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Our most recommended things to do in Clifden

From Galway: Connemara and Connemara National Park Day Trip

1. From Galway: Connemara and Connemara National Park Day Trip

Explore Connemara National Park on a day trip from Galway. Pass through charming villages along the Wild Atlantic Way and enjoy 3 hours to explore the beautiful rural areas of Connemara. Meet your guide in the heart of Galway early in the morning and hop on the comfortable tour vehicle which will first take you through the Claddagh and Salthill and along the coastal road of Connemara which forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Learn about the unique culture and history of the area from your professional local guide. Travel along the Sky Road and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean as you pass local villages like Barna and Spiddal. Stop for 3 hours at the Connemara National Park. Take your time to explore trails that meander through 3,000 hectares of bog, mountains, grasslands, and woodlands. Afterward, board the bus for the return journey to Galway, with photo stops at Kylemore Abbey and the Quiet Man Bridge featured in the 1952 John Ford film.

County Galway Killary Fjord 1.5-Hour Sightseeing Cruise

2. County Galway Killary Fjord 1.5-Hour Sightseeing Cruise

Enjoy the unspoiled splendor of Connemara’s Killary Fjord on a 1.5-hour catamaran cruise, and discover Ireland’s only fjord. The all-weather, purpose-built Connemara Lady can accommodate up to 150 passengers, and offers maximum comfort and safety to all passengers. Once on board, enjoy uninterrupted views as you gently cruise the 9-mile (15-kilometer) inlet of Killary Fjord. Head for the top deck to experience Ireland’s great outdoors and feel the cool air on your face. Alternatively, the Connemara Lady has full bar facilities, and the galley serves a wide variety of hot and cold meals allowing you to enjoy a meal, snack or beverage as the natural beauty of Killary floats by.

From Galway: Connemara and Kylemore Abbey Day Tour

3. From Galway: Connemara and Kylemore Abbey Day Tour

Explore picturesque little fishing villages and tour the magnificent Kylemore Abbey. Start in the morning and hit coastal road through the villages of Connemara. En route, your locally-sourced and fully-trained driver and guide will entertain you with facts and tales from the areas passed. Enjoy a stop at Peacockes Hotel for a tea or coffee. Drive through the bog landscape to the picturesque fishing village of Roundstone. AFter that, it's on to the Derrygimlagh bog and Wild Atlantic Way. Make the most of a 3 hour stop at the jewel of the crown of Connemara, Kylemore Abbey. Enjoy this magnificent castle before journeying back to Galway via the Inagh valley, including a stop on the Quiet Man Bridge.

From Galway: Castles of Connemara Full-Day Tour

4. From Galway: Castles of Connemara Full-Day Tour

First, visit Aughnanure Castle, a particularly well-preserved example of an Irish tower house. Find the remains of a banqueting hall, a watch tower, an unusual double bawn and bastions and dry harbour.  Stop in the quaint village of Oughterard with its thatched cottage pub for a short coffee break. Continue with stops at the Quiet Man Bridge and the legendary Connemara Giant and on through the desolate Inagh Valley. The next castle stop is Kylemore Abbey, now a Benedictine monastery. The next few hours are up to you to explore this romantic abbey, its Victorian walled gardens and Gothic church.  After the break, head to the capital of Connemara, the colourful market town of Clifden. En route (weather permitting), join the famous Sky Road (part of the Wild Atlantic Way) viewing the ruins of Clifden castle and taking in the panoramic views.  Then, explore Ballynahinch Castle and the estate grounds including the newly restored walled garden. Finally, make your way back through storybook villages. passing green fields marked by dry stone walls, and see sheep, cows, Connemara ponies and blanket bogs, before returning to Galway City.

