Unlike the rest of Ireland, which is known for being green, the Connemara landscape is characterized by a myriad of hues including oranges, purples, grays and browns, said Sinead O’Sullivan, co-owner of a Galway-based estate agency. Matt O’Sullivan. The coast is rugged, remote and contains small uninhabited islands. “When you drive or walk along the roads, you can see white dots of sheep in the hills, crumbling stone walls from the early 1800s and cascading waterfalls,” she said. “But you can go miles before you see another soul.
Connemara’s main towns include Clifden, a vibrant destination with markets, pubs and shops, and Ballyconneely, noted for its sandy beaches and Connemara Championship Golf Links. There is also Roundstone, a small fishing village that is famous for its water views and two beaches, Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay.
Most of the properties in the area are detached houses, either in villages or set back in the vast countryside. Ms O’Sullivan said it was a diverse mix, from new build energy efficient properties to 19th century cottages with their original outbuildings and other historic features.
Connemara is an affordable place to buy a waterfront home compared to the rest of Ireland, she said. “The more rural you are, the lower the prices can be,” Ms O’Sullivan said. A three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot home on a half-acre to an acre lot — the average in the area — costs between $150,000 and $400,000, depending on its condition and location. These properties have gardens and owners can enjoy the benefits of privacy and luxury of space. Coastal properties in towns such as Clifden are definitely more expensive.
According to Ms O’Sullivan, in the wake of the pandemic, many Dublin residents have bought holiday homes or primary school homes in Connemara. Internationally, buyers include people from the United States, France, Germany and England.
Case in point is TamiJoy Miller, originally from Walla Walla, Washington and now a permanent resident of Connemara. Ms Miller said she had used her five-acre property in the village of Ballinakill – a 1850s stone cottage with views of the lake on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other – as a holiday home for several years. When the pandemic broke out, she decided to make it her main residence. “I wanted to live in a more remote environment and Connemara is an unspoilt, natural place,” she said. “I love the calm of the sea, the friendly locals and the open spaces. I’m lucky to call it home.”