Make sure that you have your camera charged and plenty of memory as you are about to be guided through one of the most scenic drives in the world! Photo opportunities present themselves at every turn as the Inagh Valley road winds its way through majestic mountains and picturesque lakes. 

The panorama is ever-changing not just from day to day but from hour to hour as the merest change in the weather is reflected in the lakes and mountains.

There is a turn that brings you off the beaten track up to Mám Éan where there is a walk to a little pilgrimage site at a pass through the Maumturk Mountains. A visit reveals a tiny chapel, a mass altar, and the Stations of the Cross scattered roughly around this rocky and boggy site. The Church is arguably the smallest in Ireland. You will see lots of peat bogs in this area which were formed as a result of The Inagh Valley been covered by deciduous trees and pine forests following the Ice Age.

During the Neolithic Age, the first farmers began to clear land for agricultural use. They cleared the thinner, upland areas and used them as pasture lands while the hillsides were used for cultivation. Devoid of trees, the soil’s nutrients were washed away by rain resulting in the soil becoming acidic (or leached). The lower land then became waterlogged. By the end of the Bronze Age, the farmers were compelled to clear the lower lands as the uplands were no longer usable.  The debris from plants did not decompose in the leached soils and a layer of peat began to build up. The remaining trees were choked by the peat, thus forming a ‘Blanket Bog’. The resulting peat is used for both horticultural purposes and for burning to cook and heat homes.

A bank is opened up on the bog and using the sleán, sods are cut and placed on the top of the bog. The wet sods are spread out using a turf-fork or pike. After about a week, depending on the weather, the sods are moved to dry ground and built into small stacks by standing the sods up on their ends against each other. Another sod is placed on top to stabilize the stack. This is called “footing” the turf. The stacks are left to dry throughout the summer months in the sun and wind. When the sods are have dried they are transported to the home and built into large piles known as “Reeks”.

It will be our delight and privilege to guide you through this beautiful part of Connemara.


YouTube Video          by Speircam Ireland         Duration 00:51

"Not wanting to do the typical "bus tour" of Ireland, and not wanting to drive on the left, I booked a tour with Ireland West Tours. We hiked to remote churches, visited little known Tower houses/castles...all things that our amazing guide, Paul, was able to recommend. This was worth every single penny."

Marsha, Minnesota, USA


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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 got recommended to contact Jim to take us to all the beautiful places this region has to offer. Well, that was the best piece of advice we could have gotten. He not only will drive you around, but also will teach, explain, comment and inform you about many, many different issues."

Alfrdo G., The Hague, Netherlands


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