Festivals & Events

Gaelforce Mountain Run @ Leenane
Mar 7 all-day

Unique access to stunning unmarked mountains. Come and challenge yourself against the magnificent wilds of Connemara.

The Gaelforce Sky Run is a mountain running event incorporating 3 distances to suit different levels of mountain running fitness and experience.

Set in the rugged wildness of the Maamturk mountains the event, which is now entering its 6th year, offers a 22KM or 13KM race on the open mountains, no trails, for more experienced runners and an 12KM trail/mountain race for those starting out in the sport.

We are delighted to announce that in 2020 the Gaelforce Sky Run will be the first event in the SKYRUNNER® UK & IRELAND SERIES alongside races in England, Scotland and Wales.

IMPORTANT: Please read the entry requirements before you decide to enter the Gaelforce Mountain Run.

On-the-day entry if places available:

This race will appeal to experienced mountain runners and also those who are of reasonable fitness and want to take part in a mountain run for the first time. The route will take runners through the northern Maamturk Mountains and along part of the Western Way. There is very little trail involved but the course will be way marked which will allow first-timers the opportunity to try mountain running. The scenery is breath-taking and the ruggedness of the area will add to the challenge the participants face.

After the race participants will be greeted at Killary Adventure Centre with homemade soup and a special event t-shirt.

Entry Fee Includes

  • Event technical T-shirt
  • A fully marked route
  • One off access to this stunning route
  • Use of electronic timing devises
  • Post-event food (chunky homemade soup, homemade brown bread, baguettes, tea & coffee……yum!)
St. Patricks Day Parade @ Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway
Mar 17 all-day

St. Patricks Day Parade

Parades taking place in Clifden, Oughterard & Roundstone


Clifden – The St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee of the Clifden & District Community Council, with sponsorship from the Connemara Chamber of Commerce and Clifden Town Lotto, wish to invite you this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade.
The parade will commence at 12.30. Stewards will be on hand along route to aid and assist in any way to ensure a safe and well marshaled parade.
Website: http://www.clifden.org/


Oughterard – The Oughterard Festivals Committee are looking for more entries for the Oughterard St.Patrick’s Day Parade which takes place on 17th March from 1.00pm – 3.30pm. Entry forms are available from the Tourist Office. So help us make this years parade the best Oughterard has experienced yet!
Website: http://www.oughterardtourism.com/


Roundstone – A Saint Patricks Day Parade in takes place in Roundstone. Lots of Fun and games for all the Family. Parade at 2.00pm. All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Care West. All support is greatly appreciated.
Website: http://www.roundstonevillage.ie/

Clifden Traditional Music Festival
Apr 2 @ 12:00 pm – Apr 5 @ 8:30 pm

Clifden Traditional Music Festival

The Annual Clifden Traditional Music Festival will take place this year from the April 2nd – April 5th in Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway.

Music Sessions are a very big part of the festival and again this year feature a host of champion musicians from all over Ireland. Music sessions will take place all over the town on Friday night, Saturday Afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

A big highlight of the festival this year will be the outdoor gig on Market Square on the Saturday night.

Other highlights to watch out for will be Street Entertainment around the town with stilt walkers, face painters, jugglers etc a busking competition, and a 5K Run!

As always at the Trad Fest, public events are free and we encourage everyone to come along and experience what should be a great weekend of music, song and dance.

Maamturks Challenge
Apr 4 all-day

Maamturks Challenge

The Maamturks Challenge was the brainchild of NUIG Mountaineering Club Captain Jane Watts and Tony Whild in 1975. This year is the 45th Maamturks Challenge.

The Maamturks Challenge is a 24km mountain challenge open to the public that is organized voluntarily by NUI Galway Mountaineering Club. 200 participants complete the Challenge in 8-11 hours, commencing at 05:00. NUIG Mountaineering Club has a team of up to 40 volunteers involved who play an integral part in the successful running of the event. The route is covered by 11 checkpoints, 8 checkpoints on the hills and 3 Finish Points.

The walk covers 24.3 kilometres over tough, mountainous terrain and with a total ascent over the course of the walk of 2336 meters. It begins at the base of Corcóg, between Maam and Maam Cross and finishes in Leenane.

Online registration is scheduled to open on Wednesday 5th February 2020 at 19:00

Connemara International Marathon
Apr 19 @ 2:55 pm – 3:55 pm

Connemara International Marathon

The Connemara International Marathon is one of the world’s most scenic events, set in the dramatic scenery of the west of Ireland. 2020 will mark its nineteenth year in running, growing in numbers each year from 73 runners to our sell out point, in excess of 3,000 runners

The event comprises of half, full and ultra (39.3 mile) marathons. Participants will enjoy some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery as they meander through bogs, hills, lakes, and the twelve pins mountain range, rising up over the great expanse of Killary Lough, through the sleepy village of Leenane, around the Maam Turk Mountains and all the way up to Maam Cross.

The Connemarathon attracts runners and walkers from all over the world. In 2014 participants came from 28 countries to experience the stunning course. Our international participants enjoy a warm Irish welcome along with the sense of comradeship on the route and the unmistakable buzz of the day. No other sporting event gives people such a taste of Ireland and its highlights.

