Start your day trips from Galway City provided by
1. Drive through Connemara
Spend the day on a scenic drive through the beautiful
Connemara, along Galway's section of the Wild Atlantic Way. End the day watching the sun set on Galway Bay, while enjoying some Connemara smoked salmon in O'Grady's on the Pier. 2. Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are truly breathtaking; on a clear day the UNESCO geopark overlooks the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and Loop Head, and even as far away as Kerry's Blasket Islands. Found at the cliffs' highest point, O'Brien's Tower is the perfect viewing point for visitors. 3. Cong
It was in Cong,
, that John Wayne fell for the beauty and charms of flame-haired Maureen O'Hara – on set. Walk through the tiny village and visit The Quiet Man cottage museum, a replica of the house where the movie was filmed. Outside the village is Ashford Castle, a spectacular lakeside castle and golf course surrounded by woodlands.
Inis Mór, Aran Islands
Pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick, County Mayo
Westport, County Mayo
The Quiet Man pub, Cong, County Mayo
4. Climb Croagh Patrick
Ireland's holiest mountain's religious significance dates back to even before Saint Patrick is believed to have fasted here for 40 days. Now, each year, thousands of pilgrims climb the 2,500ft mountain. If you're feeling brave, join dedicated pilgrims in climbing the peak bare foot, although even with shoes, climbing Croagh Patrick is no easy task. Magnificent views of Clew Bay from the top await those who reach the peak. 5. Explore The Burren
An ecological and geological wonder, it was here in
The Burren in County Clare that JRR Tolkien looked to for inspiration as he wrote one of the world's best fantasy novels, The Lord of the Rings. Take an eco-tour and learn about one of Europe's most organic landscapes. 6. Day in Westport
Here in one of Ireland's few planned towns,
Westport House and Gardens is one of the island’s most historic homes. Open to the public, it also has links to Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Connaught. Enjoy a pint in Matt Molloy's pub, which is owned by the famous Chieftain's flutist…a night of traditional music is almost guaranteed.
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7. Athenry Castle
Anyone who has watched the Republic of Ireland play a soccer match is familiar with the song that has become the fans’ own, but there is far more to Athenry than just its fields. The recently refurbished 13th Century
Athenry Castle is packed to the top of the Towers with fabled tales from its many occupants. 8. Visit the Aran Islands
Off the coast Galway Bay lies the
Aran Islands; Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. Spend the day island-hopping and following in the footsteps of many an Irish writer, poet and artist who found themselves enraptured by the islands awe-inspiring natural beauty. 9. Adare village and manor
Many of the world's celebrities who come to Ireland have found themselves in the picturesque village of Adare,
County Limerick. Make like a superstar and spend the night in the gorgeous Adare Manor, it’ll be worth it, we promise! 10. Museum of Country Life
The National Museum of Country Life mixes the old with the new on the grounds of Turlock Park House in County Mayo. In contemporary galleries, see how Irish people lived in the decades between the Great Famine and the 1950s.
Never mind falling in love with a Galway girl. Day tripping around the best Ireland's West has to offer will have you falling in love with this islands beauty, and who can blame you?
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