Killary Fjord is a breathtaking natural landscape at the heart of County Galway. We had the chance to get out on the water with Killary Fjord Boat Tours, an experience we think should be on everyone’s Irish bucket list.
If you think you need to venture off to Norway or New Zealand to feast your eyes on some magnificent fjord landscapes, then you would be wrong. Ireland has its very own impressive fjord right, Killary Fjord, which is right on our doorstep.
Not only can you drive alongside the fjord or park up for a magical picnic. Rather, you can get up close and personal with this stunning and truly unique region of Ireland by taking an interactive boat tour.
We spent a full 90 minutes taking in the stunning scenery of this idyllic waterway in County Galway with Killary Fjord Boat Tours. But before we get into the experience, let us explain where Killary Fjord is and how to get there.
Where is Killary Fjord? ‒ at the heart of Galway’s Connemara region
Killary Fjord is located in County Galway, in the majestic Connemara region, which is an otherworldly sight to see. Once you venture off down the fjord, you will be blown away by the beauty of this area, which seems to expand continuously.
Killary Fjord is Ireland’s only fjord, and if you want the thrill of being in two places at once, you can experience this by taking the Killary Fjord Boat Tour, which sails through the fjord between County Galway to the south and County Mayo to the north.
The fjord stretches 16 km (9.9 miles) inland to the quaint town of Leenane. However, your boat tour will start just 2 km (1.2 miles) from there at Nancy’s Point, which is well signposted as Killary Harbour.
It is situated close to Galway (67 km/41 miles), Westport (34 km/21 miles), Clifden (32 km/19 miles), and Kylemore Abbey (13 km/8 miles). Thus, making it easy to get there from many parts of the west.
Here is what you can expect from taking an adventure with Killary Fjord Boat Tours.
The Killary Fjord Boat Tours experience ‒ getting out in nature
Starting from Nancy’s Point, we were met with plenty of parking opportunities. There is a small office to collect relevant brochures, buy tickets, or ask any questions to the helpful staff.
We were greeted with a warm welcome before making our way onto the catamaran, which can accommodate up to 155 passengers.
If sea sickness is an issue for you, you won’t have to worry. They guarantee a no sickness policy with their smooth sailing boat, which we can assure you is true; there wasn’t a sick bag in sight.
Onboard this well-maintained vessel, we had the option to take advantage of the indoor and outdoor viewing decks. Lucky for us the rain held back, so outdoor it was for full steam ahead.
The Connemara Lady ‒ a seamless experience out on the water
The vessel, known as the Connemara Lady, is wheelchair and pushchair friendly. It has plenty of amenities on board, including toilets, a café, and a fully licensed bar. Thus, making it ideal for all ages and all abilities.
The boat took us through the fjord, and after about ten minutes, the commentary began. This provided some truly fascinating information, pointing out to us how the landscape was different from the north of the fjord to the south.
We were also informed about the history of the fjord and the lives of the local people. We learned about the impact of the famine on the region and the modern-day mussel and salmon farms, which we caught sight of.
There is no time to stand still when this stunning landscape keeps inviting us to be captivated all around. You can spot waterfalls, the Twelve Bens, the Maumturk mountain ranges, and the sight of Mweelrea (Connaught’s highest mountain).
So, it was a common occurrence to want to move around the boat and not miss out on anything. As well as this, the onboard café served Killary mussels. Said to be some of the best in the country, they are fully traceable and sustainable, a great bonus to the trip.
How we found the experience ‒ our time with Killary Fjord Boat Tours
We learned a lot about this area of Ireland during our time with Killary Fjord Boat Tours. Our guides explained that it is the wettest area of the country and was prone to the occasional landslide or two.
We also learned about the agricultural and social history of the area and that it was formed by glacial action. We were also overwhelmed by the comfort and smooth sailing of the vessel – and the incredible views of the course.
The staff and captain were very courteous and friendly. All were happy to share information with visitors and take health and safety seriously, which is very much appreciated when setting sail.
The commentary was projected by a variety of speakers, which made it very easy to understand the information. The inside dining areas were very inviting and comfortable, while the abundance of history, ecology, sociology, geology, and folklore was fantastic to learn about.
For the wettest part of Ireland, we were very lucky with the weather. Unfortunately, however, we didn’t spot any bottlenose dolphins, who are said to come out to play alongside the boat regularly. On the bright side, this just means we need to return one day!
Overall, the experience was captivating, informative, and comfortable. The vibe was very friendly and welcoming, making the whole adventure so enjoyable. We just wished we could have stayed out there all day.
With that being said, they do offer the boat out for private hire. This is a fantastic idea if you want to experience this with your group of friends and family.
Sailing times and prices ‒ useful info for anyone who wants to experience Killary Fjord Boat Tours for themselves
For adults, the tour will cost €25.50, while a concession price of €21.50 will apply to students and seniors. Youth tickets for those ages 17 and under are priced at €13.50.
Family tickets for two adults and up to six kids aged ten and under cost €51.00. Meanwhile, family tickets for two adults and up to six kids aged between 11 and 17 cost €64.50.
Throughout the summer months of June, July, and August, daily sailings take place at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4:00 pm. In May and September, sailings occur daily at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:30 pm.
During the off-season, there are fewer daily sailings. In April and October, sailings occur at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. Meanwhile, in November and December, there is only one daily sailing at 12:30 pm.
Final thoughts ‒ a bucket list-worthy experience in County Galway
Killary Fjord Boat Tours are not only great value. Rather, they make for a fantastic activity in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
The vibe was very relaxed and welcoming. Plus, the boat did not feel overcrowded at all, giving us the space to enjoy the scenery and take plenty of photos.
We would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for a great day out on the water in the stunning Connemara region.