Whether you drive, cycle, walk the mountains, lakes and rivers of Connemara are accessible. The views of throughout the region, with it's changable weather can vary throughout the day.
The Ballynahinch Fishery stretches from at Bertraghboy Bay northwards through Inagh Valley and eastwards almost to Maam Cross, with numerous loughs and tributaries all the way through dramatic scenery. It is one of the most extensive fisheries in the west.
The drive from Maam Cross to Kylemore which runs through Inagh has been voted one of the best scenic drives in Ireland. (Not sure who actually voted )
The area is ideal for walking – particularly with the excellent Western Way traversing the area. The Western Way stretches from Mayo right down to Galway. A good place to pick up the walk is close to the Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel.
Lough Fee not far from Killary and Lennane is a glaciated lake, surrounded on two sides by mountains, the hard top road follows the course of the lake between the mountains.
Lough Fee is at the start of the,Renvyle Loop drive or at the end depending on where you want to start.
Using the lough as a starting point when driving the Renvyle Loop is good as it takes you into breath taking scenery very quickly.
After passing through the valley, you can take a detour up to the mouth of Killary Harbour, the views from this angle are interesting, you can also see the mussel fishermen at work.
After the detour swing back along the main road towards Renvyle, perhaps stop for lunch or have a game of golf on the local course.
A visit to Derryinver Quay and Ballinakill Harbour should be included in your tour, from here you can enjoy sea cruise or a sea angling trip
Within the beautiful valley of Lough Fee there is a small fish farm. The local fishermen are always only happy to chat with people passing by.
When following the N59 from Maam Cross - the Maamturks are on the right handside - follow the Maamturks loop through Inagh Valley - upto Killary and back to Maam Cross on the N336
Park safely alongside the road and stroll about the lakeshore, off the road under foot can be wet and muddy so take care.
Lough Corrib is Ireland's largest lake it has a multiplicity of small uninhabited islands and lies within a rivers roar of Galway city. Peaceful, tranquil fishing with real expectations of a catch of trout, salmon or pike. That's what you will have on Lough Corrib. Oughterard the gateway to Connemara, it lies on the western shores of Lough Corrib. The village is a haven for anglers, who hire boats from the local fishermen or gillies. You can cruise Lough Corrib starting from Oughterad, Cong or Galway. Enjoy an evening cruise as the sun sets over the Connemara Mountains.
Driving along the N59 from Oughterad, you will catch glimpse of what lies ahead, but when you reach Maam Cross, the whole vista of the Connemara Mountains, Maam Turks and Twelve Pins opens out in front of you. This is just a cross roads on the road to Clifden or Lenane, there is a hotel right on the corner, which serves as a good base for walking or exploring the surrounding area.
Along the lake shore there are numerous boatmen offering fishing boats for hire on a daily or half daily basis. Continue on through the village of Oughterad - heading west will take you to Maam Cross.
Killary Harbour is Ireland's only fjord - it can be toured by car, cycle, on foot or by cruise boat.
Killary Harbour, a long narrow fjord is bound on the North by Mweelrea Mountains and the Twelve Bens to the South. The lough marks the boundary between Counties Galway and Mayo.
The village of Leenane sits at the head of fjord, while the village is small it does have a number of good pubs and local restaurants. The village is a good base if you wish to walk some of the green roads, tracks and walkways in the area.
The remains of a village deserted during the Irish Great Famine 1840s is located close to the lough and accessible by following the green path.
Ceoil agus Craic
If the weather is inclement, don't despair just head to one of the local pubs and you may find some musicians free playing or a groups playing cards while taking a few pints.
In around Killary there is much to do. Enjoy a cruise on the Fjord - walk the green roads, stroll around the sea shore or relax over a pint in the village.
The dramatic sea and mountainscape views of Killary Bay and Mweelrea Mountains are best seen while travelling the Renvyle Peninsula Loop Drive or from Rosroe at the head of the Fjord.
Set among lakes, rivers and mountains - a visit to Kylemore Valley and Abbey is time well spent
In Gaelic Kylemore is known as Choill Mhór with a literal translation of The Big Wood.
After leaving Lough Inagh travelling north from Recess, the area is pretty barren with just a covering of grass with some grazing sheep. But when you turn left into the Kylemore valley, with its 3 lakes the flora changes dramatically to stands of oak and other native trees, birds and flowers are plentiful though hidden among the trees.
The loughs in the valley are excellent for angling and you can hire a boat locally.
Kylemore Abbey is at the head of this valley and is worth a visit.
The valley is especially beautiful in late spring ( April/May ) when the Rhododendrons are in full flower.
While Connemara is not densely populated there are a number of villages and the town of Clifden is the area's major centre.
Clifden town was developed in the early 19th century, while remote from Galway city, it had access to local resources, such as fishing, quarries, good harbour and reasonable agricultural land.
Before the end of the same century, the rail line arrived in the town, giving it an economy boast for a number of years, providing access to Galway city for local produce, the train also brought tourists to the town. Unfortunately the life of the train was short lived as the line from Galway was closed in 1935.
