Discover Connemara

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Connemara : activities and sites to visit

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What to expect?

Notice to amateurs! If you’re not afraid of the great outdoors and want to immerse yourself in a world where nature is king, then Connemara is one of the regions you absolutely must visit in Ireland! Situated in County Galway, Connemara is a region with sumptuous and inhospitable wilderness landscapes. No wonder this makes it one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions along with the Cliffs of Moher! Interested? Come on, follow the guide!

History of Connemara

The Gaeltacht homeland

Connemara National Park - loekzanders - cc

Connemara National Park – loekzanders – cc

Before exploring Connemara further, it is important to know that the region is one of the largest strongholds of the Gaeltacht (which means “Gaeltacht country” in Irish). In other words: Connemara is an area still strongly attached to its heritage: Irish Gaelic (in addition to English) is still spoken here, and the population still lives according to the ancestral Irish traditions.

It will therefore come as no surprise to come across some Gaelic-speaking Irish on your way!

Among other subtleties of Connemara, the region has some incredible peat bogs. These are natural expanses of decaying organic matter. This allows the population to extract a very rich material: peat. It is used among other things as fuel for heating in chimneys, and can also be used in the distillation process of Irish whiskey.

It is also worth noting that the region has made a speciality of sheep breeding and has a great reputation in the equestrian field. The Connemara pony, an Irish horse resulting from successive crossbreeding between horses of various breeds and Irish horses, is bred here. Extremely prized by the international equestrian community, this horse has many qualities, which allow it to evolve in particularly hostile and precarious environments (similar to Connemara).

Finally, Connemara is a little bit the homeland of the home-made smoked salmon! There is also a smokehouse on site where you can visit the establishment, discover its smoking processes and buy local products. This is a great way to enjoy a great taste experience.

Visit Connemara…

National park, lakes, valleys and wilderness as far as the eye can see…

If Connemara is so famous all over the world, it is not only thanks to Michel Sardou’s song. The region is above all known throughout the world thanks to the incredible beauty of its landscapes.

Because here in Connemara : Man becomes very small, and gives way to wide open spaces, to wild nature, to its dark mountains, its thick and mysterious forests, its deep water lakes, and its vast expanses of red moorland… Not to mention its immense peat bogs, where it is not uncommon to come across an Irish man harvesting peat by hand.

Because of its lush nature, Connemara is subject to a rather harsh climate, exposed to wind and constant humidity, which makes this region so wild and difficult. A green region, but one that also has amazing colours: with its brown peeled mountains, light rocky outcrops, glowing red moorland, and expanses of green grass that exist nowhere else! One has the impression of being alone on Earth, far from any civilization!

And it is precisely because Connemara is a wild land, that it is absolutely worth the detour!

The easiest way to discover it is to explore the Connemara National Park: a natural enclave of more than 2000 hectares, crossed by exceptional hiking trails!

This is an opportunity to explore the wide open spaces of the park in depth, climb Diamond Hill, and enjoy a 360-degree view of the Irish region.

If you wish to go further, do not hesitate to discover the emblematic villages of Connemara: Clifden, Letterfrack, Leenane… Then push the door of Kylemore Abbey, an ultra-touristic attraction.

It is a Victorian castle and an abbey located in the heart of Connemara. A marvel to visit absolutely!