In Connemara – the peaceful western wonderland of Europe, where the rugged mountains soar above the wild Atlantic beaches – each month has its own magic. Wild flowers bloom in Spring, As the returning sea-birds jostle for cliff-top nesting sites.
May and June will be your likely favourites if you are searching for tranquillity. July and August turns Clifden, the capital of Connemara, into a bustling cosmopolitan attraction, where the warmer seas caress the long sandy beaches. in Autumn, the gorse and heather compete with the magnificent sunsets for your attention.
Oughterard is an ideal touring base for the mountains of Connemara or a thriving centre like Clifden with numerous bars and restaurants. Connemara National Park, at Letterfrack, covers some 2,000 hectares of mountains, expanses of bog, heaths and grasslands and there are nature trails, talks and a variety of activities arranged during the summer months.
All the beautiful scenery of Connemara can easily be covered in day trips from Oughterard. Kylemore Abbey, the home of the Benedictine nuns, is situated in the Kylemore valley and open for visiting. Or you could take a boat to the Aran Islands for a day (booked in the local community-run tourist office in Oughterard) and see the island women knitting the traditional Aran sweaters, and the ancient currachs still being used for fishing.
Hill walking is very popular and there are many different peaks to be conquered in the vicinity. Mweelrea above is the highest peak in South Mayo and can be reached from our house in a bit over an hour the views from the
top are amazing. Weather conditions can vary enormously so dress up according to conditions and expect much harsher conditions at the top compared to the bottom!!
A ferry boat operates from Oughterard to Cong on a daily basis during the tourist season and visits Inchagoill and Cong.
Ashford Castle in Cong is a magnificent 4 star hotel overlooking the lake.
Of course, a shopping excursion to nearby Galway is also a must, and while you are there don’t miss looking at the wild salmon running the Corrib river at the Weir Bridge.