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Attractions in Mayo and Galway

Cong is an ideal base to explore the counties of Galway and Mayo. The historical towns of Galway and Westport are just a forty minute drive away.

The National Museum of Country Life near Castlebar tells the story of rural Ireland and has visiting exhibitions throughout the year. Close to the National Museum is the Michael Davitt Museum which celebrates the life and achievements of one of the founding members of the National Land League. Also nearby is the Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre.

Close to Westport is Westport House and Country Park which offers a day out for all the family. The Clew Bay Visitors Centre is at Westport Quay, close to Westport House. To the north of Westport is Achill Island with it’s many clifftop walks, sandy beaches and deserted village. The far north of County Mayo is characterised by flat windswept moorlands dotted with lonely mountains. The remains of Ceide Fields a 6000 year old field settlement can be found here.

To the east of Cong the land becomes flatter and a maze of boreens lead you past church ruins and deserted castles to the towns of Headford, Tuam, Claremorris and Knock – home to the famous shrine.

To the west of Cong is Connemara where mountains drop into the Atlantic Ocean. Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara National Park Centre are less than an hour from Cong and form part of a spectacular driving loop from the village (see below). A little further afield is Padraig Pearses cottage at Rosmuc.

The historical city of Galway is just a forty minute drive south from Cong and from Galway it is easy to access the Connemara coast and the Aran Islands. The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher are around two hours south of Cong.


Driving Loops

Cong is at the heart of the West of Ireland and therefore ideally located for day trips in any direction. The following day tours have been specially designed by Mr Denis Lenihan for your enjoyment.

The Connemara Loop

Cong is on the doorstep of Connemara and therefore is an ideal base from which to tour the area. The Connemara Loop takes in many of the sights and attractions of the area.

1) Leave Cong at the north end of the village and follow the main road to Clonbur;
2) In the centre of Clonbur take a right turn on to the R300. Continue along the R300 ensuring you take a right turn signposted Finny around two miles after Clonbur.
3) The road will take you to Finny and on to Lough Nafooey where you should turn left on to the L1601. This road will take you along the side of Lough Nafooey before it turns into the L1301 and takes you through the mountains and into the Maam Valley.
4) Turn right at the junction with the R336 and follow this road to Leenane at the head of Killary Fjord.
5) Turn left onto the N59 at Leenane and follow the road along the shore of Killary Fjord and over to Kylemore Abbey.
6) Follow the N59 through Letterfrack – the home of Connemara National Park Centre and on to Clifden.
7) From Clifden take the N59 along the foot of the Twelve Bens.
8) Pass through Recess and continue on to Maam Cross.
9) At Maam Cross take a left turn onto the R336 and travel on to Maam.
10) At Maam take a right turn onto the R345.
11) Follow the R345 through Cornamona and before you reach Clonbur take a right turn at the sign post to Cong.
12) Follow the route through the forest and take a right turn at the t junction with the R345 just before entering the village of Cong.

The route is 135 km long and will take four to six hours with stops at points of interest along the way.


The Westport Loop

The town of Westport is just a forty minute drive from Cong but the scenic route takes in many of the attractions of the Partry Hills and the west coast.

1) Leave Cong at the north end of the village and follow the main road to Clonbur;
2) In the centre of Clonbur take a right turn on to the R300. Continue along the R300 ensuring you take a right turn signposted Finny around two miles after Clonbur.
3) The road will take you to Finny and on to Lough Nafooey where you should turn right on to the R300.
4) Follow the R300 alongside the shore of Lough Mask and through Tourmakeady. At the junction with the R330 turn left.
5) Follow the R330 to Westport town.
6) Leave Westport on the R335 signposted Louisburgh and pass along the shore of Clew Bay below Croagh Patrick.
7) At Louisburgh turn left on the R335 and follow the road to the Aasleagh Falls.
8) Turn right onto the N59 and follow the road to Leenane.
9) At Leenane turn left onto the R336 and follow the route through the Maam Valley into Maam.
13) At Maam follow the R345 through Cornamona and before you reach Clonbur take a right turn at the sign post to Cong.
14) Follow the route through the forest and take a right turn at the t junction with the R345 just before entering the village of Cong.

The route is 146 km long and will take four to six hours with stops at points of interest along the way.