Connemara’s 6 Must-See Attractions

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fokus keyword: Connemara

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Situated in a windblown part of County Galway, Connemara’s region contrasts stark beauty with ethereal charm. From the magnificent Twelve Bens mountains to the awe-inspiring Atlantic shoreline, the terrain is ever-changing, exposing lustrous coral beaches, expanses of foggy moors, and even a glacial fjord adorned by the stately Kylemore Abbey. The rugged wilderness invites exploration, while cozy pubs and eateries are always within reach. Below are six fundamental experiences of this remarkable region.

  1. Diamond Hill

The countless stones in Connemara are often likened to stars, and many are found on Diamond Hill, a ridge named after the gleaming rocks once peddled as ‘Irish diamonds’ by local kids. The ascent, though brief and demanding, rewards with panoramic vistas of the Atlantic, Kylemore Abbey, and the neighboring mountains.

  1. Dog’s Bay

With weather that can change in a blink, Connemara’s Dog’s Bay and Gurteen, twin beaches on a Ballyconneely isthmus, remain stunning regardless of the climate. Nearby Roundstone offers comfort food, with O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar & Restaurant serving a delicious chowder that feels like a warm embrace.

  1. Omey Island

Accessible at low tide through a sandy causeway from Claddaghduff, Omey Island presents an unusual yet enchanting journey. The disconnect from the mainland feels magical, leading to an island rich in intrigue, including a sunken church known as Teampaill Féichín.

  1. Kylemore Abbey

Nestled between Doughrough Mountain and Lough Pollacappul, the historic Kylemore Abbey provides self-guided tours that detail its history. Initially a refuge for Benedictine nuns during World War I, visitors can explore its elegant restored salons and Victorian gardens.

  1. Sky Road

A nine-mile circuit around a small peninsula near Clifden, the Sky Road offers breathtaking views of Inishturk and Turbot islands and the Twelve Bens mountains. While enticing, hiking this route is discouraged due to the absence of pathways and numerous hidden turns.

  1. Killary

This serpentine 10-mile glacial fjord serves as a natural boundary between Mayo and Galway, providing excellent kayaking opportunities. Satisfy your appetite later with mussels from the Misunderstood Heron, a seasonal food truck with a view over Killary at Leenane.

As the most extensive ‘Gaeltacht’ (Irish-speaking area) in Ireland, Connemara adds linguistic charm to its natural allure.

Published in the UK & Ireland supplement and distributed with the Jul/Aug 2023 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK). To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine, click here. (Available in select countries only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Connemara

What are the six essential experiences in Connemara?

The six must-see attractions in Connemara are Diamond Hill, known for its quartzite ridge; Dog’s Bay and Gurteen beaches; Omey Island with its sunken church; Kylemore Abbey, steeped in history; Sky Road, offering breathtaking views; and Killary, a glacial fjord perfect for kayaking.

Can I hike the Sky Road in Connemara?

It’s advised not to hike the Sky Road in Connemara as there’s no designated path, and there are many blind bends, making it unsafe for walking.

What are some culinary experiences in Connemara?

You can enjoy creamy chowder at O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar & Restaurant in Roundstone and grab a bowl of mussels from the Misunderstood Heron food truck overlooking the Killary in Leenane.

Is Connemara an Irish-speaking region?

Yes, Connemara is the largest ‘Gaeltacht’ or Irish-speaking region in Ireland, adding to its cultural charm.

Can I visit Omey Island any time?

Omey Island is accessible at low tide via a sandy causeway from Claddaghduff. It’s essential to plan your visit according to the tide schedule to safely reach the island.

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5 comments

Mike_OReilly August 17, 2023 - 12:28 pm

been to kylemore abbey last summer, the gardens were something else. Highly recommend to anyone going that way!

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SarahInDublin August 17, 2023 - 1:31 pm

Why no hiking on the Sky Road? sounds like it’d be beautiful. Oh well, must be a good reason, safety first i guess.

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Tim_Explorer August 17, 2023 - 3:44 pm

Connemara is like nowhere else, you have to see it to believe it. Thanks for the article, brought back memories.

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GaelicLover August 18, 2023 - 3:16 am

It’s great to see the Irish language still thriving in places like Connemara. would love to visit one day.

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JennyTravels92 August 18, 2023 - 7:14 am

Just went to Connemara last year. this guide would have been so helpful! Missed out on Diamond Hill, looks amazing.

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