Galway is the capital of the West of Ireland. The streets and buildings of this ancient town have many interesting features, and its position on the edge of the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area) makes it the gateway to magnificent areas such as Connemara, Corrib country, and the Aran Islands. The city itself is a continuing centre of growth with Galway University, Institute of Technology, Theatres, Cathedral, Castle, Galway Hotels, Docks, Industries as well as other interesting attractions in “The City of the Tribes” as Galway is know.
Recently, the city centre of Galway has been closed to traffic in order to allow for the enjoyment of the city’s narrow shopping streets. Parking in Galway is best done in the multi-storey car parks which are marked on this map. if you park on the street you will need parking discs which allow you park for a certain period of time. This time period is street specific and is posted at each street junction. Take in a walk on the renowned Salthill Promenade in Galway, enjoy a beach visit or sit and watch the views.
Situated on the west coast of Galway, about thirty miles out in the Atlantic Ocean are the Aran Islands, Inis Mór is the biggest of the three islands, covering approximately sixteen square miles The island offers a whole new meaning to the word ‘paradise’. Inis Mór Ferries departs from Ros a Mhíl (Rossaveal), a village 20 miles west of Galway City. The coast road allows for fabulous views of Co. Clare and the Burren across the bay and approaching views of the Aran Islands in the distance Experience walking in the wonderful Connemara region, stop and take in the beauty of Ireland’s only fjord, Killary Harbour, in the village of Leenane County Galway. The Twelve Bens mountain range in Connemara popular with hill walkers.
Areas to Visit in Galway
Salthill is situated 2 km West of Galway City. Accommodation is plentiful with Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts lined along the promenade The promenade is over 5 km long making it the longest promenade in Ireland and is very popular with walkers and cyclists.
Galway Atlantaquaria, the jewel in the crown of visitor attractions in the West of Ireland It presents a comprehensive view of the world of water and is home to 170 species of marine and freshwater life including Seahorses, Stingrays, and their gentle giant, the Angel Shark.
Salthill is an excellent location to watch the Sun Go Down on Galway Bay
Spiddal has many fine pubs where the best Irish traditional music can be enjoyed. Spiddal Craft Centre is where you can see crafts being made which gives a rare opportunity to buy unique handmade gifts directly from the skilled Artisans themselves. Consisting of a range of workshops, including candlemaking, leatherwork, pottery, screen-printing and siopa Gaeilge, weaving, celtic jewellery, bodhrán making, wood-turning and a Restaurant.
Gort, a market town in south County Galway which brings its name in Irish from ‘meadow’ or ‘field’ is just 35 minutes from Galway City Centre. In Irish chieftans times the area was a stronghold to the O’Shaughnessy Clan.
Galway an area well known for its castles, Gort also has quite a few, such as Ardamullwan Castle, tower house, built in the 16th century by the O’Shaughnessy Clan and the six storey Fiddaun Castle, a tower house built in the 16th century also owed by the O’Shaughnessy Clan, located 5 miles from Gort near the village of Tubber. Tyrone House in Kilcolgan County Galway, just a 17 minute drive from Gort, a ruin now, was built in the 1700’s and was one of the largest homes in the country at the time.
The 7th century monastic settlement of Kilmacduagh and the round tower lies 3kms from Gort, established by Saint Coleman Mac Duagh there are many carving to be seen inside the ruins of this settlement.
Visit Coole Park, just 3kms from Gort town, which in years past was home to dramatist, Lady Augusta Gregory and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre along with W.B. Yeats and Edward Martyn. Now Coole Park, Gardens and Visitor Centre are open to the public, and this 1000 acre Nature Reserve can be enjoyed for its nature trails and gardens. Coole Park is respected for its woodland, birds and wildlife and also its turlough or turlach system, a type of disappearing lake or seasonal lake, which are mostly found in limestone areas. Coole was often a refuge for many literary figures during Lady Augusta’s time, and many of these figures carved their initials on the ‘Autograph Beech Tree’ in the walled garden in Coole Park. and W.B. Yeats was one of the first to sign the tree. These literary figure sought refuge there in the calm of the forest trails and they drew inspiration from Coole.
While in Gort take a visit to the 16th century Norman Castle near Coole, the Summer home owned by W.B. Yeats in the 1900’s, known as Yeats Castle or Thoor Ballylee. It consists of four floors with the rooms over looking the River Coole. Yeats Tower or Thoor Ballylee is on the Galway-Ennis Road.
Spiddal is situated 13 km West of Galway City in South Connemara Beautifully located overlooking Galway Bay & The Aran Islands. Spiddal is in An an Irish speaking region of Ireland know as an Gaeltacht where students come to learn the Irish language, culture and traditions.
Galway has six Blue Flag Beaches Tra na mBan (An Spideal) , A rural beach which is easily accessible. Located close to Shannagarraun wood which is a Special Area of Conservation. The Oaks and Hazel and Holly and Birch have an under storey rich in ferns, mosses and lichens.
Clarinbridge is a little village situated 10 minutes from Galway City on the N18 the main GalwayLimerick roadThe name Clarinbridge derives from the bridge across the Clarin River seen above.
The internationally famous Galway Oyster Festival was founded here by the late Paddy Burke and the annual event takes place each September in the village
South of Galway City lies the Picturesque Seaside Village of Kinvara. Over Looking Galway Bay. Kinvara is on the coast en route to the Cliffs of Moher and near by attractions include Ailwee Caves, The Burren Display Centre. Dunguaire Castle is a small 17th century castle on a rocky promontory, situated just outside Kinvara. This castle was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan in a strategic position commanding the shores of the majestic Galway Bay. It is famed in song and story.
Leenane situated at the head of Killary harbour in the midst of Ireland’s only Fjord which separates the Counties of Galway and Mayo. With mountains rising steeply on either side provides Irelands beautiful scenery, of mountain and sea views.
In 1989 the film adaptation of John B. Keane’s play “The Field”, which was directed by Jim Sherdian and starred Richard Harris, John Hurt Tom Berenger and Breda Fricker.
Join the walking enthuasists which trek to Leenane in Galway to take part in the many different walks that this area has to offer.
Connemara National Park
Grace O MalleyInterpretative Centre
Leenane Cultural Centre
Oranmore is a great location for touring To the south you have County Clare the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, and to the North Connemara, Aran Islands and Galway City. Galway City is just 10 minutes from from Oranmore and 3 km from Galway Airport and only 1 hour from Knock and Shannon Airport.
As you enter Oranmore look out for the Mc Donaghs Thatched Pub a listed building
Amenities in Oranmore & Nearby
Coastal Walks along the shores of Galway Bay
Galway Races – 5kms from Oranmore
Morans Oyster Cottage Kilcolgan
Oyster Festival – takes place in September
Royal Tara China
Traditional Irish Gift & Craft Shops
Rinville Sailing Club Oranmore
Experience walking in the wonderful Connemara region, stop and take in the beauty of Ireland's only fjord, Killary Harbour, in the village of Leenane County Galway.