The great outdoors is our playground. We are blessed to live between the vast Connemara mountain range, and the wild Atlantic Ocean. There is adventure to be had at every turn – whether it be hiking, exploring beaches or taking in the scenic roads by bike. The crowd free, cost free opportunities are endless in this unique corner of Ireland!
*May 2021: Be sure to check current restrictions and guidelines before visiting.
One of Ireland’s largest National Parks. It is located near the village of Letterfrack, and has a variety of trails and options for all levels. There is an information center and cafe on site – *due to current restrictions, these may not be open, so please check ahead of time if you are hoping to have access to either.
This is a wonderful option to just head into the park and explore one of the several looped walks. Take the low and meandering bog route for a less strenuous walk, or go to the top of Diamond Hill if you are feeling up for some climbing (with the rewards of incredible views). The name can be misleading with this ‘hill’ however, a lot of people would call it a mountain!
Glassilaun is overlooked by Mweelrea and is at the mouth of the Killary Fjord. This wonderful expanse of white sand is a must-see, and it is always very quiet s is the perfect place for a relaxing swim and picnic. Dogs Bay is close to the village of Roundstone, and is another stunning example of the beaches we are blessed with in Connemara. Dog’s Bay was also awarded one of the best beaches in Ireland by Lonely Planet (April 2021).
Walk along the sand and then take a look over the far headland at waves crashing far out to sea – the bridge between rugged Connemara and the powerful Atlantic ocean. Doonloughan is our favourite surfing beach, and is the location of our surf lessons, and the starting point for our coasteering sessions. We wouldn’t bring you to a beach that wasn’t one of our all time favourites, and one we have been frequenting for many many years.
There are three different cycle routes that start and finish in Clifden. All of these routes will take you through some of the regions most impressive scenery. Choose the one that suits you, your schedule and desired level of riding.
-The Sky Road Loops takes in the iconic Sky Road, which is a must see when in Clifden – you really feel like you are on the edge of the earth here! It is a 16km ride and should take you around 2 hours.
-The Ballyconneely and Roundstone loop is the longest route and takes in the Bog Road, Roundstone Village and Ballyconneely, 40km. This could take you all day, with refreshments and photo stops – and is well worth every minute!
Bike rental is easy from Clifden, you can rent from Clifden Bike shop or Mannion Bike Hire . They both have a good range of modern bikes, and also have electric bikes if you want a little help on the hills!
The beautiful Sky Road heads up along the scenic coast and out of Clifden town. It climbs to a great height, taking in some twists and turns and narrow road along the way. Stop at the top for a photo, which on a clear day allows you to see for miles; including views as far as Carna and Cashel, north to Inisboffin and Mayo. On a really good day you can see Croagh Patrick and Achill Island! The vistas here are hard to match and it is a regular place we go to just take it all in, and remind ourselves of the beauty we have right here on our doorstep.
Just out from Claddaghduff village, is the historic Omey Island – which is also a Special Area of Conservation (S.A.C). You can walk or drive to the island at low tide, which in pretty unique in and of itself! Be sure to keep an eye on the rising tide, inquire from locals about the best time to cross – as you don’t want to get stuck. Follow the arrows to guide you safely across the Strand.
You can witness the huge waves that crash on the far side of the island, and take in some of the local historic sites such as Teampall Féichín – the ruins of a medieval church hiding in the sands. It is well worth the trip over, and a great way to pass a morning/afternoon. Be sure to enjoy a delicious open crab sandwich in Sweeneys of Claddaghduff afterwards, it is the best crab around!
This is a signature point on the Wild Atlantic Way, and another historic site that was home to two significant events; Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi created the first transatlantic radio station here, and Alcock and Brown crash landed safely here in 1919 after completing the first non-stop Transatlantic Flight.
Though it looks barren, it was once at the forefront of world innovation and technology, just don’t tell the sheep!
Join us for a Real Adventure:
We hope you enjoy the wonders of Connemara outdoors, as much as we do.