There is wildness about the west, its coastline has weathered millions of years of Atlantic onslaught... and it shows.
Connemara is a unique and very special part of County Galway. It is situated on the most western seaboard of Europe, and features breathtaking scenery, a rugged unpolluted coastline, dramatic mountains, numerous lakes and rivers, woodlands, and a National Park.
Its rough hewn splendour attracts and inspires artists, painters, photographers and poets, and usually leaves visitors speechless.
It is also one of the last remaining Gaelic speaking areas in Ireland.
Highlights of the Connemara Tour
Your Connemara Day Tour leaves Galway along the leafy road to the village of Moycullen with glimpses of the Corrib River on our right, as it winds its way into the sea at Galway Bay.
From Moycullen the road rises and falls towards the lovely village of Oughterard on the shores of Lough Corrib, traditionally regarded as Ireland 's premier angling centre.
Now the gateway to Connemara opens and the breathtaking colours of this unspoilt countryside are revealed in all there natural splendour.
At Maam Cross, the Connemara "crossroads", there is a replica of the cottage used in the 1950's John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara film "The Quiet Man", which was filmed here locally.
From Maam Cross our tour heads out to Leenane, Kylemore Abbey and Letterfrack, in the shadow of purple mountains rolling down to blue, green rocky valleys sprinkled here and there with tiny lakes and pools shining like little pieces of broken mirror, reflecting the rich and varied colours of Connemara.
There is a lunch break at Kylemore Abbey - a beautiful neo-Gothic castle built by Mitchell Henry in 1868. It is now owned by the Benedictine nuns who run an international boarding school for girls. Please take time to visit the award winning Victorian Walled Gardens, and browse in the excellent Pottery Studio and Craft Shop.
At Letterfrack is the Connemara National Park, one of Ireland 's major National Parks. It comprises of 2,000 hectares of scenic countryside and the slopes of the Twelve Pins are rich in wildlife.
The colourful town of Clifden has been one of Irelands leading holiday resorts for generations.
It is an excellent touring centre beloved by the walker, the biker, the hiker or the fisherman. It was here too, at Derrygimlagh Bog, near Clifden, that aviation history was made when Alcock and Brown crash landed after their historic transatlantic flight in 1919.
The Famine Village, featuring the Dan O'Hara pre-famine farm, circa 1840, is on your left on the road out of Clifden. It is fronted by a replica of an ancient Irish Crannog or lake dwelling.
Back at Maam Cross again and now the road turns southwards through the villages of Screeb, Costello and Rossaveal, which is the departure point for the ferryboats to the Aran Islands and is also a major fishing port.
You are now in the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking area of Connemara where Gaelic or Irish is still the everyday spoken language of a bi-lingual people.
As your Tour of Connemara heads homewards towards Galway City we pass along the shores of Galway Bay, through the Gaeltacht villages of Inverin and Spiddal and if you look out across the blue waters of the Atlantic you can see the unique limestone of the Burren and the hills of Clare.
In Spiddal there is a vibrant and unique Craft Village and also the well know Standun sweater shop.
Your tour bus will return you to Rusheen Bay House at approximately 5.00pm.
Rusheen Bay House,
8 Cashelmara, Salthill,
+353 91 520729