Rail Tour from Dublin: 2-Day West Coast Explorer

5. Rail Tour from Dublin: 2-Day West Coast Explorer

Day 1 Check in Dublin Heuston station (Customer Service Desk) for 7:00 departure of InterCity train to Limerick (breakfast available). We join our coach here for a short tour of Limerick City and then to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park(admission included). Next we visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher, Black Head, the Burren and Galway Bay overnighting in the heart of Galway City(3 star hotel accommodation - bed and full Irish breakfast) Day 2 At 10:00h we head into magnificent Connemara where John Ford filmed "The Quiet Man" in 1951, taking in Clifden, Kylemore Abbey (reduced admission rate applies to Abbey itself), Leenane and Killary Harbour or Roundstone, the Coral Beach and the Sky Road. See lots of breathtaking wild Atlantic coastline. We return to Galway for our return InterCity train to Dublin Heuston arriving at 21:00h. Prices are per person sharing - single room supplement applies Departs Daily (Monday - Saturday)

Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

6. Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

Day 1 You’ll take the fast road from Dublin west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. The destinations today are on Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic Coast and the goal is to get you there as quickly as possible! The first stop is the village of Kinvara, where you’ll have a chance to admire Dunguaire Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop looking out over Galway Bay. From here it’s just a short drive to The Burren, which is one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. The Burren is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. Spend a few hours exploring this unique area, stopping in one of the pretty local villages for lunch. After The Burren you’ll head to the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop nearly 700 feet straight into the crashing Atlantic waves. Walk along the cliff-top trails, watch the many seabirds, or visit the award-winning environmental exhibition. From here the tour follows the coastal road, and you’ll have stunning views across Galway Bay back to Galway City itself, which is your base for the next 2 nights. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants! Day 2 Galway lies at the edge of Connemara, which is the area you’ll explore today. Travel inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib. It is here that the classic film, The Quiet Man, was made. Visit the Quiet Man Museum or Cong Abbey. Continue through the heart of Connemara and stop to tour the lovely grounds and house of Kylemore Abbey. Continuing on, you’ll experience the majesty of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden, where the first trans-Atlantic flight landed, and then drive along the Sky Road and take in the views of the 12 Bens of Connemara. Day 3 After a relaxed start to the day you’ll leave Galway behind and take some of the back roads through central Ireland on the way back to Dublin. The first highlight of the day is the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise, featuring a collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers beautifully situated on the banks of the mighty Shannon River. Following lunch in a local village the tour continues through an area of unique peat bog scenery that is typical of this part of Ireland. Your guide will explain both its environmental and economic importance to the country. The final stop on the tour is Kilbeggan Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! From here you’ll continue east to Dublin, arriving at around 7:00PM.

Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

7. Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

Day 1: From Dublin, journey north to Belfast, known for its industrial history and tumultuous past. Explore the city's highlights on a short tour covering its triumphs, tragedies, and essence. Afterwards, enjoy lunch and discover the Titanic Quarter, where the famous ship was constructed in 1911. Explore the Titanic museum, board the HMS Caroline, or take a black cab tour. Leaving Belfast, marvel at the breathtaking scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Continue along winding roads to reach the awe-inspiring Giant's Causeway, where history and myth collide amidst stunning geological formations. Conclude the day in Portrush, a picturesque fishing village where you'll spend the night. Day 2: Go to the walled city of Derry, designated a UK City of Culture in 2013. Enjoy some free time to explore the old city center, and visit one of the many museums or galleries. Then cross the border to the Republic of Ireland, traveling into one of the most remote and unspoilt areas of the country. Explore County Donegal’s dramatic scenery and Gaelic culture. Pass through Glenveagh National Park and the Errigal Mountains, before following the coast through traditional fishing villages. Stop for nature walks along the way, and soak up the local culture before checking into your overnight accommodation in Donegal. Day 3: In the morning, head south along the coast near Donegal into County Sligo, known for its stunning views of the majestic Benbulben mountain. Just outside Sligo Town lies Carrowmore, home to the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland, some dating back over 6000 years. Continuing westward into County Mayo, a region marked by the Great Potato Famine, you'll navigate winding roads through picturesque farmlands, bogs, and open moors, with glimpses of distant hills and the Atlantic coast. Stop at Achill Island to soak in its rugged sea views and tranquil beauty before a short drive to Westport, your base for the next two nights.. Day 4: Today’s itinerary is weather dependent, and your guide will advise the best things to see. Explore the beautiful house and grounds of Kylemore Abbey, or marvel at the wilderness of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden to see where the first transatlantic flight landed. Other options include the scenic Sky Road and 12 Bens of Connemara. Return to Westport for an evening at leisure, and the chance to sample some local seafood in one of the many excellent restaurants. Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, before leaving Westport and going inland through the heart of Connemara. Visit the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib to see where the classic movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed. Explore Cong Abbey, or the Quiet Man Museum, before driving through the Maam Valley to Galway City. Enjoy free time sampling the town's seafood before heading to Kilbeggan Distillery, Ireland's oldest licensed distillery, for a tasting and museum visit. Return to Dublin.

