9 Unique Family-friendly Things To Do in Connemara on your Summer Holiday


1. A Day out on the Farm

Visit Glenkeen Farm or Killary Sheep Farm for a great family day out, both of which are within a 25-minute drive from Delphi. Experiences include sheep herding demonstrations, traditional turf cutting, hill walking, bog cutting, and more. A great day out for all the family!

Glenkeen Farm, Louisburgh, Mayo, 9 km from Delphi Resort

Tickets – €9 Adult, €5 Child (Sheep Dog Herding only)


Killary Sheep Farm, Bunowen, Leenane, 20 km from Delphi Resort

Tickets – €12 each, €30 for 2 Adults and 2 children (Additional Children @ €5 per child)



2. Letterfrack Sea Safari 

Discover the local sea life on a boat tour around the town harbour. You get to see what swims beneath through the viewing panels on the boat. You also get to handle some of the various sea life like starfish and shrimp and gain knowledge of the area’s various species of bird. As well as that, you get an enthralling view of the scenery that surrounds the area. 

Letterfrack, Galway, 33 km from Delphi Resort 

Tickets – €20 Adult, €50 for 2 Adults and 2 children (One hour and a half sightseeing)




3. Kylemore Abbey & Walled Gardens

Have fun hiking through the trails of Kylemore Abbey and take in the spectacular mountains, lakes and historic places that surround the Abbey. A trained guide will show you around, giving you the background of this historic estate. 

Kylemore Abbey & Walled Gardens, Kylemore, Galway, 28 km from Delphi Resort

Tickets – €65 for one hour guided walk plus a reduced fee of €8 for entrance to the estate. 



Tourism Ireland

4. Killary Fjord Boat Tour

Enjoy a cruise along the Killary Fjord and experience the outstanding landscape of Connemara and South Mayo. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and keep an eye out for sea life and wildlife surrounding the boat. 

Leenane, Galway, 15 km from Delphi Resort

Tickets – €21 per person, €42 Family (up to six children) (Hour and a half sightseeing) 




5. Kayaking in Connemara

Enjoy the stunning landscape at Delphi Resort as you kayak down the Killary Fjord. You don’t need to be an expert as an instructor guides you the whole way. You will see spectacular views from a whole new angle as you paddle through the water. 

On your doorstep at Delphi Resort!

Tickets – €50 Adult, €35 Child (+ 8), €145 for 2 Adults and 2 children (Additional Children @ €30 per child) (3 hours long)




6. Zip Line and Aerial Trekking

Go down over 200 metres of line and take in the great views along the way. This is a great way to see Delphi from the air. Enjoy the exciting above-the-ground obstacle course where you will be climbing walls, tackling rope crossings and many more adrenaline-fuelled challenges. 

On your doorstep at Delphi Resort!

Tickets – €40 Adult, €28 Child (+8) €145 for 2 Adults and 2 children (Additional Children @ €25 per child) (3 hours long)



7. Music at Veldon’s Seafarer Bar & Restaurant

Enjoy traditional Irish music live every Friday and Sunday from 6pm to 9pm. A great atmosphere for all. Experience the sounds of Connemara over a wholesome family meal together. 

Letterfrack, Connemara, Galway, 32 km from Delphi Resort



8. Fun with Nature for Kids – Connemara National Park

Visit Connemara National Park in July or August and learn about Ireland’s wonderful natural and cultural heritage. With children’s activities taking place every Tuesday and Thursday this summer, there are plenty of things to do with the little ones if you fancy a day out around Connemara.

Letterfrack, Galway, 32 km from Delphi Resort

Registration at 10.30am every Tuesday and Thursday




9. Cycle through Doolough Valley

Bring along your bikes or rent some from the Adventure Hub at Delphi, and take a family cycle through Doolough Valley – one of Ireland’s signature points along the Wild Atlantic Way. You’ll experience the magnificent mountain and lake views, meeting sheep along the way – the usual traffic jam around here! If you don’t mind an uphill cycle then we highly recommend doing the Sheeffry Pass cycle trail, where an epic view awaits at the top (might be more suited to families with teens).

Doolough, Mayo, 6 km from Delphi Resort

Bike Hire available at Delphi Resort



Book your Summer Family Holiday at Delphi Resort & get 15% OFF!

View our Family Packages here


14 Unique Ways to Spend Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day may be considered by many as a ‘Hallmark’ day but it is also the perfect time for you to show that special someone how much you love them!

