There are so many things to do in Connemara, Ireland. Connemara is located in Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland, and showcases the real beauty of Ireland. Rolling green fields, sheep wandering the roads, thatched cottages, breath taking views and tranquility are all to be expected on a visit to Connemara, Ireland.
I may be slightly biased as I grew up with Connemara 30 minutes from my home and I visit Connemara every single time I go home. You will leave Connemara feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. While Connemara is the best place in the world on a sunny day, on a rainy day it can be windy also, so wrap up!
Connemara is one of the top things to do in Galway. There are so many great things to do in Connemara. As it is quite rural, it is best to plan your visit and know where you are going prior to heading off.
8 top things to do in Connemara, Ireland
#1 Visit Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden
Kylemore Abbey is a beautiful Abbey in the heart of Connemara, Ireland. Kylemore Abbey boasts beautifully restored period rooms which you can tour as part of the visitor experience. In addition to the elegant Kylemore Abbey, you can also spend time exploring the 6-acre Victorian Walled Garden.
The Victorian walled garden showcases restored garden buildings alongside flower, vegetable and herb gardens. The estate at Kylemore Abbey sits upon 1,000 acres. There are woodland and lakeshore walks waiting to be explored. A few minutes walk from the Abbey sits a beautiful neo-Gothic Church. For children, there is a wild play area where you can spot pigs and Connemara ponies.
Kylemore Abbey also has a restaurant and a gift shop where little trinkets can be purchased. For tickets and information, visit Kylemore Abbey’s website HERE.
#2 Have tea, scones and a trail walk at Ballynahinch Castle
Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara is one of my favorite castles in Ireland and in the world. I once stayed here for Easter in a suite and it was beautiful. We had our own sitting room, hallway, his and hers sinks, plush bathrobes, a fireplace and chocolates delivered before sleep.
Every time I return to Ireland, I visit Ballynahinch Castle and pop in for tea and scones by the fire, followed by a beautiful walk along the river. There are lots of little trails at the castle and the scenery is so peaceful. Ballynahinch Castle is near Roundstone and Clifden and I highly recommend a visit.
A stay is highly worth it! I have sent so many of my readers here over the years and every single person has LOVED their stay. It’s such a special place. Visit the Castle’s website here to learn about availability.
#3 Climb Diamond Hill in Letterfrack
Diamond Hill in Letterfrack is one of my favorite hikes to do as it is relatively easy for a hike and a little challenging at the same time. Diamond Hill is located in Connemara National Park about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Galway City.
The trail climbs up to Diamond Hill’s summit (400m) and showcases the breadth of Connemara’s coastline including the idyllic islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin and Inishark. The sweeping views from the summit also stretch to the majestic Twelve Bens, Mweelrea and Tully Mountains.
You can also see Kylemore Abbey on a clear day. Avoca in Letterfrack has the most amazing home made raspberry jam and lots of Irish produce and goods for a stop after the climb. It’s a 4 minute drive from Diamond Hill and if you intend to get a few Irish treats on your trip, this is the place to stop.
#4 Explore Clifden
Clifden is the largest town in Connemara and it is filled with little pubs, restaurants and small shops. It is exactly the picture of what most tourists have in mind when they think of Irish towns.
Clifden is definitely worth a visit to explore and wander. There are always lots of festivals and events going on in Clifden so research before you go to see what is happening on the days of your visit.
#5 Walk/drive down Sky Road
Clifden Beach Walk / Sky Road Walk is one of the most popular and scenic walks/drives near Cliden. From Sky Road Walk, you can see Clifden Castle, the ocean and the views of the surrounding town.
The circular route is 16km long and takes you out west from Clifden, onto the Kingstown peninsula, and back into Clifden via the N59. The peninsula is also part of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route.
Here you will find unbeatable views of the Connemara countryside, the Atlantic Ocean, The Islands, and the coastline of Co. Mayo to the North, and Co. Clare to the south. There is a car park and viewing area at the highest point with plenty of room to park and take pictures.
#6 Visit Roundstone town and the beach
Roundstone town is a tiny tiny town (blink and you will miss it), however, it is the perfect stop after time spent at Dog’s Bay beach (nearby). Stop for an ice-cream or a bite to eat in one of the pubs.
On a sunny day, this rivals any Spanish beach and the views are incredible. As a teenager, I spent some time here on holidays with my friends and have such fond memories. The beach is long enough to walk along. When you get to the first sandy smaller beach, climb the hill to get to the other quieter, more beautiful side.
#7 Have some adventures at Killary Adventure Center
Killary Adventure Center in Connemara offers so many activities for you to enjoy during your trip to Connemara. There are over 20 activities offered including kayaking on Ireland’s only Fjord, a mini water park, Giant SUP’s with the mountains around you, wall climbing, a high ropes course and Skyfall.
If the weather is good, this is the perfect way to enjoy some time exploring the nature and beauty of Connemara. See all activities HERE.
#8 Drive along the Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic way is a coastal drive from the North of Ireland all the way to the South of Ireland which includes Connemara & Galway City. There is the most beautiful scenery along the Wild Atlantic Way which you can read about here.
If you are traveling to Connemara, incorporate some of the Wild Atlantic way on your trip so you can enjoy the beauty and coastal views of the drive.
These are my top things that I love about Connemara however there are so many things to do and see in Connemara.
Have the best time in Connemara and if you have any specific questions on Connemara, send me a DM on Instagram HERE.