Hi, Can anyone offer driving directions from Galway to Clifden? Scenic route and fastest route. Thanks !
http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes will give you the fastest route.
Add in coastal places such as An Spiddéal (Spiddal) and Roundstone to get a coastal route.
From Galway to Clifden the following are the directions - this is both the most direct route and the scenic route.
If you take the road that leads to Bearna, Spiddal, you are actually going to South Connemara - and will end up in Rossaveal and Carraroe. Clifden is in North Connemara. If you do decide to go via Spiddal you will end up taking a secondary road which will probably be full of potholes and gorse bushes to get back on track for Clifden. I would not advise this.
Okay here goes.
find yourself the Cathedral in Galway. You can't miss it. Drive up University Road to the hospital - there is a major junction there with traffic lights - turn right at these lights.
(this is the hard bit over).
Head straight out the Newcastle road, out past Moycullen, into Oughterard - this is a straight road out and you cannot get lost if you follow the main road. Straight through Oughterard (nice village) stop for a picnic by the water if you have time and it is not raining, then over the little bridge at the end of the town and again straight out (scenery beautiful)- out to Maam Cross (some movies were filmed here ) and you will see Peacocks of Maam Cross - hotel, restaurant out lookout post where you can climb up and see the world. Then straight out again and pass Recess and on into Clifden.
So basically it is a straight road out and it should take a bit over an hour to get there.
I agree with the directions given by Whales as going to Bearna etc is a bit of a detour.
If you follow the directions given by Whales i.e. Galway to Moycullen and Oughterard and on past Maam Cross and on to Recess.
Here I would offer a change because once you get to Recess (blink and you would miss it so watch out for the road sign for it) there are two ways of getting to Clifden from Recess.
The most direct way is as Whales says to continue on going straight to Clifden but a much more scenic route is to turn right at Recess crossroads and go down Inagh Valley. This route takes a bit longer but is much better scenary. It is actually listed on the signpost as the scenic route.
It is lovely with mountains and a lake and very few houses.
You just keep driving straight on and follow the signs for Kylemore and Letterfrack. At the end of Inagh Valley you will come to a junction where you turn left (right takes you to Leenane & Westport) and this will take you on past the beautiful Kylemore Abbey (if you have time stop and visit, it has great romantic history, wonderful location and a good craft shop and tea room). You keep going on straight to a little village called Letterfrack which is the location of Connemara National Park - the signs for this are on your left as you leave the village. Again well worth a visit.
If you don't want to stop and visit the National Park just drive straight through the village and keep going straight (just outside Letterfrack is a lovely craft shop Avoca - famous for its tweeds & nice clothes - on the left opposite the sea) and you will get to Clifden - it is 8 miles from Letterfrack - there will be one crossroads as you get close to Clifden and you turn left there but don't worry all will be signposted.
The road from Letterfrack to Clifden is also quite scenic.
If you are staying in Clifden then ask someone local to give you directions for the Sea Road which is a very scenic drive close to the town but one where you have to drive slowly as the road is narrow. Also you are close to Roundstone (half hour drive from Clifden) which you can drive to two ways either the bog road turn left when you leave Clifden - very desolate route or right to go via Ballyconneely which is prettier with some nice beaches.
I grew up in that area so if you have any questions please let me know and I will try to help.
I can also recommend a great B&B in Clifden which is called Buttermilk Lodge - we are actually going to stay there this weekend. It is a bit more expensive than some other guesthouses but the standard is so superior it is worth it.
I'm sure you will have a great time in Connemara and if the weather is good then there are lovely beaches in Renvyle which you get to by taking a right in Letterfrack. Stop in a village called Tullycross and ask for directions from someone local to Glassilaun Beach.
should that be SKY road?
Hmmphh, scenic route does not necessarily equal fastest route! The nicest places are to be found off the main road.
I would definitely try to fit in Roundstone. The road along the N59 from Galway is the fastest and also quite scenic (I find the coastal road a bit of a bore) and then you can turn off onto the R341 not far beyond Recess and do the loop through Roundstone and Ballyconneely to Clifden.
We just returned yesterday from a 3 week vacation in Ireland and I would recommend getting on the aa website to route your trip. It is like the Mapquest in the U.S. I found it was invaluable to us on our trip. Enjoy flygirl
Well done Whales - apologies for that - it is indeed Sky Road. Sea Road is the road from Letterfrack to Clifden and Sky road is the scenic one near Clifden.
NorthCarolinaMary just to add that Ballynahinch Castle (http://www.ballynahinch-castle.com) is nice for a visit with a lovely setting and interesting history. We had a lovely dinner there and another time just called in for coffee.
Finally we had a good meal (several years ago) in the Ardagh Hotel with a wonderful view of the sun setting over the ocean (http://www.ardaghhotel.com).
Just to say that we've just returned from a great weekend in Clifden and we had a wonderful dinner in Mitchell's Restaurant. The food was fantastic and the service very friendly - one tip is book in advance as we just got the last table and while we were there lots of people were turned away as it was fully booked.
We also liked all the little shops around Station Court hotel and found it handy for a coffee break as parking was easy.
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