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Inspiring action for conservation – the 2017 Connemara Green Festival was a huge success

connemara-green-festival-logo-high-resConnemara Wild Escapes is fortunate to be a Connemara Green Festival committee member , which hosted the 3rd Connemara Green Festival,held last weekend in Letterfrack, at the foot of the majestic Connemara National Park on the Wild Atlantic Way. This year’s theme was ‘Ireland’s Vanishing Nature – Challenges & Solutions’ which aimed to raise awareness of the unique ecology of Connemara and raise funds for biodiversity projects, whilst celebrating Mother Nature.We are certainly gaining traction year on year and wimg_1887e had some fabulous speakers and events this year.  Top favourites were the Keeping our Bees talk by Gerard Coyne, Getting to Grips with the Bones by Kate Aughey of Conservation Letterfrack, Mushroom Foraging with Tom Harrington, the Oyster Farm tour with David Keane and seaweed foraging. We were spoiled for choice with a vegetarian cookery demonstration; Oughterard Trout Anglers’ talk on threats to Lough Corrib, Video making, going green at Rosleague hotel and a Guided tree walk in the Connemara National Park.

The festival was officially opened on Friday evening by Cameron Clotworthy, District Conservation Officer, National img_1859Parks and Wildlife Service and included the new ‘Atlantic link- Waterfall walk’ – a trail which connects the Connemara National Park to the village of Letterfrack and then onto the Atlantic Ocean. All who attended were treated to a celebratory drink and a taste of the forest and the sea.’ We are really proud to show the new improvements to this ecology walk at the opening of the festival, made possible by the funds raised from last year’s festival. This trail makes the Atlantic Ocean accessible to all from the village and one can see the waterfall too in this wonderful woodland’ states Marie Louise Heffernan, local ecologist and Tidy Towns committee member.

seaweedwalk_002The Connemara Green Festival for 2018 will be held on the second weekend in October. For occasional events and interesting articles, please also follow us on Facebook or please subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter on our website

Connemara Wild Escapes offers a festival package for this event, for more info or to book here

Imagine staying in a unique lighthouse along the Wild Atlantic Way

Imagine being far from anywhere, but close to everything that’s good for your heart and great for your soul! Fresh air. Incredible views. Nature all around you. And the sea stretching and out in front of you, vast, powerful and mysterious. It’s no wonder that people come to lighthouses and propose! Or to celebrate what’s special: birthdays, anniversaries, family  and friendship.

medium-st-johns-donegal-13One of the ‘great’ things about many of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland is that you can stay in them. Enjoy really comfortable and characterful self catering accommodation in restored lightkeepers’ houses at Fanad Head and St. John’s Point in Donegal, Galley Head in Cork, Loop Head in Clare and catered accommodation on Clare Island Lighthouse in Mayo, all of which can be found along the fantastic Wild Atlantic Way.

Contact us to plan a unique stay in one of these amazing and spectacular places, whether it be for one or many nights, for small groups or individual travellers. We look forward to hosting you at a Lighthouse on the Wild Atlantic Way!

Watch the amazing views of the Ireland Lighthouses here

Connemara Mussel Festival, Tullycross, County Galway 28th – 30th April 2017

connemara mussel festival 2017





mussels connemara ireland


Join us on the beautiful West coast for the Connemara Mussel Festival which offers a veritable feast for the senses. This festival is a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage. An unforgettable celebration of the world renowned Killary Mussels on the glorious Renvyle Peninsula of North Connemara. TASTE and SMELL beautifully cooked local produce; SEE unparalleled views of the Connemara land and seascape; HEAR sounds of music, dancing, talks and theatre; FEEL the ambience; and above all ENJOY the experience!
The festival boasts a sizzling entertainment programme at the festival marquee and throughout Tullycross village. Learn from the experts with professional cookery demonstrations and mix it up with a selection of celebrity chefs who will be vying for the prestigious title of best chef at the cook-offs! Find out more: Connemara Mussel Festival

Book our 4 day, 3 night Connemara Mussel Festival package here
This package includes:

