Things to do in Connemara

Our most recommended things to do in Connemara

From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

1. From Galway: Full-Day Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

Discover the history and landscapes of Ireland on a day trip from Galway with a local driver and guide. Marvel at centuries-old buildings and striking natural features before taking in one of the best views the country has to offer from the Cliffs of Moher. Stop for plenty of photo opportunities. Meet your trained driver and guide outside the Kinlay Hostel. Climb aboard the bus to head to your first stop, Dunguaire Castle on the outskirts of Kinvara. Looking at the 16th-century medieval tower house castle, discover why it is one of the most photographed castles in the whole of Ireland. Then, drive through the unique glaciokarst landscape of the Burren and past the 12th-century Corcomroe Abbey, a Cistercian monastery noted for its distinguished carvings and rich ornamentation. Then, follow the Wild Atlantic Way as it wends its way along the coast of County Clare. Pass Black Head and Fanore Strand, Discovery Points on the Wild Atlantic Way, from where you can marvel at views of the three Aran Islands, Inishmore (Inis Mor), Inishmann (Inis Meain), and Inisheer (Inis Oirr), locking in Galway Bay, and in the distance the Connemara mountains. Next, stop for photos at Doolin pier. Feel the Atlantic wind in your face and admire the power of the sea as it crashes onto the shore. After you've worked up an appetite on the beach, tuck into lunch at the Doolin Hotel (not included). Try any of the local seafood dishes. You won't be disappointed. Then, head to your main stop of the day, the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy 2 hours at this signature point along the Wild Atlantic Way. Admire one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Rising 214 meters out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher offer one of the most amazing views in Ireland. After the Cliffs of Moher, return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, famous for its annual matchmaking festival.

From Galway: Connemara and Cong Full-Day Tour

2. From Galway: Connemara and Cong Full-Day Tour

Experience the wild beauty of Ireland on this full-day tour of Connemara from Galway. Visit Cong Village, which was featured in the classic "The Quiet Man" and Kylemore Abbey. First, stop at Cong Abbey, an Augustinian Abbey dating back to the early 12th century and one of the best examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture.  Enter Cong Village and explore Cong Woods, stroll around the village that was in the 1950s classic movie, ‘The Quiet Man,’ or feed the ducks on the edge of Lough Corrib - the Republic of Ireland's largest lake. Admire Connemara's hidden valleys upon entering on the Lough Nafooey route.  Continue to Kylemore Abbey and enjoy a lunch break. Entrance into Kylemore Abbey and Gardens is not included in the tour price (purchase discounted entrance tickets from your driver on the day of the tour).  Leaving Kylemore in the late afternoon, drive through Inagh Valley, Maam Cross, and Oughterard. Complete the circuit of Lough Corrib before arriving home to Galway City. 

From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

3. From Galway: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey Full-Day Guided Tour

Experience the unspoiled natural beauty and rugged landscapes of Connemara on this day trip from Galway. Travel in an airconditioned bus and explore Kylemore Abbey and its elegant gardens with the included entry ticket. Stop in the charming mountain village of Leenane and take in the views of Ireland's only fjord at Killary. Then, get 2 hours to explore Kylemore Abbey and go for a nature walk in the Victorian Walled Gardens. Continue along the coast to the pretty Gaelic-speaking village of An Spideal to take a stroll amongst the many traditional thatched roof homes and admire the beautiful beaches.

