This spectacular day is a tour of Connemara, beginning with Leenane Village on the Killary Fjord (www.leenanevillage.com
) and a visit to the Sheep and Wool Centre where the heritage of farming in this area is explained and demonstrated. Further west and leaving the Fjord brings your to Kylemore Abbey (www.kylemoreabbeytourism.ie
), a once famous Benedictine Convent and girls boarding school. Enjoy access to the beautiful Abbey, tea rooms, gift shop, surrounding grounds and wonderfully restored Victorian walled gardens.
Moving on a few miles west again, is the village of Letterfrack and the Connemara National Park (www.connemaranationalpark.ie). There are several trails, one of which for the energetic, is a hike up Diamond Hill, 300m above sea level, with spectacular views of Renvyle and outwards to the ocean, the 12 Bens Mountain range and in the distance, Galway Bay.
The Connemara Capital town of Clifden is next on this route with excellent craft shops, art galleries, pubs and restaurants. Here we recommend Mitchells for lunch if the timing suits.
Heading south now for 12 kilometres brings you to the village of Roundstone and the golden sands of the beautiful Dogs Bay. Along the way at Ballyconneely is the Connemara Golf Course (www.connemaragolflinks.com). Close by, run by the Roberts family, is the Connemara Smokehouse (www.smokehouse.ie). It is here that Graham Roberts, a master smoker, smokes and prepares our Delphi Lodge Wild Salmon.
Roundstone itself, is on the north shore of Galway Bay. Here, we highly recommend O’Dowds Pub for excellent seafood (Best to have us book you in for lunch if in the high season as very busy).
After Roundstone, you continue on the loop as such and up through the area of Recess, crossing the N59 (Clifden to Galway road), taking the R344 will bring you along the Inagh Valley. The Lough Inagh Hotel is the perfect place to stop for a coffee and light snack before resuming your journey back through Leenane to Delphi Lodge.
Distance approx. 80km.