  • 3 nights bed and breakfast in a 4* Hotel16998161_1572809346080600_8791993650060701229_n
  • A full daily festival schedule of events to choose from over 3 days
  • 1 evening meal at the Hotel
  • 2 mussel meals at the festivals
  • Self guided information pack an maps as per our suggested itinerary
  • Entrance into Kylemore Abbey & Victorian garden
  • Full information supplied upon booking

The coast with the most: Tantalize your taste buds with our deliciously cooked and locally caught seafood

Connemara pan seared sea scallopsWith its long, unspoiled coastline it is no surprise that the west of Ireland is home to spectacular seafood. From plump native oysters to wild Atlantic salmon, Killary mussels to luscious Cleggan lobsters, the west coast is the perfect place for a fishy feed.! The Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland is home to an extensive range of superb quality shellfish species which thrive in what is rated as the cleanest coastline waters in Europe. Mussels, Crab, Crab Claws, Clams, Razor Clams, Winkles, Whelks, Cockles, Scallops, Oysters and Lobsters. These products are sourced along the wild and rocky rugged coastline and fished locally along the west coast. This natural resource based seafood industry provides an important source of economic activity in our remote coastal regions.

Tempt your taste buds at a variety of local eateries along the coast that serve up these delicious dishes in abundance:

  •  Out of the Blue – Dingle, Kerry
  •  Mulcahy’s – Kenmare, Kerry

  •  QC’s Seafood Restaurant – Caherciveen, Kerry

  •  Trá Bán – Strandhill, Sligo

  •  O’Grady’s on the Pier – Barna, Galway

  •  Moran’s Oyster Cottage – Kilcolgan, Galway

  •  Oscar’s Seafood Bistro – Dominick Street, Galway City

  •   Kealy’s Seafood Bar – Greencastle, Donegal


As well as at an array of speciality seafood festivals throughout the year:


An unforgettable celebration of the world renowned Killary Mussels on the glorious Renvyle Peninsula of North Connemara and a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage Connemara mussel festival



connemara-oysters-irelandCLARENBRIDGE GALWAY OYSTER FESTIVAL. SEPTEMBER (exact dates not confirmed)

The perfect conditions that exist in Clarenbridge for growing and harvesting Oysters – a sheltered bay, a perfect ratio of fresh and salt water, makes for some seriously delicious Oysters Clarenbridge oyster festival


Want even more Oysters in Galway? Us too! Welcome to the oldest oyster festival in the world and the most internationally recognised Irish festival after St Patrick’s Day. Deemed one of Europe’s longest-running food extravaganza Galway oyster festival


Blanket Bog, Beach and Connemara National Park Ecology Walk

Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park

Come and bounce with us on quaking bogs, forage in the forest and taste delicious edible seaweeds – discover Connemara’s hidden treasures during this one day ecological walk across blanket bogs, beaches and the Connemara National Park! Discover why the wildlife of this area is of such international importance and the fascinating history of Connemara’s land and seascapes, in a spirit of conservation with your knowledgeable ecology guide. Between the sea and the earth, you gain an insight to all the various species of plants in the area, such as the edible seaweeds on the sea rocks or the wonderful wild orchids, bog cotton and carnivorous plants of the bog, as well as the wild plants you forage in the forest of the Connemara National Park.


Connemara National Park WalkingMeet your local ecology guide at the Connemara National Park and learn of the different habitats of the area and wild forest plants you can forage in the park. You then walk along a bog road with your guide and understand why the wildlife of this area is of such international importance. On the way, take a look at blanket bogs, and key species such as bog cotton, carnivorous plants and wild orchids. You will discover the fascinating history of the bog wildlife and the folklore around it. During the walk, your guide will explain how bogs were formed and about the history of bog cutting and bog bodies. You also appreciate the wonderful views of Connemara and the fascinating geology of the area.

It’s recommended you have lunch in the area at any of the village restaurants or pubs or ask us to organise!

