THIS 1 DAY CONNEMARA TOUR INCLUDES; KYLEMORE ABBEY (photo stop), CONNEMARA NATIONAL PARK, KILLARY HARBOUR, KILLARY SHEEP FARM & GALWAY CITY.
Connemara, in Galway, is a step back in time to the ‘real’ Ireland. Narrow roads lined with sheep, stone boundary walls on the lush green fields, the Gaelic language still being spoken in the linting Irish brogue; this is a tour that any visitor to Ireland must include on their itinerary.Connemara National Park covers some over 2,700 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bog, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens range.Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate.
From the very moment you arrive, the Connemara National Park will without a doubt leave you speechless due to its mesmerizing beauty! This uniquely structured tour departs from Dublin everyday of the week at 6:50am and will have you back in town after a full day’s tour at approximately 7:30pm where you’ll have the luxury to reminisce about such an eventful day with fellow travellers! In addition, listed below is our detailed itinerary in order for you to have a more comprehensive inside-look at what our Connemara day trip tour has to offer…
To begin, departure takes place outside the old stone church located on Suffolk Street (sitemap is available within the link to the booking page) which is the governmental tourist office near Grafton Street and is directly situated inside of the church. More specifically, the office is called “Dublin Tourism”. Once you’ve found your location of departure, you’ll begin your exciting new escapade across the west coast terrain of Ireland toward the celebrated town of Galway! However, before leaving you’ll meet your fun-loving and very knowledgeable tour guide who will introduce you to your fellow drifting travel companions! But before heading to the lovely city of Galway, we’ll take a short break outside the town of Athlone in order to stretch our legs, grab a quick snack or use the toilets prior to taking off!
After finishing up with our coffee break, we will jump aboard our bus to take an exceptionally scenic route towards Oughterard which is considered to be the “gateway” into Connemara! While passing through charming towns along the way, you’ll have the luxury to encounter views that are truly unmatched to anywhere else across the land! Not to mention, Connemara is unique in the sense that this National Park possesses no official boundary in order to notify you that you’ve arrived at one of Irelands’ prominent attractions! If anything, you’ll instantly know that you’re there due to such breathtaking surroundings! After admiring the panoramic views then you’ll have the chance to capture a few photos at the well-known bridge that was used in the production of the movie “Quiet Man” starring John Wayne!
Arrive at Maam Cross where you’ll have the delightful opportunity to breathe in the fresh air and snap some memorable photos while being surrounded by numerous lakes as well as other various hidden gems that make this National Park so famous! In addition, this area is designated as a “Gaeltacht” region where the local residents speak Irish as a first language. However, not all of Connemara is considered to be a Gaelic speaking region, although you’re bound to learn a few words or phrases along the way. To add, various people have admitted that listening to Irish being spoken was like music to their ears! From there, we’ll drive along the Maumturk Mountains on one side all the while having the Twelve Bens Mountains on the other! This incredible route will then lead us into the lovely village of Recess for which we’ll take a short break to learn some interesting facts about the region. More specifically, this is where Alcock and Brown famously landed their plane in a bog after their record-breaking nonstop flight from North America to Europe. Also, this is where Marconi based himself during his productive years before marrying one of the Hennessy brandy gals!
Next we’ll make our way through the stunning Inagh Valley which is notorious for losing mobile service! Regardless, this is truly a remarkable site with ample opportunities to capture photo-worthy shots! To further explain, this distinctive setting is better known as the “Kylemore Abbey” which was once a prestigious female boarding school but now hosts nuns on retreat as well as welcoming tourists visiting from around the world! Here is where you’ll be allotted sufficient amount of time to enjoy the magnificent vistas. In addition, the estate is nestled away at the base of the Druchruach Mountains looking out to the northern shore of Lough Pollacappal and is highly regarded as one of the most romantic places in Ireland. Not to mention, the abbey is full of history, mystery and tragedy to explore!
We now head off towards “Killary Fjord” which is the only fjord in all the land! Upon arriving, you’ll marvel at all the thriving mussel beds while looking out towards Mweelrea, the highest mountain range in the west coast of Ireland. Please note that during the high season ( April – October ) this tour offers a 1.5hour boat cruise down Killary harbour. During these months your lunch stop will be on the boat. During the low season ( November – March ) the boat cruise will not run and instead we will make our way over to the Killary Sheep Farm, a traditional site that hosts approximately 200 ewes and lambs that roam freely across the fjord. More specifically, the farmer Tom Nee casually explains how he mainly herds blackhead-horn sheep due to the fact that these creatures are better suited to survive living in the mountains under such harsh conditions. Here at the Killary Sheep Farm, visitors have the unique opportunity to observe local farmer performing a skilled sheepdog demonstration as well as displaying the “nack” of turf cutting.
From there, we will make our way towards the village of Leenane where the well-acclaimed movie “The Field” was filmed! The story of Bull McCabe truly instils the crucial importance and mindset that land played in every Irish family’s life. After touring the town, we will drive in a circular route so that you’re able to experience a panoramic view of the Sheefry Hills before heading back towards Galway in order to explore for the remaining portion of the trip.
Now that we’ve arrived back in Galway, spend an hour exploring the famed-about city before venturing back to Dublin. Here you can visit various popular tourist attractions such as the Galway Cathedral, Claddagh Ring Museum, main shopping district and the vigorous harbour where you can view the magnificent Spanish Arch! The city of Galway is a very welcoming and fun-loving place populated by the young at heart! Not to mention, this was the last place the famous explorer Christopher Columbus visited before taking off to the West Indies! Enjoy!
To finish off, we’ll arrive back in Dublin to reminisce about all of the exciting highlights!