Hello, my name is Aoife O'Carroll and I'm part of the PlacesToStay.com team. I'm here to tell you about the great places you can experience when you book with us.
The village of Roundstone nestles on the western side of Bertraghboy Bay in Connemara, Co. Galway, 77km north-west of Galway city. It is located on one of the most dramatic coastal drives in Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic at the foot of Errisbeg Mountain.
One of the longest running maritime festivals in the West of Ireland, the 200-year-old Roundstone Regatta attracts competitors and spectators from far and wide every July. The event centres on the Galway Hooker, with its unmistakable red sails, and the traditional currach vessels. Once used for transporting cargo, the boats now vie for victory across Roundstone’s scenic Bertraghboy Bay and the shadow of the Twelve Ben mountains.
Gurteen is the larger of the two Roundstone beaches, and it is the closest to Roundstone. The water is pristine and ideal for swimming and other water sports. Sheltered by the headland to the south, it is a favourite among holiday makers in summer.
Dog’s Bay (or Port na Fadoige, meaning Bay of Plovers) faces west and is renowned for its foraminiferal sands, composed of millions of microscopic shells, which produce a dazzling white layer highlighted by the sapphire blue water. Intense conservation efforts since 1991 are intended to stem the coastal erosion destroying the dunes separating Gurteen Beach and Dog’s Bay. Visitors should therefore avoid the dunes in favour of the stunning walk along the headland that extends into the Atlantic between the two beaches.
Summer would not be summer in Roundstone without this annual event, the highlight of which is the Connemara Pony Show, first held in 1923. This involves 20 in-hand classes showcasing all ages and varieties of Connemara Pony. The event also involves shows for dogs and sheep.
Connemara National Park covers some 2,957 hectares of wild landscapes, including mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands, and woods. Mountains such as Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght belong to the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. The visitor centre and main access point for Connemara National Park is located near the village of Letterfrack (36km from Roundstone) along the N59. Entry is free.
Lying to the north of Roundstone Village, the Twelve Bens define the Connemara landscape. Easily reached via the N59, they are not especially challenging (the tallest peak is 730 metres) but they offer great enjoyment for fans of the outdoors. Although you don’t have to be an experienced climber to enjoy them, you are advised to take appropriate safety precautions when approaching the 12 Bens.
Located west of Roundstone Village, Errisbeg mountain (298metres) can be climbed in about two hours. The views from the top are stunning, giving you an exceptional panorama of the lake-studded boglands to the north of Roundstone.
Known locally as IDA Park, Michael Killeen Park is a craft centre with factory shops selling jewellery, musical instruments, pottery, knitwear, and souvenirs. Built on the grounds of an old Franciscan monastery established in 1835, the park features a bell tower at its centre and is surrounded by the old monastery walls.
Fishing was long the main industry in Roundstone, with a naturally sheltered harbour and easy access to open waters making it a busy fishing centre for centuries. Charter a boat for a day’s fishing from the harbour and you could be landing cod, ling, ray, mackerel, wrasse, turbot, dogfish or even shark. Freshwater anglers can choose from the many rivers and lakes around Roundstone for salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, and eels. Permits and further information can be found at G. Stanley & Son, Market Street, Clifden
Tour the beaches of Connemara on horseback with the Cleggan Riding Centre, Cleggan, County Galway. The centre runs beach and mountain treks, with the most popular being a 3-hour ride to Omey Island at low tide.
Sign up to our newsletter for special offers & exclusive deals
Operated by Visitravel Ltd., Registered in Ireland, No. 486102. Registered Office: FEXCO Centre, Iveragh Road, Killorglin, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
Copyright © 2013. Places To Stay.