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When Alcock and Brown crash-landed on the outskirts of Clifden in June 1919, following their groundbreaking transatlantic flight, they could not have chosen a better landing site. Situated about 80km from Galway city, this ruggedly beautiful corner of Connemara showcases nature at its finest.
As the capital of Connemara, Clifden plays host to several festivals throughout the year. One of the best is Clifden Community Arts Week, a showcase for everything from poetry readings and lectures to recitals and traditional music. It takes place in late September.
Organised by the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society, the Connemara Pony Spring Show celebrates this iconic local breed. A “Taste of Connemara” event held to coincide with the annual stallion parade features a range of local food and crafts.
Gain wonderful insights into the cultural, archaeological, and historic heritage of Connemara in all its various guises with the Connemara Four Seasons Walking Festival. Experienced guides lead walks for each season, with every route selected to suit the particular time of year.
The Sky Road is an 11km route ascending to 150 metres to bring you stunning views across Slyne Head. On your return journey, take a good look at the ruined Clifden Castle, constructed in 1815 by the founder of Clifden, John D'Arcy.
In summer, traditional music is played nightly in several pubs across Clifden. Lowry’s has some excellent regular performers, as does E.J. King’s. Glor is another option, but Guy’s, around the corner, tends to run earlier sessions (around 6:30 or 7:00). Mannions and Mullarkeys feature music and storytelling on occasion.
Backed by the rugged Twelve Bens and overlooking the magnificent Atlantic, Connemara Golf Links is a beautiful place to play a round. Challenge yourself from the opening dog-leg hole through to the awe-inspiring back 9, which have been compared favourably to the best in the world.
Clifden is central to a number of attractive local cycle routes. The Sky Road Loop is a 16 km route with amazing views of the Atlantic; the 14km Errislannan Loop is an easy ride from Bridge Street, past the Owenglen Cascade and the Alcock & Brown monument; the 33km Cleggan Loop follows the curve of Streamstown Bay; the Ballyconneely and Roundstone Loop is a 40km circular route through the wilderness of Derrygimlagh and Roundstone bogs.
Relish the rugged tranquility of Connemara with sea fishing around Clifden. Charter boats operate regularly from Clifden Quay, with ray, dogfish, bull huss, pollack, dabs, and mackerel among the potential species to be caught in Clifden Bay.
If you’re going to ride on a Connemara Pony, you might as well do it in the place after which it was named. These placid ponies are a delight to ride and can be relied upon to bring you through some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Errislannan Riding Centre offer lessons and guided treks.
Derrygimla Bog, about 5km south of Clifden, is a quiet, unassuming site, but it was here, on June 14th, 1919, that Captain John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown landed their Vickers Vimy plane, having flown from Newfoundland is just over 16 hours. The British pilots had endured testing weather conditions and a broken radio to land unharmed in the Connemara wilderness.
3km from Clifden
This stunning holiday apartment is located just 2 miles from the beautiful town of Clifden in County Galway.
It features three delightful bedrooms, one of which is ensuite, as well as all the cosiness of electric central heating and a beautiful open fireplace.
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2.9km from Clifden
With a stunning seaside location overlooking Clifden Bay, this exclusive development offers 4-star accommodation near Clifden in County Galway. A former coastguard station, it has been tastefully converted into two-bedroom holiday apartments. Each unit is very well decorated and equipped with every comfort.
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0.4km from Clifden
Stay in comfort at one of these two-bedroom deluxe apartments in Clifden, County Galway. Each of the 4-star suites is self-contained and located in the courtyard of a hotel. Modern conveniences include cable TV and DVD, direct dial telephone, microwave, fridge, hob, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer.
The Clifden Station House are a group of nine, 3 bedroomed deluxe self-Catering apartments, located on the grounds of the Courtyard hotel. These 4 Star self catering houses are the ideal choice for families and couples. Each self contained suite is furnished to a high standard, with every modern convenience.
0.2km from Clifden
Stay at a deluxe, fully-contained two-storey townhouse in Clifden town centre. The spacious and contemporary first-floor property has its own private courtyard, ample parking, and lift access. Both bedrooms are ensuite, and one has a balcony. Both bedrooms are ensuite, and one has a balcony. There is an additional bathroom, as well as a sitting room, kitchen, dining and utility area. It makes an ideal base for touring.
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Stay at a modern 2-bedroom apartment in the centre of Clifden, Co. Galway, close to pubs, restaurants, and all amenities and within driving distance of a variety of stunning beaches and the renowned Connemara Golf Course at Ballyconneely. This is an ideal base for touring, golfing/activity holidays in the Clifden area.
2.3km from Clifden
The 3-bedroom lodges in this unique holiday village in Clifden are set in a 190-acre estate among mountains, meadows, and rivers, with spectacular views of the renowned Connemara landscape. This is a place the whole family can enjoy. Children are spoilt for choice, with a play area, crazy golf, football, and tennis.
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