Climbing the mountain of Croagh Patrick is a long-standing tradition in Ireland and there are many tourists who travel from near and far to make the pilgrimage. Check out the sweet vid below!
Some people do it out of faith. Others do it because they like to hike. But whatever the reason, the beauty of the scenery on your way to the top and the spectacular view you will be greeted to once you reach the summit is sure to outmeasure your greatest expectations!
St. Patrick, Irelands patron saint, spent 40 days and 40 nights on this mountain tending to sheep and pigs. His time on the mountain brought him closer to god. Every year, over 25k people visit and climb the mountain on ‘Reek Sunday’- the last Sunday of July. Some people for personal or religious reasons will even do it barefoot (NO WAY AM I DOING THAT) because they believe that this is the only way the climb will be worth making!
St Patrick himself founded a church at Downpatrick Head. You can still see the ruins of the church building, a stone cross and holy well here today. This was once a popular pilgrim destination, and today the crowds still gather here on the last Sunday of July – known as Garland Sunday. After you climb Croagh Patrick why not take a quick spin over to Downpatrick head, the views here are just as spectacular.
Once you make it to the top, you will be able to go into the chapel to attend the mass at designated times. The crowds of people, however, are usually huge on that particular Sunday, but you will find that there are many people who stay outside to hear the ceremony. It’s an event that happens only once a year and promises to be quite an experience if you can make the trip on this day.
The trip is only 7km long, so it will be manageable for anyone in fairly good physical condition to make it to the top. Just remember that the more you climb, the harder it gets to move forward!
Wear comfortable shoes and clothing and you might consider bringing a walking-stick because each mile going up feels like 3 times what you hike on flat terrain!