Ditch the roses and chocolates this year and escape to Delphi Resort for a uniquely romantic getaway. Choose from a one night break from only €89pps or a two night escape – €127pps and then take your pick of our suggestions on how you can really woo your partner!

Below are our 14 unique ideas for how you could spend 14th February this year.

1. Get down & dirty…

Literally, get down and get dirty in a pit full of mud and race through the bog obstacle course together this Valentines Day! Push your boundaries as a couple in this mud fueled adventure. You’ll be soaked to the socks and up to your eyes in mud, but it will be an experience you will never forget. You’ll be so busy laughing as you journey together through various obstacles. It’s exhilarating, it’s messy, but most of all… it’s great fun!

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2. Or get hot & steamy..

..in the Sauna!  In the intense heat of the steam or sauna, you can feel your tired muscles soften and relax. This is a more romantic way to spend your time, or maybe the perfect way to relax and unwind after an action packed day of adventure! Make use of the complimentary access to the Thermal Suite, which is included in your stay.

Steamy in the Sauna at Delphi Resort

3. Race to see who will finish first!

Experience the thrill of Delphi’ Resort’s new 220m zipwire! Chase up the tower and speed down the zip-line, in a race to see who will finish first! Experience the buzz of this adrenaline pumping activity – an exhilarating race through the Connemara air!

zip couple

4. Pop the question on Diamond Hill

Where would be more fitting to propose than on the top of a mountain, fittingly named, while the sun sets over the Atlantic? During your stay at Delphi, visit Connemara National Park and embark on the Diamond Hill Walking Trail. Starting and finishing at the visitor centre, the trail is easily accessible and well maintained. The walk features wooden boardwalk sections through rich bogland, idyllic heath landscape and culminates in a cairn that marks the 445m-high summit and the most breathtaking and rewarding views. This hike takes around two to three hours, the perfect length of time to pluck up your courage to get down on one knee!

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Photo credit: www.connemaranationalpark.com 

5. Try your hand at a different sort of ‘rock’..

Not ready for that level of commitment yet, then why not show a different sort of courage and put your hand to a different sort of rock – on a rock climbing lesson! There are 8 climbing faces to choose from at the 40ft adventure towers in the Delphi forest. ‘GoClimbing’ is great activity no matter what your level, with grades to suit beginners and seasoned climbers alike, you’ll be in great hands with our hardy instructors close by giving you the support you need.

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6. Relax in pure luxury in an intimate Couples Seaweed Bath

Take a steaming bath of fresh seawater, add in some wild, organic seaweed and you’ve got the most intimate treatment that Delphi Spa has to offer couples this Valentines Day.  Float away effortlessly together in a soothing and tranquil state. Take deep breathes and feel the tensions, aches and pains simply slip away. This is another bonus that is already included in a Valentines Package at Delphi Resort.

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7. Road trip one of the most scenic sections of the Wild Atlantic Way

Which ever road you take when you take a drive in Delphi, you are guaranteed to be impressed. Take a loop around the Inagh Valley over the Sky Road, through Sheffery Pass or Doolough Valley for awe-inspiring views.  The Inagh Valley winds its way through majestic heather covered mountains and around picturesque lakes. The colours in the landscape is ever changing, from day to day. The journey along both sides of Killary Harbour is one of the most impressive drives you can take – the ‘harbour’ is actually a fjord-like sea inlet, dominated by the mountain of Mweelrea. If you choose the route north through Doolough; it’s been described by many as an unforgettable driving experience. The road, winds its way through a series spectacular valleys between the peaks of Ben Creggan and Ben Gorm. The Sky Road drive near Clifden is a popular route in the Connemara region and has been described as being the most impressive coastal drive in the country.  The steep ascent along the coastal edge provides a wonderful vantage point with panoramic views of the Connemara coastline, Clifden Bay and the islands off the coast.

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8. Learn how to shoot Cupids arrow 

Ready, aim, fire! Fancy learning the skills of Cupid, or maybe you see yourself as the next Robin Hood or Katniss Everdeen? A target-orientated activity, you will learn how to aim and fire within our safe target range, then put your skills to the test in our archery games. We can’t guarantee you’ll be able to split an apple on someone’s head, or make someone fall deeply in love with you but we can promise you’ll hone your skills under the expert eye of our qualified archery instructors.

