Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail
Mayo - 61 km, from Balla to Murrisk
In County Mayo, in the west of Ireland, the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail extends from the town of Balla, an early Christian monastic site, westwards to the small seaside village of Murrisk which sits at the foot of the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick. It is here that Ireland's patron saint, St Patrick, is said to have fasted for forty days and fought against the devil.
Photo: Aughagower Church, Co Mayo - Tourism Ireland
The route follows parts of an older pilgrim route and also the steps of St Patrick himself on his way to the mountain, passing by a number of historic monuments and buildings including early churches, holy wells and castles. Pilgrims may want to visit the Romanesque Abbey of Ballintubber or linger in the village of Aghagower, a monastic site where they will find a 12th-century church and the remains of a round tower. Also on this route is Brackloon Wood, a rare oakwood, and a survivor from the time when much of Ireland was covered with such trees.