Visit one of the beaches in Connemara with your guide and gaze at the offshore islands that point out Croagh Patrick – Ireland’s holy mountain. On some of the strands you will be able to look at a 700 year old shell middens uncovered on the beach. Enjoy the white sand under your feet while discovering the history of this place.
Look at otter runs and find out about the interesting animals and plants that live on the seashore. Wild Orchids should be in bloom at the roadside edge. On your way, find out about the different edible seaweeds on the seashore and taste them too!

Available daily March to end November. For group rates and bookings please contact

What Responsible Travel means to us

Inishbofin pucanConnemara Wild Escapes vision is to focus on and ensure the triple bottom line is achieved of economic viability, social empowerment and environmental responsibility. To grow our offering of culturally rich Irish traditional experiences & activities by maintaining relationships with local communities to enable authentic engagements with local people’s customs and their way of life, by replicating our business model across the entire Wild Atlantic Way route along the west coast of Ireland.

Basket weavingDelphi Connemara pan seared sea scallops CELEBRATE, EMBRACE AND UTILIZE ALL THE HUMAN AND NATURAL RESOURCES

By commercializing the west of Ireland sustainably we lead by example – promoting and selling our destination by offering exhilarating, immersive, engaging and responsible activities and experiences that attract and inspire visitors to our destination which entices them to return. Our packages celebrate, embrace and utilize all the human and natural resources available in Connemara, whilst educating the importance of protecting this wilderness region through conservation travel.


We continually find, promote and package cultural activities and experiences that celebrate and truly represent the authentic west of Ireland character and history. Some of these include: bog wood carving courses, storytelling evenings, West of Ireland history & story theatre, Gaelic language and Irish place name interpretation tours, heritage tours-to include museums of the region, Irish dance, song & traditional music tours, history & landscape tours, traditional cookery courses & tours, local community festivals, traditional basket weaving lessons, Galway hooker sailing tours, traditional Currach boat tours, hillside farming & sheepdog demonstrations, traditional boat building courses, distilling (Poitin) tours, seashore & seaweed foraging tours, ancient sites-middens, wedge tombs, standing stones etc, myth & folklore tours, Connemara Pony riding tours, artisan food tours, tours guided by local tour guides, turf cutting demonstrations, B&B home stays, island tours, landscape & seascape activity tours.

MAKING A DIFFERENCEBeach horse riding

Each of our tourism packages sold makes a difference to our destination:

  • We use only local supplier’s goods and services to deliver our packaged offerings, which provides local employment in the accommodation, activities & experiences, transport and entertainment sectors, enabling revenue earnings and helping create sustainability
  • Income flows directly into the community and region, ensuring greater economic empowerment and making it a better place to live and work
  • Engagement with local suppliers, their products and their communities, lie at the heart of our activities, making memorable travel experiences and Connemara a special place to visit.


We proudly promote conservation and responsible travel. We are award winners of:

  • Gold Award for Best Tour Operator in Ireland – Irish Responsible Tourism Awards 2015
  • Silver Award for Best at Engaging Local People & Culture – World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015

The exciting new Wild Atlantic Way touring route and Wild Atlantic Way passport

Wildatlanticway_Cliffs of Moher

This exhilarating new 2500 km Wild Atlantic Way touring route along the magnificent west coast of Ireland, takes you from the wind-whipped tip of Malin Head to the safe haven of Kinsale Harbour. It  is a sensational journey of soaring cliffs and buzzing towns, cities and villages, of hidden beaches and epic bays. So whether you drive it from end-to-end, or dip into it as the mood strikes, it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Connemara Wild Escapes is a Failte Ireland appointed Wild Atlantic Way Ambassador. Which means we promote and hopefully know all there is to know about this amazing route!

Valentia-Lighthouse1-1024x427A PASSPORT TO PARADISE

Come let us help you plan your escape to this rugged and wild west coast of Ireland and receive a passport to paradise. Whether you’re seeking an epic adventure or a remote, tranquil getaway, we will help you make it happen. What’s more, you can now pick up your very own Wild Atlantic Way passport; a unique souvenir of you or your family’s completed journey along this exceptional route. Not only is it a genuine passport to paradise, it also gives you the chance to meet locals in the many towns and villages dotted along this winding coastline. A quick chat with a local and you’ll soon have insider knowledge on incredible local hidden gems – not to mention where to stop for your next picnic and coastal panorama.

