Croagh Patrick — Ireland's 'Holy Mountain' or 'The Reek'

Galway & The West

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Croagh Patrick — Ireland's 'Holy Mountain' or 'The Reek'

Croagh Patrick is a 764-metre-high cone-shaped peak that rises above Clew Bay in County Mayo. Known as Ireland’s ‘Holy Mountain’ or ‘The Reek’ among locals, it’s a site steeped in history, religion, and mythology. The mountain is believed to have been a pilgrimage site for pagans as far back as 3000 BC. It’s thought that pagans gathered here to celebrate the start of the harvest season. Later, it became associated with the worship of the Celtic sun god, Lugh. And then in the 5th century, Saint Patrick is said to have fasted on the mountain for 40 days and nights before banishing the snakes from Ireland. Today, Croagh Patrick remains a popular pilgrimage site, with around 20,000 to 25,000 pilgrims climbing the mountain each year on the last Sunday in July, closest to the pagan festival of Lughnasa. The trek to the summit is a rewarding experience, with panoramic views of the hundreds of tiny, green drumlin islands in Clew Bay, the Wild Atlantic Way, the town of Westport, and surrounding mountain ranges.

Do & See

With a young population and a bohemian spirit, Galway's charms are best enjoyed by strolling the Old City lanes and exploring the rugged landscapes that surround it. Known for its artistic spirit, Galway is oozing with culture — from lively traditional music sessions to a calendar brimming with festivals and events, including the world-famous Galway International Arts Festival, the city never fails to captivate and inspire.