My family and I visited county Galway from Dublin, in February 2019.
This was a part of the 5-day road trip from Dublin covering mainly Mayo, Galway and Clare counties.
Road map- Day 2:
Places covered on Day 2 (In County Galway)
1) Connemara National Park:
The park covers nearly 3000 hectares of land and includes mountains, bog, heath and woodland. Entrance to the park is free. Dogs allowed.
There are four trails in the park. The Woodland Trail, Scruffaunboy Walk, Lower Diamond Hill Walk and Upper Diamond Hill Walk, however the real reason for coming here is to do one thing only, and that is to climb Diamond Hill, the 445m mountain that stands majestically in the centre of the landscape. The full hill walk is combination of 3 of the walks, 7.5km and takes 2-3 hours. You will find the visitor centre in the entrance of the trail.
We did not proceed for the Trails, as we were running short of time.
Note: Connemara is also known for Connemara Pony Breed.
2) Kylemore Abbey:
This is one of the Most visited tourist attractions in this part of the Galway County. Seems like this Abbey was a former castle.
You can visit some rooms in the abbey, many of them were redesigned with the original furniture and provide a lot of information about the history of Kylemore Abbey.
There is a entry fee into the Abbey
Another attraction that we skipped in this region was ‘LetterFrack Village’. The village is made up of some traditional music bars, restaurants and so on.
3) Aasleagh Falls:
Aasleagh Falls, sometimes spelled Ashleigh Falls, is a small but picturesque waterfall on the River Erriff near Killary Harbour. There is a parking area, a short walk from the falls. Salmon fishing is popular in this region.
We also saw the Killary Fjord Boat tours office on the way. The service was not operational because of Winter.
You can find more details in the below link:
There is a nice parking space here. There are seats wooden seats arranged in this place. You can park your vehicle and relax for some time.
We had gone upto Clifden that day but it was already late evening and we had to leave back to county Mayo where we had booked for that night stay.
Clifden is around 15 minutes from Letterfrack and is one of the largest towns in this region.
The main attractions in Clifden are:
1) Sky road: The Sky Road drive in Clifden is a popular route in the Connemara region and has been described as the most impressive coastal drive in the country.
2) Clifden castle / Dunguaire Castle
Road Map – Day 3
Places that we covered/planned to cover on Day 3 (In County Galway)
Rossaveal Ferry (To Aran Islands)) (we did not go for boating here)
Claddagh (Corrib Princess Boat) (we did not visit here)
Spanish Arch (we did not visit here)
Kinvarra Fishing Port (we did not visit here)
1) Glengowla Mines
We really wanted to go inside this mines but at the entrance gate, we realised that it is normally closed to Visitors during winter.
It’s an old lead mine that was only in operation for fifteen years or so in the 1800’s(1851-1865) but now it’s open for tours down into the mine. So interesting to learn about the miners work and about Irish history. Mainly Silver and lead was mined from here.
Am little confused if we should call it as a Historic place or a Tourist attraction.
Please note that the mine is open for the season from March 18th and close by the end of October. They are open from 10 AM till 6PM, with the last guided tour at 5 PM.
They have various options like Guided Tours, Sheep herding, Farm walks, Museums, gift shops and so on.
Adult : 11 Euros
Children : 4.5 Euros
Students : 10.5 Euros
Family : 27 Euros
2) Rossaveal Ferry ( To Aran Islands):
Ferry services are available to Aran islands from Rossaveal.
This ferry port is around one hour drive from the Galway city centre.
They also suggest booking the tickets well in advance, to avoid any disappointments at the last moment.
You have to park your vehicles (Parking charges apply) in the designated parking space.
They also arrange a shuttle bus which leaves Galway city on time to get you to the ferry.
They allow pets inside the ferry.
Bicycles are allowed (but with some restrictions on the total numbers)
Travel times to the Aran Islands from Rossaveal.
Rossaveal to Inis Mór (Inishmore): 40 Minutes.
Rossaveal to Inis Meáin(Inishmaan): 50 Minutes.
Rossaveal to Inis Oírr(Inisheer): 55 Minutes.
3) Salthill Promenade:
The Irish for Salthill is ‘Bóthar na Trá’, which literally means ‘the road by the sea’.
Salthill’s main attraction every year has been its promenade and numerous sandy beaches. The promenade covers approximately 3kms of coastline, overlooking Galway Bay.
This is an ideal area for jogging, rollerblading or strolling.
There are lots of bars, restaurants, and hotels. There are many designated parking space aswell.
4) National Aquarium:
You can see a wide and diverse collection of Ireland’s native marine and freshwater animals here.
Galway Aquarium is designed over two floors, where visitors follow a vivid interpretation of the Irish aquatic landscape, from the glacial mountain streams of Connemara, down through the famous River Corrib and out into Galway Bay.
Galway Atlantaquaria typically opens for every holiday and Bank holiday weekend (St Patrick’s Day, Good Friday etc).
Open Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm
Open Saturday, Sunday 10am – 6pm
Last admission 45 mins before closing time every day.
The admission fee includes entry for the day, so visitors are allowed to come and go any time but need to hold the receipt for re-Admission
Children ages 2 and under are free.
2 Adults and 1 Child € 31.00
2 Adults and 2 Children € 35.00
1 Adult and 2 Children € 24.00
Each Additional child € 4.50
Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times!
There is also a fish feeding demonstration happening at different timings like 3Pm for big fish feeding.
As Ireland’s largest aquarium they strive to ensure that a visit to the Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland is original and full of wonder for visitors of all ages.
5) Claddagh and the Corrib Princess Boat:
Claddagh (Irish: an Cladach, meaning “the shore”) is an area close to the centre of Galway city, where the River Corrib meets Galway Bay. It was formerly a fishing village, just outside the old city walls. It is just across the river from the Spanish Arch, which was the location of regular fish markets where the locals supplied the city with seafood as recently as the end of the 19th century.
The boat was not operational in winter and hence had to skip this in our tour.
They do some sailings in April and in the month of October.(Private group hire of 20+ passengers)
Public daily sailing happens between May and September.
Corrib Princess Boat is a luxury 157 seat passenger boat. They sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, the Republic of Ireland’s largest lake, providing visitors with unsurpassed views and natural amenities that make this the most spectacular waterway in Ireland.
The sailing duration is around 90 Min.
6) Spanish Arch:
The Spanish Arch built in 1584, stands on the left bank of the River Corrib, where Galway’s river meets the sea.
7) Galway Bay:
Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway and the Burren in County Clare.
Galway Bay is famous for its unique traditional sailing craft, the Galway Hooker.
You can get in touch with Galway Bay sailing club for sailing related details.
8) Kinvarra fishing port/ Kinvara Harbour
Due to the limited time, we did not visit the Fishing port.
Kinvara is a picturesque fishing village, located on the South Shores of the famous “Galway Bay”.
By late evening, we managed to reach the Home stay which we had booked through Airbnb. We had stayed in Pake’s Cottage (Near Cliffs of Moher, County Clare).
In this entire 5 days road trip, Grandma’s Products helped us to have some homely Dinner.