The heart of Connemara
| August 25, 2015


Maybe you've heard about the Connemara Ponys, have you? This breeding comes from the region Connemara in Ireland. I'm not a big fan of horse riding and that's why I don't know every breed but this one once has been a part of my horse quartet card game. :D 

Not only does Connemara lend itself to horse riding, also hiking and climbing is possible. The region is densely wooded and you can drive through the Connemara National Park, too.

The Connemara region is marked by many lakes and streams that flow in between the hills. Because rain and sun alternate, one has a quite good chances to see a rainbow arise. Nowhere else rainbows are as often to capture as in Ireland.

Locations to visit

KYLEMORE ABBEY | If you love castles and ancient mansions, Ireland offers you a lot. But since there are so many beautiful buildings to visit, Kylemore Abbey is the fairy-tale castle par excellence (also first picture)! I myself can't get enough of such magical and dreamy places like this, so of course I've been there! I haven't known about the huge area (405 hectare) it contains before.

We started our sightseeing with the Kylemore Castle. In the basement you have the opportunity to watch a film in (in German and English) about the history of the estate. A good way to get informed about the most important things you have to know about it when you're no friend of reading the information boards. Because of it's well-known beauty Kylemore Abbey was flooded with tourists, so I preferred the film instead of reading while everybody is pushing past myself.
After the film you can experience the rooms by yourself: Dining room, salon... stuff like that.

When you have seen everything on the inside, there's more waiting for you on the outside! You can stroll through a forested path right to the Gothic Church which the owner of the estate has built in memory of his wife, just like the Mausoleum (about a 5 minutes long walk from the church away).

The next appreciable sight is the Walled Victorian Garden, which is about a 30 minutes walk from the castle away. Because we planned to visit more destinations on that day, we took the shuttle bus (it's free / ticket includes it) to it. If one had walked the forest track then the Tea Room right next to the Gardens has been a great stop to regenerate!

In the garden, tourists went in different directions, so it was more peaceful and relaxing than in the castle. There are greenhouses, the house of the head gardener and - of course - flowers and herbs beds to see. A little stream in the middle of the garden creates the perfect harmony.

The whole Kylemore Abbey area offers enough to go there for a day trip. For a longer walk back to the entry you can take the longer forest track. There's a grotto in the middle between castle and garden, too. You also can book a guided hike tour up the mountain right behind the castle, where you get to a statue of Jesus Christ and an incredible view above the Kylemore Valley.

HINT: If you're craving for ice cream the Henry's Express Coffee Shop (next to the entry) offers very, VERY good and handmade ice cream!

WESTPORT | This little town was our next stop we headed to. It's very colorful and lively and is located by the bay. We walked through the centre and along the canal to get an overview. Very much cafés and pubs, candy stores and shops are waiting for you to come in.

Where to stay

We had a very pleasant stay at the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in Clifden. It's been such a comfortable place to be, so welcoming and friendly. Huge rooms, a fireplace, a canopy bed and a free-standing bathtub with lion paw feet - do I have to say more?

Not only our rooms were great, the dinner was as well. The food was very delicious in general. Absolutely tasty breakfast and overall great and very obliging service. So definitely a top place to stay and a big recommendation for my part!

... and of course you have to try a pint of Guinness when in Ireland! With this said, I say good bye to you!
See you tomorrow, guys! :)

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