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9. Sip on some bubbly in the fizzling waters of Delphi Spa’s Jacuzzi 

Imagine just sitting back in the Jacuzzi in our beautiful spa, feeling warm spring waters bubble and fizz around you as you sip on prosecco and look out over the breathtaking valley views. Pure bliss, we know, we’ll say no more…


10. Take a romantic walk on the beach

Choose one of our many local beaches and go for a stroll hand in hand along the wild strands of the Atlantic coast. Carrownisky is a stunning 4km long scenic beach, with a vast expanse of sand and great waves. It is a well known surfing destination as it provide one of the only consistent breaks in the area. This beach is the primary beach for Delphi’s Surfing lessons as it is only a 20 minute drive from the resort, but it is also perfect for a romantic walk.

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11. Surprise her with a picnic by a majestic waterfall 

Just 5 mins from the resort, this picturesque waterfall, is the perfect place to take your sweet valentine on a romantic picnic. Located on the River Erriff, is located just before the river meets Killary Harbour, parking is available at a lay-by and a pathway allows visitors to make the short walk to the waterfall. You don’t even have to come prepared – you can rent a picnic basket from our Wild Atlantic Cafe who will even prepare you sandwiches, hot take-away drinks and snacks.

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12. Splash about

For the ultimate couples experience, take a paddle together and splash around the flat waters of the stunning Killary fjord at the heart of Connemara. You’ll see the beautiful Atlantic coastline from a whole new perspective with the northern shore boasting spectacular views of Mweelrea Mountain; Connacht’s highest, rising to 814 metres, while to the south are the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens. Book a session of kayaking or canoeing during your stay but be quick, as this it is highly recommend and books out fast!

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13. Hike the hills or cycle forest trails

Delphi Resort is the ideal base to avail of the endless low, medium and high level walking and cycling routes. If you want to spend Valentines exploring, we can offer endless recommendations to suit your fitness and experience level. From climbing Croagh Patrick or Mweelrea to walking looped low level walking trails through our own 300 acre forest. Cycle to the Lost Valley or take a Mountain Bike lesson with a qualified instructor.

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14. Enjoy a Romantic 3 Course Candle-lit Meal

Delphi Resort is undoubtedly a destination for romance this Valentine’s and no matter what why you choose to spend your day, you will come home to delicious dishes, made with the finest locally sourced ingredients. Included in your stay is a 3 –course dinner by candlelight in the hotel’s 814 Restaurant. What a perfect way to end your day.

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So there it is, 14 of the most unique ways to spend Valentines Day this year. Why not treat that special someone (and yourself) to a romantic escape, you’ll never forget. From the moment you arrive at Delphi, you’ll feel as if it is just the two of you. Romance will be in the air with a trail of extra romantic gestures including delicious chocolates and luxurious robes and slippers laid out in your room.

Click here to book a Romantic Escape at Delphi Resort from €89pps (for one night) or from €127 pps (for two nights) which includes a couples seaweed bath, complimentary Thermal Suite access for 60 minutes, a 3-course dinner and breakfast.

For more information on the Valentine’s Day retreat at Delphi Resort call +353 95 42208 or visit www.delphiresort.com

Connemara Roast Lamb Dinner

Delphi LambBrought to you by our Executive Head Chef, Daniel Willimont, this is our Delphi style, Connemara Mountain Lamb Roast Dinner recipe.


For the braised lamb:

  • 800 grams of lamb (can be any amount but must be good quality butchers lamb )
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 white onion burnt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 10 grams of fennel & Coriander seeds
  • 1 Litre of apple juice

Roast vegetables:

  • 3 Carrots (different sizes and if possible colours)
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 Cauliflower head
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 packet of cooked beetroots ( juice only needed )
  • 1 white onion


For the braised lamb:

Combine all ingredients and cover with water till 1 inch above meat and slow cook either in oven & 85 degrees or on a cooker top for 1 and ½ hours on low heat.

Once cooked set aside to cool and strain the liquid from the meat and discard any vegetables and reserve stock for later use. Begin to pick the meat and shred removing any fat pieces or bone if present. Once picked add chopped herbs of rosemary or thyme ( optional ) and a little mustard ( again optional ). Find a mould or tin that would fit the qualities of meat you have and line with cling film twice to help remove the shape from the mould at a later date. Press the meat into the mould and place in the fridge to cool.

