Welcome to Connemara


From Galway city, a slow coastal route passes some stunning hidden beaches and seaside hamlets. At the start of the Gaeltacht region west of Spiddal, the scenery becomes increasingly dramatic, with parched fields rolling to ragged shores.

Connemara's starkly beautiful interior, traversed by the N59, 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 stone walls.


Top experiences in Connemara

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Connemara activities

$34.80 Day Trips & Excursions

Connemara Tour from Galway Ross Errilly Friary, Kylemore Abbey

Leave Galway Coach Station and head north by luxury coach through the countryside of County Galway, in the west of Ireland. First stop is near the town of Headford visit Ross Errilly Friary – one of the best preserved Franciscan friaries in Ireland. Known locally as Ross Abbey, the medieval ruin is considered as a National Monument of Ireland, with atmospheric cloisters and medieval tombs just itching to be explored. After strolling around the ruin with your guide, hop back on your coach for the short trip to Cong village, where The Quiet Man featuring John Wayne, was filmed. With roughly 45 minutes at leisure here, you can perhaps retrace the steps of actors through the village, or maybe amble over to Cong Woods to see 11th-century Ashford Castle. Alternatively just relax with a coffee (own expense) on the banks of Lough Corrib – Ireland’s largest lake.Continue to County Connemara, traveling around Loch Na Fooey – an unspoiled glacier lake – and soak up sights of the region’s incredibly scenic countryside. Hear tales of life in Connemara from your guide and learn about the time-honored Irish traditions and customs that are still preserved in Gaelic-speaking Connemara today.Next stop is Kylemore Abbey – a majestic Benedictine abbey on the banks of Lake Kylemore. Steeped in history, the abbey is said to have been built as a romantic gift in the late 1800s, and later served as a refuge for Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium during World War I. Entry to Kylemore Abbey is at your own expense, and once inside you’ll have two hours to spend at leisure. Enjoy lunch (own expense), stroll around the abbey or perhaps take a look at its Victorian walled gardens. On the journey back to Galway, pass though the spectacular scenery of Connemara’s Inagh Valley, weaving alongside the Maam Turks Mountains and back around Lough Carrib. Arrive back to Galway in the early evening.

$29 Day Trips & Excursions

Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey Tour from Galway

Departing Merchant's Road in central Galway from outside the Kinlay Hostel at 9:30 daily, this tour travels west along the Coast of Galway Bay. You leave Galway city behind and head out through the Claddagh and Salthill areas of Galway before turning left and along the southern shore of Connemara. The tour passes through the picturesque villages of Barna, Furbo, Spiddal and Inverin before turning inland to cross the haunting Connemara landscape.The tour then stops at the summer residence of Padraic Pearse. Padraic Pearse was one of the leaders of Irish Nationalism and a signatory to the Proclamation of Irish Independence, read out by him outside the GPO in Dublin during the Easter Rising 1916. This restored cottage overlooks the breathtaking rural vistas of Rosmuc, (entry fee not included).  Then you travel through the tranquil, wilderness bog landscape of Bothar na Scragoige before stopping for a photostop in the beautiful fishing village of Roundstone.Leaving Roundstone you travel travel along the real Wild Atlantic Way territory, along here you have the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the barren Connemara landscape to your right. You get to witness exactly what the Wild Atlantic Way is all about, keep an eye out for the local Connemara Ponies as you head for Derrygimlagh Bog. This remote corner of Connemara was central to connecting the whole of Europe to America in the early 20th century and is one of the 'signature points' of the Wild Atlantic Way. Travelling through Clifden, the capital of Connemara, you head skyward towards the Sky Road. The views and photo opportunities from this 'discovery point' on the Wild Atlantic Way have to be seen to be believed.Next you have a choice: Either a 2-hour stop to explore and walk the Connemara National Park, or a 2-hour stop at the magical 19th century Kylemore Abbey (entry fee not included). To finish off the tour you weave your way between the majestic Twelve Bens and Maamturk mountains through the Inagh Valley and onto the main Galway to Clifden road where you will visit the famous 'Quite Man' bridge before returning to Galway city.

