At the far western edge of Ireland is found the serene and tranquil Renvyle Peninsula. Far from the pressures of city life, it is a place where you can relax and enjoy fresh sea air, peace, tranquillity and closeness to nature. Amidst this alluring landscape, you will find Derryinver Quay and Ballinakill Harbour, two of the loveliest natural and well-protected boating refuges in the world. And there you can take part in scenic coastal cruises, sea angling trips, and observe an extraordinary variety of seabirds, grey seals and otters. And of course, dolphins and porpoises are frequent visitors to Renvyle and Ballinakill Bay also, so you will need to keep your eyes open all the time as you go.
The scenic Renvyle Peninsula has something to offer people of all ages and interests. Long stretches of clean sandy beaches, swimming, scuba diving, shore angling, lake and river fishing, pony trekking, hill climbing, sea angling, boat hire, an adventure centre, an aquarium, a maritime museum, and wonderful wildlife coastal cruises. And best of all the Renvyle Peninsula offers fine traditional Irish music, sing song and good-old Irish craic.
Renvyle Peninsula is steeped in history and archaeological sites. From a Bronze Age Solar Calendar, one of the finest 4,000 year old forests entombed in peat in Europe , the O'Flaherty Castle which was once home to the Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley (Grainuaile ). Archaeological sites in the area include Kanrawer - well of the Seven Daughters, Portal Dolmen at Cashleen, the Church of the Seven Daughters at Cashleen, Ardnagreevagh Chamber Tomb.
Renvyle House was once home to the Blake Family and then to poet, statesman and surgeon Oliver St. John Gogarty and was a favourite retreat of poet W.B. Yeats at the time. Agustus John once described the Renvyle Peninsula as “the loveliest landscape on Earth”, and indeed it is a landscape shaped by time, nature, and that distinctive breed of people who call Renvyle home. It was the inspiration for renowned works of art by Yeats, Gogarty, and Oscar Wilde, and it remains almost unchanged to this day.
Hollywood (and indeed the Irish Film World too) has captured some of the romance and beauty of Renvyle in the film “The Quiet Man” and more recently “The Field”. lt’s castles, ancient fort, and ecclesiastical remains, are prized gifts of an epic past. Here you can experience traditional Ireland with a stay in a thatched cottage and a night of song in the Teach Ceoil (Folk Theatre) or even in some of the local pubs. Breathe it’s fresh, clean air while walking or cycling along it’s country lanes garlanded with bright red fuchsia and wild flowers.
Much of this area is designated a Special Area of Conservation and is therefore unspoiled by large developments.
Getting to the Renvyle Peninsula
By car, bicycle, or foot. Follow the N59 north from Galway to Letterfrack, and follow local roads to Renvyle.
Where to stay
The Renvyle Peninsula has a wonderful range of comfortable accommodation options from small hotels, guesthouses, hostels, B&B's and campsites nearby.
Renvyle is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss Killary and Inishturk if you are travelling north, and don't miss Letterfrack, and Inishboffin, if you are travelling south.
Things to do on the Renvyle Penninsula
Enjoy Derryinver Harbour with its weather beaten boats in the midst of a mess of rocks and seaweed.
Renvyle is ideal countryside for cycling with quiet roads, and numerous scenic stops. Park your car at lovely White Strand and take to your bike!
Renvyle is home to spectacular beaches and in particular ‘White Strand’, a long expanse of white sand with stunning views across the aquamarine ocean that would rival any beach worldwide. This magical place has inspired writers and artists and draws them back again and again.
Connemara National Park encompasses some 2,957 hectares of rugged quartzite and schist terrain of north Connemara, stretching from sea level at Letterfrack to some of the peaks of the Twelve Bens mountains (Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanacht). The landscape is mantled by blanket bog and wet heath vegetation with characteristic and varied wildlife. The park features two self-guiding nature trails. The visitor centre features an information desk, tea room, shop, audio-video show and an exhibition on the Connemara landscape. Regular guided nature – check times. Visitors planning to attend these walks should bring appropriate footwear and rain wear.