Salthill’s main attraction every year has been its promenade and numerous sandy beaches. The promenade covers approximately 3km of coastline, overlooking Galway Bay. This is an ideal area for jogging, rollerblading or just out for a relaxing stroll. The hills of County Clare are visible across the Bay on a clear day and benches are provided along the seafront. Blackrock diving tower is one of Galway’s most iconic locations, always a popular location during the Galway summer. Salthill has many great bars and restaurants as well as several tourist attractions like Micil Distillary which is definitely worth a visit, the Galway Atlantaquaria and the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden.
Barna Woods / Merlin Woods
There’s no doubt that going for a walk has countless benefits and Galway is absolutely blessed with countless fabulous walking routes. Getting back to nature has health and wellbeing benefits which is fantastic that you can do this in beautiful surroundings. Barna Woods is very close to Galway City on the Barna Road and is popular with tourists and locals alike for walks all year round, whether its during the summer and the sunlight fliters through the leaves of the majestic trees or the autumnal vibes with a cocaphony of colour as the leaves carpet the ground. Merlin Woods are on the east side of the city and are home to Marlin Castle, a community garden and a myriad of trails which are the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
A daytrip to the Aran Islands is a must during a stay in Galway. The Aran Islands offer visitors a glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of the world. Filled with traditional Irish culture, the islands offer breath-taking scenery, ecclesiastical ruins and world-renowned stone forts.
These three rocky limestone outcrops are a bastion of traditional language, culture, music and history on the edge of Europe. Regular music sessions, lively dances, traditional crafts, sea-going currachs and the wonderfully warm and welcoming Atlantic spirit, are inimitable parts of Aran. Aran Island Ferries provide top class and regular trips to the Islands so check out their timetable to find the sailing that suits you.
Connemara is Irish landscape at its most dramatic. With soaring mountains, scattered loughs and an intricate coastline, this remote part of Galway is a world away from the trappings of urban life. Two mountain ranges dominate the area – the rugged Maumturks and the cluster of quartzite peaks known as the Twelve Bens. Between them, they offer up some of the most challenging and exciting hill walking in the country. Connemara National Park, near Letterfrack, is the perfect place to start exploring.
Encompassing almost 3,000 hectares of mountain, bog and woodland, the Park’s visitor centre is the ideal spot to start your 7km walk up the 400m high Diamond Hill – the undisputed highlight of the Park. Gravel footpaths and wooden boardwalks ease your passage over the bog as you approach the mountains. The ridge is a narrow fin of quartzite roughly half a kilometre long, which culminates in a cairn that marks the 445m-high summit. From here, look to the sea to Inishturk, Inishbofin and Inishshark; to Tully Mountain rising over Ballynakill Harbour and along the intricate Connemara coastline.
Galway City Centre
Galway is rightly famed for its, wonderful pubs, restaurants, shops and festivals but it’s the city itself which has a unique atmosphere that blends together all the best elements of its people. It’s impossible to walk through the streets without sensing it. Both an outpost facing west towards the Americas and a gateway to Europe, Galway stands at a pivotal vantage point on the West Coast of Ireland. Galway’s historic Spanish Arch, the remainder of a centuries-old bastion, is a reminder of the city’s multi-cultural, multi-lingual history and present-day character where imagination, commerce and the arts flourish.
The surrounding landscape, culture and language have attracted artists, musicians and writers for generations. In recent decades Galway has seen the rise of a burgeoning film, television and animation sector, bringing significant economic activity to the area. Galway is expanding its film audiences by building Galway’s first Art House Cinema and by supporting the development of the city’s film festivals and increasing the opportunities for film exhibitions in the region.Galway’s overall vision is to showcase the rich heritage, tradition and legacy of film in the area, to broaden ongoing film activities and to enrich the social, economic and cultural contributions across the region and this is why it is designated as one of the UNSECO Creative Cities.
Another beautiful and historic part of the city is the Claddagh. One of the oldest fishing towns in Ireland, nothing now remains of the old thatched cottages that graced Claddagh until the 1930s, when they were replaced by council houses, and yet the memory of the small Irish-speaking town's traditions and customs still lives on. Despite its close proximity to Galway City, Claddagh remained a completely separate entity for centuries because of the wall surrounding Galway that kept a very definite divide between this village and the Anglo-Norman city across the river.
With their special "Hooker" boats, the fishermen were led by an elected King who was chosen from their midst annually in a huge celebration for St. John's Day on June 23. The Spanish Arch and the Long Walk are amongst the most photographed areas of the city, also featuring in the Ed Sheeran song Galway Girl which has over 480million views on Youtube alone. The Claddagh is also the home of the legendary Claddagh Ring which represents love, loyalty and friendship.
Visit the abbey with its beautifully restored period rooms and fascinating visitor experience and learn about its history of tragedy, romance, education and spirituality. Explore the 6 acre Victorian Walled Garden with its delightfully restored garden buildings, formal flower, vegetable and her gardens. Discover woodland and lakeshore walks that will take you on a beautiful journey through our 1,000 acre estate. The beautifull neo-Gothic church is just a short walk from the Abbey.
Doolin to Aran Ferries
Explore the Wild Atlantic Way from the sea! Admire the scale and majestic beauty of the Cliffs of Moher on a voyage of discovery. Or, better still, try both an island trip and a Cliffs of Moher cruise all in one day! Book Online.