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4 days with Clifden home base - Connemara day trips

We are staying in Clifden for 4.5 days (coming from Galway city) and want to do several Conemarra day trips. I am looking to organize our time into 4 days, with the last half day as a "flex" day.

We are flexible and these are not rigid/set days. Weather will likely play a big factor.....just trying to organize our time and geographic areas to have a general idea and try to hit the highlights- bogs, mountains, beaches, and gorgeous scenery. We will have a car and are a family of 5, with 3 young teens. We will be staying in Clifden Thurs - Monday (departing Monday)

4 Days of "soft itineraries"

***Galway city to Roundstone. Hike (or walk a little bit of the trail) on Errisbeg Mountain, go to Dog's Bay and Gurteen beaches. Explore, shop, eat. **From Galway, is it more desirable to take the coastal route the entire way - R336 through Spiddal, staying on R336/R340/R342/R341 OR from Galway take highway N59 to R340 near Cashel to Roundstone.

***Clifden - stay local in Clifden and explore. Get lost, eat, shop, wonder. Drive Sky Drive counterclockwise at sunset.

***Cong/Ashford Castle via Maam Valley. We have reservations at Ashford on Saturday for Falconry/Archery and Afternoon Tea from 1:30-5pm. *What is the best/most scenic route to Cong from Clifden: N59 North (with R344 South diversion to Inagh Valley) to R336 South to R345 East OR from Clifden take N59 East (with R344 North diversion to Inagh Valley) to R336 North to RR345 East

*Need some help with this* Connemara National Park - start in Letterfrack and hike Diamond Hill, drive by and stop to see Kylemore Abby (won't likely go in, but view from afar) to Joyce Country Sheep Dog demo (near Leenane)- closed Sundays, demos at 11am, 1pm and 3:30pm, then Killary Harbor/Leenane and take 90-minute boat ride through the fjord. Drive up into the Delphi Valley and Doolough.

****Westport - Want to get up here and trying to figure out what days/sights "to put together." Explore Westport, consider biking some of the Great Western Greenway (prob not all the way to Achill). From Clifden take what looks like most direct route, N59 North to Westport. Return home driving R335 through the DooLough Valley (if this itinerary, then will try to add either Sheep Dog or Killary Fjord and won't drive up to Delphi Valley on Connemara Day.

If I take an activity/area away, what do I remove: Westport biking, Diamond Head hike, Joyce Country Sheepdog, Killary Harbor boat ride? Or do we TRY to add someone each day to fit it all in? We can start and each day in Clifden and not have a "Clifden day."

Posted by
253 posts

We were in Clifden last week for four days and did several of the things you mention. We loved the sheep farm visit although we did Killary Sheep Farm instead which is located on the fjord.
We spent a day on Inishbofin which was wonderful. Lots of trails and the scenery was beautiful. Of course all of the scenery is beautiful in Ireland! The Sky drive is great but it’s pretty short. The drive through the Doo Lough Valley was one of my favorites, haunting.

Posted by
1763 posts

Agree with previous poster. Loved Inishbofin and Doo Lough, stunning! We also just viewed Kylemore Abbey from the outside, but I wished we had time to tour the house and gardens. It has an interesting history. Lucky you with 4 days in Clifden, great tidy town!

Posted by
9 posts

Don't cut Diamond Hill hike--especially if the weather is nice. It is delightful-- great views, good footing. I don't know about the sheep dog place, but I will tell you that there are lots of lambs on the hillsides of the hike. (I always think that it must be a moral deficiency of mine that I could enjoy seeing them so much and then sit down to a bowl of stew at Mannion's later in the evening.) . Enjoy your trip!