Connemara County Galway
Ireland's largest Gaelic-speaking area, Connemara is literally on the very edge of Europe. Clifden is the main town in Connemara and was also where Alcock and Brown landed the very first transatlantic flight from Newfoundland on 15 June 1919. It took them sixteen hours and twelve minutes to complete the journey. They made their way to the Western Railway Hotel in Galway City (now The Hardiman) to have breakfast while the country's media were hurrying out to Clifden to meet them.
Connemara is just 1 hour from The Hardiman and well worth taking a day trip to, either with one of the local bus companies or by car. From the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog and the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland. The unspoilt landscape offers visitors a wonderland of sights, experiences, adventure and activities.
You will pass Brigit's Gardens on your way to Connemara. The Gardens are designed to represent the four Celtic festivals and include a nature trail, ogham trees, living willow play area, ancient ring fort, Roundhouse and calendar sundial. www.brigitsgarden.ie
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is one of the most visited attractions in Connemara. It’s home to the Benedictine Nuns and was previously an International Girls School. The main house or Abbey was built by Mitchell Henry from 1867 to 1871 as a gift to his wife. There is so much history associated with Kylemore, it’s worth visiting to get a sense of all that has happened there over the years. http://www.kylemoreabbey.com
The Aran Islands are a collection of three islands off the coast of Connemara and can be accessed by Ferry or 8 minute propeller flight. The transfer to Aran Island Ferries departs from nearby The Hardiman on Eyre Square and can be booked by our team at reception. Visit the Aran Islands to experience the rugged beauty and take a step back in history. Most residents are Irish speaking and we highly recommend lunch in Tí Joe Watty's Bar. http://www.aranislandferries.com/