Galway, a beautiful county divided by the expanse of Lough Corrib. To the south lies Galway city with its seaside suburb of Salthill, a bustling hub of activity and a gateway to the scenic areas of the county such as Connemara, a region of superb scenic grandeur, inspiration for many paintings and the famous Maam Cross, from this junction the roads lead to everywhere, head west for America!!
Though primarily known as the ‘city of the tribes’, Galway is renowned for its many festivals. Neatly tucked between the Galway Film Fleadh, an international film festival and the Galway Races Festival sits the Galway Arts Festival - one of the biggest events on the Irish arts calendar. Just when you think it’s all over, in September the Galway International Oyster Festival steps up with plenty of music, dancing, talks and exhibitions.
From Gaeltachts to Golfing, Shopping to Shark Fishing, Horse Fairs to Hill Walking, Galway city and county will delight you whatever you choose…
Places of Interest
Vibrant Galway City absolutely explodes with charisma. Inextricably linked with history, culture and particularly music, Galway has a beat uniquely its own!. As with any City visit, the best way to start has to be a bus tour, however the city is also easily explored on foot, As you stroll around lookout for attractions like Eyre Square, the Spanish Arch, the City Museum (next to Spanish Arch), the Nora Barnacle Museum, Lynch's Castle, the Salmon Weir Bridge and other notable buildings like the cathedral, the courthouse and town hall.
Another key attraction to add to your list is the Legend of the Claddagh visitor centre, where visitors can learn all about the traditional Claddagh Ring - which represents love, loyalty, and friendship, featuring two hands holding a heart that wears a crown. But be careful about how you wear it! The finger the ring is worn on and the direction the heart is facing indicates the wearer's relationship status.
For the visitor who likes the fine things in life a visit to the Galway Irish Crystal Heritage Centre is a must. Learn about Galway’s rich and vibrant culture before being introduced to the intricacies of the crystal making process and the influences that lead to these beautiful creations.
Children in the 2-10 bracket will love The Atlantaquaria. For a great day out visit Irelands National Aquarium on the seafront promenade of Salthill. From Conger Eels to Spider Crabs, see the huge range of marine life from the coastline of Ireland in really exciting and stimulating surroundings.
"Connemara is a savage beauty", Oscar Wilde
Connemara is a district in the west of Ireland comprising of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway or south west Connacht. It is a region of astounding natural beauty.
If you are looking for true inspiration then a visit to the home of the Irish Benedictine Nuns at Kylemore Abbey could be the answer. Set in the heart of the Connemara Mountains, stroll through the reception rooms, visit the Gothic Church or the six-acre walled Victorian garden. Prayer requests are welcomed during your visit.
Killary Fjord No visit to Connemara would be complete without a visit to Killary Fjord, which lies nestled between County Mayo to the north and County Galway to the south. Recognised as Ireland's only Fjord, this 14km (9 miles) long inlet boasts some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland; and, because of its sheltered nature, its waters are always calm.
Dan O’Hara’s Heritage & History centre
Take a step back in time when you visit Dan O’Hara’s Heritage & History centre. See how the celts use to live in a Crannóg, an Archaeological Site, and Ringfort. Available by request you can cut some turf or toss some sheaves, for those of you not feeling so energetic a guided tour in a carriage will take you to see a typical prefamine farmstead.
The Aran Islands, located in Galway Bay
Situated at the mouth of Galway Bay. Day trips available from Galway and Clare coasts. Organised tours are available on the Islands. Visit the cottage where J.M. Synge, the well-known Anglo-Irish author and playwright stayed and took the theme of The Playboy of the Western World.
Located in Kinvara, Dunguaire Castle was built by the O'Hynes in 1520. The clans association with the castle dates back as far as 662AD when their ancestor Guaire, King of Connacht, ruled his kingdom from an earthwork rath close to the present castle site. Richard Martyn, Mayor of Galway, acquired the castle in the seventeenth century and it was subsequently purchased by Oliver Saint John Gogarty. During his tenure, the castle was the venue for meetings of the literary revivalists, led by W.B Yeats. The bardic tradition which Yeats believed in, is reflected in the Medieval Banquet held every night.
Where to eat and stay
Cashel House Hotel
Standing at the head of CashelBay in a 40-acre estate of flowering shrubs and woodland walks and renowned for its good food and comfort in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. Good enough for General DeGaulle!
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This is a true romantic Country Manor. Neither luxurious nor pretentious, Currarevagh prides itself in being old fashioned in the best sense of the word and the Hodgson Family welcome you to their home rather than their hotel! Set in 150 acres of woodland on the shores of Lough Corrib, the afternoon tea is not one to be missed.
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Located just 1 mile from the Connemara National Park, Rosleague boasts woodland to the ocean's edge. This pretty pink Manor is beautifully complimented by gardens simply bursting with colourful hydrangeas. Enjoy the view from the Victorian style Conservatory.
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Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Glenlo Abbey is a luxurious 5 Star Hotel, located just minutes outside of Galway city. It is perfect for those looking for a bit of luxury, while still being close enough to the city centre to easily explore. Guests at Glenlo Abbey can enjoy a range of activities including falconry, fishing and facilities such as the in-house Movie Theatre and unique Pullman Restaurant.
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