Unlike the rest of Ireland that’s known for being green, Connemara’s landscape is characteristic for its myriad hues including oranges, purples, grays and browns, said Sinead O’Sullivan, the co-owner of the Galway-based real estate agency Matt O’Sullivan. The coastline is rugged, secluded and features small, uninhabited islands. “When you drive or walk along the roads, you can see the white dots of sheep in the hills, crumbling stone walls dating to the early 19th century and cascading waterfalls,” she said. “But you could be going for miles before you see another soul.”
Connemara’s main towns include Clifden, a vibrant destination with markets, pubs and stores, and Ballyconneely, marked for its sandy beaches and golf course, Connemara Championship Golf Links. There’s also Roundstone, a small fishing village that’s renowned for its water views and two beaches, Dog’s Bay and Gurteen Bay.
Most properties in the area are single-family homes, either in the villages or pocketed in the sprawling terrain. Ms. O’Sullivan said that they were a diverse mix, from new construction energy-efficient properties to 19th-century cottages complete with their original outhouses and other historical features.
Connemara is an affordable place to buy a waterfront home, compared with the rest of Ireland, she said. “The more rural you are, the lower prices can be,” Ms. O’Sullivan said. A three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot home on a plot of land that’s between a half-acre to an acre — the average in the area — costs between $150,000 to $400,000, depending on its condition and location. These properties have gardens, and owners can enjoy the benefit of privacy and the luxury of space. Waterfront properties in towns such as Clifden are decidedly pricier.
In the wake of the pandemic, many Dubliners have bought vacation or primary homes in Connemara, according to Ms. O’Sullivan. Internationally speaking, buyers include people from the United States, France, Germany and England.
TamiJoy Miller, originally from Walla Walla, Wash., and now a full-time Connemara resident, is an example. Ms. Miller said that she used her five-acre property in the village of Ballinakill — an 1850s stone cottage that faces a lake on one side and Atlantic Ocean on the other — as a vacation home for several years. When the pandemic hit, she decided to make it her primary residence. “I wanted to live in a more remote setting, and Connemara is an undisturbed, natural place,” she said. “I love the serenity of the sea, the friendly locals and the open spaces. I’m lucky that I get to call it home.”