Conquering new heights at Connemara National Park

Conquering new heights at Connemara National Park

Conquering new heights at Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park never lets you down. It consistently provides stunning landscapes, hiking trails, a playground for both big kids and little ones, a selection of Connemara pony’s and most importantly epic photo opportunities for friends and family. In spring, we brought Alex’s parents who were over from Amsterdam for a visit.

 

Enjoying the view at Connemara National Park

Enjoying the view at Connemara National Park

We made the mistake of grabbing some food at the café at the visitors centre. I would advise skipping it and bringing your own picnic.

Connemara National Park Diamond Hill Trail

From the visitors centre we steadily climbed upward along Sruffaunboy Walk. Stopping momentarily to catch our breath and enjoy the spectacular view at the “halfway stone”. The silver-grey bay weaved through the inlets and islands until it disappeared into the mist at the horizon. Tully Mountain stood proud over the harbour.

Having a break at Connemara National Park

Enjoying a break & the view at Connemara National Park

Taking a break to enjoy the view

We kept climbing up the stepped quartzite slopes. Taking breaks for Mario to rest and for us to absorb the surrounding scenery. The light was constantly changing at this stage with shadows and spotlights racing across the fields below.

Viewing point at Connemara National Park

Viewing point at Connemara National Park

There were some other groups on the walk that passed us by.  A few families, some American tourists and the odd couple. As it was early in the year, however, we were left largely left on our own with just the nature to accompany us.

Diamond Hill Boardwalk Connemara National Park-14

Boardwalk Connemara National Park

The boardwalks were a welcome relief from the rough terrain and made it easier to navigate the boggy wetlands. At some points it looked as though it was directing you to a steep cliff of no return.

Summit Connemara National Park

Summit Connemara National Park

Reaching the summit of Diamond Hill

Watching Mario’s delight at reaching the summit made us all smile. I have to say at age 75 it is quite an impressive accomplishment. There is just no stopping Mario. I hope I have half his energy and lust for life when I get to his age. An inspiration for all of us.

Mario at the summit

Mario at the summit

Past the summit you could see a glimpse of Kylemore Abbey and Pollacapall Lough in the far distance. On our descent the mist rolled in an it muted our view.  A flock of sheep and the odd goat kept us company and while they munched mindlessly on the scrub.

Kylemore Abbey in the distance

Kylemore Abbey in the distance

If you happen to be in this part of the world it is don’t miss out on a visit. The Diamond Hill walk is around 2-3 hours but there are other less strenuous routes you can take if you don’t quite have Mario’s stamina.

Have you been to Connemara National Park? Let me know if the comments below!

  • Have you been to Connemara National Park? Let me know if the comments below!

  • Gemma

    Man you guys look like fashionable hikers! This terrain and weather is very similar to what we have in Scotland! Good read.

    • Ashamedly, I’ve never been to Scotland. Is there any good hiking spots close to Edinburgh that you know of? Also want to do a distillery tour one day on some of the Islands !

  • Laura Lynch

    Wow that is really impressive. It looks like the views all the way up were spectacular, but I’m sure the summit was definitely worth it. Awesome that Mario made it!

    • Thanks @savoredjourneys:disqus the views are stunning in Connemara if the weather behaves itself! More posts coming soon!

  • Spectacular views! Love your photos — so fashionable! :)

    • @poohstraveler:disqus yes quite the fashionistas – Mario is Italian after all ! On the other hand I look like a smurf with my blue coat!

  • Mags

    Just beautiful. Almost looks like another planet.

    • It really is beautiful, I love the rugged landscapes and colours of the area.

  • Jennifer @ Made all the Differ

    Looks like an amazing place to spend a day hiking up. The view from the summit looks amazing.

    • It is a great hike and it is well worth the effort the 360 views are stunning, once the mist dosn’t come rolling in !

  • I haven’t even heard of this national park before, but then I have never been in Ireland. I have to say it’s beautiful and seems really worth visiting. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thanks @disqus_bQVtQvuFCQ:disqus you should come visit ! It’s a photographers dream ( more photos coming soon) and there are now direct flights to Dublin from LA with Aer Lingus & Ethiopia Airlines!

  • I am based in Dublin but the best parts of Ireland in my opinion are on the west coast. It has a particular chilled out vibe their that I love. Yes @rawrambleandwander:disqus move to Ireland, you’re more than welcome !

  • GoatsOnTheRoad

    I always love learning about new hiking spots so thanks for sharing! That’s great that Mario was able to do that trek at his age, well done indeed :)

    • Ireland is a great spot for hiking trails. It was a real thrill to see him reach the summit and share his delight!

  • Elena Sonnino

    What beautiful views!! I have never been to Ireland but I do always try to find hiking trails wherever I go – so I will be sure to add this to my “one day’ list!

    • Hiking is so rewarding! Especially when you get great views at the top:)