How romantic to head for a region so far off thebeaten track, its name doesn’t always even show up on maps. That is just one ofthe exotic attractions of Connemara,the western stretch of CountyGalway beyond LoughCorrib, where the village of Recessnestles between mountains and lakes in the Republic of Ireland’s wildestcoastal region, perfect for getting away from it all.
Beloved of artists, walkers, nature lovers and anyone seeking a sigh-inducing venue for cycling or golfing tours, boating or coastal water sports, Recess is the home to luxury hotels, surprising shops and striking art. But, most importantly, Recess is a gateway to endless miles of beautiful, imposing countryside and beaches with the proven ability to inspire poets and painters alike.
Recess LandmarksYou’ll know when you’ve arrived in Recess thanks to the landmark of the Connemara Giant statue, placed near the main road “for no apparent reason”, although legends suggest that touching the giant’s hand will imbue you with ancient knowledge. Close by is another monument shot through with Irish wit, proclaiming that “on this site in 1897, nothing happened”!
The landmarks are the handiwork of the excellent, long-established Joyce’s Craft Shop, which specialises in local artisanal fashion and jewellery, antique books, ornaments and artistic household items. Look out for works using the local green marble.
A Short Drive from RecessA short drive from Recess by rental car, you can visit Kylemore Abbey in the spectacular Connemara National Park. The 19th century castle was formerly home of an industrialist MP, but was adopted as a monastery in the 1920s. You must also see Dan O'Hara's Connemara Heritage and History Centre and the traditional Sheep and Wool Centre at Leenane.
Situated close to the peaks of the National Park, Recess is also handy for Galway’s famous stretches of the 1,500-mile Wild Atlantic Way. Here are the big skies and romantic highs of green marble mountains plus, down at sea level, some of the most arresting beaches, rugged rocky landscapes and coastal scenery in all of Europe.
Sports and Activities in RecessMountain biking, hill walking and golf are among Connemara’s most popular sports, though a whole new set of possibilities arises on the lakes, where sailing and diving are great fun.
Based in Leeane, Killary Adventure Centre offers a fantastic range of outdoor pursuits to adults and kids alike, from kayaking and waterskiing to rock-climbing, bungee jumping and laser games.
The Heavenly Light of RecessRenowned for the natural beauty of its commanding mountains, its scattered expanses of crystal blue lakes and empty beaches, Connemara’s quality of light sets it apart from any other coastal wilderness. When the scudding clouds cross the sun falling in Ireland’s undiscovered west, that’s when a visitor first tastes the many moods of the landscape. Always emotional, tugging at the heartstrings, the setting alone is enough to take the breath away.
Enjoy Your Stay in RecessWhether you are visiting Recess to sample Connemara’s natural wonders, for an activity-based break or an unforgettable combination of the two, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and a wild time in the Republic of Ireland’s untamed west.