Regarded as the capital of Connemara, the town was founded by John D'Arcy in the early years of 1800. The Gaelic name, an clochain means small cell of the monk, but in spite of the friars who lived in poverty and spiritual retreat, Clifden is today a cheerful and lively center, with a cosmopolitan look. Apart from two churches, some petrol stations, the post office, two pharmacies and two banks, tourists also can find countless souvenirs-shops, pubs, and restaurants.
For those renting a cottage, it's important to underline the presence in Market Square of a well-stocked supermarket that offers all you need to cook an Irish lunch (but also a dish of maccheroni, if you do miss it!).
For young people and for those who can not live without reading and sending emails there is also an Internet Point at the Digital Office, at the beginning of Main Street, with very reasonable rates.
From the Market Square departs the well-renowned Sky Road (follow the signs), which offers breathtaking views of the sea and the coast nearby. In the nearby surroundings, it's worth visiting the ruins of the D'Arcy Castle, which can be reached only on foot. Along the untarmacked road, you may happen to meet a very charming gentleman who, with exquisitely Irish humour, will tell you that the castle was of the D'Arcy family, but today it's ours ...!
Clifden celebrated the 200th anniversary of the foundation in 2012.
Conscious of its role as a focal point in Connemara, Clifden hosts many events during the year: the Arts Festival, the Pony Show and St. Patrick Parade attract and involve many visitors and locals.