Best Places to Visit in Connemara

Galway is a vibrant city, with an amazing atmosphere and plenty of attractions to keep you busy throughout your visit. However, don’t restrict yourself to just the city. There is so much more exploring to be done outside of the city centre. One of the best places to explore is Connemara, a stunning area of the Wild Atlantic Way with breath-taking coastal landscapes, the most beautiful beaches and the spectacular Connemara National Park.

Even better, Connemara is only just over an hour drive from Maldron Hotel Sandy Road, making our hotel the perfect base for exploring Connemara.

Connemara National Park

If there is one place you are going to visit in Connemara make it be Connemara National Park. A 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Maldron Hotel Sandy Road, this beautiful park is a must see for all visitors! The park is made up by over 50 glorious mountains across four ranges, the Twelve Bens, Partry, Maum Turks and Sheffrey.

We highly recommend that you do the Diamond Hill walk. Considered by many to be one of the best hikes in the country, Diamond Hill stands at 445m high overlooking the small village of Letterfack. It takes takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the summit and offers some pretty spectacular island, ocean and mountain views.

Connemara National Park

Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Gardens

Kylemore Abbey, one of the most popular attractions in Galway, dates all the way back to 1867, when it was originally built as a castle by Mitchell Henry as a gift for his wife. It then became home to the Irish Benedictine nuns who transformed it into an abbey in 1920. There is so many stories to be heard during your visit as the history of the abbey is one rich of tragedy, romance, education and spirituality.

A visit to Kylemore Abbey is one of the best days out you could have in Connemara, with the 1,000-acre estate consisting of a beautiful 6-acre Victorian Walled Garden, the fascinating 14th century Neo-Gothic church and stunning woodland and lakeshore walks.

Kylemore Abbey

Dog’s Bay & Gurteen Bay

There is a reason that Dog’s Bay is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Ireland. A short drive from Roundstone village, Dog’s Bay is a stunning horse-shoe shaped beach, stretching over a mile long with lovely white sands and crystal-clear water. The sand is made up solely of tiny fragments of seashells which gives it its amazing white colour.

A headland separates Dog’s Bay from another fabulous beach, Gurteen Bay which is also a discovery point along the Wild Atlantic Way. If you are feeling up to the challenge you could take on the coastal walk of Gurteen Peninsula which takes 2-4 hours to complete. This may be tough, but the scenery is highly rewarding.

Omey Island

Omey Island is a beautiful sandy grass island, 600m offshore from Claddaghduff. The island can only be accessed at low tide, follow the signposts in the sand which will lead you on your journey. Once on the island you will be presented with amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding area.

Omey Island is only 1 mile square, however, there is plenty to discover. You will come across the ruins of Teampaill Féichín a mediaeval church built in the 7th century. Astonishingly, the church was covered in sand until 1981 and is surrounded by a semi-sunken village which was wiped out during the famine. St Feichin’s Holy Well can also be found on the island. Fahy Lough, a freshwater lake makes up over a third of the island and is home to swans, ducks and brown trout.

Sky Road

Trust us, you will highly regret not driving along the Sky Road during your visit to Connemara. Honestly, pictures may not do the views on offer justice, they are simply stunning! The route is 16km long and goes from Clifden onto Kingstown peninsula and back into Clifden via the N59. The roads separate into lower and higher roads just after the castle gates. The lower roads give close up views of the sea however, we recommend taking the higher road as this gives you breath-taking views of the entire area! You won’t find many views like this across Ireland.

There is a spacious car park and viewing point at the highest point of the sky road, giving visitors the best opportunity to capture that perfect snap.

Top Tip: Pack some treats and drive up to the viewing point at sunset to make the experience more romantic. Your other half will definitely appreciate this.

Sky Road , Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway.

Killary Harbour

Killary Harbour, located in the rugged countryside of Leenane, is home to Ireland’s only fjord. Killary Fjord extends 16km in from the Atlantic to its head at Asleagh and is also quite deep at 45m at the centre. Killary Harbour offers visitors spectacular views of the surrounding area including Mweelrea Mountain, the Twelve Bens and Mamturk mountain ranges.

There is also plenty of excellent outdoor activities to take part in such as, hiking, scuba diving and bird watching. There are also companies who run regular boat trips around the fjord.

