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.

From Galway: Connemara and Connemara National Park Day Tour

6. 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.

South Western Ireland: 4 Days from Galway to Kerry

7. 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.

Rail Tour from Dublin: 6 Days All of Ireland

8. Rail Tour from Dublin: 6 Days All of Ireland

Day 1 Check in Dublin Heuston Station (Customer Service Desk) for 7:00 departure of InterCity train to Cork (breakfast available). We visit Blarney Castle, the Queenstown Story at Cobh, then train to Killarney for two nights B & B with en-suite facilities. Day 2 10.00 depart Killarney on Ring of Kerry tour. We have a wonderful day viewing some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, including Dingle Bay. We also see the Macgillicuddy Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain Carrantuohill, Moll's Gap, Ladies View and the world famous Lakes of Killarney. Overnight in Killarney. Day 3 07.30 transfer from Killarney to Limerick, to join the Cliffs of Moher Tour, visit Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher, O'Connors Pub at Doolin, Galway Bay, overnight Galway City in 3 star Hotel (2 nights). Day 4 10.30am transfer to Connemara Airport for flight and tour of Inishmór, largest of the Aran Islands Day 5 10.00 depart Galway for tour of Connemara, including Kylemore Abbey after which we depart Galway by train, arriving Dublin Heuston 20.45 transfer by tram to three star hotel for two nights (room only). Day 6 Check in Dublin Connolly Station at 07.10 departure for the Giants Causeway tour. At Belfast we join our tour and head to the famous Antrim Coast Road crossing the lovely Glens of Antrim en route to Ballycastle and the Carrick-a-rede* rope bridge (Mid March - October only. Glimpse the Scottish coast on a clear day. We continue to the stunning Giant's Causeway next, seeing Dunluce Castle (photo stop only). We return to Belfast and our train to Dublin arriving at Connolly station at 22:20 for second night in three star hotel. Depart Monday/Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday (March to October only) * Price is per person sharing Single Room Supplement applies

South Ireland: Galway and Kerry 3-Day Budget Tour

9. South Ireland: 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 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 provided 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.

Cliffs Cruise, Aran Islands & Connemara in One Day

10. Cliffs Cruise, Aran Islands & Connemara in One Day

Taste the best of the west of Ireland in just a few hours on this groundbreaking day trip. Start the tour by sampling south Connemara. Then, explore Inis Oirr (the smallest of the 3 Arran Islands). After this, take a cruise under the Cliffs of Moher. Coming back onto the mainland, take arguably the finest coastal drive in Ireland with a late lunch stop in Ballyvaughan, a charming seaside village. Enjoy a looped route to ensure that you experience a completely different region of the west of Ireland in every hour that passes. Be assured that you won't see the same thing twice.

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.