$439.64 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-Day South West Ireland Tour from Dublin

To begin this amazing experience, you will depart Dublin and head west to tour the beautiful region of Connemara. After a refreshment stop in the midlands of Ireland, your first stop will be the quaint and charming village of Cong. The village is home to Ashford Castle and Cong Abbey. Departing Cong, you will enjoy wonderful views of the Garlic speaking Connemara and its beautiful lakes, valleys and mountain scenery. You will arrive in Galway by mid afternoon, which will allow you ample time to enjoy this marvelous cultural city. Visit the Spanish Arch and ramble around colorful shop street. Accommodation will be in Galway city. Begin day to by cruising along the west coast where you will enjoy beautiful beaches and golden sand. Your first stop is the home of the legendary king of Connacht, Dunguaire Castle. The tour will continue to the seaside village of Kinvara and the lunar landscape of the Burren, the only place in the world where Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean flowers grow side by side. You will then enjoy a lunch stop in Doolin (own expense), a beautiful Gaelic speaking village, before visiting the highlight of the day, the Cliffs of Moher. Rising over 700 ft in height, these cliffs are home to some of nature's most majestic birds. You will take a photo-stop at Bunratty Castle. You will spend the night in Killarney. On day 3 you will embark on a tour of the world famous Dingle Peninsula. The day begins with a horse and cart ride through Killarney National Park (optional at additional cost), before visiting Ireland's longest beach at Inch beach, where you will enjoy miles of beautiful sandy beach. You will then take the short drive to Dingle, a charming Gaelic speaking fishing village. Highlights of the Dingle Peninsula will include Slea head, Gallarous Oratory, Views of the Blasket Islands, Dingle Town, where there will be a chance to browse the local art and craft stores. Accommodation will be in a traditional Irish pub, where there will be a chance to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Your final day will begin by crossing the Cork and Kerry mountains and heading for the world renowned Blarney Castle. You will spend time here visiting the Castle, and kissing the Blarney Stone endowing you with the gift of eloquent speech (gift of the gab) for 7 years. You may also like to visit the famous Blarney Woollen Mills, where you can visit the world's largest Irish shop. After lunch (own expense), you will take a leisurely drive through Golden Vale.

$34.80 Day Trips & Excursions

Connemara Tour from Galway: Leenane Village, Kylemore Abbey

Your full day guided tour departs from Galway, you will then make your way to Connemara. A region which is famed for it’s natural beauty and landscapes. Listen to your expert driver/guide share there knowledge and the history of Connemara on your drive through the countryside. Climb off the coach to explore a few of the iconic Irish landmarks independently. Discover rivers and lakes that flow off The Twelve Pins Mountain Range which naturally shape this region. There has been Hollywood directors who have chosen Connemara as filming backdrops to movies such as The Field (Written by John B. Keane, starring Richard Harris and John Hurt) and most recently, Marley & Me (Starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston).On your day trip you will be visiting Leenane Village, this is a small mountain-side town which is full of Irish charm. This village was used for the setting for the film ‘The Field’ starring Richard Harris and John Hurt. Your next stop will be in Killary Fjord, this is Ireland’s only fjord which serves as the natural border between the counties of Galway and Mayo.Your tour will then move onto Kylemore Abbey, which is situated on a lake in the midst of the mountains. This abbey was originally built in the 19th century by Mitchell Henry as a gift to his wife, Margaret. You can explore the Abbey- which is now owned and run by Benedictine nuns, the miniature Gothic Church and the award-winning Victorian Walled Gardens (own expense).The next stop will be An Spidéal, A charming Gaeltacht, Irish Speaking, village. This village is home to many houses with traditionally thatched roofs, with scenic coastlines and beautiful beaches. Your tour will conclude with a drop off back in Galway.

