Geosite - The Rocks of Clifden Campsite

Posted on June 16, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The rocks along the coast near Clifden ecoBeach have been visited by generations of geologists because they provide an outstanding opportunity to see what happens deep inside the Earth’s crust when magma rises into it and volcanoes erupt at the surface.



The mountains of Connemara are mostly composed of old metamorphic rocks, including quartzite, schists and marble. These were originally deposited as sediments late in Precambrian time, before the first animals with shells evolved, and were sands, muds and limestones. Around 470 million years ago, during the Ordovician period, these rocks were caught up between two ancient crustal plates as they came together. They were buried under perhaps 15 kilometres of younger rocks, heated to temperatures of around 600 degrees Celsius and became deformed and folded as the plates moved together. The originally muddy rocks grew minerals such as micas and garnet and you can see spectacular examples of folds formed at this time in the rocks at the north end of the beach. At the end of this period of collision between plates, the deformation of the crust ended and the rocks were uplifted to form mountains which began to be eroded.


This final stage in the plate movements triggered renewed melting in the deep crust and around 400 million years ago, granite magmas rose up and were intruded into the metamorphic rocks of Connemara. Omey Island, just across the bay, is made of one such granite body, and the granite also extends onto the mainland at Claddaghduff. The contact between the massive pink granite and the flaggy grey metamorphic rocks lies about 400 metres north of Acton’s beach. 400 million years ago, the rocks of the beach would have been 10 kilometres below the surface and the granite of Omey Island would have been a hot molten magma, not solid rock.


Of course the older metamorphic rocks near the granite were heated up again by the magma, and new minerals grew in them as a result. All the way along the coast line from the Acton’s Beach to the granite contact it is possible to find evidence of this younger metamorphism, and the rocks form part of a metamorphic aureole around the granite. Some slabs of brown rock contain long, narrow crystals (up to a few centimetres in length) of a hard, dark mineral that weathers up from the surrounding rock. This is a mineral called andalusite; it clearly formed long after the folds because the crystals are randomly oriented in the rock. At both ends of the beach, as well as nearer the granite contact to the north, marble layers in the schist have reacted with hot, acid water coming off the granite magma as it solidified. The result is layers of coarse-grained rocks, known as skarn. Most commonly, the skarn layers are pink, formed of garnet, but other minerals can be present including white, fibrous wollastonite, green diopside and dark brown idocrase.


These outcrops are some of the best examples seen anywhere in Europe and are a listed site. They are only preserved for you to see because for the past 50 years visiting geologists have agreed to leave them untouched. If you want to collect specimens for souvenirs, pick up loose blocks from the beach; please never take a hammer to any of the outcrops.


Professor Bruce Yardley

School of Earth and Environment

University of Leeds, UK

Climate Neutral Campsite Connemara

Posted on December 20, 2015 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Through its Climate Neutral carbon offsetting program, Clifden ecoBeach Campsite supports an 'award winning project' in Uganda.

Flanders Holiday on the Wild Atlantic Way Clifden Connemara

Posted on October 5, 2014 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

'Home' actors Tina Maerevoet and Bill Barberis caravan along Ireland's west coast visiting Clifden ecoBeach Camping Clifden.

Friday, September 19, 2014


Photo: One - © 2014 VRT

The longest coastal route in the world, wild, primeval, magical, breathtaking. The Wild Atlantic Way is 2500 km long and is full of adventure, culture, nature and history. Three weeks camped 'Home' actors Tina Maerevoet and Bill Barberis along the rugged west coast of Ireland.


The caravan left them to Croagh Patrick, Ireland's holy mountain, to their final destination, to arrive. 1200km later in the south in Kinsale, to "Lovely to immerse ourselves! Under the catchy Irish culture and nature," says Tina and Bill. The viewer is enjoying with their penalty camping trip, from Saturday, September 20th for four weeks in 'Flanders Holiday' on One.


