Explore Connemara National Park
Connemara’s wild romantic landscape is one of the top sights in the country, with rugged mountains, deep valleys and a beautiful coastline. The heart of Connemara is a vast stretch of lonely bog, broken by the dramatic rise of twin mountain ranges – the Maumturks (Sléibhte Mhám Toirc) to the east, and the Twelve Pins (Na Beanna Beola) farther west.
The most romantic place name in Ireland, Connemara evokes images of steep mountains, ragged coasts, turf cutters, horse-and-donkey carts, fishermen in black currach canoes – a landscape for poets, artists and dreamers that’s wildly, extravagantly beautiful. But the poor soil, stony bogs, harsh mountains and rocky coasts reveal that this has always been a poor region. Many of the long, straight bog roads, the lonely jetties and causeways were built as famine relief works in the 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result of geographical and cultural isolation in the past, much of Connemara is a Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking region. The only town in Connemara, Clifden, comes fully alive in mid-August when it hosts the Connemara Pony Show.