WAW Passport-Front-Cover_newA STAMP FOR EVERY MEMORY
Your passport will serve as proof that you’ve traveled this astonishing 2,500 km length of coast, and also enables you to obtain your ‘Wild Atlantic Way Certificate’, the official record of your journey. Each beautifully designed passport has its own individual number, so it’s completely unique to you and your visit. And as you make your way along this inspiring stretch of coast, you can get it stamped at a host of scenic spots.

There are 188 Discovery Points peppering the route, from the wild Donegal headlands in the north, right down to the picturesque peninsulas of Kerry and Cork. Each one has its own individual stamp. Simply call into the local Post Offices and Tourist Information Offices in the towns and villages adjacent to each Discovery Point and staff there will be happy to stamp your passport.

And it gets better! The route is divided up into six zones, and once you’ve completed a zone you can call to any of the Tourist Information Offices listed to receive a special Wild Atlantic Way gift. If you’ve missed a stamp while in a zone you can call to the regional branch offices of the main Post Offices and the Tourist Information Offices in the zone. And don’t worry about trying to fit all 188 Discovery Points into your next trip; you can keep adding stamps to your passport every time you visit

Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden

Looking for an impressive place to visit in Connemara? We know where to go!

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey

While staying in beautiful Connemara, visiting Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden is ideal to make your stay even more exciting and to enjoy an unforgettable day.

The impressive landscape surroundig the majestic castle will leave every visitor in astonishment and is also a reason why Kylemore Abbey is the largest tourist attraction in the west of Ireland.

The Benedictine nuns invite you to experience the castle and the Victorian heritage of the walled garden and to make you visit perfect you can have a hot cup of tea and delicious food at Mitchell´s Café.

Gothic Church

Gothic Church

5 Reasons to visit Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden:

  1. Enjoy a family day out
  2. Entrance to restored rooms of the Abbey
  3. Learn about the history
  4. Explore the 6 acre Victorian Walled Garden – every variety of plant growing within its walls must be one that was cultivated by Victorian gardeners!
  5. Take a walk through the impressive estate


We suggest:
Combine your visit with an exciting Cruise Tour down Killary Fjord, Ireland´s only Fjord! See package here.
Combine your visit with a walk in Connemara National Park!

Connemara National Park Walking

Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park

Are you ready for a mountain walk up Diamond Hill? Make your way up and reward yourself with a stunning view!

The Connemara National Park is definitely a highlight of all the various activities to do in Connemara. Located in the West of Ireland, the National Park covers scenic mountains such as  Diamond Hill.

Stunning views, including the island of Inishbofin, the wild Atlantic, the lovely little village of Letterfrack and the famous tourist attraction of Kylemore Abbey, make the Diamond Hill walk a must-do when you visit the wild side of Ireland.

The nature trails beginning at the Visitor Centre offers various routes through the Connemara National Park.
There are a lot of things to see and to do in the park including Exhibitions on the Connemara Landscape, an Audio Visual Show, Picnic Areas, Children Playground, of course the Diamond Hill Walks and to end your beautiful day you can enjoy a hot cup of tea in the Park´s Tea Room.

5 Reasons to visit the Connemara National Park:

  1. Incredible views and fantastic scenery
  2. Various routes for different experiences
  3. Lots of things to see
  4. A range of events in the summer such as free guided walks, lectures and workshops. More information coming up on the website in June, July and August. Click here for events
  5. The outstanding Diamond Hill is worth a hike
Connemara National Park Walking

Connemara National Park Walking

If you are looking for a 1 day self-guided exploration of the Connemara National Park including a return bus ticket from Galway city and a lovely lunch at the Park, please click here.

Or have a guided Connemara National Park walk, a beach walk and a bog walk within 1 day and discover the beauty of the wild Atlantic area. Please click here.

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