Ireland’s home to bucket loads of mountains, dotted right the way across the country, offering both amateur and seasoned climbers plenty of hiking options to choose from.

From the giants known as Carrauntoohil (Co. Kerry) and Lugnaquilla (Co. Wicklow) to more accessible climbs like the Sugar Loaf (Co. Wicklow), Ireland boasts peaks in every shape and size, just waiting to be conquered.

County Mayo’s Croagh Patrick is considered Ireland’s holiest mountain, with a traditional pilgrimage taking place each year, stretching back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day.

At it’s highest point, the mountain rises 750 metres (2,500 feet) into the sky above County Mayo, so it’s by no means an easy climb to the top (and it’s an even harder descent).

If you’re planning a trip, or if you’re curious about the views along the way, here’s 23 photos shot by real adventurers (here’s a handy guide on climbing Croagh Patrick to get you ready).

1 – Feast your eyes upon the beauty of Clew Bay

2 – Croagh Patrick is a whopping 2,507 foot high which means views for days!

3 – The pilgrimage to the mountain goes back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption

4 – After a tough hike to the top, all you can do is kick-back and admire what lays before you

That was only the start 😩 #mountain #landscape #croaghpatrick #hike #ireland

A photo posted by Harriet (@harrietlucy_1) on

5 – At the summit of Croagh Patrick, Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD

I’ve got my head in the clouds ☁️ 🌍‭

A photo posted by @bethcoffey_ on

6 – The brilliantly blue waters of Clew Bay look like something plucked straight from the Caribbean

Mountain climbing today. #CroaghPatrick #Ireland #WestCoast

A photo posted by Paul Kelly (@paulk13) on

7 – Each year around 1 million pilgrims flock to the mountain

It’s always worth it when you get to the top. Love this place. There is no better view in the world.

A photo posted by Patrick Campbell (@patsycampbell88) on

8 – The icing on the cake – a rainbow over the bay

9 – Every year, on the last Sunday in July, thousands of devotees from around the world travel to the mountain for what’s known as “Reek Sunday”

Like seriously 🌈 😍 #croaghpatrick

A photo posted by C H L O Ë (@clobird131) on

10 – Clew Bay contains the best example of sunken drumlins in Ireland.

A photo posted by @mardoyle86 on

11 – The sunken drumlins were formed by retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age

A photo posted by John Kane (@johnkane_) on

12 – According to legend, there’s an island in the bay for every day of the year

13 – It’s the third highest mountain in County Mayo after Mweelrea and Nephin

Climbing Croagh Patrick – before the snow and gale force winds 💪☘#hiking #wildatlanticway @ben.deary

A photo posted by Miranda Joseph (@mirandaajoseph) on

14 – There’s two stages involved in climbing Croagh Patrick

The view on the way up Croagh Patrick. Props to those that’ve completed this bare foot! #whereismywife

A photo posted by Bob Sawyer (@daddobob) on

15 – The first part of the climb takes you up a rocky foothill covered in heather and moss.

16 – The second stage is a steep challenging track that leads to the top

17 – Before Saint Patrick arrived, the mountain was known by its ancient name – Cruchán Aigli

Up in the clouds 🏃🏽😊

A photo posted by Andrew Loughlin (@andylock05) on

18 – Way way up in the clouds

19 – Expect legs of jelly when you reach the top

View from Croagh Patrick

A photo posted by @andy.craig01 on

20 – A steep slippery descent awaits thanks to lots of loose gravel

21 – The view from the top will be more than worth it, though

Fine view from Croagh Patrick August 2014

A photo posted by Garret Hickey (@garret_hickey) on

22 – Just a stones-throw from the cracking little town of Westport, there’s plenty to do pre and post climb

Day 54: I climbed a mountain in #sunshine #wind #rain and #hail #CroaghPatrick #irelaND #nofilter

A photo posted by Louisa Antonelli (@antonellouisa) on

23 – One things for sure, you won’t be disappointed

Enjoy the view from #croaghpatrick the holy mountain in #ireland #westport

A photo posted by Gerald Draxler (@gerald_draxler) on

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