From Galway: Connemara National Park Full Day Tour

4. From Galway: Connemara National Park Full Day Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Galway on this guided tour to Connemara National Park. Learn about the traditions, music, and language of the region before enjoying free time to explore the park and hike Diamond Hill. Start by meeting at the meeting point or making use of the free pickup option. En route to and from the park, your driver will break up the journey by making frequent photo and coffee stops and allowing you to soak in as much of Connemara as you can. With the help of your driver-guide, learn all you need to know about the region and plan how you'll spend your time at the Connemara National Park. Plus, get a chance to hear some local traditional music. Upon arrival at the park, your driver will explain your return time with you before you enjoy free time for two hours. Shortly after arriving, prepare for a hike on Diamond Hill. There are three primary hiking routes at the National Park, each varying in difficulty and length. Each route starts and finishes at a welcome center and cafe/tea rooms. After the two hours of hiking, meet your driver at the predetermined drop-off point and start to make your way back to Galway. The return route shows you the coastal side of Connemara, providing a different view from the outbound route.

From Dublin: Connemara and Galway Full-Day Tour

5. From Dublin: Connemara and Galway Full-Day Tour

Among the many highlights of this full-day tour are visits to Cong Abbey and Lough Corrib. You’ll stop for 1.5 hours in the charming village of Cong, which became famous when it was featured in the film, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Explore the ruins of Cong Abbey and take in the stunning views of the surrounding lakes. There are some local cafés that would be perfect for lunch! The tour then continues on through some of the most remote landscape in Ireland, and along deserted valleys that offer views of the lakes and mountains of Connemara. Stop at some of the most scenic points in the region. Later you’ll travel along the coast, admiring the fine views of Galway Bay as you make your way into Galway City. You’ll have a couple of hours to experience Ireland’s coolest city! In Galway you have the option of joining a local walking tour with a Galway tour guide or simply explore the charming city on your own before returning to Dublin.

South Western Ireland: 4 Days from Galway to Kerry

6. South Western Ireland: 4 Days from Galway to Kerry

Travel through Connemara, one of Ireland’s most striking and most remote regions. Visit Galway, the country’s trendy party capital. Marvel at the awesome beauty of the Cliffs of Moher. Explore the magical town of Killarney and discover the rugged mountains, isolated sandy beaches, and charming villages of the Dingle Peninsula. Don’t forget to kiss the Blarney Stone on the way back to Dublin, where you’ll stop for a pint at the Guinness Storehouse. All in all, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore some of the most scenic and popular spots in Ireland in just 4 days! Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Dublin – Connemara – Galway From Dublin you’ll cross the midlands of Ireland in style in the green Paddywagon! You’ll be in the west in no time at all. Experience dramatic mountain scenery that has been the setting for countless Hollywood blockbuster movies. You’ll stop in the charming village of Cong to see magnificent Ashford Castle and the ruins of Cong Abbey. Enjoy lunch at one of Cong’s quirky cafés and take a lakeside walk. Your route follows along the massive Lough Corrib on the way to Galway. When you arrive your guide will find a nice pub for you overlooking Galway Bay, where you can enjoy the scenery and some traditional Irish music. Consider taking an optional walking tour of the city with a local guide or participating in an award-winning pub crawl! Day 2: Galway – Cliffs of Moher – Dingle Today you’ll have the wild Atlantic Ocean at your side as you drive along the west coast. See golden sand beaches and maybe even a few dolphins and whales. Explore the lunar landscape of the Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side by side. Then it's on to the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. See why they were called the Cliffs of Insanity in the movie, The Princess Bride, and why world surfing champ Kelly Slater came to surf here for the award-winning cult movie, Wave Rider. Tonight you'll stay in the village of Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula. Mix with the locals and enjoy the character of a real Irish village, away from all the tourist traps. Pull up a stool by the fire or choose to dance the night away! Day 3: Dingle – Killarney Head out on the short drive to Dingle, a charming Gaelic-speaking fishing village. You’ll have ample free time for shopping and lunch before a pleasant tour around Slea Head. There will be loads of time off the bus to take in the views and maybe a wee hike, or to just breathe in that wild Atlantic air. Learn stories and songs of this traditional region from your guide. See Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 Sisters mountain range. Spend the night in Killarney, a popular town because of all the things to see and do. You’ll find traditional music, great restaurants, dancing, and an idyllic national park. Enjoy the nightlife and try singing a few of the many songs your guide will have taught you on board the Paddywagon today! Day 4: Killarney - Dublin The day begins with a horse and cart ride through Killarney National Park (optional) or horseback ride through the park for the energetic and adventurous (optional). Afterward he head for the world famous Blarney Castle. You will enjoy 2 hours visiting the Castle where you kiss the Blarney Stone if you wish  The beautiful gardens offer a chance to relax in the fresh air whilst those seeking last minute souvenirs can explore the excellent Blarney Woolen Mills, the world's largest Irish shop.  After lunch we take a leisurely drive through the Golden Vale region, Ireland's finest agricultural land and home to some of the best livestock in the world. Before we reach Dublin, we'll pause at the Rock of Dunamase - a ruined castle perched high on a hill overlooking the province of Leinster - amazing photo opportunities and vistas await you. Arrive back in Dublin late afternoon in time for dinner reservations and evening entertainment.

