“David was a wonderful tour guide - friendly, extremely professional, very knowledgeable of the history, flora, and fauna in Connemara. I was also glad that this tour was smaller than the other ones (i. ...Christine P., USA – See more reviews
What To Expect
Boat ride on Killary Fjord* and stop at Kylemore Abbey (summer)
Our one day tour to Connemara transports you to the very western and wild side of Ireland and we show you the most breathtaking sights and scenery Connemara has on offer. With the wild Atlantic on one side of you during the day and wild endless mountains on the other, you will feel so elated driving through this amazing place. One of only two places in Ireland where sheep have the right of way over cars on the road! In the morning and evening, you have to be careful driving as they tend to sleep on the main roads.
We then take the very scenic coast road from Galway towards Oughterard, the gateway to Connemara and passing through quaint villages on the way with views unmatched anywhere else in Ireland. Connemara is unique in the fact that it has no official boundaries to let you know that you are in Connemara. You just know you're there! Not far into our journey you will get to stop at the famous bridge that was used in the Quiet Man film with John Wayne. Take a picture with your guide as they all think they are John Wayne!
At roughly 11 am we will stop at Maam Cross where you will see for the first time one of numerous lakes that make Connemara so famous. This is a Gaeltacht region where the locals speak Irish so you may have to learn a few words on your journey if you want a cup of tea! Not all of Connemara is a Gaeltacht region but some pockets keep Irish alive as their first language. It is a beautiful language and music to the ears. While driving we will have the Maumturk Mountains to our right side before seeing the magnificent Glencoaghan horseshoe part of the twelve Bens mountain range, one of Ireland's famous hiking routes. We will arrive in the lovely village of Recess where we will break for a short while. This is where Alcock and Brown famously landed their plane in a bog after their record breaking non stop flight from North America to Europe. This is also where Marconi based himself during his productive years and before marrying one of the Hennessy brandy girls!
We now make our way through the wonderful Inagh Valley, famous for the phone advertisement of losing reception. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Connemara where we will stop to take in the breath-taking views with some photos. Our next stop is at Kylemore Abbey, one of the most distinct buildings in Ireland and where we shall have photo stop and a coffee break to relax and enjoy at the same time. It was a female only boarding school for years but now is mainly used by nuns for retreat and for tourists to visit. It is nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul and is regarded as one of the most romantic places in Ireland. Originally built in 1867 as a romantic gift, the abbey is again steeped in history, including tragedy and Royal visits.
The highlight of our day will depend on the season:
After we depart from this majestic setting, we will make our way to 'Killary Fjord', Ireland's only fjord. Marvel at all the mussel beds in the fjord as you look at Mweelrea, the highest mountain on the west coast of Ireland. You will not be disappointed with this natural wonder of the world. From there we will take you to Killary Sheep farm, a traditional working mountain farm with approx 200 loo ewes and lambs roaming freely in the mountain overlooking Killary Fjord. On the farm Tom Nee (the farmer) run mainly blackhead horny sheep which are most suited to survive on the mountains during the harsh winters. At Killary Sheep Farm visitors can view the farmer giving a skilled sheepdog demonstration and he will also show you the 'nack' of turf cutting.
We take a circular route to the other side of Connemara where we will be stopping at Kylemore Abbey, one of the most distinct buildings in Ireland. It was a female only boarding schools for years but now is mainly used by nuns for retreat and for tourists to visit. It is nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul and is regarded as one of the most romantic places in Ireland. Originally built in 1867 as a romantic gift, the abbey is again steeped in history, including tragedy and Royal visits.
Explore "Killary Fjord" which is the only fjord in all the land! Upon arriving, 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.
After the sheep dog demonstration and turf cutting at Killary Sheep Farm (winter) or Killary Fjord cruise (summer), we will hop on the bus again for our trip to the little village of Leenane where the enigmatic movie "The Field" was filmed. This story of The Bull McCabe really instils in you how land is in every Irish persons mindset. We will be driving in a circular route that will take in a picture stop of the Sheefry Hills before making our way back to Maum and then onto Galway City.
Spend an hour walking and sightseeing around Galway city before departing back for Dublin. Visit the main shopping district. Walk down to the busy harbour and see the Spanish Arch. Galway is a bohemian and happy city with a very young population. Home to the Claddagh Ring and 14 families, there is amazing history in this city. This was the last place Christopher Columbus visited before making his way over to the West Indies.
1.5 hour boat ride on Killary Fjord* (summer)
A visit to Kylemore Abbey (winter)
Sheep dog and turf cutting demonstration (winter)
Transportation by coach
Tips and gratuities
Optional activity costs
Children below 5 years old are free of charge.
Senior price is applicable to guests aged 65 and above.
Alternative pick-up location can be arranged for groups.
Tour stops every 1.5 hours.
Tour ends at the Dublin Tourism information office by 20:00 at the latest.
In case there are pickups to be made in Galway do we take a stop there and have the coffee break. If none, we proceed immediately towards Oughterard, at Connemara.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
8 hours and 30 minutes