Killary Harbour,Connemara, Co. Galway,

Inishbofin Island

Inishbofin is a unique island just 10km off the coast of Cleggan. To get to the island you must take the ferry from Cleggan pier, which leaves three times a day during peak times and twice a day during the off-peak times. Inishbofin is only 8km long and 3km wide, representing an area of true natural beauty.

The island is rich in history, with beautiful beaches, plenty of hiking routes and stunning scenery. Inishbofin is also home to many different species of flora and fauna. The island is famous for its traditional Irish music with many a session to be had throughout the year!

Glengowla Mines

Glengowla Mines is both an excellent and unique day out in Connemara. Situated just outside of the village of Oughterard, Glengowla Mines date back all the way to 1851 and were in operation until 1865, measuring 40 metres deep and 200 feet wide.

Today you can visit the mines on a guided tour, marvel at features of the mines and learn more about the workers who mined here until 1865. You can also pet the residential Connemara ponies, have a look around the museum and search for gold at the gold panning station.

 

Maldron Hotel Sandy Road

Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is the perfect hotel for whatever your plans – whether that’s a relaxing break, a base from which to explore the West of Ireland or just to simply enjoy the atmosphere of Galway City. We know having your car is vital while exploring Galway, so we offer all of our guests free, secure underground parking throughout their stay.

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Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    Check-in is 3.00pm on the day of arrival. In the case of earlier arrival, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that an earlier check-in is subject to room availability and that additional charges may apply.

    What time is check-out?

    Check-out is at 11.00am on the day of departure. In the cases of late departure, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that a late check-out is subject to room availability and is available until 2.00pm at a cost of €20. If you plan to avail of a late check-out, please arrange with our reception team during your stay.

    Does the hotel offer baggage storage?

    Yes, you can leave your luggage with the reception until your room is ready or you are ready to depart.

    Does the hotel have WiFi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is pleased to offer complimentary WiFi in all public areas and bedrooms.

    Is there a laundry service available?

    Yes, we offer a laundry service in the hotel at a cost of €15 per laundry bag.

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel?

    If you have left any items behind following your stay at the hotel, please contact our reception directly via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200 and our team will be happy to organise collection or postage if the item is found.

    Are pets permitted in the hotel?

    No, pets are not allowed in the hotel, with the exception of guide and assistance dogs.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day?

    Yes, the reception desk is operating 24 hours day.

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    At Maldron Hotel Sandy Road, we operate a strictly non-smoking policy throughout the entire hotel. A deep cleaning fee will be charged to guests who are found to be in breach of our no smoking policy.

    Is the hotel accessible?

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering very good levels of accessibility throughout our hotel. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility

    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, gift vouchers are available to purchase at the hotel reception desk or online. Gift vouchers can be used in all Maldron Hotels, in our sister brand, Clayton Hotels and selected partner hotels, The Gibson Hotel, The Belvedere Hotel and Hotel 7, meaning a choice of over 40 hotels in Ireland and the UK.

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, our reception team can assist with printing your boarding pass.

    Does the hotel offer currency exchange?

    No, we don’t offer currency exchange at the hotel, but we will be happy to direct you to the nearest facility.

    Do you supply travel adapters?

    Yes, travel adapters can be purchased from the vending machines (subject to availability).

    Does the hotel run a kids club?

    Yes, our Crafty Kids activities are available during all school holidays. Please note that the Kids Club is inactive at the moment due to Covid-19.

    Is there a babysitting service available?

    Yes, once you pre-book, we can organise a babysitter

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel Sandy Road boasts a total of 165 hotel rooms. Depending on your needs, you can choose between different room types, including double rooms, twin rooms, king and single rooms, executive rooms as well as family rooms and also a number of interconnecting rooms.

    Are there wheelchair accessible rooms available?

    Yes, the hotel is fully wheelchair accessible. There are lifts from the car park up to reception and all the floors. We also have 13 ground floor rooms. 61 of our rooms have walk-in showers and we also have 8 fully accessible rooms with wet rooms.

    Does the hotel have family rooms?

    Yes, we have a number of family rooms available. Our family rooms comprise of two double beds accommodating up to two adults and one or two children. Interconnecting rooms or a second family room are also available on request if you should need some more space.

    Can I get a cot or camp bed in my room?