From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher Small Group Tour

7. From Dublin: Cliffs of Moher Small Group Tour

Your first stop is the 13th-century King John’s Castle in Limerick. The castle itself was built by the notorious King John, brother of Richard the Lionheart, and it is widely regarded as one of the best preserved Norman castles in Europe.  Learn about the medieval era of Ireland, from the Viking invaders to the Lords of Ireland. Following your visit to King John’s Castle, drive through Lisdoonvarna, home of the oldest matchmaking festival in the world. Pass Kilfenora, home to one of Ireland’s most popular traditional Céilí bands. Travel along the Wild Atlantic Way, brimming with magical views, including over the Aran Islands and the surfing beaches of Fanore and Galway Bay. During the coastal drive, go off the beaten track and view the famous Baby Cliffs of Moher. Shorter than the Cliffs of Moher, these smaller cliffs offer the ideal opportunity to see whales and dolphins. Gaze over the magical limestone landscape known as the Burren region.  Dating back over 300 million years, this rugged landscape is home to over 1,100 species of plants ranging from arctic flora to Mediterranean perennials and is one of the most fascinating regions of Western Europe. Stop at the traditional village of Doolin, boasting some of the best Irish pubs and restaurants. Order a local dish for lunch, such as Doolin’s famous seafood chowder, soda bread, and freshly brewed Guinness. Arrive at the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy a relaxing walk and breathtaking views. The cliffs offer a stunning view of Galway Bay, the Aran Islands, and the rugged Connemara wilderness. You will also have the chance to see many of the 30,000 birds nesting in colonies along the cliffs and explore the award-winning Atlantic Edge Exhibition.  Return to Dublin at approximately 7:30 PM, where you will be dropped off in downtown Dublin, or at the same location that you were collected from.

Rossaveel, Galway: Ferry Transfer to Inis Mór (Aran Islands)

8. Rossaveel, Galway: Ferry Transfer to Inis Mór (Aran Islands)

Prepare for a warm Irish welcome as you board the luxury vessel, which includes a full bar and refreshment service. The ferry departs daily at 10:30 AM from the sheltered fishing harbor of Rossaveel in Connemara, Galway. Sail for about 40 minutes to Inis Mór (Inishmore), located just off the coast of County Galway in the heart of Galway Bay. The largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór offers visitors a glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of the world. Upon arrival at the island choose from a variety of activities. Rent a bike or hop on a bus tour with a local guide. Explore ecclesiastical ruins and prehistoric stone forts such as the world-renowned Dún Aonghasa. Enjoy live music, taste seasonal local foods, or visit the Aran Island Sweater Market. Hop back on the ferry at 5:00 PM at Kilronan Pier on Inis Mór for your journey back to Rossaveel Harbor in Connemara.

