Connemara is one of Irelands National parks covering over 2000 hectares of scenic countryside, Connemara combines all that is Irish, here you will find rugged beauty, rough mountains, slopping hills, and still streams rippling through the land, a land that has been relatively unchanged since famine times. You will see many old cottages left to ruin as families had to leave the land to survive. Due to strict planning laws there has been very little building and construction in some parts of Connemara. The skyline is dominated by the" Twelve Bens" mountain range known locally as the "Twelve Pins" there are many beautiful places to see and you can stop and savour the scenery along your journey. Travelling from Galway you may take the Coast Road, which will take you through the village of Spiddal. This beautiful village is full of craft shops, poets and artists who find great inspiration from their natural surroundings. You will also find great pub food and a relaxed friendly atmosphere throughout the village. Travelling along the coast you pass through one of Irelands "Gaeltacht" or Irish speaking areas around Kilciarán and Carna, so be sure to brush up on your few words of Gaeilge (Irish) before stopping at an síopa (the shop).This route will also take you to Clifden. Clifden is the largest town in the area with plenty of entertainment, good food, craic and nightlife to be found.
Another excellent stop is Kylemore Abbey is situated just outside Letterfrack on the way to Leenane. Built in 1868 the neo-gothic style is breathtaking in its location by the lakeside under the Twelve Bens. Kylemore Abbey is now run by Benedictine Nuns as a boarding school for girls. The order has been extremely industrious however and provides magnificent visitor facilities including a large restaurant and coffee shop, extensive craft shop and have also maintained a beautiful 6-acre walled Victorian garden. Kylemore Abbey and Tea rooms are open all year. Travel towards Leenane and the deepest Fjord in Ireland at Killary Harbour. Surrounded by rugged mountains this is an ideal spot for all types of water sports. On to the small village of Leenane, made famous by the film "The Field" starring Richard Harris, which depicts the life of the people of this remote area and the hardship they endured to eek out a living in this wild place.