In the wild and romantic west of Ireland
Connemara is a landscape in west Galway County that stretches to the Atlantic coast. The main parish of Connemara is the city of Clifden. Hikers and nature lovers will rave about this part of Ireland. A trip to Connemara is also definitely worthwhile for amateur photographers!
The town of Clifden
In Clifden, the tourists can enjoy good Irish whiskey in cozy pubs and fortify themselves for hikes in the area. Connemara ponies graze in the meadows surrounding the city. Just outside of town is a romantic ruin called Clifden Castle. Clifden Castle was built in neo-Gothic style around 1818 but was not inhabited for long. The memorial to the aviation pioneers Alcock and Brown, who had to make an emergency landing near Clifden after a transatlantic flight, is an interesting photo opportunity. And another pioneer left its mark on Clifden: Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, had a transmitter at Clifden from which messages were sent across the Atlantic. That was around 1907. The transmitting station is still there – as a ruin.
Hiking in Connemara National Park
North of the national road N 59, which leads from Galway to Clifden, lies the Connemara National Park, a hiking paradise. A tour of the park could begin in the visitor center (directly on the N 59). The visitor center provides information about the flora and fauna of the national park and offers guided hikes. Rhododendrons, heather, spruce and various types of grass grow in the almost 30 square km large national park. Many species of birds (larks, falcons, also many migratory birds) live in the park; Hikers also encounter Connemara ponies living in the wild. A beautiful hiking route leads from the visitor center to Diamond Hill. There is a wonderful view from above. Those who are in good shape can also hike in the “Twelve Bens”, a mountain range with twelve peaks that look down on Connemara.
A trip to Inishbofin Island
The small island of Inishbofin offers the opportunity to go for a walk in the fresh sea air. Ferries run to the island from the romantic fishing village of Cleggan. A ruined castle towers over the port of the island – a pretty photo opportunity! The path across the island leads past the small island museum on an 86 m high hill, the highest point in Inishbofin. On the west coast of the island, cliffs drop off steeply, here hikers have to be careful not to lose their balance…
Cliffs of Moher
Natural beauty of Ireland
The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair) are one of Ireland’s most important natural beauties. Not the tallest, but they are the most famous cliffs in Ireland. This is certainly due to the fact that they are very well developed for tourism. There is a paid parking lot, from where you can walk to the cliffs and a well-developed path to O’Brien’s Tower, where the cliffs are a good 200 meters high. From the formerly strategically important tower you have a wide view of the Atlantic Ocean and could have spotted every enemy fleet that would have attacked the British Isles from afar. Even today you can see the Bay of Galway with good visibility, beyond it Connemara County and in the sea the Arran Islands,
Hiking trails on the Cliffs of Moher
The path from the visitor center to O’Brien’s Tower is well paved and flagged towards the cliffs, which makes sense given the crowds. However, this often obstructs the direct views of the cliffs a little. If you want a clearer view, you have to walk a little further. It is wilder – and more dangerous – on the way from O’Brien’s Tower towards Hag’s Head. Here the path is no longer paved. Often he only walks a few meters along the edge of the cliff. So you should be sure-footed and have a head for heights, but the reward is breathtaking views and a little more solitude than at the parking lot, which is often overcrowded in summer. In 2013 the Cliff Coastal Walk was also opened. Since then it is possible
Transport links to the Cliffs of Moher
The cliffs are 76 kilometers from Galway and 78 kilometers from Limerick. Depending on the traffic and the season, it takes around an hour and a half to get to the cliff. There are numerous bus trips and day trips to the Cliffs of Moher from all major towns in the area. If you arrive by car, you have to pay a parking fee. Hikers and cyclists, on the other hand, get free access to the natural spectacle.