There are several things to do in Connemara. The region is located in the northwest corner of County Galway and is an area of desolate beauty, incredible scenery, and some of the most interesting attractions in Ireland.
Connemara is also the cultural hub and known as one of the centers of traditional Irish traditions and culture. People also say that when you visit Connemara you “experience the real beauty of Ireland”.
11 Things To Do In Connemara Ireland
1.Explore Connemara National Park
The Connemara National Park is the second smallest national parks in Ireland with only 30 square kilometers area size. It was established in 1990 and the area covers bogs, heaths, grasslands, and forests. It is well known for the diversity of bird life in the area.
Visitor Centre – Open daily, 9 am to 5.30 pm from March to November
Park Grounds – Open daily 9.00 am-5.30 pm all year round
Admission is free to the national park and visitor centre.
Location: Letterfrack, Connemara, Galway
Phone: +353 76 100 2528
2. Mannin Bay
Connemara is popular for its amazing beaches. Manning Bay is one of them. This beach is located in the town of Clifden and you can do several water-based activities here. From kayaking to snorkeling, there are tons of options to this secluded Irish beach.
3. Admire the beauty of Kylemore Abbey/ Kylemore Castle
Kylemore Castle was built by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor from England, as a gift to his wife Margaret in 1871. It was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1903 and was then purchased by the Irish Benedictine nuns in 1920. Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery was then founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara. Since the 1970s, the estate has been opened to the public.
Nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain and along the shore of Lough Pollacappul, the Abbey is one of the most iconic attractions in Ireland. It is also one of the most beautiful castles in Ireland. And no visit to Ireland is complete without spending a half day to the castle ground.
9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Last admission is at 4 pm. To check for the latest schedule, click here.
€13 for adult, €9 for a student, €10 for senior, and €26.00 for a family of 4.
Location: Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland
4.Connemara Heritage & History Centre
The Connemara Heritage and History Center also called Dan O’Hara’s Homestead, is an open-air museum in the village of Lettershea. It was established in 1980 and became an award-winning heritage center. It is known for its unique insight into the history, traditions, culture, and heritage of Connemara.
Daily from 10 am to 6 pm. Last admission is 5 pm.
Adult: €8.00 Child: €4.00 Senior/Student: €7.00 Family (up to 6): €20.00
Location: Lettershea, Galway Road, Clifden, Galway
Phone: +353 95 21246
Inishbofin Island is a small island off the coast Connemara. Only 8km long and 3km wide, this island has only a population of 200. Known as the “island of the white cow”, this island is a popular tourist destination as it features all the best that Connemara has to offer. Rich history, stunning Atlantic coast scenery, and award-winning beaches are just among the attractions that are waiting for you in Inishbofin.
How to get to Inishbofin Island
You can take a ferry from Cleggan pier. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and they leave 3 times a day during peak season and twice a day during the off-peak season.
6.Channel your adventurous self in Killary Adventure Centre
Killary Adventure Centre is nestled in the Connemara Mountains. Aside from accommodation, Killary Adventure Centre also offers more than 20 exciting adventure activities for visitors. They offer kayaking, archery combat, rock climbing and abseiling, paintball, wakeboarding, water skiing and several challenges for participants.
Whether you are a solo traveler, a family, a couple or entire group of friends, there’s something for you at this place.
For their latest rates, click here.
Location: Derrynacleigh, Leenane, Co. Galway, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)95-43411
Clifden Castle is a ruined manor house in Clifden in the Connemara region. Built in 1818 for John D’Arcy, founder of Clifden, the castle was passed on to several people that led the castle’s ruin. Today, the castle ruin is owned jointly by several people but the entire property is falling apart. The surrounding grassland is populated by grazing cows, sheep, and horses, and part of the castle ruins is a cow pen.
If you take the stroll through Sky Road Walk, you will see the castle on the way.
8. Stroll along Clifden Beach Road/ Sky Road Walk
A local favorite, the Beach Road and Sky Road Walk are one of the most peaceful and serene walks in Clifden. These walking trails will give you the best view of Clifden, a castle, the panoramic view of the ocean and the charming villages in the area.
9. Visit Bunowen Castle
Bunowen Castle is a castle in Hill of Doon overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This historic castle was originally the site of O’Flaherty castle which was owned by O’Flaherty family from the 10th century. The O’Flaherty family used to control the region of Connemara and built fortresses including the medieval walls of Galway. This castle is one of the best things to see in Connemara.
10.Explore Omey Island
Omey Island is a beautiful tidal island on the western edge of Connemara. It was a popular monastic settlement in the region and up to this day, a popular a place of devotion for St Feichin. The holy well dedicated to the saint can be found on the island as well.
Aside from its religious sites, there are several shell middens that can be found on the island. Shell middens are domestic waste that includes animal bones, botanical material, human excrements, sherds, and artifacts associated with past human occupation. Some of those have been carbon-dated to AD 1000–1500 according to scientists.
11. Take the Killary Fjord cruise
Killary Fjord is the only fjord in Ireland. It extends up to 16 km and it’s around 45 meters deep. The fjord is also famous for shellfish farming, bird watching, and there are several protected animals in the area such as otters. It is also one of the best day trips from Galway City.
For the updated list of opening hours, click here.
Child 0 – 10 free
Youth 11 – 17 €11.00
Family tickets from only €42 when booked online (up to 6 children)
Location: Nancy’s Point, Leenane, Co Galway, Ireland