Waterside camping in Connemara with panoramic views of the Twelve BensThere’s something about Connemara that feels so wild and remote. Situated in the western extremities of County Galway, beyond the majestic Twelve Bens and Maumturk mountains, you enter an ancient and tranquil landscape of white-washed cottages, stone-walled fields, windswept bogs, wild ponies and enormous skies with moody, constantly-shifting clouds all bound in by the wild Atlantic ocean. Oscar Wilde loved the “savage beauty” of this “wild mountainous country, magnificent in every way”.
The coastline here is long and varied, a mess of jagged inlets, sandy coves and tiny islands surfacing and disappearing again with the changing tides, that has been slowly eaten away by the Atlantic over millennia. There are beaches literally everywhere, from the vast white swathes of flat sand around Renvyle to the undulating dunes of Gurteen Bay and the golden coral strands of Ballyconneelly.
Eco Camping Clifden is run by local man Kris and his German wife Tatiana. The place is completely low-key with serious green credentials. They have tapped in to a local spring to provide delicious fresh drinking water free on site with taps generously dotted around the place. They are passionate about recycling, water conservation and litter control. We brought along our little dog and he was welcomed but they have a strict policy in place to ensure they are kept on leash and cleaned up after. The whole site is a protected ecosystem – a sand-dune grassland – with a rich biodiversity. The ground is peaty underfoot, with a lovely spongey sensation when walking on it.