For the roast vegetables:

Cut shapes from each vegetable after peeling and gently blanch in water with a clove of garlic and thyme  (or any herb you wish ) and also a little salt for a few minutes until soft but still firm enough to hold shape. Once Blanched, refresh in a bowl of cold water and reserve for roasting.

Beetroot & onions

Peel the onion and slice thinly then open the packet of cooked beetroots and strain the juice into a bowl. Add the onion slices separated from their rings into the beetroot juice and let marinate for a few hours.


Once cooled from the quick cooking in water fry in a hot pan making sure the vegetable is moved around and all sides are cooked till golden brown once the colour is present add 40 g of salted butter and continue to cook till the butter foams around the vegetable set aside on a cloth or strong tissue to rest and drain off fat.

Finishing of dish

Pan roast all vegetables except the cauliflower and beetroot soaked onions. Place herbs and garlic into the pan and finish with a foam butter as per cauliflower method place in oven with cauliflower to finish cooking.


Remove from fridge and mould slice to preferred size and fry in a heavy pan on parchment paper until a golden brown crispy coating as appeared place in oven to finish

To plate

Arrange in a formation that suits the eye and close together making the dish seem vibrate with colours. Place last your lamb in the centre and finish with either a stock sauce made from the juice of the braised lamb reduced or cheat with a shop bought sauce.

Remove the onions and dry on paper towel and garnish your dish to give a crunch and vibrate colour to your modern version of a lamb roast dinner …… then simply enjoy!


Connemara Roast Lamb Dinner

Five Things to do at Delphi Resort this Month!

Balcony Breakfast1. Stay in one of our Executive Suites and take in the amazing views of the mountains and hillside scenery that surround the resort. Read a book on the balcony or relax in the spacious living room area with a cool beverage and some background music from your iTunes..


Delphi Bliss Package2. Relax with some “You Time” and unwind in Delphi Spa. Why not try our Monthly Spa Special consisting of a 25 minute Head, Neck & Shoulder Massage, a 45 minute Seaweed Bath and a 60 minute Thermal Suite Experience (Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna) – all for only €69pp!

Go Zip3. Adventure in the great outdoors! For the more adrenaline hungry traveler, why not take a spin down the 220m Delphi Zipline on our brand new GoZip activity! Ziiiiip down on your own or why not pair up with your buddy and race to the bottom? Loser buys No. 4 in this list! 


IMG_0456SML4. Indulge in The 814 Bar by sipping on a cold, creamy pint of Guinness while tucking into a pot of freshly chucked Killary Fjord Mussels, straight from the mussel farms at Killary, just a stone’s throw away from the resort – they’re fresh, they’re local and they’re delicious!

forest walks5. Explore the 300 acre Delphi forests on a leisurely stroll. You’ll catch some fantastic scenery including Mweelrea, Connacht’s highest mountain which stands tall at 814m (it’s so impressive that we named our bar and restaurant after it!). 

So there you have it, 5 of the many things to do at the resort this month! View our website for more inspiration!

Top 7 Unforgettable Food Experiences in the West of Ireland

It’s all about food at Delphi Resort this month as we had our first event of the Food & Drink Series 2016 in May. A great night was had by all at ‘A Culinary Spanish Evening’ when our award winning Head Chef, Stefan Matz was joined by Karin Nylund of Finca Antigua Vineyard and they presented guests with a wonderful evening of great food, drink and entertainment. With another seven events still in the calendar, there is something for everyone coming up later in the year.

There are lots of exciting things happening around food this year, what with Northern Ireland celebrating The Year of Food & Drink, but let’s not forget that Connemara has so much to offer food wise in the West of Ireland. With fantastic produce and creative, talented chefs, no trip to the west is complete without the top 7 fantastic foodie experiences we’ve chosen below…


#1 Get Shellfish

IMG_0456SMLKillary Fjord, one of only three Fjord’s in Ireland, not only offers spectacular views but also spectacular sea life. Kayaking out to sea here you’re likely to see anything from dolphins to salmon. However, the unique mix of freshwater and seawater gives way to some of the most delicious seafood in Ireland. A particular favourite are fresh Killary Fjord Mussels! While cruising on a Killary Fjord boat tour you can see the mussel farms up close and even indulge in a delicious bowl of mussels or chowder.

