Connemara’s natural beauty and strong culture make it an essential stop for any visitor to Ireland. This unique area includes everything from fishing villages that hug Ireland’s west coast to vast boglands that are overlooked by rugged mountains. Travelling through Connemara will show you ancient thatched cottages and allow you to hear the Irish language spoken by natives. There’s so much to explore in Connemara, it can be hard to know which route to take. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of five Connemara sights you won’t want to miss!
This small island is a perfect photo opportunity, and a firm favourite among visitors to Connemara. The island sits in the middle of Lough Derryclare, with the Twelve Bens looming in the distance. It’s a perfect image of Connemara’s untouched natural beauty. At the turn of the 19th century, the island had a prison for locals who were convicted of cruelty to animals. If you’re wondering why something so specific existed in such an isolated area, it’s because RSPCA founder Richard Martin was born and spent much of his life here. The prison no longer exists, but Martin’s legacy and Pine Island’s beauty live on. If you’re an avid photographer, you won’t want to miss this spot!
Roundstone is a quintessential Connemara fishing village, with a charming small town atmosphere that you won’t want to leave. Small restaurants and artisanal craft studios line the bay with breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Our Connemara tour gives you a chance to walk through the village, breathe in the sea air, and capture some great photos. Roundstone has a strong reputation for fantastic seafood and an abundance of traditional crafts. If you want to pick up some souvenirs, Roundstone is a great place to find pottery and Connemara marble jewellery. You can also purchase a bodhrán, a traditional Irish drum that was invented in the area.
Sky Road is famous for the beautiful views it provides of the Atlantic coast, Clifden Bay, and islands like Inishbofin. As you travel along the road, you’ll get countless amazing views of Connemara’s rugged landscape. The road is near Clifden, the biggest town in Connemara. Wild Atlantic Day Tours is the only tour company that takes the mountain route along the Sky Road, giving you unparalleled views that the lower route simply can’t provide. Sky Road is especially beautiful in the evening, and watching the sunset reflect on the water turns the view into pure magic.
Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park is the perfect retreat for any nature-lover. The park contains 2,957 hectares of mountains, bogland, and woodlands, and is home to wild animals like Connemara ponies and goats. The views are stunning, and the walks are out of this world. You can take a scenic stroll through the grasslands, following one of the park’s trails and keeping your eyes peeled for a deer or falcon. If you’re feeling more adventurous, Diamond Hill is waiting to be scaled! There are trails that stop halfway up or go all the way to the summit, so novices and experienced climbers can do as much or as little as they want.
Kylemore Abbey is a testament to old-world beauty, nestled in the mountains. Henry Mitchell built the manor in the late 1800s as a romantic gesture to his wife. You can explore beautiful features of the estate like Kylemore Castle, the Victorian Walled Garden and the Neo-Gothic Church. The Abbey’s current owners are an order of Benedictine nuns. They fled to Ireland after their previous abbey was bombed during World War II. They make chocolate, jam, soap, and pottery in order to maintain their home. All of these items are available in the gift shop. Our Connemara tour gives you the option of spending two hours in Kylemore Abbey, exploring the estate and its history.
These five destinations can show you all the best parts of Connemara. Natural beauty, Irish culture, stunning views, and fascinating history are all there, ready to be explored. All of these destinations are included in our Connemara tour, which also has several other stops in the region. If you want to experience the best of what Connemara has to offer, make sure to check it out and see all the sights of Ireland’s most traditional region.