Conamara: lots of photos!
All photos Copyright GaeltachtTravel.com 2010.
Gaillimh and Conamara make for one of the largest Irish speaking areas in Ireland. Especially in Conamara you can see and hear Irish used in everyday life.
Conamara was the place where Des Bishop, a famous Irish stand-up comedian, decided to move to for a year to learn enough Irish to pass the Junior Cert exams and prove that the language isn’t that difficult at all. All you need is some passion and understanding. The cameras were following Des around Conamara for a year and produced a great programme called In the name of the Fada.
You can spend weeks exploring Conamara, hiking, cycling or driving around, however, if you’re limited in time the following day trip might suit you best!
Starting off in Gaillimh follow the coastal road (R336) all the way to Casla (Costelloe). You can stop on the lovely beaches along the way for a picnic or just to take a few photographs. The views are amazing.
The recommended route continues to the North, but if you have an extra hour to spend, drive into An Cheathrú Rua (Carraroe), which is full of Irish language wherever you look.
Drive back to R336 and follow the signs to Maam Cross, where you will turn left onto N59, direction Clifden. The road from Casla to Maam Cross is pretty quiet and you can stop along the road to admire the scenery.
The lanscape here is full of lakes of different shapes and sizes. The water in the lakes is dark and it gives them a bottomless, magical feel.
Once you’re on N59, drive for 10 km until you reach Cappaghoosh. Less than a kilometer after that, there is a turn for a small road that looks like it’s not going to bring you anywhere, but if you just persist and follow it, it will reward you with a great experience of the old Ireland.
This is where you reach the main road again, this time it’s R344. It will bring you back to the N59, but as N59 is a circular road, make sure you follow the signs for Kylemore this time.
There are many things to admire here, but Kylemore is especially renowned for it’s Abbey…
… and the Connemara National Park.
There’s a café, restaurant and a gift shop in Kylemore Abbey if you need a break at this point.
From Kylemore continue on the N59, direction Clifden, until you spot the signs for the Sky Road. The Sky Road drive is a magnificent experience and well worth tackling those bumpy roads.
The end of the Sky Road will bring you into Clifden, a charming little town at the mouth of a fjord like bay. Take a short break from driving if you need to and then continue driving on the R341, direction Callow and Murvey. This is just under 40 kms of beautiful sea views and bare and rugged landscape.
Continue driving on this road until you reach the N59 again. This time turn the Galway way and drive straight to it as there are some great restaurants and pubs waiting for you to explore there!