Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick is Ireland's holy mountain, from where St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland and where thousands of pilgrims come to pay homage to Ireland's patron saint.

description

Location

Outside Westport, Co. Mayo.

History

Croagh Patrick is Ireland's holy mountain, from where St Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland and where thousands of pilgrims come to pay homage to Ireland's patron saint.

Standing some 765m high, Croagh Patrick towers over Clew Bay and the town of Westport and dominates the coastline of Mayo. The mountain, locally known as the Reek, holds a unique place in Irish culture being the location where St Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, fasted for 40 days and nights and from where, according to legend, he banished the snakes from Ireland.

For over 1,500 people have made pilgrimages to the summit of Croagh Patrick and today more than 100,000 people climb the Reek each year. The traditional day for doing so is the last Sunday in July, known as Reek Sunday and over 25,000 people of all ages come to Croagh Patrick, where the truly penitent climb barefoot and up until 1973, this pilgrimage was performed at night!

Even before the arrival of Christianity, the mountain was a place of great spirituality. Excavations carried out on the summit date the earliest finds at 3rd century BC and the site was once occupied by a hill fort with stone ramparts and dwellings.

On average it takes around two hours to climb Croagh Patrick and about one and a half hours to descend it. Sturdy footwear and waterproof clothing is advisable and you should also take some food and water with you. On a good day the views from the summit are a spiritual reward in itself with clear vistas out across Clew Bay and around the rugged Mayo countryside. On a bad day when the cloud cover swoops down low around the mountain you may struggle to even see your feet in front of you!

A recently opened visitor centre at the base of the mountain is well stocked with information and souvenirs of Croagh Patrick.

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Admission

No Admission Fees

Information

Leaflets: Yes Guided Tours: Yes Audio Visual: Yes Exhibition: Yes

Opening Times

No opening times available

Visit Length

4-5hrs

Facilities

Restaurant: Yes Car Park: Yes Coach Park: Yes Disabled Access: Yes

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