Guide to Killary Harbour, County Galway

Killary Harbour viewpoint looking out across the fjord
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Killary Harbour / Fjord

Killary Harbour is a fjord on the Western coast of Ireland and in the North of Connemara, County Galway. The fjord is one of only three glacial sea fjords on the island of Ireland (the other two are Carlingford Lough and Lough Swilly). It runs 16 kilometres long and to 45 metres depth in the centre.

Photo by Patrick Hughes: The beautiful Killary Harbour
Photo by Patrick Hughes: The beautiful Killary Harbour

Top Tip: Google Maps failed me on this drive! Google Maps sent me along the North side of the 16km fjord on a single track road 😂 You need to search for Killary Harbour Viewpoint (note the spelling of Harbour).

Wild Atlantic Way

Killary Harbour is a so-called ‘significant discovery point’ on the 2,500km long roadtrip, the Wild Atlantic Way. Finding the viewpoint / formal stop for Killary Harbour can be difficult, as the whole fjord is known as Killary Harbour. I followed Google Maps (which had been great for most other stops) and went right along the Northern side of the fjord, which is not at all where I was supposed to be! In fact, the viewpoint is just a couple of kilometres out of Leenaun Town (sometimes known as Leenane) along the coast road.

Photo by Patrick Hughes - Wild Atlantic Way Sign at Killary Harbour
Photo by Patrick Hughes – Wild Atlantic Way Sign at Killary Harbour

The Killary Harbour Viewpoint

The Killary Harbour Viewpoint is the perfect elevated location to get a picture across the fjord. I was very lucky with the weather, as it can be so windy, wet and cold in this part of the world. When I visited at the end of May 2022, the flowers were in bloom and the fields and hillsides green with heather and gorse.

Photo by Patrick Hughes: Patrick enjoying Killary Harbour
Photo by Patrick Hughes: Patrick enjoying Killary Harbour

You can ALMOST see the Atlantic ocean from the Killary Harbour viewpoint! In fact, there are a number of outings and boat trips that encompass Killary Fjord. This one takes in the whole region, including Killary Harbour. Some boat trips start from Nancy’s Point near Leenane and run up as far as Fox Rock near the mouth of the fjord.

Killary Harbour viewpoint with pink flowers in the foreground
Photo by Patrick Hughes: Killary Harbour viewpoint

Hiking

A number of hikes start from near Killary Harbour and certainly feature the fjord as a view. I found this one to be an easy hike that takes about 1h30 and sets out from Ceathrú an Bhrúnaigh.

Patrick smiling at the viewpoint over Killary Harbour
Photo by Patrick Hughes: Patrick at Killary Harbour
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I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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