#2 Not baaad, Leenane Mountain Lamb 

KillaryFjord+sheep webAs anyone who’s been to the West of Ireland knows, there’s no shortage of sheep in Connemara and that’s for good reason! Leenane’s unique landscape offers them plenty of room to roam around while they graze on natural grass and heather, along with a light dusting of sea salt blown in off the sea. This diet gives the lamb a great flavour that you won’t beat anywhere else in the world!

#3 The Black Stuff

Delphi Resort photo Julia Dunin  (495)SMLNo trip to the West of Ireland is complete without sampling a pint of Guinness (that is of course if you are of age!). Whether you’re going for a quiet one in the evening after work or looking to hit up a traditional Irish music session in the famous Matt Molloy’s of Westport, it won’t be the same without a pint of the black stuff.

The Connemara Cultural Break at Delphi Resort includes mussels & and pint of Guinness in our hotel bar amongst other things, so you can really get the full Connemara experience!


#4 Something Fishy…

May Salmon 3 web

If you’re looking for the best Wild Atlantic salmon this country has to offer look no further. Try your hand at catching your own dinner on the Erriff River at Aasleagh Lodge, one of the Great Fishing Houses of Ireland. Here, there’s a superb in-house chef who’s more than happy to cook up your latest catch while you dine in style while enjoying spectacular views over Killary Fjord.

You can also check out Connemara Smokehouse in Ballyconneely. This family run smokehouse is the oldest in Connemara, producing some of the finest traditional smoked salmon and seafood. During the Summer months you can take a tour of the smokehouse and see how they hand fillet and traditionally prepare the salmon (you even get to taste some!).

#5 Go on! Go on! Go on!

There’s little the people of Ireland enjoy more than a good cup of tea. While there’s strong beliefs around here on whether or not you should leave the teabag in or how many sugars are acceptable there’s one thing we can all agree on… a cup of tea goes down even better with a freshly baked scone!

Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Aasleagh Tea Rooms, where you can take in the splendours of Killary Fjord and Aasleagh Falls while indulging in some of the most delicious sweet treats and wholesome lunches in the tea rooms.

#6 Beoir Chonamara!


The craft beer industry has been growing over the last number of years in Ireland and it’s not surprising to see it’s having a great impact in Connemara. The Independent Brewing Co. of Ireland have been trading from Carraroe in the heart of Connemara since 2014, and with a selection of delicious ales to choose from it’s a great way to try something different during your visit to Connemara.

#7 The Full Irish

hotel shoot (2)SML.jpgThere’s no better way to tackle the day after you’ve maybe had a bit too much of #4 than a good ole fashioned full Irish breakfast. Toast, eggs, sausages, beans, rashers (bacon), tomatoes, mushrooms and, of course, some black and white pudding to top it off. Our produce at Delphi Resort comes directly from local suppliers such as McGeough’s of Oughterard, so we know that only the best is going into our fry and it will certainly give you the energy to keep going on a jam packed day of adventure!

For a special food experience in a relaxed atmosphere, try out contemporary Irish dining at The Chef’s Table by Stefan Matz at Delphi Resort. It offers a unique and delicious 5 course tasting menu from only €55pp!

To really learn about food and where it is sourced from, and if you want to make a real night out of it, look no further than the Delphi Food & Drink Series here. Eight culinary events will be held at different dining outlets at Delphi Resort in 2016 with a focus on local food and suppliers. These evenings are perfect for foodies or anyone looking to enjoy a great evening of food drink and entertainment – there’s something for everyone!

Food & Drink Event Series 2016 at Delphi Resort

Summer is just around the corner and we’re gearing up for an action packed time ahead. We’re also delighted to announce the launch of the Delphi Food & Drink Series 2016, perfect for the foodies out there or those simply looking for a great night of food, drink and entertainment! Eight culinary events will be held at different dining outlets at the resort in 2016, monthly from May. The series features a diverse range focusing on local produce and offering something for everyone’s tastes.

Delphi Resort photo Julia Dunin  (425)SML

Our Executive Head Chef, Stefan Matz  will work in conjunction with local specialists to deliver a unique guest experience around food and drink at each event. To give us a better idea of what to expect at the first event on May 12th, we spoke to Warren McElhone, the Food & Beverage Manager here at Delphi Resort

Delphi Resort photo Julia Dunin  (454)SMLEvening 1 of the Food & Drink Series takes place on Thursday May 12th, A Culinary Spanish Evening hosted by Finca Antigua Vinyard. The Spanish theme came to be for a number of reasons, the great tasting food and wine being the start of it!

