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Carna & Kilkieran

Cill Chiaráin (anglicized as Kilkieran) and Carna lie in the very heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht region, a much treasured area where Irish is still in daily use. Kilkieran lies in a rugged terrain of rocks and islands, which is rich in ancient culture and longstanding traditions. Turf is packed in long wonderful “creels” so elaborately formed that they resemble works of folk art. Boats are named after saints, perhaps a prudent precaution given the weather and the sea conditions they encounter over the winter months. And in the middle of all of this vernacular culture lies Padraig Pearse’s beautiful summer cottage, a tiny living monument to the great patriot himself. And as you walk through its meagre rooms you begin to understand the man himself, and you know that he found great opulence in the frugality of its appointment, and in the beauty of its setting.

The area around Kilkieran and Carna is also renowned for boat building skills and its fine traditional boats, the best  known of these being the beautiful “Galway Hookers” with their broad setting, their russet-red sails, and their voluminous hulls. The Galway Hooker was designed centuries ago to accommodate the carriage of bulky turf and other commodities to the offshore island communities. And even as we negotiated the meandering roadways of beautiful Mweenish Bay a stunning Galway Hooker slowly crossed the waters before us and disappeared behind a rock strewn headland. Gorgeous!

In the sixth century St McDara built a small church on one of the islands off the coast near Kilkieran. The unique stone roof of his church has recently been restored. Today St McDara’s feast day is celebrated in mid July when people make their way to the island for the celebration of mass. Kilkieran and Carna are also renowned for their skilled boatmakers, and the ancient art of “currach” bulding is kept very much alive to this day.

Getting to Carna and Kilkieran

By bus, or car. Bus Eireann provides a daily service from Galway City to Carna. Alternatively follow the N59 west from Galway to Glendollagh, and then the R340 south to Carna.

Where to stay

Carna & Kilkieran have a wide range of comfortable accommodation options including small hotels, self-catering holiday homes, guesthouses and B&B's.

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Follow the coast

Kilkieran and Carna are surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss Roundstone and Clifden if you are travelling north, and don't miss Lettermore, and Carraroe, if you are travelling south.

Things to do in Kilkieran & Carna

  1. Buy a few bags of turf in Carna and bring them home with you. Even your neighbours will enjoy the unique odour of burning turf wafting about “of an evening”.
  2. The well-known Carna Loughs are a group of lakes in the Carna-Kilkieran district of south Connemara. They all hold brown trout and occasional sea trout. The sea trout run from mid-June and fishing lasts from then until the end of September or early October, depending on the weather. Carna Anglers’ Association control the fishing on Lough Keeraun, Lough Truskan, Lough Sheedagh and Lough Skannive.

Carna and Kilkieran Map

Upcoming Events in Galway


Galway Aboo Halloween Festival (28th - 31st October 2017)
Something devilish is taking place Galway this Hallowe'en...expect the streets to come alive with some free wicked entertainment.
Vodafone Comedy Carnival (24th - 30th October 2017)
Tickle your funny bone! The Vodafone Comedy Carnival is bringing leading Irish and international comics to Galway again this year!
Baboró - International Arts Festival for Children (16th - 22nd October 2017)
Ireland’s premier international arts festival for children and families featuring Theatre, Dance, Literature, Music, Puppetry, Workshops and...
Connemara Green Festival (06th - 08th October 2017)
The ecology & biodiversity of the Connemara region to be celebrated with this new festival in Letterfrack, Co. Galway.
Clarenbridge Oyster Festival (05th - 08th October 2017)
The Clarenbridge Oyster Festival of fine food and drink celebrates its 63rd anniversary in 2017 in the beautiful village of Clarenbridge in South...
Galway Jazz Festival (05th - 08th October 2017)
The 12th Galway Jazz Festival is a 4 day festival of leading local, national and international jazz artists involving 24 performances in 12 venues...
Galway International Oyster Festival (22nd - 24th September 2017)
Enjoy 3 days and nights at the world renowned Galway International Oyster Festival with Guinness & Oysters, sensational live music, entertainment,...
Clifden Arts Festival (13th - 24th September 2017)
Clifden Arts Week is the longest running community arts festival in Ireland and celebrates it 40th year!

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Connemara Day Tours

Connemara Day Tour

Discover Connemara, a beautifully scenic region just north of Galway City with Lally Tours. This tour includes stops at Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Gardens, Leenane Village, Killary Fjord and the village of An Spidéal overlooking Galway Bay.


Connemara Tours


Cliffs of Moher Day Tours

Cliffs of Moher & The Burren Day Tour

The unmissable Cliffs of Moher & Burren Tour with Lally Tours includes up to 2 hours at the cliffs and includes stops at the lunar-like Burren region, Dunguaire Castle, Aillwee Caves & Birds of Prey Centre and the charming village of Doolin overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.


best cliffs of moher tour


Cliffs of Moher Express Bus

Cliffs of Moher Express Bus

A Non-Stop Express Shuttle Service to the Cliffs of Moher with Lally Tours. Experience Ireland’s natural, mysterious, 214m (702 ft) high cliffs and interactive visitor centre. You’ll have 2 full hours to explore on your own before heading back to Galway.


best tour of The Burren


Galway City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Galway City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Explore Galway with one of Lally Tours' friendly guides to learn about this colourful city and see it from the best vantage point: an open top bus! You’ll see everything from medieval walls in the city centre to the sandy beaches of Salthill. Hop on and off as much as you’d like and your ticket is valid for 24 hours.


Cliffs of Moher Sightseeing Tours



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