Experience 2: Diamond Hill Evening Walk, Connemara

 

Described as “a savage beauty” by wordsmith Oscar Wilde, Connemara can make your heart sing and the rest of the world melt away. It’s rural Ireland at its most dramatic, so absorb it all with a walk into nature. Connemara’s National Park summarises all that makes this region so special, and a great starting point for exploration has to be the Diamond Hill Loop Walk. With the Atlantic on one side and the famous peaks of the Twelve Ben Mountains on the other, be prepared to stand in awe. But that’s what Connemara – and Ireland – is all about: letting go of the mundane and filling your heart with something really quite special.

We left the beautiful Boyne Valley and our group travelled westward towards County Galway, chasing the afternoon sun as we drove across Ireland. That evening, we had reached our next location – Connemara – a region famous for its wilderness and unspoiled scenery, and we were not left disappointed.

After checking in to our accommodation in the heart of Connemara, we tucked into a hearty and delicious evening dinner. We sampled some fantastic local produce (don’t miss the wild Atlantic salmon or the black pudding) before we headed off again for some fresh evening air on a gentle walk around the amazing Diamond Hill.

To set the scene, after driving the narrow country roads along the picturesque Killary Fjord, which is one of only three fjords in Ireland (the others being Carlingford Lough and Lough Swilly) we eventually arrived at Connemara National Park. Our starting point was the visitor’s centre. From here, the fully signposted and surfaced track guided us along the Sruffaunboy Nature Trail before we branched off towards the cone of Diamond Hill.

This walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, so there is no need to be apprehensive or nervous. Gravel footpaths and wooden boardwalks ease your passage over the sprawling bog as you approach the foot of the mountain.

From this vantage point, you can look west to the wild Atlantic and to the magnificent islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin and Inishshark; to Tully Mountain rising over Ballynakill Harbour and along the intricately jagged Connemara coastline. It is truly glorious. As you look east, the Twelve Bens mountains are nothing short of sensational and directly north, the summit of Mweelrea (the highest mountain in the province of Connaught and the 16th highest in Ireland) can be observed.

There are plenty of photo opportunities on this route with the Atlantic Ocean, mountains, Corrib Lake, Killary Fjord, some haunting fairy trees and the vast bogland of Connemara on our doorstep. Let’s just say don’t forget your camera.

We turned towards home and back to our accommodation through the Connemara Valleys. The walk and the fresh Connemara air left us thirsty, so we were dropped to a remote, local Irish bar to enjoy a creamy pint of the black stuff. A few locals were playing traditional music as darkness fell outside.

This easy going, a moderate walk is part of our Multi-Day Tours which range from 8 to 13 days. For a shorter trip, try our 3-day West Coast Explorer Tour. Follow the links to find out more and book your spot today.

 

Why choose Irish Experience Tours?

It’s the trip of a lifetime, and it’s important to select the right tour company – one that makes sure you leave with special memories, incredible stories and life long friends.

So, here’s a little list that shows why you should choose us, and not someone else.

Smaller Groups

Our core belief is that smaller groups make for a far better experience. We have an average of 8-12 people on each tour. The result is that your journey feels more like a road trip with your mates, rather than a bus ride with 50 strangers. To understand our philosophy about small groups click here.

We’re number one

We have extremely high customer satisfaction and referrals because we offer travellers more of what they want – down-to-earth, real Ireland with an awesome crew and a greater emphasis on your needs.  See HERE, HERE & HERE.

The best tour guides that money can buy

Our guides have been travelling the length and breadth of Ireland for many years; as well as being your local “guidebook” they provide commentary, book activities and meals, and provide information on anything from Irish history and culture… to the best watering hole. Like you, we all have an adventurous streak and our travellers always love our enthusiasm for our country!

IRISH Owned + Operated

Support the locals! Founded in 2010, we are Irish and proud of it. We know our country and we’re proud to show it off! We are not a big corporate, selling you tours from a flash office. We don’t rent expensive retail space and we don’t pay marketing experts thousands of euros to define us – we already know who we are. We are a small team that loves this country and loves what we do. We really do get a buzz when we see our customers having a unique experience.

Outstanding customer service

If you have any problem or question, we don’t muck about, we just sort it out. Your email won’t get forwarded, your call won’t get transferred. The person you speak to is the person who will help you. Even after you book, we will keep in touch with you regularly until you start your tour.

A fully immersive tour

With us, you don’t just see Ireland, you experience it. We’re all about spontaneous exploration, immersing you in Irish life and giving you more than just a handful of happy memories. We promise you will leave having made a great group of friends from all around the world, and played a role in a thousand stories to amaze the folks back home.

More than a bus pass

Some bus companies will take you straight from A to B with barely a toilet break in between! We are Irish Experience and want to take you away from all the hustle and bustle. That means with us you will experience great stops and inclusions en route. A typical travel day can see you stop off for a short walk to a waterfall, numerous beautiful photo opportunities, pausing at Castles and early Christian relics close to the roadside, an opportunity to taste local wine/craft beer or seafood, stumbling across local festivals and events or even checking out some colourful sheep and other wildlife!

Unique Accommodation

We have our own preferred accommodation dotted throughout Ireland, where you will spend plenty of tour nights. Ireland is lucky to have a high standard of accommodation. You have the chance to stay in a variety of Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins. Where possible, we choose family-owned and run accommodation with a reputation for hospitality and eco-friendliness.

Pre-Booked Activities

We are the only company that lets you pre-book activities. We want to get you further off the beaten track in Ireland, immersing you in the places and activities that will, quite simply, blow you away. To name a few… climbing Irelands ‘Holy Mountain’, trekking from Doolin to The Cliffs of Moher, staying in small coastal fishing villages along the Wild Atlantic Way, catching and eating Atlantic seafood, seeing local craftsmen at work, biking around old Gaelic islands and kayaking with dolphins. However, nothing is compulsory and if you want to relax and enjoy the tour without walking a few miles, your guide will always have plenty of alternatives.

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