Croagh Patrick is nestled just five miles away from the beautiful town of Westport. It sits approximately 92-kilometers out of Galway City and 230-kilometes out of Dublin City. The main route starts in the stunning village of Murrisk, just 8-kilometers outside of Westport. The sensational conical mountains soar majestically above the brilliant countryside nearby. Regardless of where you are at on the mountain, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the south Mayo countryside and Clew Bay.
You can take a train or bus from Galway and Dublin to get to Westport. The information center for Croagh Patrick is 8-kilometers west of Westport. Knock International Airport is the closest airport. They provide flights both to and from European, Dublin and Britain airports. Shannon Airport delivers flights both into and out of the US. It is located 180-kilometers out of Westport. Dublin Airport offers air access both to and from various worldwide destinations.
If you are concerned about the weather, you need to plan accordingly. Climbing the mountain is always best during the summer months, from April to September. Since occasional showers often blow in over the day, you might want to take raingear with you to make sure you are taken care of on your journey.
Height Above Sea Level
Croagh Patrick is 762-meters above sea level, so you can enjoy looking out at everything in the area around you.
Length of Time
It often takes around two hours for an average individual to reach the top of the mountain and 1.5-hours to get back down. When preparing for the climb, you want to make sure you take good, quality footwear, drinking water and rainwear with you, especially since you never know what to expect during your journey. You can purchase climbing sticks from the Centre if you like.
Taking a Vehicle Along
You are able to drive your vehicle to the Information Centre and park it there, but you have to traverse most of the terrain on foot. The road where the Centre is built is referred to as the road of the dishes. It has long been regarded as that because it was believed that the nearby Murrisk Abbey monks would come there and wash their utensils in the small stream that runs along the countryside.
The Holy Mountain
Croagh Patrick is the holiest of all mountains in Ireland. The pilgrimage of this holy mountain dates back 5,000+ years ago into the Stone Age. The religious significance of this area dates as far back as that of the pagans, when people were believed to come here to celebrate the start of harvest season.
The area is well-known for Patrician Pilgrimage to honor Saint Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick fasted at the summit of the mountain for 40 days back in 441 AD and that custom continues being handed down through the generations. For quite some time, the Black Bell of Saint Patrick was one of the most venerated relics.
When going on the pilgrimage, the first stop will be at the statue of Saint Patrick that was built back in 1928 by a Rev. Father Patterson. It was built with the money that he had collected when in America for the rebuilding of Saint Mary’s Church over in Westport. The Reek draws in about one million pilgrims annually.
The last Sunday in July is known as Reek Sunday. On this day, roughly 25,000 pilgrims make their way to the Reek. At the top of the Reek, a modern chapel sits. This is where mass is held and people can make their confessions. Groups and individuals alike come from everywhere to take part in this ritual. Pilgrims, historians, nature lovers, hill climbers and archaeologists enjoy taking part in this event.
The last Friday in July is referred to as Garland Friday and August 15th is referred to as the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. This mountain stands at 750-metres high into the sky and is one of the highest in all of Ireland, making it truly a sight to behold.
If you are looking for something sensational to do and see, you need to head over to Croagh Patrick.