We have worked with our wine supplier, JN Wine, for a while now and the vineyard recommended by them. Jane Boyce is their Fine Wine Manager, and was the first woman Master of Wine in Ireland. It a very prestigious title, not many people can say that they have! Jane facilitated me at a wine course in Belfast, she recommends wine from all over the world, from different vineyards and countries. She came to Delphi last year and trained our staff along with some other local bar and restaurant staff.

We were also inspired for this event by our very own Head Pastry Chef Elena who hails from Spain. She’s been with us over a year now and working in The Chef’s Table by Stefan Matz, where the menu celebrates local produce with a contemporary twist.

The evening will be run in conjunction with Karin Nylund from the Finca Antigua Vineyard, who is also from Spain. On the evening Karin will introduce each new wine, discuss its properties and traits and then introduce the food that accompanies it.

The Chef’s Table by Stefan Matz is the perfect location for the evening! It has a great ambiance and it is intimate. You can watch Stefan work his magic with the other chefs while you learn about the food and wine, where it came from, why it was selected and how it was prepared.Delphi Resort photo Julia Dunin  (379)SML.jpg

It wouldn’t be a Delphi Resort food event without an emphasis on local produce! We’re using local meats with a Spanish twist – McGeough’s prepare it in the traditional Spanish sense so there’ll be a lot of air dried meat. North Spain is famous for seafood and we’re located right beside Killary Harbour, famous for its seafood, so you can also expect some of that to make an appearance.

The evening will kick off in The Library of Delphi Resort at 7pm with a drinks reception and Spanish Tapas. Following this we’ll move into The Chef’s Table by Stefan Matz for a 5 course, Spanish influenced tasting menu. Each course will be paired with a specially selected wine, so you’re not going to want to miss this!

Click here to find out more and book an evening of the Delphi Resort Food & Drink Series. Tickets for the first evening are €95pp and guests can avail of a 20% discount off accommodation in the 4* Hotel on the night of each event.

Meet the Team: Clem

This month we decided to get our climbing boots on and get inspired by Delphi’s very own mountaineer, Clement Quinn. A carpenter by trade he eventually decided his passion lay in the outdoors and has now trained and worked in the outdoor adventure industry for several years. He joined the Delphi Team 5 years ago and has been a huge addition to the Resort! He recently returned from a trip to Scotland where he braved Britain’s tallest sea stack, The Old Man of Hoy.

Spring has finally made its way to the beautiful Delphi Valley, the sun is coming out, the
lambs are frolicking in the fields and there’s no better time to hit the hills! Our full activity schedule is up and running and there are some fantastic events coming up in Connemara this month including the Connemarathon, the Leenane Mountain Walking Festival and a Successful Salmon Fishing Course on the river Erriff with Ken Whelan. We are also delighted to announce that the Delphi Food & Wine Series will take place again this year, kicking off in May! To keep up to date with our latest news and special offers click here.

Name: Clement Quinn

Clem Quinn

From: Corofin, Galway

Position at Delphi Resort: Outdoor Instructor

I only started climbing five years ago. I signed up to an outdoor Fás course and didn’t really know what to expect when I started working at Delphi Resort. Since then I’ve been on kayaking expeditions in the Alps, climbed the highest peak in Slovenia and of course, tackled the Old Man of Hoy, which, at 137m is Britain’s tallest sea stack. It was actually my uncle that said it to me, about the Old Man of Hoy, when he first heard I was getting into climbing. He lives over there and it’s a really famous climb but his reaction when I rang him and told him I was actually going up was a little different!


Clem at the base of the 137m high, Old Man of Hoy.

Just to get there I had to go to Manchester, where I met my climbing partner, Craig McMahon, then we took the long drive up to Scotland to get the ferry to Orkney. From there it’s another ferry to Hoy where, on the way, we ended up sailing right past the sea stack itself, which we could just about make out through the rain and cloud, not the best omen but we knew we were due a good spell the next day, that’s what we’d been aiming for so we didn’t lose hope yet!

I had only met my climbing partner, Craig, 6 months before hand on our MIA (Mountaineering Instructor Award) in Plas-y-Brenin, Wales. We spent the week as roommates and had a great time, that was when we decided that we were going to do Hoy.

