Roundstone is a charming and picturesque fishing village which is situated on the Atlantic coast just south of Clifden, Co Galway. And, while fishing has sustained it for many centuries, its natural charms have won it a place in the hearts of its many visitors and admirers over the years. These days tourism is perhaps the base of its small economy, but fishing still plays an important part. Its quaint harbour is home to a motley fleet of fishing boats ranging in size and diversity from trawlers to traditional currachs. And the harbour is always alive with boats and tides and crews coming and going, and colourful hulls bumping gently against each other in the wake of passing skiffs.
Roundstone’s harbour is almost in the middle of the town, which along with the distant mountain ranges of Connemara provides the perfect backdrop to your visit. The harbour was founded in the mid 1820′s by the celebrated Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo. As chief engineer for the Western District, he built many harbours across the Western Seaboard, and is particularly remembered for his wonderful lighthouses which grace all four of Irelands shores. Roundstone’s name comes from the Irish “Cloch Na Ron” (Rock of the Seals), a very beautiful fishing village which should not be missed on your trip to Connemara.
The locality has many historical, geological and scenic points of interest too. The remains of an ancient monument to St. Brendan can be found on Inishnee (a small island in Roundstone Bay) and you’ll also come across the remains of various other Christian settlements on nearby islands. The ruins of a 15th century Dominican Priory can be found 2 miles north of Roundstone.
Where to stay
Roundstone offers a good variety of relaxing and comfortable hotels, guesthouses and B&B's to choose from.
By bus, or car. Bus Eireann Route 421 provides a coastal service from Galway to Westport which passes through Roundstone. Alternatively take the N59 west from Galway, and then the R341 south to Roundstone.
Follow the coast
Roundstone is surrounded by beautiful coastal towns. Don't miss Clifden and Cleggan if you are travelling north, and Kilkieran, and Lettermore, if travelling south.
Things to do in Roundstone.
Enjoy Roundstone Harbour with all its colour and charm, and don’t be shy about chatting with the local fishermen.
Explore Gurteen Beach and Dog’s Bay beaches. Roundstone has 2 fantastic beaches within easy access of the village. Gurteen Beach is the larger of the two local beaches and the closest to Roundstone. The water is crystal clear and it is very safe for swimming and other water based activities. Dogs bay is a little smaller but otherwise perfect!
For decades fishing was the primary industry in Roundstone. With its naturally sheltered harbour and easy access to the open waters it was a fishing centre for much of the last two centuries. For the adventurous fisherman, a boat can be chartered for a days fishing from the harbour in Roundstone village and will bring you to excellent Cod, Ling, Ray, Mackerel, Wrasse, Turbot, dogfish and even Shark locations. For a more sedate fishing experience there are numerous rivers and lakes around Roundstone which offer the fresh water angler opportunities to catch Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Eels. Permits have to be obtained in order to fish some of the lakes and rivers, more information can be found at G. Stanley & Son, Market Street, Clifden.
Enjoy a pony trek on one of the famous Connemara ponies.
Check out nearby Connemara National Park or you can climb to the summits of Errisbeg Mountain or the 12 Bens Mountains.
For a holiday memento the village has a traditional craft centre where you can buy pottery, musical instruments and silver, Celtic jewellery as well as hand crafted stoneware.