The Croagh Patrick mountain – Pilgrimage and Climb

Croagh Patrick

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.

Croagh Patrick

The Black Bell of Saint Patrick was a highly venerated relic on Croagh Patrick for 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 America towards the rebuilding of Saint Mary’s Church in Westport.

How high above sea level is Croagh Patrick?
Croagh Patrick rises to a height of 762m above sea level.

Climbing Croagh Patrick – How long does the climb take?
Normally, it takes about two hours for the average person to reach the summit, and one and a half hours to descend. What equipment is necessary for the climb? It is advisable to take sturdy footwear, rainwear and some drinking water. Climbing sticks are for sale at the Centre.

Can I take my car part of the way? You may drive to the car park at the Information Centre, but from there it’s foot power only. What does ‘Teach na Miasa’ mean? It means the house of the dishes. The road on which the centre is built is known as ‘Bóthar na Miasa’ – ‘ The road of the dishes ‘ and it is reputed that the monks of nearby Murrisk Abbey washed their utensils in the stream which runs alongside.

What services are provided at the Centre?
The Centre provides the following facilities: restaurant, information services. guided tours of the mountain. packed lunches. secure lockers, craft shop, shower facilities (for a nominal fee).

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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 Reek. 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 is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside. Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are spectacular from all stages of the ascent of the mountain. It is one of the highest peaks in the West of Ireland. It rises 750 metres (2,500 feet) into the sky above County Mayo.

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The Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre

Welcome to a place of ancient history, Patrick’s sacred mountain, and a rich vein of archaeological heritage. Croagh Patrick is situated five miles from the picturesque town of Westport and the mountain’s conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside.

Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are to be had from all stages of the ascent of the mountain. Follow the steps of Patrick and in doing so meet people from far and near.

Teach na Miasa, The Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre, is situated in Murrisk on the Pilgrim’s path at the base of Croagh Patrick mountain and opposite the National Famine Monument.

Where is Croagh Patrick?
Croagh Patrick is situated near the town of Westport in County Mayo, Ireland. It is approximately 92 km from Galway City and 230 km from Dublin City. The main pilgrimage route originates in the village of Murrisk, 8km outside Westport.

What are the weather conditions likely to be?
Generally it is best to climb in summer (April-September). Occasional showers blow in over the bay so raingear is advisable. Find out more at www.met.ie

How high above sea level is Croagh Patrick?
Croagh Patrick rises to a height of 762m above sea level.

How long does the climb take?
Normally, it takes about two hours for the average person to reach the summit, and one and a half hours to descend. What equipment is necessary for the climb? It is advisable to take sturdy footwear, rainwear and some drinking water. Climbing sticks are for sale at the Centre.

Can I take my car part of the way?
You may drive to the car park at the Information Centre, but from there it’s foot power only. What does ‘Teach na Miasa’ mean? It means the house of the dishes. The road on which the centre is built is known as ‘Bóthar na Miasa’ – ‘ The road of the dishes ‘ and it is reputed that the monks of nearby Murrisk Abbey washed their utensils in the stream which runs alongside.

What services are provided at the Centre?
The Centre provides the following facilities: restaurant, information services. guided tours of the mountain. packed lunches. secure lockers, craft shop, shower facilities (for a nominal fee).

Where is Teach na Miasa?
Croagh Patrick is situated five miles from Westport on the R335 road. The Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre, Teach na Miasa, is situated in Murrisk on the Pilgrim’s path at the base of Croagh Patrick mountain and opposite the National Famine Monument.

Westport is served by both bus and train from Dublin and Galway. The Croagh Patrick Information Centre is a further 8 km west of the town of Westport.

The nearest airport is Knock International Airport providing flights to and from Dublin, Britain and European airports. Shannon Airport provides flights to and from the U.S. and is 180 km from Westport. Dublin Airport also provides air access to and from many worldwide destinations. Check out the airline website www.ryanair.com andwww.aerlingus.ie

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