Region of Connemara in West Galway is known for being one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the entire world, never mind just Ireland. Connemara is home to some of the country’s finest walks and hiking paths, making it best explored on foot.
The Cong and Clonbur Forest Trail
This linear nature trail passes through the Cong and Clonbur woods, the latter of which is a dedicated Special Area of Conservation, thanks to its unique variety of both flora and fauna.
The trail start-point can be accessed in the village of Cong, astride the Galway-Mayo border, on the grounds of the abbey that housed the last High King of Ireland. Passing across a scenic stone bridge into the woodland, the six-kilometre (3.7-mile) forest walk begins, finishing in the Clonbur car park two-and-a-half hours later.
Claddaghduff Quay to Omey Island Walk
Omey is a beautiful tidal island situated off the coast of West Connemara, close to the village of Claddaghduff. Impassable during high tide, the signposted route along the tidal sands of Omey Strand reveals itself as the only access to the island when the sea recedes.
On the island, there is plenty to discover, such as the medieval church known as Teampall Féichín, shell middens dated to around 1000 AD, and a holy well. Make sure to check tide times before departing. This walk, around six kilometres (3.7 miles) in length, takes anywhere between one and two hours.