Today the town 's main focus is tourism and acts as a base location for visitors touring the area. The town has a number of quality restaurants and pubs. Local accommodation can be found in hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts.
There is a fine walk from the town down past the harbour and along the estuary of Clifden Bay and on beyond the point where the bay broadens out.
For sailing enthusiasts the bay has excellent waters and a fine sailing club.
The village lies on a northerly gate way from Lough Corrib to West Connemara - the village is tiny though it has a pub which offers refreshments and food.
Letterfrack was selected by Marconi as the location for the transatlantic wireless receiver station for his new duplex transatlantic wireless service. Beginning in 1913, eastbound messages were sent from his Marconi Towers in Nova Scotia over high power wireless.
The National Park centre is the starting point for a number of loop walks of varying difficulty up Diamond Hill.
If you get the opportunity see some of the excellent examples of art hand crafted by the college students in the college.
Recess is a cross roads on a number of the Connemara Loop drives - West towards Clifden, the Sky and Peninsula Loops - north takes you to Kylemore and Killary Harbour.
The peninsula loop drives are short and can be done in succession, the time taken varies depending on when and how often you stop. The loops are also suitable for cycling and can parts can be walked.
In the Connemara region close to Clifden there are a number of marked looped roads, the Sky Road is one such road, it loops out and rises above the town, offering views of town set against the Maumturk Mountains.
The road continues with views over Clifden Bay and then swings around to hug the Atlantic Coast line, giving great views of the sea below and on the fine days beautiful sunsets as the sun drops into the sea long before it reaches the USA.
The road continues and eventually sweeps back to Clifden.
From Clifden there are a number of scenic road walks which take you along the coast. Just follow the roads out of town.
In Clifden the Sky Road Loop is well sign posted. Follow the sign posted route and it will take you out and above the town, this small road wanders above the coast - when it loops back to the N59 you can return to Clifden or continue on the Renvyle Loop.
When you get to Renvyle - there is a long beach where you can stretch a leg, there are two villages (Tully and Tullycross ) where you can get some food,
There is a well maintained caravan park alongside the sandy beach just west of Tullycross.
As you walk along the beach towards the golf course there are some amazing views across the bay to Mweelrea Mountain and ahead to the mighty Twelve Pins.
From the tiny harbour there are some finew views looking towards Letterfrack and the Connemara National Park
When you get to Maam Cross - you can travel the four points of the compass - North, South, East or West
The visitor centre is located just outside Letterfrack. The park is open all year round and is popular with walkers and climbers. The village of Recess is a good stopping point before you turn right and head into the Twelve Tins mountains and Lough Inagh valley. The Connemara Loop, a circular route through some of the most scenic areas, starts at Maam Cross. The road distance is about 90Km, though the driving time due to stop offs, rests, and perhaps a sing song in a Connemara pub, may take some time The roads through Connemara are generally small and narrow. The area hosts many bus tours, so better to avoid the tours and stay ahead or wait till they have well passed.
The Inagh Valley opens out into the less rugged Kylemore valley. A stop in the abbey is a must, so don't forget to take the left turn when you reach the main road.
Inagh Valley is one of the most photographed areas of Connemara on a fine day. The road winds along the side of Derry Clare Lake and Lough Inagh, bound on the West by the Twelve Pins and on the right by the mighty MaumTurk mountains.
The Inagh Valley opens out into the less rugged Kylemore valley. A stop in the abbey a must.
From Maams Cross you can select which direction to take - go south for a loop around Galway Bay, west for one of the scenic short loop drives and north to Maam Village and upper Lough Corrib
While following the Clifden Loop you pass through Recess and continue on the N59 as it meanders past lakes, streams and mountains, till it reaches the town of Clfiden.
The R336 road is part the Galway Ougherrad Galway Bay loop drive - you can leave Galway and head out along the coast through Barna or follow the Ougtherrad road past Lough Corrib to Maam Cross - the R336 connects the two parts of the loop.
The Abbey and Gardens are open all year to the public. There is a cafe within the grounds.
Kylemore Abbey was built in the late 19th century, as a gift by the owner to his wife. The Abbey boasts as being one of Ireland's finest castles. Certainly the view is stunning The Abbey is nestled along the shore of Kylymore lake, back dropped by the Rhododendron purple in early summer. The Abbey until recently was a boarding school for girls, run by the Benedictine nuns, who had fled Belgium after the second world war. Today the Abbey is open as a visitor centre Apart from providing access to the house, visitors can also enjoy the Victorian walled gardens. This is the only formal garden in Ireland, built in and surrounded by bog land.
The Connemara Park is more than 2000 ha of bog land, mountains, rivers lakes and streams. The visitor centre is located just outside Letterfrack. The park is open all year round and is popular with walkers and climbers. Connemara ponies can be seen on some of the remote farms on the road from Ougtherrad to Clifden. The pony show takes place annually in Clifden in August.
Enjoy a relaxing break inthe excellent cafe, stroll about the gardens and grounds or visit the house.
From Clifden follow the coast road passed the coral beaches to Ballyconneely, then on past Dog Beach to Roundstone and back by the Bog Road.