Connemara private day tour

8. Connemara private day tour

Discover Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery and one of Ireland’s most iconic heritage attractions, set on 1,000 acres of a mountainside in Connemara, Co Galway, Ireland. Originally built in 1868 as a private home, Kylemore Castle was bought in 1920 by an order of Benedictine Nuns, founded in Belgium in the 16th century, and became Kylemore Abbey. Today, Kylemore is a place of spirituality, heritage, and natural beauty, welcoming thousands of visitors and pilgrims each year. It is a non-profit organization, with tourism and philanthropy supporting the monastic mission and conserving Kylemore Abbey’s rich heritage for the Irish nation. Enjoy a sheepdog working demonstration at Killary Sheep Farm, a traditional working mountain farm with approx. 200 ewes and lambs roaming freely in the mountain with spectacular scenery overlooking Killary Fjord, on the Wild Atlantic Way. On the farm, you will find mainly blackhead horny sheep which are most suited to survive on the mountains during the harsh winters. Depending on the season, you will be able to feed lambs, sheer sheep, or watch turf being cut. Very few places in Ireland can match the rugged beauty and range of scenery that can be seen from Sky Road. The route is well-signposted from Clifden town and is easy to find. The lower road goes downhill towards the sea and will give you a very close-up view of the landscape, but the upper road is most popular because of the views it offers over the entire area. Here you will find unbeatable views of the Connemara countryside, the Atlantic Ocean, The Islands, and the coastline of Co. Mayo to the North, and Co. Clare to the South. Experience a guided tour of Aughnanure Castle, one of well over 200 tower houses in County Galway built by large, wealthy, land-owning families, mainly of Gaelic but some of Old English (Anglo-Norman) stock. Tower Houses were fortified residences and were places of power and control over the surrounding lands. Connemara revolves around Lough Corrib. The Lough is the largest freshwater lake in the Republic of Ireland. Located in County Galway, in the west of Ireland, it contains over 1000 islands, the most famous of which is Inchagaoill. This beautiful lake is ideal for boat cruises and angling.

Other Sightseeing Options in Clifden

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What people are saying about Clifden

Overall rating

(253 reviews)

Very enjoyable day in Connemara with Mike. He had lots of interesting things to tell about the history of this county. As the sun was shining, the landscapes were superb. The 3-hour stop at Connemara National Park allowed me to do the entire blue and red route at a good pace and to be able to regain my strength before getting back on the bus. I have excellent memories of this day

Excellent day! Our tour guide Mike was terrific, the scenery and stops were fantastic, and the bus was comfortable. Highly recommend this tour to get a look at the countryside in Connemara, and the gorgeous Kylemore Abbey.

Nice trip over the wild Atlantic way to Connemarra National Park. You have 3 hours to spend there to explore the hiking trails. Mike was a great driver with lots of information about the area and Ireland.

Jerry was a fantastic guide, excellent sharing his knowledge throughout the trip, personable and funny, couldn’t ask for a better experience with him. Five stars!

The drive and guide were phenomenal. I think 3 hours is a long time to spend at the park, but not a huge problem.