Activities & Attractions
Arty, bohemian Galway (Gaillimh) is renowned for its pleasures. Brightly painted pubs heave with live music, while cafes offer front-row seats for observing street performers, weekend parties run amuck, lovers entwined and more.
Steeped in history, the city nonetheless has a contemporary vibe. Students make up a quarter of its population, and remnants of the medieval town walls lie between shops selling Aran sweaters, handcrafted Claddagh rings and stacks of second-hand and new books. Bridges arch over the salmon-filled River Corrib, and a long promenade leads to the seaside suburb of Salthill, on Galway Bay, the source of the area’s famous oysters.
Galway is often referred to as the ‘most Irish’ of Ireland’s cities, it’s the only one where you’re likely to hear Irish spoken in the streets, shops and pubs. Even as it careens into the modern age, it still respects the fabric of its past. – Lonely Planet.
The Spanish Arch
The Spanish Arch is thought to be an extension of Galway’s medieval city walls, designed to protect ships moored at the nearby quay while they unloaded goods such as wine and brandy from Spain. Today it reverberates to the beat of bongo drums, and the lawns and riverside form a gathering place for locals and visitors on a sunny day. Many watch kayakers manoeuvre over the tidal rapids of the River Corrib.
Although a 1651 drawing of Galway clearly shows its extensive fortifications, depredation by Cromwell and William of Orange and subsequent centuries of neglect saw the walls almost completely disappear. Another surviving portion has been cleverly incorporated into the modern shopping mall, Eyre Square Centre.
This modern museum has exhibits on the city’s history from 1800 to 1950, including an iconic Galway Hooker fishing boat, a collection of currachs (boats made from animal hides) and a controversial statue of Galway-born writer and hell raiser Pádraic Ó Conaire (1883–1928), which was previously in Eyre Sq.
Galway’s central public square is busy in all but the harshest weather. It’s a welcome open green space with sculptures and pathways. Its lawns are formally named Kennedy Park in commemoration of JFK’s visit to Galway, though you’ll never hear locals refer to it as anything but Eyre Square.
The Aran Islands – Galway – Wild Atlantic Way Ireland
Highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way with its Cliffs and spectacular coastal views, The Aran Islands is located just off Galway in the Atlantic. A true Irish experience where locals speak Irish as well as English.
Scattered with Celtic churches of historical importance , The spectacular Dun Aonghasa and Cliffs of Aran, A venue for the Redbull Cliff Diving, Setting of the film ‘Man of Aran’ , Home of the Aran Sweater, and total release from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
The Aran Islands are best explored by renting a bike particularly on Inis Mór Island.
Nestling just off Galway Bay, on the western Atlantic coast of Ireland, are over 259 square kilometres of dramatic limestone karst landscape we know today as the Burren. The splendid, distinctive limestone terraces and pavements of this region formed over the millennia like steps of stairs as glacial action plucked layers of stone from the hillsides.
These terraces are made up of thick horizontal limestone layers or beds which were first laid down in a tropical sea floor about 335 million years ago, during a geological time period called the Carboniferous.
The trademark shattered and smooth pavements of the Burren are seedbed habitats for the amazingly diverse array of plants and wildflowers. Here alpine and arctic plants grow side by side with Mediterranean species. Over 70% of Ireland’s 900 native plant species are found here.
The Connemara area offers several locations for the hill walking enthusiast to explore the countryside. There are also a number of organised walks operated and run by professional tour guides. They range from short easy climbs to the longer walk for the keen hill walker. Organised walking tours are also available to the Burren area of County Clare.
The Galway sailing club is located in Oranmore, just a 10 minutes drive away, on the shores of Galway Bay. The club also runs an introduction to sailing course for prospective members who would like to find out more about the club and sailing in general.