Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction – Set in the dramatic Connemara landscape, Kylemore Abbey is the no. 1 “must-see” attraction in the west of Ireland. The castle was originally built by Mitchell Henry in 1867 as a romantic gift for his beloved wife. In 1920 the Benedictine Community came to Kylemore and Kylemore castle became Kylemore Abbey. The 1000 Kylemore estate is steeped in history with tales of tragedy and romance, engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits, spirituality and education.
Visit the estate and experience the Victorian atmosphere of the restored rooms of the Abbey, miniature Gothic Church and Head Gardener’s House. There are many nature trails, woodland and lakeshore walks and a children’s play trail waiting to be discovered. Explore the magical 6 acre Victorian walled garden where onyx Victorian verities of flowers and vegetables are grown.
Vegetables and herbs from the garden are used in the restaurant which offers traditional home cooked food made to the recipes perfected by the Benedictine nuns. The tea house by the walled garden is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views over the Connemara National Park. Open 7 days a week, all year.
Letterfrack is a quaint small village set in the heart of Connemara in direct vacinity to some of Connemara’s main attractions. It is easily accessible from the capital of Clifden which is just a short ten minute drive away. Located at the foot of the Connemara National Park which creates a sence of atmosphere.
Roundstone is a popular holiday resort renowned among artists and naturalists for the remarkable beauty of the surrounding mountains and seascapes. It has a traditional craft centre and local activities include Connemara Pottery, Connemara Jewellery and Connemara Instrument making. Connemara Farming, Connemara Fishing, Connemara Forestry and Connemara Quarrying are carried out extensively in the area. In Roundstone you will find a busy harbour where local fishermen prepare and return with the day’s catch, featuring a mix of Lobster, Crab, Shrimp, Mackerel, Cod plus a wide variety of other fish.
The town itself boasts a good selection of Bars and Seafood Restaurants crammed full of locally caught seafood. Strolling through the town you will discover some fantastic craft shops and cafés.
The focal point of the picturesque village of Cleggan is its pier which is the closest mainland link for the islands of Inishturk and Inishbofin. These islands attract more and more visitors each year. Indeed so compelling are the islands charms that some have opted to live there permanently.There are a couple of pubs with great seafood on their menu overlooking the pier. Just off the coast about five miles away is the island of inishbofin Cleggan is the Ferry port to reach this island with boats going to the island daily. Cleggan and inishbofin are re-noun for being an ideal place for artists and writers Richard Murphy the famous poet being one of them. He lived in Cleggan for many years. Bird watching is also a favourite pass time for many who stay.
Oughterard is a traditional village steeped in history and is set at the gateway of the Connemara mountains and home to the Owenriff River which empties into the Lough Corrib. Known for its lively water activities such as boat hire, fly and fresh water fishing, heritage walks, Oughterard is within 20km west from Galway city and offers something for all the family to enjoy both in the village itself and on the outskirts.
Spiddal and Barna
Leaving Galway along the coastal route to Connemara, the creative and colourful villages of Barna and Spiddal await. The gateway to Connemara is the first of the Gaeltacht areas in Connemara and welcomes you to enjoy some time out at their beautiful beaches like Silver Strand and Spiddal beach or to take a stroll in the natural woodland trails in Barna woods. See the local fisherman head off from Spiddal pier to grab the local catch of the day or take some time out to enjoy the stylish fashion in Design House or Standún and while you’re there, why not try and pick up some Irish from the locals and impress all your friends!
Cong is a small village on the border of Galway and Mayo famous for not only the John Wayne 1950s classic, The Quiet Man but its links to the Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde and the breath-taking grounds of Ashford Castle. The village lies between Lough Mask and Lough Corrib and is steeped in history with Cong Abbey ruins dating back to the 12th century. Take a walk through the Cong Nature Trail Loop or a local Walking Tour or enjoy a day out fishing along the Lough Corrib or the Cong canal.
