The Sky Road in Clifden can be a wee bit unnerving when you’re not expecting it. The narrow road twists and winds its way up the cliffs along the Atlantic Ocean. At a few points my knuckles may have been white as I clutched the wheel of the rental car, murmuring a prayer as we nestled up against the very edge of the road, making room for a car going the opposite direction.
Finding Ocean Villa B&B
Maybe we would have ventured out the Sky Road during our stay in Clifden- the views are breathtaking…
But then we would have been prepared. As it was, we were just following the signs to Ocean Villa Bed & Breakfast. At each outcropping of B&B signs- there are many along this scenic view- we would slowly drive past and head, ever upwards, alternating between exhilaration and the fear that we had missed a sign and would have to turn around- somehow- on the narrow road.
Ocean Villa B&B lies nearly half way along the Sky Road, about 6km from Clifden, along an inlet of the Atlantic. The first thing you notice is the glass sitting room, looking out toward the ocean. We spent our first evening in Clifden in this room, enjoying our dinner from the local Safeway, watching the rain fall (and very glad we were out of it).
Staying at Ocean Villa B&B
Upon arriving we were met at the door by Martin and shown to two, very spacious, upstairs rooms, directly across the hall from each other. My room had a double bed, which I shared with my youngest, while the second room had a double and a twin. Each room had a nicely sized ensuite bathroom with a shower. Carmel gave us a quick tour of the house – the breakfast room, sitting room with television and the glass sitting room – before arranging our breakfast time the next morning.
Carmel serves a lovely Irish breakfast- or just a portion of it for smaller appetites. On the sideboard fruit, cereal, yogurt and cheeses are available. But the real treat is chatting with Carmel. She knows the area well, having been a tourism marketing specialist for the Connemara region. She gave us tips on which beach to visit for shells and glass, where to find a local laundrette and what was going on during the weekend in Clifden. Even more interesting- to me, at least- were her stories of raising children in Ireland. One of her daughters attended Kylemore Abbey when it was a school, which was just fascinating to me! If we hadn’t had places to go – and Carmel hadn’t other things to attend to- I could have chatted with her all morning!
While Ocean Villa is not a sparkling new B&B, it is clean and comfortable with plenty of room for families. The dogs are friendly and love to romp in the yard with the kids while mom & dad enjoy the view (and maybe even the wifi) from the sitting room.
And the Sky Road? It becomes more beautiful each time you drive it.
Note: Ocean Villa does not accept credit cards, so be sure to bring cash.
Disclosure: We stayed two nights at Ocean Villa. Our first night was complimentary. Ireland with Kids thanks Carmel and Martin for their generosity and local knowledge; we loved staying with them and hope to again!
© 2012, Jody Halsted. All rights reserved.