Clifden and the Sky Road
Clifden is often called the Capital of Connemara because it is the largest town in Connemara, even though there are less than 2000 inhabitants living in the town. During summer many tourists come here while visiting Connemara. There are several B&Bs, pubs, cafés and gift shops.
I had heard of the scenic Sky Road outside Clifden and wanted to walk it when I was in the area. It is a walk of about 11km along a narrow road above the Clifden Bay. The views are very nice, but the day of my visit it was cloudy. Returning to Clifden, from the village Kingston, I took the Lower Sky Road which runs parallel with the Sky Road above. Eventually it joins the Sky Road.
What I noticed was that there were fences along the road most of the time and I had a hard time finding a nice place to eat my picnic lunch at. At the highest point of the Sky Road there is a viewpoint and car park, so I sat on the wall there to eat my sandwich. With many tourists coming in the summer I think it would be good with a few more places for people to stop at and have picnic. When I the next day talked with the woman at Clifden Town Hostel she told me that she lives along the Sky Road and only the previous week her driveway had been blocked by a car and people having picnic.
If I would return in summertime I would rent a bike and cycle the Sky Road instead of walking.
When I came back to Clifden after walking the Sky Road I thought I would take the Beach Road down to the harbor before going back to the hostel. At the harbor I realised that the road continued when I saw a sign for the Boat Club and beach, so I decided to continue too. The road follows the bay, but not for very long. It ends by the Boat Club and a small beach. It is a beautiful walk to take and it was definitely worth it even if I just had walked the Sky Road. The day had been quite grey and cloudy but when I came to the beach there was finally sunshine.
My Clifden page.
Picturesque little town Clifden has town centre of small and narrow strip of street packed with restaurants and pubs. Clifden is the largest town in Connemara. Mostly people stay in Clifden to explore Connemara National Park and visit the famous Kylemore Abbey. Although there are a lot of Bed and Breakfast around the town, but don’t push your luck in the weekend. Booking in advance is highly recommended.
The sky road is one of the main attractions in Clifden. The views are outstanding from there as you can see in the pictures. After that, the best thing is going down to the town centre and enjoy a fabulous seafood chowder!!
There are two roads which border the Altlantic Ocean, the Upper & lower Sky Roads. You can take a drive on these narrow single track roads but both are very walkable. The landscape is stunning it's like stepping back in time & you have great views of the Atlantic.
Clifden is a small place on the West Coast of Ireland, a great place for sea & river fishing. Walking or hiking here is very rewarding, you can walk for miles & never meet a soul but the beauty of this place is when you do meet someone they always past the time of day with you in a cheery friendly manner. The scenery around you ranges from the might Altlantic to the brooding hills and tumbling rivers.
The sky Road in Clifden
This 10.5 km long road brings you next to the Clifden Bay and it gives you an amazing view over Clifden and it's bay and a few small islands on the coast. It's a steep and windy road, but it has to offer an amazing scenery if you take your time to travel it.
For more photos have a look at my Clifden travelogue about the skyroad
You shall be amazed just like us and stop more often then you think to enjoy the views.
Now, I'm sure that people who are familiarized with surfing know this already; Ireland has pretty rocking waves! Yes, the water might be f*ing freezing but who cares if you're really into it?
The known spots are fairly crowded, have to admit that, but if you have time, rent a car and do a little bit of your own investigation, never know what you might find!
Sailing. Diving. Mountain climbing (It's amazing view from the top of the Twelve Bens!). Hiking. Biking. And the pubs, of course.
Oh, and believe me or not, I DID snowboard in Ireland!!
Just do your own trips, off the beaten track. Maybe hitch to some small village and pop into the local 'dodgy' pub to have a pint. Have a look around and I bet you'll remember the day!
In my opinion Ireland (well at least Connemara!) has thousands of most beautiful places which are hidden from the normal tourists. It's just up to you will you be willing to find any.
ClifdenWe stayed here from Christmas eve till 28th of December. Again, it was very calm in this town (maybe a fifteen travellers). We stayed at Leo's Hostel (White House). Because there were so little tourists, we had a room for 6 people for us alone! It was very cheap, the cheapest hostel we've visited (but don't remember a price). You should really do 'Sky Road', a beautiful walk in Connemara! We rented bikes and that was definitely worth the effort (maybe I was still recovering from Cristmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxin Day, but.. MY GOD, was I tired!). You can also rent horses(Errislannan Manor)