I’m not sure I can ever get used to the beauty of Connemara. I hope that I don’t. I’m not a tourist here anymore, but I still often go around as if I am, stopping to take photos on walks or from the car. It’s just too beautiful not to.
Connemara can be a busy place during the spring and summer when many people flock to the west to enjoy their holidays. And I love it here at that time of year also, but I have to say that I’ve really begun to enjoy and appreciate the quieter months of winter. It can be chilly and wild, but there is beauty that shouldn’t be missed. That’s why I want to share why I love Christmas in Connemara.
5 Reasons I Love Christmas in Connemara
#1 The Quiet
Many people often think of coming to Connemara during the summer months when it’s warmer with hopefully less rain and cloud cover. However, there’s nothing like the quieter roads and no crowds when you visit some of your favourite sights. The kids are off from school, so there’s no better time to use the quiet days over Christmas to be tourists in our own region. It’s an amazing feeling to have the most popular beaches in Connemara all to yourself!
Roads that were flooded with cyclists, walkers, buses, and cars a few months back seem so open and still. I’m sure road-trippers would gladly welcome the open roads. It’s a photographer’s delight! You can stand in the middle of the road and click away. The only thing standing in the way of your photos is the sheep (and you might want them in it anyway).
#2 The Beauty of the Landscape
The cold crisp days can bring about some of the most beautiful visions of landscape. I seem to talk about this all of the time, but it’s worth mentioning when it’s always changing. What you see today, will definitely look different tomorrow. I open the window or walk out of my front door and I never know exactly what I’m going to lay my eyes on. If there’s snow or frost involved, it’s like an optical treat. Not to mention the nights with a clear sky where you’re able to gaze up at the stars and the moon. It’s magical.
The placement of clouds sometimes spilling over the edge of a cliff looking like something is brewing. Snow-capped hills and mountains one day, then green and orange the next. Or how the light shines and casts its shadows at different times of the day. Connemara is a visual playground. No wonder photographers and painters love to capture this place. I know I can’t get enough of it. I hope that I never stop noticing the scenery for as long as I live here.
#3 The Water
What is it about water that is so amazing? The rain often makes you feel like it’s a day to bundle up, stay dry, and stay in. What if I told you to bundle up in some good, warm rain gear instead and head outside? It’ll be wild, but I guarantee you will come across some amazing water. There is an abundance of waterfalls that come rushing down the mountains that you may not notice on a calmer day. I love watching and listening to the water crashing over the rocks. It’s hard to believe that rain can create so much force and floods. The calming sounds of a river flow turn into roaring rapids. Waterfall spotting as you’re driving around is always fun with the kids. Can you spot the height it’s falling from?
The waves at the beach are just as astonishing to watch. Stormier days can bring in big waves that can be amazing to see. On a calm day, the water is so still. It looks like glass as it reflects the colours of fall and winter or the snow on the mountains. Those days tend to be my favourite for picture taking.
#4 Warm Fire, Warm Drinks
If you’ve been adventuring out around Connemara then there’s nothing like warm drinks by the fire in the local pub (usually in a quaint village with a picturesque setting). I love that cosy feeling. The first time I visited Connemara it was wintertime, almost twenty years ago. I remember we’d sightsee all day long and stop and take little breaks at a local pub to warm up before we moved on. It was a nice way to get to know the area because it’s a great time to have a chat and meet the locals. They’re not up to their eyeballs with customers. You might also learn a few things about the area that the locals enjoy.
Going home to a nice fire in your home isn’t a bad idea either, especially with the picturesque views of Connemara. Warm fuzzy socks, a blanket, a good book, and a warm drink can also be a nice way to spend a day in the quiet countryside or seaside of Connemara. I can see myself in front of the fire right now!
#5 A Good Sing Song, Music, and Dancing
While you might be warming up in the local pubs in Connemara, you’ll most likely come across music, which could mean some dancing. And along with that, you might be lucky enough to witness a good sing-song. It’s only something I’ve ever experienced since coming to Ireland and especially in Connemara. While someone once described a sing-song to me as a strange kind of karaoke, it’s something to witness and possibly experience. You may be asked to sing your favourite song. From Christmas songs to beloved Irish ballads, it’s always a night to remember.
Where I’m from, it hardly felt like it was Christmas. We didn’t get the cold snaps that made it feel like winter. Being out in the countryside of Connemara gives you that postcard feeling of a wintery Christmas, especially if you get a dusting of snow. Come spend some time here in the winter and you just might take a liking to it at this time of year. Enjoy the local sights without the crowds and the beauty of the landscape. So, wrap up and come and enjoy the experience of Connemara at Christmas.