From Dublin: Galway and Kerry 3-Day Budget Tour

9. From Dublin: Galway and Kerry 3-Day Budget Tour

Discover the majestic beauty of the Ring of Kerry and South Ireland on a 3-day budget tour by bus to Gaelic-speaking Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. Mix with local characters, and learn the legends of the “Emerald Isle” up close and personal. Enjoy an unforgettable night in Killarney, Ireland’s party capital. Dormitory style accommodation is provided in hostels, with the option to stay in B&B or apartment-style accommodation for those that crave a bit more privacy. Day 1: Dublin - Connemara - Galway Depart Dublin for Galway, traveling towards the west of Ireland, and stopping en route for a comfort break. Enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Irish midlands. Experience the rugged wilderness of Connemara as you drive over dramatic mountains that have been the setting for countless Hollywood movies. Continue along the Connemara coastline to Galway City. Find a nice pub in Galway Bay to listen to some traditional Irish music before retiring for the night. Day 2: Galway - Cliffs of Moher - Kerry Experience the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean as you drive down the west coast. See beautiful beaches of golden sand, keeping a lookout for dolphins and whales along the way. Follow the route of the Atlantic Way, the world’s longest coastal touring route. Explore the lunar landscape of The Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Then, discover the crown jewels of Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher. See why the cliffs were chosen as a backdrop for the film "The Princess Bride," and why world surf champ Kelly Slater shot the award-winning surf movie "Wave Rider" there. Spend the night in Kerry, where nightlife offerings include the chance to sing a few of the songs your guide will have taught you during the day (please note that on some tours, accommodation will be in Cork, depending on availability). Day 3: Kerry – Blarney Castle - Dublin Take in some highlights of the Ring of Kerry (which typically include Moll's Gap, Leprechaun Crossing, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall) before enjoying time at leisure in Killarney. Many guests enjoy an (optional) horse and carriage or horse ride. The journey back to Dublin takes you on a leisurely drive through the heritage town of Adare, with its fabulous thatched cottages, and the Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land with its rolling fields and pastures. Return to Dublin by 19:00 approx.

From Galway: Connemara and Connemara National Park Day Tour

10. From Galway: Connemara and Connemara National Park Day Tour

Discover everything the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer on a guided full-day trip from Galway. Pass through charming villages along the coast and into the heart of Connemara. Meet your guide at the Kinley Hostel early in the morning and hop on the comfortable tour vehicle which will take you through the Claddagh and Salthill, and along the coast, through Barna, Spiddal, and Inverin. Listen to entertaining tales about the culture and history of the area from your professional local guide and driver. Enjoy stops along the way for tea and a visit to the Quiet Man Cottage replica. Continue through bogs and onto the picturesque fishing village of Roundstone next to Derrygimlagh Bog. Head along Sky Road and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic. Stop for 3 hours at the Connemara National Park. Take your time to explore the more than 3,000 hectares of bog, mountains, grasslands, and woodlands. Return to Galway and take photos along the way at Kylemore Abbey and the Quiet Man Bridge.

Other Sightseeing Options in Connemara

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What people are saying about Connemara

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,477 reviews

Our guides were excellent Brian and Paddy. They were very informative. I learned so much about the Irish History. Pro's: Pro's great way to see most of the country and learn about the history from a professional. Everything was included as far as tickets, hotels and breakfast. I enjoyed being with other travelers and we made lasting friendships. Cons: We are on a schedule and so could not spend as much time as we wanted at some of the sights and venues. Lunch place was always predetermined so you were stuck going only to their choice. Most places were pretty good by average cost of the meals were 40-50 Euros per couple. It would have been nice to have a day off in the middle to rest a bit. Overall it was a great way to see the country for the first time.

Peder (I think that was his name) was absolutely brilliant. A fantastic guide, good stops, well organized and got to enjoy the day and sights to the full. Super recommend

The driver/guide (Charles) was very knowledgeable. The landscape was beautiful and had enough time in kylemore abbey.

Fabulous tour. Amazing vistas across the Connemare region. Beautiful stops along the way.

The tour was great and guide was very nice. Enjoyed the trip very much.