There are many varied day trips around Clare and South Galway which take in many of the attractions, breathtaking scenery, and country life in the West of Ireland.
One of Ireland’s premier tourism counties, Clare has an abundance of visual riches from the famous river Shannon and Lough Derg, which forms its eastern boundary, to its rugged Atlantic coastline with its towering cliffs and golden beaches in the west.
The unique diversity of the Burren’s flora has constantly attracted much attention and is at its best bout mid-May or a little later.
Its extraordinary rock formations, spreading over 500 sq km, have been refereed to by many observers including General Ludlow, who led Cromwellian forces to Limerick and Clare in 1651 as “a lunar landscape”. The Limestone pavements are a direct result of glaciation and erosion. The area is rich in megalithic tombs and ring forts steeped in antiquity
Experience the gentle Gulf Stream waters of Galway Bay and it’s safe and sandy beaches, villages of seafarers and of course, Traditional Irish music sessions.
Here the voices of the Celtic Revival echo through the woods at Coole, former home of Lady Gregory, (co-founder and director of the Abbey Theatre), from ‘Yeat’s Tower’, Thoor Ballylee and from the walls and windows of St. Brendans Cathedral.
Visit the magical Aran Islands to the west or the great fishing and cruising lakes to the east. The ruins of ancient castles and abbeys are there for the exploring and traditional medieval banquets are held at Dún Guaire Castle, Kinvara.
Beginning as a small fishing village centered around the estuary of Lough Corrib, Galway is now one of the fastest growing cities in Europe.
The Normans constructed protective walls around the thriving port and a harbour, wine being the main import. The fine buildings give testimony to the growing wealth of the town. Lynch’s Castle in Shop Street is a well-preserved example. There is a sighposted walking tour of ‘Old Galway’
Today, Galway is a vibrant city with colourful shop fronts, theatre, pubs filled with traditional music, clubs, a great selection of restaurants, universities and colleges and much, much more.
Galway is also known as the Town of Streams since seven waterways converge here. Salmons leaping upstream can be observed from salmon Weir Bridge and there is a leisure boating centre at Woodquay, once Galway’s inland harbour.
The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicolas, said to be the last great stone cathedral of Western Europe is a most impressive building.
The Eastern side of the city has many craft factories including The Royal Tara China factory and Galway Irish Crystal and Heritage Display Centre.
The renowned Galway Races at Ballybrit Racecourse see visitors from around the world every year.