Think of the best crumble you've ever had, one with a craggy crust that accumulates hollows of perfect flavour. Similarly, the filigreed coast of the Connemara Peninsula is endlessly pleasing, with pockets of sheer delight awaiting discovery.
The name Connemara (Conamara) is Irish for 'Inlets of the Sea' and the coastal roads bear this out as they wind around small bays and coves, some with hidden beaches. A succession of seaside hamlets entice.
Connemara's interior is a kaleidoscope of rusty bogs, lonely valleys and shimmering black lakes. At its heart are the Maumturk Mountains and the pewter-tinged quartzite peaks of the Twelve Bens mountain range, with a network of scenic hiking and biking trails. Everywhere the land is laced by the seemingly endless stone walls you're glad you didn't have to build. It's dazzling at any time of day but especially when the sky and waters sparkle azure, the hills shine green, and bright yellow blooms abound.
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Connemara destination guides
Top Ireland experiences from Lonely Planet staff
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Connemara and Galway City Day Trip from Dublin
Explore Connemara and Galway City on a full-day trip from Dublin. Traveling by luxury coach, you'll discover this unspoiled area of natural beauty on Ireland's dramatic west coast. See the majestic Kylemore Abbey, take a boat cruise around Killary Harbour (Ireland's only fjord) and soak up the bohemian atmosphere in Galway City.
Ireland Cycle Explorer Guided
Small group guided cycle along the backroads of Irelands stunning Connemara region