    Yes, we provide rollaway beds and baby cots (subject to availability). We would recommend guests request the use of a cot or at the time of making their reservation by using the comments or calling +353 (0)91 513 200 to avoid disappointment.

    Are the hotel rooms air-conditioned?

    Yes, air-conditioning is available throughout the hotel and each guest bedroom.

    Do the bathrooms have a shower or a bath?

    All our rooms have a shower and baths are available in some bedrooms.

    Does the hotel offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, wake-up calls can be pre-arranged with reception.

    What amenities are included in the room?

    All our bedrooms come with a hairdryer, in-room safe, tea and coffee facilities, shampoo, shower gels and soap.

  • Dining

    What dining options are available at the hotel?

    Our Grain & Grill restaurant is open 7 days a week serving great quality food at reasonable prices from breakfast right through to lunch and dinner.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Healthy or indulgent, hot or cold, we have something to suit all tastes and to kickstart your morning. Breakfast is served 7 days a week in our Grain & Grill restaurant, Monday to Friday from 7am to 10am and weekends and bank holidays from 8am to 11am.

    If breakfast isn’t included in your rate, you can still purchase breakfast for an additional €14pp.

    What are the opening times of the Grain & Grill?

    Lunch is served at our Grain & Grill restaurant daily from 12pm to 2pm and dinner is served daily between 6pm and 9pm.

    What time does the bar close at?

    Midweek – the last call is at 11:30 pm

    Friday & Saturday – last call at 12:30 am

    Sunday – last call at 11.00 pm

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all of our menus have a full allergy listing. Please inform your waiter if you have any allergies, vegetarian or dietary requirements and our kitchen team will be delighted to assist.

    Does the restaurant offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we offer a separate kid’s menu for our younger diners.

    Do you provide room service?

    Yes, in-room dining is available daily. You can order from our Click & Go menu, available through our Guest Service Platform. The food can be collected at the collection point in our restaurant at your requested time.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    No, a dining reservation is in general not required. However, we advise you to reserve your table to avoid disappointment. To book, please contact our reception team via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200 or email reception.sandyroad@maldronhotels.com.

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    Yes, we do cater for large groups, however, we do not have private dining facilities. To enquire, please contact us via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200 or email reception.sandyroad@maldronhotels.com.

  • Leisure Facilities

    Does the hotel offer spa and gym facilities on-site?

    Yes, we have a well-equipped fitness suite on-site which all guests have complimentary access to. Unfortunately, we no longer have spa facilities on site.

    Does the hotel have a swimming pool?

    No, we do not have a pool on-site.

    What are the opening hours of gym?

    The gym open daily from 7am to 10pm.

    Is there an age limit for using the gym?

    Yes, guests must be 18 years of age to use our gym facilities.

  • Meetings & Events

    Are there meeting and event room facilities available at the hotel?

    Yes, we have 6 meeting rooms available at the hotel. Our newly refurbished hotel meeting and function rooms all boast first-class facilities with state-of-the-art AV and sound systems. All of our individual rooms are adaptable for different types of set up, depending on your individual needs, giving you the power to host the perfect event.

    Does the hotel facilitate conferences?

    Yes, our hotel does facilitate conferences.

    How many people do your meeting rooms accommodate?

    Our meeting rooms can accommodate up to 120 people.

    What equipment is included in the meeting rooms?

    All our meeting rooms are equipped with standard presentation facilities(LCD/TV/projector and screen), flipcharts, water, pads, pencils, podium and microphones. In addition, all meeting rooms are wheelchair accessible. Free high-speed WiFi will be provided complimentary in all meeting rooms as well as air conditioning. 

    Are there food and beverage options available?

    Yes, we have a variety of dining options as well as customised menus available for meetings to suit your budget and requirements. For more information, please contact our meetings team via phone on +353 (0)91 513223 or email info.sandyroad@maldronhotels.com.

    Do you have corporate rates available?

    Yes, corporate rates are available. Should you wish to inquire about setting up a preferred agreement, feel free to contact our meetings team via phone on +353 (0)91 513223 or email info.sandyroad@maldronhotels.com.

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    Can I claim back on the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme?

