Galway City & Connemara Drive
Clifden is a vibrant and cosmopolitan town on the very edge of Europe. It has a population of 2,609 but the hinterland which it serves as the administrative and economic capital too has almost 10,000 inhabitants. The town is known as the “Capital of Connemara” boasts a thriving tourism industry as its unique and picturesque setting between the foothills of the Twelve Bens and the Atlantic Ocean.
Agriculture and fishing continue to play an important role in Connemara, and although Clifden doesn’t have a commercial fishing port it is an important centre for agricultural activity in Connemara. Trading in cattle, sheep and Connemara ponies continues throughout the year in Clifden. In fact, the “Olympics” of Connemara Pony shows takes place in Clifden with breeders and enthusiasts travelling from around the globe to the famous agricultural show each August.
The Sky Road, famous for the views it affords, the road takes you up among the hills overlooking Clifden Bay and its offshore islands, Inishturk and Turbot. At the summit of Monument Hill, you will find a stone memorial to the town’s founder, John D’Arcy (1785-1839). This is a good vantage point to photograph the town of Clifden, with its two spires and perfect Twelve Bens backdrop.
Connemara, from the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll know you’re in Connemara by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape.
Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland.
This natural terrain and unspoilt environment offer the visitor a wonderland of sights, experiences, adventure and activities. The people are warm, friendly and extend a hospitality which is the essence of Ireland.
Galway City at the mouth of Galway Bay is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. Indeed local handcrafts are a feature of the entire region including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork.
The city has many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. It has changed considerably over the last number of years and features a fascinating juxtaposition of new and ancient architecture. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to ramble around comfortably.
Claddagh, Irish word “cladach”, meaning a stony beach. People have been gathering seafood and fishing from here for millennia. Historically, its existence has been recorded since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century. Throughout the centuries, the Claddagh people kept Galway City supplied with fish, which they sold on the square in front of the Spanish Arch. The area has been immortalized through its traditional jewellery, the Claddagh Ring, which is worn by people all over the world.
Spanish Arch is located on the left bank of the Corrib, where Galway’s river meets the sea. The Spanish Arch was originally a 16th-century bastion, which was added to Galway’s town walls to protect merchant ships from looting. At this time, it was known as Ceann a Bhalla (Head of the Wall). Its current name “Spanish Arch” refers to former merchant trade with Spain, whose galleons often docked here. In 1755, the arches were partially destroyed by the tidal wave generated by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In recent times part of the Arch has been converted into the Galway City Museum.
|DEPARTURE LOCATION||Your Hotel / Accommodation 7.30 AM|
|RETURN TIME||7.30 PM|
Other Venues in the area that may be of interest to you.
- Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Gardens