Medium Diamond Hill

Walking Break in Connemara

Connemara is home to spectacular walks and hikes of varying degrees of difficulty and its all free. The only thing you need is stamina and the willingness to fill your lungs with fresh air and experience the great outdoors. One important thing to note is that the West of Ireland is prone to changeable weather, but a notable walker once commented saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” So, please be prepared when you’re hiking or walking. Wear decent walking shoes or boots, breathable clothing, a waterproof jacket/coat and even pants may be suitable too. Depending on the season, wear the seasonal clothing attire as you want to be protected from the elements but you don’t want to overheat in the summer months or go hyper-thermic in the winter months. Be sensible and do some home work online.

Cnoc an Bhodaigh Walk (19 kms)

This walk is truly spectacular and will take you through one of Connemara’s finest examples of blanket bog. It is circa 19 kms long and will take approximately four hours to complete.

From the hotel turn left walking along the main Galway/Spiddal road for circa 200 meters turning right where you see the village name at Cnoc an Bhodaigh, meaning the “hill of the giant” and follow the road passing numerous dwelling houses and a sequence of small fields, reminders of the famine times in Ireland when the land was repeatedly divided.

After approximately 2 kms you will come to a junction but remain on the main road which veers left until you come to the next junction marked by a bridge to the left and the placename “Poílíni” on the right. Follow the direction of Poílíni which will bring you uphill and past the local GAA grounds, denoted by a high stone wall.

Continue on for 1 km when you will come to yet another junction, follow the main road, disregarding the minor road to the left, passing a local farmhouse and yard.

Follow the road for approximately 7 kms taking you into the most tranquil are of Na Forbacha (Furbo) through blanket bog. In summertime you will notice numerous wild plants and hear the different sounds of birds, on your right you will see Loch Inc. This road will take you to a T-junction where you can view Barna Golf & Country Club.

Turn right here and follow the road until you reach the crossroads where you take another right. Follow this road in the direction of Barna Village. After 4 kms you will note a sign for the Fr. Griffin monument on your left and why not take a detour and visit this point before you double back and return to the Connemara Coast Hotel via the village of Barna. When you get to Barna you continue west for an approximate 35 minute walk or 3 kms.

The Bog Walk (5 kms)

This walk is approximately 5 kms and should take you circa fifty minutes to complete. It brings you to one of the few remaining stretches of blanket bog in the west of Ireland on what is a most tranquil and peaceful route. Turn right at the main entrance to the hotel following the footpath along the main road for approximately 200 meters. Carefully cross the road where the two storey house is and there is a lane running along the left-hand side. Follow this lane, which will bring you up to bog land where you can witness lovely examples of Connemara flora and fauna.

Continue along the lane and this route leads up in a semi-circle back to the main road where you will take a right and cross the road adjacent to the entrance to Cnoc na Greine House. From here turn right and follow the footpath which will lead you back to the Connemara Coast Hotel.

Other walks in the area are possible, along the shoreline both west and east and also the mountain road from Spiddal to Moycullen. For more information, speak to one of our team at reception.

For more experienced hikers and walkers, Connemara is home to some world class experiences which include the Glencoghan or Derryclare Horseshoe, which has a starting point approximately 50 minutes away on the N59 to Clifden.

The Maumturk Mountains start at Maam Cross which is circa 30 minutes from the Connemara Coast Hotel and include several moderate to high level walks, climbs and hikes. A moderate one that all the family can do is Maimean, which can be accessed after Recess. A sizable lay by can accommodate several cars where you can then access the hike via a gate (make sure to close after you) which proceeds up the west side of the mountain range eventually reaching Leaba Padraic (Patrick’s Bed). It is believed that St. Patrick visited and slept in this area for a number of nights and today there is a lovely stone chapel to commemorate this legend. Every St. Patrick’s Day (17th March), mass is celebrated to commemorate St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.

Diamond Hill is another family favourite which is in the heart of Connemara National Park. This moderate hike has a good path and can be busy on good days. But the view is breathtaking and worth every bead of sweat.

For more information, check out www.outsider.ie and www.mountainviews.ie for more detailed information on the above.

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