    Yes, we are delighted to confirm that all Maldron Hotels are registered for the Stay and Spend Tax Credit Scheme. That means if you stay with us between 1st October 2020 and 30th April 2021 you can claim up to €125 under this scheme, please see revenue.ie for more information and details.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    The best way to book is online on our website where you can easily see our best rates and what exclusive offers and packages are available. Alternatively, you can call us on +353 (0)91 513 200 or email reception.sandyroad@maldronhotels.com.

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    If you have not received your booking confirmation, try to check your spam/junk folder. If you still haven’t received it, please contact our reservations team on +353 (0)91 513 200 and they will be happy to help.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    We accept all major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We also accept Debit/Laser cards. Payment can also be made by cash (the receptionist will require photographic proof of identification) and by One For All vouchers and vouchers that have been purchased through our hotel or online. We also accept contactless payment up to €50.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    A valid credit/debit card is required to secure all bookings made online or over the phone, unless in cases where this is otherwise stated. Please note nothing is charged to the card at booking stage when booking directly with the hotel (with the exception of advance purchase offers or bookings that require a deposit. This will be clearly noted on the booking offer).

    For all rooms that are being paid for in cash must be accompanied with photographic ID. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Under 12’s are considered to be children.

    How do I make a group or multiple room booking?

    To make a group or multi-room booking, you can book online or contact our reservations team via phone on +353 (0)91 513 200.

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    To book a hotel room, you must be at least 18 years old. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, you can, however, we would always recommend to call ahead to the hotel or booking online prior to arriving to secure your reservation and to avoid disappointment.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Please contact our reception team if you plan to extend your stay.

    How can I upgrade my stay?

    You can upgrade your stay to an Executive Room for €40 or a Superior King Room for €20 on your check-in or with our reservations team directly.

    How do I amend or cancel my booking?

    If you have booked directly with the hotel, you can amend or cancel your booking by visiting the ‘Manage Booking’ section on our website by using your confirmation number and email address. Alternatively, you can call us directly on +353 (0)91 513 200 to cancel or amend your booking.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    If you have booked the reservation directly with the hotel over the phone or online, Maldron Hotel Sandy Road offers free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to the day of arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    If you have booked via a third-party, you will need to contact the third party directly to amend or cancel your booking as we cannot do that on your behalf. Please note that they have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.

    What does the “no-show” policy entail?

    If a guest makes a reservation and fails to show up and doesn’t cancel the reservation successfully then we will take payment for the first night’s stay from the credit or debit card provided at the time of booking. If your booking is advance purchase, the total amount will be non-refundable and you will incur a 100% penalty charge for the entire duration of your stay.

  • Location & Parking

    How far away is the hotel from Galway City Centre?

    Maldron Hotel Sandy Road is ideally located just a 15 to 20-minute walk from Galway City Centre. There are taxis available at the touch of a button that cost between 6 and 9 euro and there is also a bus stop located just outside the hotel with all bus times available at reception.

    What’s the best way to get to the hotel from the airport?

    Dublin airport – Galway: There are buses running from 5 am until 12:30 am each day with gobus, citylink and bus Eireann. You can also get a taxi to Heuston station if you wish to take the train from 7:35 am to 7:35 pm.

    Shannon airport – Galway: Bus Eireann runs a bus from 7:10 am until 10 pm every day.

    Knock airport – Galway: Bus Eireann runs a bus from 8:55 am until 8 pm every day.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Yes, Galway Shopping Centre in Headford Road is located just a 10-minute walk from our hotel and the Eyre Square Shopping Centre approx. a 20 to 25-minute walk. In general, we’d recommend a visit to the city as there are lots of diverse and high street options available.

    How close are public transport links to the hotel?

    The closes bus stop is located only a few minutes from the hotel. The 407 bus runs every 30 minutes. If you are coming from the hotel and you are going into town, the 407 bus stop is on the Headford Road beside Terryland Shopping Centre (Dunnes Stores) and it takes you to Eyre Square stop 2. If you are coming from town and you are going to the hotel, the 407 is at stop 2 on Eyre Square you get off at the bus stop on the Headford Road across from Terryland Shopping Centre (Dunnes Stores).

    What is there to see and do around the hotel?

    We are in close proximity to the City Centre, with easy access to Salthill also. We are the perfect base to explore all the City of Tribes has to offer.

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    Yes, Europa car is located just a 3-minute walk from the hotel.

    Is parking available at the hotel?

    Yes, we have complimentary underground parking available to all our guests and visitors.

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