Clifden (An Clochán)
Clifden is generally regarded as the ‘Capital of Connemara’. Perched above an inlet of Ardbear Bay, with an almost Alpine setting and nestling on the edge of the Atlantic, with a magnificent background of mountains.
It is an ideal holiday centre and base for touring the wonderful countryside of west Connemara. The town itself was founded as late as 1812 by John D’Arcy of Killtulla, in east County Galway. Two beautiful churches dominate the town. The Protestant church built in 1820, is a fine structure, which contains a silver copy of the famous Cross of Cong, placed there in memory of the late Sir William Murphy.
The beautiful Catholic church, built in 1830, stands on the site of the ancient clochán, or beehive-shaped monastic stone hut, from which the town takes its name.
Clifden is situated within easy reach of many of the other interesting places in west Connemara — from Maam Cross to the Atlantic and northwards to Killary Harbour and the Partry Mountains on the south Mayo border. This sparsely populated region of superb scenic grandeur is dominated by the rocky mountain-range known as the Twelve Bens (Na Beanna Beola), and has inspired many famous painters and writers over the years.
Connemara provides probably the finest angling in western Europe for salmon, sea trout and brown trout, but lake-fishing and most outdoor pursuits, from mountaineering to bathing, are well catered for throughout the entire area.
Clifden is also the centre most associated with the breeding of Connemara ponies, and the annual Connemara Pony Show, held in the town each August, which includes an exhibition of Irish arts and crafts, has a long-established international reputation.
Clifden is a town on the coast of County Galway. It is located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay.