated on the edge of Killary Harbour and surrounded by mountains in all directions. This May will be the 10th year of the Connemara Mountain Walking Festival (formally the Leenane Mountain Walking Festival) which has become a major event on the calendar for Connemara and the region. The 2018 event will take place over the May bank holiday weekend.

This great festival has been designed to suit all levels of walkers from casual low level walks to the more experienced! Each day there is a choice of at least 3 walks from Strenuous to low level and for the 10 year anniversary we adding even more unique events. The 2018 the programme includes: Mweelrea, Benbaun, Sheefry mountains & Maamtrasna. The C walks include the Western way from Mayo into Galway & the Killary Fjord Famine Trail.

Each walk is guided by qualified, experienced guides and covered by public insurance. Another unique element of the festival is that the local farmers get involved with guiding the walks and share their vast knowledge, folklore and history of the land.

With the farmers involvement in the event, they kindly grant the participants permission to cross their lands and visit areas that are not normally open to the public. Transport to and from starting and finishing points will be provided as well as tea/coffee & scones at various local businesses at the end of each day.

Weekend Entertainment

But there isn’t just walking, the evenings are full of great FREE entertainment all of which is based in Leenane Hotel and also open to non walkers and locals. On the Friday evening we will have talks from Shane Young and Siobhan Power. On Saturday we will have live music in the Hotel with Ricky and Co. and Sunday will be the much loved Ceili which is always a great ending to the weekend.

Shane Young - Come hear about what its like to travel through the middle of one of the last wild places left in the jungles of Colombia. The depths of the Chiribiqute national park are home to wondrous Rock paintings and a large variety of animals and birds.

Siobhan Power - Siobhán is a geologist with Geological Survey Ireland with responsibility for geoheritage and communications. She got her B.Sc and PhD from NUI Galway, both after fieldwork in Connemara. She has since worked in Iowa, Liverpool and Newry and has carried out fieldwork in Greenland and Arctic Norway. Her most recent work in this area was on the idea of developing a geopark in the Joyce Country area of Galway and Mayo.

We would like to thank all the landowners for giving us permission to use their land for the weekend. Leenane Mountain Walking Festival is organised by a group of locals who want to help make this amazing part of the country accessible to everyone, give people a chance to see what the West of Ireland has to offer and also help bring business to the local community. Any surplus profits are re circulated back into the Leenane Development Association.

Further Information

All guided walks are led by qualified and experienced guides, aided by locals with vast knowledge and information on the area. Transport to and from starting and finishing points will be provided as well as tea/coffee & scones at various local businesses at the end of each day. All walkers are covered by Public Liability Insurance.

Walking At Other Times Of The Year

If you would like to do a walk in the area at other times of the year you could try the Western Way with its new upgraded section. For full details click here.

There are also many mountain guides based locally. Contact us for further information.

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