North West Ireland Tourism
Visitor Guide to Mayo, Sligo, Donegal, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan & Monaghan
Advanced Search
0-9  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Best Rate Accommodation

Croagh Patrick

Welcome to a place of ancient history, Patrick’s sacred mountain. Croagh Patrick is situated five miles from the picturesque town of Westport in the village of Murrisk, and the mountain’s conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside. It is one of the highest peaks in the West of Ireland, rising 750 metres into the sky above County Mayo. Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are to be had from all stages of the ascent. Follow the steps of Patrick, and in doing so, meet people from far and near.

Croagh Patrick, which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo, is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years, from the Stone Age to the present day, without interruption. Its religious significance dates back to the time of the pagans, when people are thought to have gathered here to celebrate the beginning of harvest season. Croagh Patrick is renowned for its “Patrician Pilgrimage” in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation ever since. Indeed the “Black Bell of St Patrick” was a highly venerated relic on Croagh Patrick for many many years. The first stop on the pilgrimage is Saint Patrick’s statue, erected in 1928 by Reverend Father Patterson with money he collected in the United States of America.

Each year “The Reek”, as it is colloquially known, attracts about 1 million pilgrims. On ‘Reek Sunday’, the last Sunday in July, over 25,000 pilgrims visit the summit. At the top, there is a modern chapel where mass is celebrated and confessions are heard. Individuals and groups come from all over the world, and include pilgrims, hill climbers, historians, archaeologists and nature lovers. The other traditional pilgrimage days are the last Friday of July, which is known locally as ‘Garland Friday’, and August 15th, which is the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. Croagh Patrick’s history as a place of worship reaches back in time as far as 3,000 BC, that is a full 5,000 years! The mountain’s popularity among Christian pilgrims dates to the time of St. Patrick, who is said to have completed a forty-day Lenten ritual of fasting and penance on its summit. Legend also has it that Croagh Patrick is the mount from which he banished snakes from Ireland forever! An archaeological excavation commenced on the summit in August or 1994. It discovered evidence of Christian activity, but also showed that Croagh Patrick was a place of tremendous importance in the pre-Christian era, as indicated by the discovery of a Celtic hill fort encircling the summit of the mountain.

How to get to Croagh Patrick

By bus, or car. Bus Eireann Route 450 from Westport to Louisburgh passes Croagh Patrick. Alternatively follow the R335 west from Westport to Croagh Patrick.

Explore more

Croagh Patrick is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss Westport and Newport if you are travelling north, and Louisburgh, and Clare Island, if travelling south.

Where to stay in near Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick has many accommodation options including hotels, hostels, self-catering holiday homes, guesthouses and B&B's.

Book Croagh Patrick Accommodation

Things to do in Croagh Patrick.

  1. Go on! Climb the mountain! Climbing Croagh Patrick mountain takes a couple of hours, and is quite arduous towards the top as you have to scramble over a giant cone of rocks before arriving at the small church on the summit. The climb is always worth undertaking for the spectacular views.
  2. Go on! Climb the mountain, but this time as a pilgrim. You could join thousands of others (some barefoot) on ‘Reek Sunday’, the last Sunday in July or on St Patricks holy day (17th March). When you begin the climb, look out for the small well from where St Patrick baptised his first converts. And remember that if you complete the climb in your bare feet you get bonus points!

Top Attractions of Ireland's North West

If it is a leisurely or action packed holiday you require then you can be guaranteed that the counties of the North West of Ireland including Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo can provide for your every need. These counties offer you choices of the best accommodation and eateries along with lively evening hotspots to keep you entertained during your visit. The region has excellent sporting amenities with some of Ireland's best golf links courses, along with excellent fishing spots, horse riding, mountaineering, mountain biking, river and sea cruises, famous surfing beaches and much much more.

Visitors are also sure to experience a warm welcome or "céad mile fáilte" from those you meet on your travels in the area along with a strong sense of the Irish heritage and culture in some of the least explored parts of the country.

Ireland's North West is easily accessible from every corner of the world through the regional airports serving the region at Knock or Shannon and you'll find there is a lot to see and plenty to do once you arrive. Below are just some of the main attractions ready to be discovered. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Croagh Patrick in Mayo

Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick, one of the highest peaks in the West of Ireland is situated five miles from the picturesque town of Westport in the village of Murrisk, and the mountain’s conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside. More details +
attractions donegal
Glenveagh National Park Donegal

Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park can be found about 24km north west of Letterkenny in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. With its pristine lakes, mountains, boglands, moorlands, rivers and wilderness, this remote and peaceful national park is hauntingly beautiful and serene. More details +
must see places donegal
Slieve League Cliffs

Slieve League Cliffs

Towering high above the raging Atlantic Ocean, the Slieve League Cliffs are one of the highest sea-cliff faces in Europe. Their incredibly steep slope to the sea is perhaps even more hair-raising than the Cliffs of Moher with its shear drop. More details +
Best Irish attractions
The Céide Fields in Mayo

The Céide Fields

The remarkable neolithic site at Céide Fields in County Mayo holds the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world. They date back almost 6,000 years, more than any other early agricultural site to date. More details +
best places to visit mayo
The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant's Causeway’s unique rock formations have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of north Atlantic Ocean. The rugged symmetry of the columns, and their uniform planshape, never fail to intrigue and inspire the curious admirers who come so far to witness them. More details +
Historic attractions Ireland
Grianán of Aileach

Grianán of Aileach

The great Grianán of Aileach is believed to have been built in the 1st century AD, on the site of an ancient Iron Age hillfort, and the outline of the original Iron Age fort can still be seen on the hill to this day. More details +
top ancient attractions ireland
Doagh Famine Village

Doagh Famine Village

Doagh Famine Village contains a wide selection of full size attractions, including some original dwellings which were still inhabited up to 20 years ago. Some of the buildings of Doagh Famine Village, such as the Orange Hall, Presbyterian Meeting House, Mass Rock and Hedge School and a Republican Safe House, depict the diverse history and culture of this corner of the Inishowen peninsula. More details +

Share |

route planner ireland