Set between the Atlantic Ocean, Twelve Ben Mountains and preserved boglands, lies the town of Clifden on the Coast of Connemara.
An area at long last recognised as a new popular destination and not just a place to ‘breeze through’. Enhanced by spectacular scenery, championship golfing, horse-riding, walking, cycling, hill walking, beaches, fishing, scubadiving, painting, national parks, abbeys, castle ruins and over 5,000 years of living history.
Peruse the many shopping choices in Clifden from sweater shops, quality gift shops, boutiques to antique and souvenir shops. Lunch in tea-shops, pubs and in the evenings, indulge in Clifden’s emerging reputation as the West’s ‘Gourmet Capital’ by dining in its fine restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs. And finish the day by enjoying a tipple in the towns many hostelries, from the genuine ‘quaint-Irish’ to the more trendy. Music is also to be found on your rounds.
Clifden town was founded at the start of the 19th century by John D’Arcy (1785–1839) who lived in Clifden Castle (which is now a ruin that can be seen from the Sky Road west of Clifden). The Sky Road in Clifden is one of the best tourist attractions in the entire Connemara region. The circular route is 11 km long and takes you out west from Clifden.
Clifden gained prominence in the early 1900s when Guglielmo Marconi built his first high power transatlantic long wave wireless telegraphy station four miles south of the town to minimize the distance to its sister station in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The first point-to-point fixed wireless service connecting Europe with North America opened for public service with the transmission of 10,000 words on 17 October 1907 and ceased operation on 25 July 1922 after suffering serious damage in the Irish Civil War.
Clifden is near the landing place of the first transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown on 15 June 1919. The plane crashlanded in Derrygimla bog, close to Marconi’s transatlantic wireless station.
For more information please see www.clifdenchamber.ie