Attractions in Connemara
Connemara is a magnificent area spanning much of the west of Galway County characterized by stunning mountains, boglands, waterways and lakes, grasslands and forests. Touring this area is a must for all visitors, if even just for the scenery, but there are also plenty of attractions in Connemara. We challenge you to take a more breathtaking photo anywhere in the world!
In addition to the scenery, there is a plethora of outdoor activities to take in and a wide range of tourist attractions in Connemara. Oughterard is widely regarded as the “Gateway to Connemara”, so it will all be on your doorstep at Carrowntober House.
Connemara National Park – This park spans 2,957 hectares of Connemara and offers opportunities to learn more about the flora, fauna and geology of the area. The Connemara area is home to diverse plant and wildlife and has the unusual feature of containing both rare species of plants which normally grow in the Arctic, as well as those native to Spain and Portugal. Wildlife includes many native Irish birds as well as a host of others which migrate to the area from colder parts of Eastern Europe as well as the famous Connemara Pony. The Park offers information, exhibits, education, nature trails, guided walks, Diamond Hill walk, a children’s playground, picnic area and tea room. Admission is Free!
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden – Quite likely the most visited attraction in Ireland, Kylemore Abbey offers visitors the chance to learn about its unique “history of tragedy, romance, education, innovation and spirituality” in the restored rooms of the Abbey. Or, wander the beautiful woodlands on the 1,000 acre estate, visit the Gothic Church and nearby Mausoleum. Be sure not to miss the 6-acre restored Victorian Walled Garden with wonderfully restored glass houses and meticulously designed plant and flower features.
Connemara Heritage & History Centre – This Centre offers visitors an opportunity to learn about and experience the history, heritage, culture and traditions of the Connemara area. The functioning farm includes sheep, cattle, Connemara Ponies, donkeys and chickens. The main feature of the Centre is the restored pre-famine cottage of Dan O’Hara who had to emigrate after being evicted from his home. Learn about his story, history of the area as well as see demonstrations of turf cutting, sheep herding, soda bread making on the open fire and a host of other activities & games.
Spiddal Craft Centre – Head toward the Atlantic coast, south of Oughterard, and you’ll find this cluster of quaint art and craft cottages. Watch craftspeople at work, meet the artists, take in the wide range of stunning pieces to bring home for yourself or items that make perfect gifts.
Killary Fjord Boat Tours – Now head north-west from Oughterard, through the heart of Connemara to Leenaun. You will find breathtaking views on all sides of the Fjord and taking this boat cruise will help you to fully appreciate the unique landscape. Cruises are 90 minutes and the boat offers a cafe and bar service.