Nature at it's purest: A special area of conservation

waterfall lost valley

The natural heritage of the lost Valley is unsurpassed and as a consequence it has been designated as a 'Natural Heritage Area' and more recently a 'Special Area of Conservation' Under the European Habitats Directive.


On the northern boarder of the lost valley farm is the impressive Silver Strand beach which in the past has been classified as the third finest beach in Europe.  In fact like the lost valley itself the beach has previously been used as a location for both films and advertisements.


To the east towering overhead is Mweelrea mountain (from the Gaelic Maol Ri, meaning "The bald king") the highest mountain in the west of Ireland. Home to the famed Doulough famine pass. 


On the southern boarder of the lost Valley lies Irelands only fjord Killary harbour (An Caoláire Rua in Gaelic) . This fjord which runs inland for 16km (10miles) has previously been classed as one of the top ten most spectacular fjords in Europe. To the west is the Wild Atlantic.

Rich Flora: Along the walk there is a lot to discover

uggool sands lost valley view

Surviving near the ruined houses in the Valley are a number of old apple trees. Nature has reclaimed its own however and nowadays semi-native woodlands of ash, oak, hazel and rowan trees surround the houses. During the summer season the ruins are engulfed by a perfusion of braken and wild flowers.


Naturally occurring flora found in the Valley includes, Holly, Whitethorn, Haw, Silver Birch, Myrtle, Aspen, Furze, Juniper,`Willow, Bell Heather, Ivy, Marsh marigolds, Juncus sp., Wild thyme, Dandelion, Flag iris, Wood sorrel, moss, Wild mint, Grey lichen, Red lichen, Oxalis, Bugle, Mountain thyme, Celandine,fuschia, montbretia, Bog myrtle, Salix sp., Insect eating butterwort, Ferns, Bracken, Pondweed, marram and sea lyme grass, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

Don’t miss it! Tripadvisor Review


Away beyond my expectations. The location and scenery is breath taking and especially when you reach Killary fjord. The tour is a beautiful walk back in history in every way. The view changes all the time. The tour is guided and tells a story of centuries of Irish history in such an engaging and real life way. Don't hesitate to visit. It's fantastic. We had two teenagers who enjoyed and especially the sheepdogs who rounded up the sheep in a great demo.


Date of experience: August 2018