Saturday, September 20

Tina and Bill immediately start strong: with the ascent of Croagh Patrick, a 764 meter high pilgrimage that is visited by one million people. Reaching the top represents the Irish equivalent to getting rid of their sins and brings them very close to Saint Patrick. Sin Pretty Tina and Bill put the first kilometers with the caravan to the south where they find that the rugged coastline is the ideal place to do about it. Coasteering This adventure sport is a mix of swimming, climbing, scrambling and cliffdiven and pushes immediately especially Tina its borders. The caravan is installed on an eco-camping in Clifden with stunning views of the coast and a private beach. The perfect setting to toast to a successful start of their adventure.


The next day the horse to Omey Island where there is a lot of history to get. Chip and Popeye prove the perfect companions to take to the island that is only accessible at low tide with. More history to find Tina and Bill in Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful place to hold during the road trip. Equally halt


Further on the Wild Atlantic Way is Roundstone, a village with a picturesque harbor from which John, fisherman at heart, the duo takes to fish and catch lobster. A delicious booty that is tasted and approved immediately on the site.


'Flanders Holiday, "Saturday, September 20th at 18.10 and Sunday, September 21 at 17.10" target="_blank">http://" target="_blank">http://

Connemara Blueway Discovery Clifden on the Wild Atlantic Way

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Discover your complete Connemara Blueway Discovery on the Wild Atlantic Way. The water trails adjacent Clifden ecoCampsite not only provides suitable access points and take-outs for exit but also provide places ashore to camp and picnic and other facilities for boaters. Engerize yourself with drift snorkling, scuba diving, kayaking, boating, kitesurfing, fishing or just some relaxing swimming along the turquoise water sandy beach. Here you can also experience ecological & geological listed sites.

'Blue meets Green'

Camping in Clifden Campsite Clifden Connemara Galway

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Tour de Conamara - Cycling Event in Connemara Ireland

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 4:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Tour de Conamara — Cycling Event in Connemara Ireland

25% discount to all participants of the Tour de Conamara & 10% to supporters. Advance booking required.

Terms & conditions apply & may be subject to change.

Clifden ecoCampsite Awarded Gold Standard in Ecotourism

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Clifden ecoCampsite are delighted to have achieved a Gold Standard Award by EcoTourism Ireland. EcoTourism Ireland is one of the first eco labels in Europe to be recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Clifden ecoCampsite Eliminates Single Use Bottled Water

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Recognizing the negative environmental & socal impacts of bottled water, Clifden ecoCampsite has undertaken several efforts to reduce consumption of single use bottled water on our park. Prior to arrival visitors are encouraged not to import water to the park as there is an excellent quality supply available onsite as well as sustainable discounted water bottles for purchase. Clifden ecoCampsite has banned single use bottled water containers. The change was inspired by the necessary beach clean ups required every other day, the efforts involved in recycling the plastic on site & the health implications of drinking water from plastic bottles. There are numerous environmental concerns with bottled water the production and consumption of bottled water consumes energy, pollutes the environment, and contributes to global warming. Producing the plastic bottles uses energy and emits toxic chemicals. Transporting the bottled water across hundreds or thousands of miles spews carbon dioxide into the air, complicating our efforts to combat global climate change. And in the end, empty bottles are piling up in landfills. Bottled water also has significant social implications for communities. Not only does bottled water contribute to a global lack of drinking water, it also causes local inaccessibility to water. In privatizing water, bottling corporations limit access to an essential resource that many believe should always be public..

Connemara Wild Atlantic Way

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Clifden eco Beach Camping & Caravanning Park is situated on the shores of the beautiful scenic 'Wild Atlantic Way' at the estuary of Streamstown Bay. Unique to the park is an ecosystem called 'Machair', listed as a priority habitat in Ireland under the EU Habitats Directive. This is a highly specialized & complex sand dune habitat system that is confined globally to the north West Coast of Ireland & Scotland. It comprises a flat or gently undulating sandy plain that develops in an oceanic location with a cool, moist climate resulting in rich bio-diversity.

To date eight species of bumblebee occupy this Machair habitat, additionally the ecosystem borders the West Connacht SAC. These are marine habitats which are important for Bottlenose Dolphins that frequent these shores. Seven Natura sites are within a 5 km radius of our campsite with Natura 2000 being a European network of important ecological sites.

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