Comprising all of Galway to the west of the city, Connemara is a ravishingly diverse tract of land. Cut off from the rest of the county by the sweep of Lough Corrib, the lie of the land at first looks simple, with two statuesque mountain ranges, the Maam Turks (Mám Tuirc, the “boar pass”) and the Twelve Bens (or sometimes Twelve Pins; Na Beanna Beola, the “Peaks of Beola”, a mythical giant), bordered by the deep fjord of Killary Harbour to the north. The coast, however, is full of jinks and tricks, a maze of little islands, winding roads, bogs and hills, where it can be hard to tell small loughs from sea inlets. All around the littoral are quiet, white-sand beaches that are great for swimming.

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