Inishbofin Walking Festival
Apr 24 @ 2:56 pm – Apr 26 @ 3:56 pm

Inishbofin Walking Festival

Friday 24th April – Sunday 26th April

The 9th Annual Inishbofin Island Walking Festival will take place from Friday April 24th to Sunday April 26th 2020. Enjoy a weekend of walking amid stunning Atlantic coast scenery, crystal clear waters, green coast award winning beaches surrounded by rich natural, built and cultural heritage, all in the company of expert, local guides.

More information

Please be aware of weather forecast before travelling and pack accordingly…. rain gear, walking poles, hiking boots, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses etc.
For any budding musicians there will be an open traditional music session on Saturday evening, all welcome to join in!
For a full list of accommodation available on Inishbofin, please see inishbofin.com/category/accommodation. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Citylink provide the direct bus connection from Galway city to Cleggan, from where the Inishbofin ferry departs. As part of our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of our Walking Festival, we would strongly encourage all Festival attendees to leave the car at home and travel with Citylink. Citylink can deliver you to the Inishbofin ferry from Dublin Airport, Dublin City, Cork, Limerick, Athlone and throughout Connemara.

See citylink.ie for bookings and timetables.

Our Walking Festival aims to promote principles of Leave No Trace and all Festival-goers will be familiarised with these over the weekend. Leave No Trace is an ‘Outdoor Ethics Education Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation’. Inishbofin is in the process of becoming Ireland’s first Leave No Trace Island partner and we hope that all visitors will be aware of how to practice the Leave No Trace ethics while on the island.

For any further queries please contact the Inishbofin Tourism Office on 095-45989, or email csptourism@inishbofin.com

Connemara Mountain Walking Festival
May 1 @ 10:00 am – May 4 @ 5:00 pm

Connemara Mountain Walking Festival

Enjoy a unique combination of mountain and sea as Leenane is situated on the edge of Killary Harbour and surrounded by mountains in all directions. This May will be the 12th year of the Connemara Mountain Walking Festival (formally the Leenane Mountain Walking Festival) which has become a major event on the calendar for Connemara and the region.
The 2020 event will take place over the May bank holiday weekend.

The Connemara Mountain Walking Festival organisation team is made up from volunteers from all walks of life, united by their love of hill walking. Our guides are all mountain trained and certified, many belonging to mountain rescue teams in our area.

The local landowners are also involved and help us offer access to certain ascents that would not normally be available to members of the hill walking community. Backed up by IT professionals and world class tea and scone makers, our team strive to make your weekend a magical one.

All proceeds from this Festival are put right back into our local charities, helping sustain our rural community.

This great festival has been designed to suit all levels of walkers from casual low level walks to the more experienced! Each day there is a choice of at least 3 walks from Strenuous to low level.

Gaelforce Connemara
May 2 all-day

Gaelforce Connemara

Adventure racing is a mult-sport event that allows you to experience the land by foot, kayak, and bicycle. Entering it’s 11th year Gaelforce Connemara is one of the original Gaelforce adventure races and always a favorite.

This stunning route involves cycling and running through the Inagh Valley, Glen Valley, Maaumturk & 12 Ben Mountain ranges, Western Way Trail and kayaking on the crystal clear waters of the Killary Fjord in the shadow of Connaughts highest mountain Mweelrea.

This is Connemara from the inside out. This route with its varied terrain and dramatic views will keep you interested and get you over the line before you know it.

Gaelforce Connemara is a 32km sprint distance adventure race which means you have nothing to fear and you can give it your all. This is a manageable distance and perfect for your first adventure race in Ireland or as a training race to test your fitness.

Night Rider Sportif
May 9 all-day

Night Rider Sportif

With a full moon as your chaperone choose from 100km, 68km and 34km distances along this magnificent part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Journey
This is not a race but a journey, although it is timed. Starting just before sunset you will cycle into the darkness. This is the perfect landscape for night cycling. The darkness is complete and unpolluted but the full moon and the stars will help light your way.

The Route
You will start from Killary Adventure Centre, Leenane, Co Galway. Your route is entirely on sealed roads and will pass through huge valleys, alongside shimmering lakes and jagged coastline. Refreshment stops will be provided along the way.

The Reason
If you need a reason then there are plenty – to prove you can, to feel alive, to get away, to get back, for peace and quiet, to think, to let go, to celebrate. There are so many, you only need one. It is also just a wonderful way to spend a moonlit evening.

The Great Fjord Swim
Sep 26 @ 8:30 am – 1:30 pm

The Great Fjord Swim is an open-water swimming event which takes place in the deep green waters of Killary Fjord surrounded by the mountains of Mayo and Connemara.

There is both a 2km event to suit the experienced swimmer and a 750m event for those new to open-water swimming. In 2014 a non-wetsuit category was also introduced for the 2km event to cater for all those brave swimmers who swim year-round without a wetsuit.

Each swimmer will receive an event t-shirt and a swimming hat and all will be greeted at the finish line with delicious homemade soup to warm them up again.

The Great Fjord Swim is a unique event with swimmers being brought out into the fjord by boat and jumping off to reach the start line! This is a superb opportunity to explore one of the west coast of Ireland’s Blueway locations from a unique perspective.