Ireland’s glorious landscape is famous throughout the globe. There is no country quite like Ireland, and one of the most varied and stunning routes to explore in the country is its Wild Atlantic Way.
There are many ways to embark upon the Wild Atlantic Way but one of the best options is to explore it on a guided tour. This is where Wild N Happy has you covered as we offer many different Guided Tours of Ireland. And if you are interested in exploring the wonder of the Connemara region in County Galway then look no further than our 11-day Ireland tour from Dublin, which takes you through its heart.
If you choose to spend some time in Connemara then there are a few things you should definitely put on your to-do list. Here are some of Connemara’s finest attractions!
Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey and Castle
One of the 6 Stunning National Parks of Ireland, Connemara has a diverse beauty that has to be seen to be believed. The park has everything— heaths, forests, mountains, grasslands and bogs, and that’s just the landscapes it offers! You will no doubt have heard of the Connemara ponies that roam free and wild within the park, but seeing them is a whole other experience. And if you want the full experience, you can always try pony trekking along the Connemara coast!
And on the edge of the national park is a man-made wonder that can’t be missed. Kylemore Castle is on our list of the best castles to visit in Ireland and right beside it is the majestic Abbey where you can enjoy history talks before exploring the beautiful castle grounds.
Clifden and Clifden Castle
Clifden is the unofficial capital of Connemara. A charming town, with excellent food and boutique shops, it’s a lovely place to explore on your journey along the Wild Atlantic Way. The highlights of the town are just outside of it, however. The Clifden Beach Road and the Sky Road Walk are hiking trails that offer stunning views of the town, the coast and, of course, Clifden Castle.
Clifden Castle is little more than a shell now – a mansion that has fallen into disrepair – but it cuts a fine figure as you walk the trails of the town, and there is a haunting allure about the place that commands attention.
Spending your time in a bog may not sound particularly fun, but Derrigimlagh Bog has a Spartan beauty you’re unlikely to find in many other places. At four thousand years old, it is one of the oldest bogs in Ireland and so it naturally comes with a fascinating history. It was here that John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown made landfall after completing the first trans-Atlantic flight. Here too was the site of a radio station that sent trans-Atlantic messages from 1907 to 1922. Connemara and Derrigimlagh Bog mark the edge of Europe and you can certainly feel that boundary as you survey the magnificent views here.
Killary Fjord is the only fjord in Ireland but it’s not just this singularity that makes it a must-see. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean inland to the Aasleagh Falls, the fjord has islands at its mouth and mountains rising up on both its northern and southern edges which give it a protection and serenity that is at odds with the wildness of the Atlantic Ocean.
With these natural protections the fjord has cultivated unique flora and fauna and its varying landscapes are a stunning sight to behold. Explore the vicinity of the fjord and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best beaches in Ireland.
There are many beautiful islands to enjoy just off the coast of Connemara, and if you have time you should certainly explore the tidal island of Omey. But if you only have a chance to visit one island make it Inishbofin. Situated almost 7 miles off the coast, this island may be small but its remoteness makes for an unspoilt beauty.
The island has been inhabited for over six thousand years but the islanders have kept the creep of modernity from reaching their pristine shores so when you come to Inishbofin be prepared for a different pace of life from the world you’ve left behind! On this island you can enjoy the perfect beaches, hill walking, a flourishing natural world and some classic Irish hospitality complete with music, food, drink and craic, but this comes at the cost of some of your usual comforts.
So there you have a few of the most popular attractions in Connemara on the Wild Atlantic Way. There are plenty more places to visit and things to do in this unique and beautiful part of Ireland, and if you choose to come on a tour with Wild N Happy we’ll certainly make sure you don’t miss out. If any of our tours caught your eye, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Your Irish adventure awaits you!