Roundstone

Roundstone-village-650On our tours of Ireland we love it when the clients decide on our Galway option. Ireland Luxury Tours enjoy this part of the counry as much as anyone.

Connemara is the westernmost section of County Galway, beyond Lough Corrib. Inland are moors and looming hills, lakes and streams fringed by vivid green vegetation, and a massively indented but placid coastline.

One main road, the N59m, leads through the centre of Connemara and round the northern area, but though scenic enough, it’s best to deviate from this for at least part of your travels to take in some of the coast.

Oughterard lies some way inland, but is surprisingly a great fishing centre, serving the resort area of Lough Corrib, Ireland’s second largest lake which virtually splits the county in half. From Oughterard it’s worth making the beautiful trip past mirror-like pools to Maam Cross, where the monthly cattle fair is about the only sign of life. Here you can explore the mass of islets along the coastal peninsulas. Oughterard Castle is also fantastic.

The peaceful coastline of Cashel Bay is also recommended. Sheltered from the Atlantic gales and storms, this quiet bay sprouts luxuriant subtropical vegetation at every turn.

Roundstone has a particularly attractive setting at the foot of Errisbeg with wonderful views of the Twelve Pins; its tourist industry is taking over from fishing. Cut across from the peninsula to see one of the best remaining stretches of Irish blanket bog, now at last recognised as an important ecosystem, rather than something to be dried and burned.

It’s a lovely road with an uneven camber , so go carefully, especially towards nightfall. The bog is haunted by the ghost of a traveller murdered by two old women who offered him shelter…