We stayed on the Island the night before and the locals all NoRescueSignthought we were nuts,especially as the weather had been terrible. It’s constantly being eroded so they reckon it’ll be gone in the next 25 years and it’s a no rescue climb. On your way there you pass a warning sign that tells you ‘Climbers are hereby warned that there is neither suitable rescue equipment nor experienced rock climbers in the vicinity, climbers therefore proceed at your own risk.’ Luckily enough we got the dry spell we were aiming for and it turned out to be a beautiful day.

It was 6 hours up and the relief when you get to the top is unreal. It took us about an hour and a half to get down, which consisted of 3 abseils. The last 60 meters was the scariest but definitely worth it. We had a great time that night, the locals were legends and wouldn’t let us spend a penny!


Clem and his climbing partner, Craig at the top of Britain’s tallest sea stack after a 6 hour climb.

We took loads of pictures but the night before we just happened to meet a random tourist ClimbingTheOMH2who was in the area taking photography, so we showed him where we were going, what we were going to climb and asked him if he was in the area the next day would he mind taking a few pictures for us and sending them on. Of course, I thought that was the last I’d see of him, I never thought I’d see those pictures but sure enough, three weeks after we got back he sent them on and they were class!

It wasn’t the scariest climb I’ve ever done, a few of the climbs I’ve done around Delphi Resort, like Doolough,have been first ascent, which are worse because you never know what you’re going to get. My favourite place to climb in Ireland is Fairhead up in Antrim but there are some great spots along the west coast as well.

There’s a big climbing scene in Ireland but not so much in the west even though there is some great climbing here. Along the east coast cities like Dublin, Cork and Belfast have the advantage of loads of indoor climbing walls and loads of clubs. They do have climbing meets but they’re focused in the east a lot of the time. The best way to get into climbing in this area would be to come out to somewhere like Delphi Resort and try it out. Talk to any of the instructors here and they’ll point you in the right direction.

clemDooloughI teach in GMIT once a week and I think the most important thing is that you’re always progressing. I’m always learning new things, starting new courses as are most of the staff here at Delphi Resort. I did an 8 week beekeeping course over the winter last year! There’s so much out there, that’s what I look for when I see people hoping to work in the outdoors, someone who’s always progressing.  I’ve started my own business as well, ‘Clement Quinn’s Outdoor Training Courses’ where I run training and skills courses for people looking to progress in the outdoor industry.

I joined the Mayo mountain rescue team in 2011, it’s is a Voluntary Organisation that is comprised of hill walkers and mountaineers from all over Mayo. We respond to emergency callouts and it’s almost always on Croagh Patrick. It’s a good climb but, as I always tell people who come to Delphi to climb, it can be very dangerous, especially in bad weather. There’s a sense of ‘Oh Mary did it last week, we’ll be sound’. There’s nothing worse than getting home from work and just as you’re sitting down to eat dinner you get a call, it’s 10pm at night, pitch black and someone is up the top in high heels, but I’d never say anything. It wasn’t that long ago, before I really started climbing, that I went up myself and the wind got so bad I had to lie down and thought I was going to have to call Mountain Rescue!

Delphi Coasteering

Coasteering along the Wild Atlantic Way

But I do love it in Delphi Resort, you have the mountains and the sea nearby which means you’ve a great variety of activities, from rock climbing and hiking to sea kayaking and coasteering, which I also love. It also means there’s a great variety of groups at the Resort. One day you could be with a family, the next a corporate group or even a school tour, so there’s never a dull day at Delphi!

Fun Fact: I was once stung by a scorpion. I was volunteering over in Ghana for 6 weeks and one night we’d gone out for a drink. It was my fault really because he was already in the bed, I was the one who came home late and rolled over onto him! It melted the skin really quickly and I spent 4 hours on this fella’s lap driving to the closest hospital. It was 2 weeks until I came home and I had to go straight to the hospital in Dublin. They must have thought I was messing when I said I’d been stung by a scorpion and the next time I came back for a check up the doctor brought all the younger doctors in to see me!


If you’re feeling inspired by Clem’s epic adventure you can book your adventure escape to Delphi Resort here, whether you’re interested in the Western Way, Croagh Patrick, Mweelrea or further afield you won’t be stuck for a climb around here. We still have some accommodation available for the Connemarathon and the Leenane Mountain Walking Festival this month as well in Aasleagh Lodge, you can book these packages here.