- Big city reach with small town charm
With soaring coastlines and ancient landscapes throughout, the West of Ireland offers one of the most scenic areas in the country, spread over a relatively small area. Using Galway as your hub, explore out into the region and discover ancient ruins and deserted beaches, as well as restaurants to die for and pints that taste of more.
A capital of culture
One of Ireland’s most vibrant cities, Galway has everything a visitor could want. From a bustling shopping scene to a vibrant cultural quarter, as well as some of the best restaurants in the country, it has big city reach with small town charm.
Take some time to meander the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter, which rings out with the sounds of local buskers. Shopping magpies will love the range of diverse boutiques, which dot the streets, and cafes and restaurants offer welcome respite from busy street life. Stop for an afternoon pint in one of the many pubs and watch the world go buy from a window perch.
Take a walking tour of Medieval Galway City, and stroll down narrow winding lanes and ancient city streets, passing the old town wall and intact medieval houses, you’ll also discover how Galway became one of the most powerful city-states in medieval Europe.
Of course, no trip to Galway is complete without a visit to Connemara National Park. Covering 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands, the national park is a playground for the outdoors inclined.
There are a huge range of marked walks throughout the park, with views of the distant islands of Inishbofin, Inishturk and Inishshark and Kylemore Abbey. The park is also home to Connemara ponies, red deer and an enormous variety of birdlife, including skylarks, stonechats and peregrine falcons, and during the summer months, visitors can avail of free guided walks in order to spot them.
On the way back from Connemara take the Sky Road, a 12-kilometre loop from Kingston to Clifden, which takes in the epic coastline of this gorgeous county. It is an easy trail, so if you are feeling energetic, it’s an ideal spot to take a bike.
Claddagh, Co. Galway