Ballyconneely is an ideal place to explore the stunning beaches and Connemara Ponies that Connemara have to offer. The village is host to an annual Pony, Dog and Cattle Show which happens every July and continues to grow both in numbers taking part and spectating. Beautiful beaches include the Coral Strand and Mannin Bay where many water sporting activities take place including surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Pony trekking along the shoreline is also available or why not enjoy a spot of golf at the Connemara Championship Golf Course. The castle ruin of Pirate Queen Granuaile (Grace O Malley) overlooks the Connemara Smokehouse which is the oldest smokehouse in Connemara and both are located at Bunowen Pier.
With its numerous beaches including The White Strand and Lettergesh Beach and stunning mountain views, the Renvyle Peninsula begins shortly after Letterfrack when driving north-west on the Tullycross road. The bustling villages of Tully and Tullycross both offer warm welcomes to its visitors and during the summer months, the village of Tully opens its doors at the Teach Ceoil (Music House) for a celebration of Irish music, dance and story-telling in the form of Irish Nights where local performers showcase their talents and every August the return of the local annual Watersports Day takes place on Glassilaun beach
Situated at the head of Killary harbour, Leenane village lies on the Galway-Mayo border under the Maamtrasna and Maamturk mountains. Famous for its stunning views and beauty, it is home to Irelands only fjord which is a stretch of 16km and was the set for the famous Irish movie, The Field.
Leenane has many outdoor sporting activities to offer from water sports, fishing, golfing and mountain hiking to something more relaxing like local seaweed baths, cruises along the Killary or a spot of shopping at the Sheep and Wool centre in the heart of the village.
Just over an hours drive from Clifden, the oldest and largest city on the Wild Atlantic Way Galway city awaits you. With historical sites like the Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral and of course Eyre Square to the wonderful Atlantic Ocean via the Salthill promenade, the energetic city of the tribesmen has something for everyone to enjoy and will certainly keep you busy. There is a huge variety of shopping available, various tours of the city by way of train and also by horse drawn carriage, street entertainment to get your toes tapping and a food scene that will most definitely not disappoint. Annual festivals include the Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Races and the Galway Christmas Market.
For less experienced walkers and families, the Diamond Hill Trail in the Connemara National Park is well sign-posted and highly accessible, and those who make it to the top are rewarded with expansive panoramic vistas across Connemara.There are four trails in Connemara National Park. A Must when you visit Connemara. There is also a lovely coffee shop and great playground for the kids... Read More >>
Electric and Hybrid Bike Hire and Tours – Roam the highways and byways of Connemara at your leisure. Make molehills out of those mountains, cruise gently along the bog road, and strike out those quite, secluded beaches that are now within easy reach! Read More >>
Set between the Atlantic Ocean, 12 Ben Mountains and preserved boglands, lies the town of Clifden on the Coast of Connemara. Enhanced by spectacular scenery, championship golfing, horse-riding, walking, cycling, hill walking, beaches, fishing, scubadiving, painting, national parks, abbeys, castle ruins and over 5,000 years of living history. Read More >>
Wild Atlantic Way
Imagine driving along the absolute edge of Western Europe, Imagine exploring a 2,500km (1,553 miles) long coastline dotted with beaches, harbours, headlands and stunning viewing points, imagine stopping yourcar, feeling the salt spray in your face and the exhalation of Atlantic surf. You can do it all and more on the Wild Atlantic Way… a journey of inspiration! Read More >>
There's a wide range of fun outdoor activities in Connemara. Choose from coasteering, kayaking, surfing, rock climbing or hill walking.
Training is provided in mountain skills and navigation, lead climbing, white water kayaking. Read More >>
Connemara is surrounded by rivers and lakes that is home to world-class brown trout and the majestic Atlantic Salmon. Read More >>
Tours & Cruises
No visit to Connemara would be complete without a visit to Killary Fjord. The nine mile long inlet boasts some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland, and because of its sheltered nature, its waters are always calm. Read More >>
Two miles from Roundstone, on the road to Clifden, are two of the finest beaches in Ireland. Gurteen Beach and Dog’s Bay lie back to back forming a tombolo jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Read More >>
Connemara offers many shops to enjoy, whether you're browsing for a special gift, or looking for a souvenir, or just treating yourself... See what's near to where you're staying...
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