This, in our opinion, is the ultimate tour of Connemara. It incorporates several aspects of the region from rugged coast to barren wasteland to breath taking mountain, coastal and lake scenery. It gives you the opportunity to see some of the region by air and/or sea as well as land.

You can take the full tour or you can take elements of it to suit you and you can even pick and choose as you go along. Our tours average about seven and a half hours but this one does take longer, but it is worth it for those who want to pack as much as possible into one day.

We leave the city and head out the coast road through the seaside resort of Salthill and Silver Strand on to Barna which is a lovely village with an old stone pier and the sheltered beach aptly named Silver Strand. We pass the through the townland of Furbo which marks the start of an area known as The Gaeltacht which is an area where Irish is the first language and many of our traditions are preserved here.  Next we enter Inverin which has a small airport and Aer Aran provides services to the Aran Islands and also operates sightseeing flights over Galway Bay, the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher. And yes, if required, we can generally work schedules to suit those who want to incorporate the sightseeing flight.

 

We continue along the rugged Atlantic Coast via the fishing villages of Rossaveal and Costelloe and drive through The Islands of Gorumna, Lettermore and Lettermullen. They are actually islands and are connected by a series of causeways and bridges and at the furthest point there is a fascinating heritage centre with unique collections and artifacts from traditional Connemara and past times. Also in this area you can see a Lloyds Tower, one of only two in the country.

From Lettermullen we head through Screebe and go close to Rosmuc where Padraic Pearse, leader of the 1916 Rising had a Summer Cottage and continue on to Maam Cross. which has, at times, been described as "The Piccadilly Circus of Connemara". Cattle fairs are still held here and there is  a 60 foot Viewing Tower that gives breath taking panoramic views.

 

 

We continue to Recess passing through more beautiful and rugged landscapes. There is a display of some lovely Connemara Marble pieces here. We take a right and go down through the Inagh Valley with stunning views of Lough Inagh where we give our customers a very special treat before heading on to Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful building in the neo-gothic design built by the English business man, Mitchell Henry for his wife in 1868. The Abbey is now home to The Benedictine Nuns and you can enjoy their excellent home cooking while visiting the Abbey and the restored Victorian Walled Gardens.

 

 

From here we head on to Letterfrack which was founded by The Quakers and is right beside Connemara National Park where you can see some famous Connemara Ponies in their natural habitat. Only one of two horses to jump a clear round in the entire 1968 Olympics was a 14.1 half bred Connemara pony called Stroller.  From here we make our way up to Renvyle Peninsula and Renvyle Point with stunning views of Innisboffin and the Atlantic coastline before taking the coast road through the beautiful Glassilaun and Lettergesh Strand as we head towards the village of Leenane and the unique Killary Harbour. Leenane lies at the head of the picturesque Killary Harbour, the only true fjord in all of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. and is sheltered by mountain walls. Leenane played host to the filming of John B. Keanes play "The Field" in the early 1990's directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Richard Harris. You can visit many of the Pubs and Shops that were used on the set.

 

 

From here we head through The Maam Valley with the Maumturk Mountains on our right and Joyces Country to our left. We pass through much of the landscape where John Wayne and Maureen O 'Hara were filmed in the making of the movie "The Quiet Man". There were many events recently to celebrate the 60th. Anniversary of the filming of this screen classic. Maam Valley brings us back to Maam Cross and we head through Oughterard and Moycullen on the way back to Galway. The Quiet Man Bridge is near Oughterard and is a popular photo stop as most people have either some connection with the film or are a fan of it.

Normally our tours don't have timetables or schedules as such but it will be necessary to plan ahead if you want to take the sightseeing flight or the catamaran trip on Killary Harbour.

The above itinerary covers the main route and does not include the hidden gems that we have discovered over the years.

"Paul Hehir, our driver was the most pleasurable person to drive throughout Ireland with. If you asked me for just one word to describe Paul, it is Excellent, but my husband and I know he went beyond excellent."

Chiquita Coyne, Mexico

 

You can read the full review on 

 

Satisfying the customer 

Over the years we have had several compliments on our drivers from many of our satisfied customers. Click on the link to "Tripadvisor" below to read, in full, the reviews of some of our many happy customers.

"We have travelled quite a bit and taken many tours. This tour is top notch and Jim is a master tour guide. And yes, we fed gorgeous Connemara ponies and adorable donkeys. It's incredible value, makes a great use of your time and is like hanging out with an old friend."

Mfarquar, Massachusetts, USA

 

You can read the full review on 

IRELAND WEST TOURS

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