The West

Newstalk – Staycations

Roundstone to Clifden

The R341 shadows the coast from Roundstone to Clifden. Beaches along here have such beautiful white sand and turquoise water that if you added 10\*C to the temperature, you could be in St Barts. About 2.5km from Roundstone, look for the turn to Gurteen Bay. After a further 800m there is a turn for Dogs Bay. Together, the pair form the two sides of a dog-bone-shaped peninsula lined with idyllic beaches. Park and enjoy a day strolling the grassy heads and frolicking on the hard-packed sand.

If you’re curious to discover how the area’s famous salmon is smoked, you can tour the family-run Connemara Smokehouse (tel 095-23739;; Bunowen Pier, Ballyconneely; tours 3pm Wed Jun-Aug). Tours show you the hand filleting, traditional preparation, slicing and packing of the wild and organic salmon, and shed light on various smoking methods before finishing up with a tasting. Advance reservations are essential. Outside tour times it’s  possible to stop by the smokehouse and stock up.