- Inishbofin Island
- Omey Island
Connemara is the peninsula of Western Galway. It has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its barren windswept landscape is compelling and inspiring. The blanket bog covering the region houses some beautiful and varied flora, and provides a contrast to the more green and fertile land of the midlands and the south. The ancient mountains have been raked to their bones by long thawed glaciers, leaving patches of grey granite and jutting outwards, and potatoe rows still visible from the desperate times of the Great Famine. The fields are divided by hand-made stone walls, often collapsed. The Atlantic coast is dramatic and powerful, filling one with appreciation for the fear that the Irish men and women from this region must have felt when preparing for the trip across it.
Irish is widely spoken in Connemara, and is the native language of all the locals. And will appreciate if you tried to speak a little Irish to the locals, however they will not expect you to speak in Irish. A person who asks "Do you have any Irish?" is inquiring whether you speak the language. You can get by, by using Irish to the locals, shops, the villages or anywhere. However if you are a holiday maker you don't have to use Irish to get by in Connemara as English would be understood by everyone, but you are more than welcome to use the language if you wish to be apart of the Gaeltacht spirit!
- Bus Éireann: Route 420, from Galway to Clifden winds through most of the major destinations.
- Citylink has started a route to Clifden and Letterfrack from Galway.
- For drivers, take the N59 or R336 northwest from Galway City. The N59 is the main road from Galway to Clifden, while the R336 winds its way along the southern shore before turning north to Leenane. The two roads intersect at Maam Cross.
Citylink, Bus Eireann, Taxis and Hackneys for private hire.
Drivers should be aware that roads outside main towns in Connemara are often narrow and twisty. Although this has the advantage of encouraging you to slow down and appreciate the scenery, it does mean that getting to where you want to go can often take longer than you think, so it's a good idea to bear this in mind when planning ahead.
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Gardens is a major attraction and includes some rooms on display, a church, a mausoleum, woods, a restaurant and tea rooms, a craft shop and great views. If you want to see the gardens, arrive early because you have to take a shuttle to get there and back, and you don't want to miss the last shuttle.
- Scuba Dive West, Renvyle. Offers PADI courses and boat diving in scenic Little Killary and environs.
- Hiking is the best way to see Connemara. Highlights include the Twelve Bens, a small range of mountains stretching between Kylemore Lake and Lough Derryclare. Parts of the bens are included in Connemara National Park
- Killary Adventure Centre, ☎ +353 95 43411, e-mail: email@example.com. The, Leenane, offers a wide variety of activities including kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, gorge walking, etc, along the Killary fjord.
- Biking and cycling around Connemara
- Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard (Located off the N59, 3km's from Oughterard), ☎ +353 91 552214. 09:30-18:00. Set in picturesque surroundings close to the shores of Lough Corrib, lies Aughnanure Castle - a very well preserved example of a 15th century tower house built by the O'Flaherty's. In addition, visitors will find the remains of a banquetting hall, a watchtower and an unusual double bawn and bastions, and a dry harbour.
- Boulger's Br, Cashel. A rural and local institution, found in the ornate village of Cashel, overlooking Bearthagh Boy Bay.
- Sleepzone (3.5 miles west of Leenane on the N59). Is a brand new hostel opening in March 2005, is in a converted 19th century building. It overlooks Killary fjord, and offers facilities for a wide variety of wilderness activities. Shuttle service is available to the affiliated hostel in Galway City.
- Ben Lettery Hostel (east of Clifden on the southern leg of the N59), ☎ +353 95 51136. This HI/YHA hostel is situated in an ideal location right in the mountains of Connemara. It serves as a good base for hikes in the region, including that around the 12 Bens.
- Bard's Den (Letterfrack). This hostel is located right in the center of Letterfrack, Connemara, surrounded by ocean, mountains and forests. It is 2 minutes walk from the well-known Connemara National Park, and 30 minutes drive from the Killary - Ireland's only fjord.
- Mitchell's Cottage (Letterfrack). This self catering is located close to Letterfrack, Connemara. Homestead of Mitchell Henry of Kylemore Abbey fame, who brought much need employment to the area in the 1800's.
- Connemara Self Catering beside Connemara National Park (Located at the foot of The Connemara National Park overlooking Laurel bay and just 2 mins walk from Letterfrack Village). High quality, comfortable home away from home accommodation which will ensure you have a memorable holiday.
- Connemara Self Catering Holiday Cottages. 69 holiday cottages located throughout the beautiful Connemara countryside. Great self catering accommodation.
- Ballyconneely: Connemara Golf links
- Letterfrack: The Diamond Hill.