$29 Day Trips & Excursions

Moher Cliffs, Coast of County Clare, Burren Tour from Galway

Departing from Merchants Road, Gawlay, outside the Kinlay Hostel at 09:30 daily and travelling south along the Wild Atlantic Way, your fully trained, local driver / guide will take you on a journey through the history and landscapes of Ireland.Your first stop is at Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. This is one of the most photographed castles in the whole of Ireland.Then it’s on through the glacio-karst landscape of the Burren and past Corcomroe Abbey. This fascinating 12th century Cistercian Abbey is noted for its distinguished carvings and rich ornamentation.We follow the Wild Atlantic Way along the coast of County Clare, passing Black Head, Wild Atlantic Way - Discovery Point and Fanore Strand, Wild Atlantic Way - Discovery Point.From here you can see the three Aran Islands, Inishmore (Inis Mor), Inishmann (Inis Meain) and Inisheer (Inis Oirr), locking in Galway Bay and in the distance the mountains of Connemara.A photo stop at Doolin pier gives you a chance to feel the Atlantic wind in your face and to see the power of the sea as it crashes in on the shore. During the summer months, there is an opportunity to join a cruise to the base of the Cliffs of Moher. (cruise not included).After you’ve worked up an appetite on the beach it’s onto Doolin Hotel for lunch. (Lunch not included). Try any of the local sea food dishes, you won’t be disappointed.Next up is our main stop of the day, the Cliffs of Moher for a 2 hour stop. Wild Atlantic Way - Signature Point. The Cliffs of Moher are one of Irelands most spectacular sights and one of the 'Signature Points' on the Wild Atlantic Way. Rising 214 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. (entry fee included).After the Cliffs of Moher, you'll return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for it's annual match making festival.Tour returns to Galway City between 17:00 and 17:30.

$288.84 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Galway, Kerry, Burren, Dingle Peninsula 3-Day Tour from Dublin

Day 1: Dublin - Connemara - Galway We’ll depart Dublin this morning and make our way to the West of Ireland and beautiful Connemara. We’ll stop for refreshments in the midlands before arriving in the enchanting village of Cong. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara filmed the Quiet Man here and the village is also home to Ashford Castle, a stunning resort which is frequently host to celebrity weddings and royal families on vacation. We have time to visit Cong Abbey before continuing our journey through the wilderness of Connemara. We enjoy the unique landscape, beautiful lakes, valleys and mountain scenery. This area is Gaelic speaking and still maintains many of Ireland's traditional ways, despite suffering massive depopulation during the Great Famine of 1845 - 1851. Arrive in Galway mid afternoon for time at leisure in this atmospheric city. We have time to explore the Spanish Arch and ramble down colourful Shop Street with its many street performers, seafood eateries and quaint Irish bars. Overnight in Galway. Day 2: Galway - Cliffs of Moher - Dingle Peninsula Today you will have the Atlantic Ocean by your side as we cruise down a portion of the Wild Atlantic Way. The coastal route is characterised by beautiful golden beaches and maybe even dolphins and whales breaching off the shore. Meanwhile, the limestone Burren region is a lunar landscape with unique features such as underground rivers and waterfalls dating back 300 million years. Today’s highlight is the Cliffs of Moher, the most popular natural tourist destination in Ireland and easily most spectacular cliffs in Europe. Rising over 700 ft in height, the ciffs mark the edge of Europe are home to some of nature’s most majestic birds including puffins, gannets and many more. We'll cross the mighty River Shannon in County Limerick where Viking longboats once ruled the waves. Look forward to spending the night on the breathtaking Dingle Peninsula, in the heart of rural Ireland. Day 3: Highlights of the Ring of Kerry - Killarney - DublinThis morning we'll take in some highlights of the Ring of Kerry (which typically include Moll’s Gap, Leprechaun Crossing, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall) before enjoying time at leisure in Killarney. Many guests enjoy an (optional) horse and carriage or horse ride. The journey back to Dublin takes us on a leisurely drive through the heritage town of Adare with its fabulous thatched cottages and the Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land with its rolling fields and pastures. We return to Dublin by 19:00 approx.

Connemara in detail