Tour Code: 11121P8
Duration: 1 day
Explore a variety of nature walks in scenic Connemara National Park located on the stunning Wild Atlantic Way route. The park covers some 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. The Parks mountain's, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous 12 Bens mountain range. The Park offers safe and easy trails that allow the whole family to participate, to the more challenging tracks and trails specifically for those who enjoy their walking. Choose from a variety of walks and nature trails ranging from 0.5kms to 5kms.
In Galway city, (transportation included) take the public bus from the New Coach Station in central Galway at 08h30am. The bus will take you to the quaint village of Letterfrack in Connemara, at the base of the Connemara National Park. Make your way to the park and at the visitor centre view a fascinating exhibition on the Connemara landscape (multi-lingual). You can then choose which nature trails and walks you would like to take.
With this package you get a voucher to have lunch at the Connemara National Park Tea Room, situated in the park. The lunch consists of a delicious homemade soup of the day, served with homemade brown bread, plus a freshly made sandwich (plain or toasted), with 2 fillings of your choice, tea or coffee and a chocolate.
After lunch, an option is to walk up to the top of Diamond Hill. The hike takes approximately 3 hours, so please do not start later than 3:00pm. When you reach the top of the Diamond Hill you will witness stunning views across the National Park across to the 12 Bens mountain range, the village Letterfrack and the many islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Before ending the route, take your time to appreciate this unique area and breathe in the purest air of the wild west of Ireland!
On the various walks, discover the parks fauna and flora - Western blanket bog and heath land are the predominant vegetation types to be found in the Park. Heather covers the mountain sides, with ling, cross-leaved heath and bell heather all very prevalent. Insectivorous plants form an integral part of the bog community. Sundews and butter worts trap and digest insects with their leaves to gain nutrients, which are in short supply in the bogs. Rare plant species from the colder areas of Europe and the Arctic may be found high up in the mountains, such as roseroot, purple and starry saxifrages, lesser way blade, and mountain sorrel.
The birdlife of the Park is varied and includes Meadow pipits, skylarks, stonechats, chaffinches, robins and wrens. Birds of prey are sometimes seen, usually kestrel and sparrow hawk, with merlin and peregrine falcon making occasional visits. Wild Red deer can be seen occasionally too. Rabbits, foxes, stoats, shrews, and bats are often observed at night. The largest mammal in the Park is the Connemara Pony. Although a domestic animal this pony is very much part of the Connemara countryside.
The bus departs Letterfrack bus stop at 6.05pm, back to central Galway city, where you will arrive at 8:00pm.