Connemara National Park
Discover the wild and rocky Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park
Connemara, on the west coast of Ireland, juts into the Atlantic Ocean. It's a wild, rocky, scenic coastline and a vast expanse of mountainous, low quality, stony land, which is difficult to cultivate. Not to be missed a private tour of Ireland.
Once part of the Kylemore Abbey estate, the Connemara National Park is over 5,000 acres of wild, beautiful scenery. A landscape of atmospheric lonely mountains, forests, grasslands, and heaths provides the best walking country. Within the park is the chisel-shaped peak of Diamond Hill and four of The Twelve Pins.
Purple moor grass grows in abundance alongside carnivorous plants including, sundew and butterworts trap. Bogs retain very few of the nutrients routinely found in soil; the plants have become predatory and obtain their nutrients by digesting insects. Connemara is truly unique.
Walk the Wild Beauty
A brief history of Connemara
The main town of Connemara has evidence of ancient human habitation in the form of four-thousand-year-old megalithic tombs. Early inhabitants eked a living by fishing and trading the Connemara Green Marble in rock seams in this area. It continues to be a precious stone and used in slab form for building and small jewellery.
Emigration to the New World
It has always been a harsh environment in which to live. The area suffered unbelievable hardship during the great famine of the late 1840s and depopulated. Many of the tenant farmers either died or abandoned their holdings, preferring to take their chances on the New World's emigrant ships.
Today Connemara is admired for its natural beauty.
Highlights of Connemara
Clifden, a charming town and the 'capital' of Connemara. Founded in 1812, it features two interesting churches; a neo-Gothic church with marvellous rose windows and a smaller Protestant church.
Southeast of Connemara is Lough Corrib, a vast inland sea set within fantastic mountain scenery. It's excellent for trout fishing, and on the north shore is Cong Abbey, a fascinating 12th-century building that's worth a visit.
Kylemore Abbey, a castellated neo-Gothic 70 room mansion built in the 1860s by a wealthy Manchester businessman as a present for his wife. The grounds and parts of the building are open to the public and well worth a visit.
Hiking In Connemara
Connemara is hill-walking country with a wide choice of routes ranging from gentle hikes to challenging mountain courses. Whatever your choice, fantastic scenery is guaranteed.
Two of the walking trails start from the visitor centre. One threads its way through the magnificent Ellis Wood, the other called the Sruffaunboy path is a climb through rougher terrain passing the paddock of the park's herd of Connemara ponies.
These are iconic sturdy ponies, noted for their ability to withstand the harsh conditions and yet are companionable and biddable.
Because pasture land is scarce, the ponies feed on salt-tolerant grasses and seaweed from the shore. Bred away from Connemara, the ponies lose their distinctive qualities after only two generations. Along the way, you'll come across disused sheep pens, deserted crofters houses, and the well that once supplied water to Kylemore Castle.
Diamond Hill affords stunning views and provides glimpses of the islands of Inishbofin, Inishturk, and Inishark. The climb up to Croagh Patrick can seem tough going, but the view from the summit amply repays the effort.
Touring and accommodation
Our Classic Ireland Tour includes a day that combines a visit to the Connemara National Park with a Kylemore Abbey Gardens. The magnificent scenery ensures that it's a visit you will never forget. However, we can always customise your journey to reflect any specific interests or requirements you may have.
Ashford Castle Hotel is one of Ireland's finest and most admired places to stay. It is an excellent base for touring Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey Gardens and a short drive to Galway city. Touring the Cliffs of Moher and spending the afternoon in Galway is a possible day tour from Ashford Castle or stops en-route to Ashford. Golf lovers will wish to stay at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, only a few miles from Galway, on a 138-acre estate.
Outlandish and Beautiful
Ireland's Wild and Rocky Landscape
- Private Hiking Guides
- Wildlife Watching
- Peak Trekking
- Kylemore Abbey Gardens
Help us make your trip exceptional
Our UK and EU office based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.
Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.
We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.
We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.