Dublin, Belfast, Cork – typically the three most frequented cities in Ireland for holidaymakers. Their beauty and unique charm are without question and offer plenty of amenities and attractions to feast the senses. As the largest cities on the island of Ireland, this is to be expected and many guidebooks and tours compete to show the many sides and fabled history of each city.
However, dig a little deeper into the culture and custom and you’ll find many hidden jewels scattered around the country, not least in the west of Ireland.
The Wild Atlantic Way has exploded in popularity in recent years, in many cases, generating more attention than the aforementioned cities owing, in large part, to the magisterial beauty of the rugged coastline and natural landscape.
There has been significant investment in the last decade in creating and maintaining coastal routes and pathways that showcase the best the west has to offer. Galway, with a population of around 80,000, enjoys a reputation as being a small city. Big enough to have a range of excellent culinary, artistic and cultural landmarks for the masses. Small enough to ensure much can be covered in even the shortest of stays.
It doesn’t matter if a stay in Galway is at the start, middle or end of your holiday plans, the city is well-connected to many places of interest easily reachable by car or boat.
Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. The Cliffs are Ireland’s No.1 Tourist attraction on the West Coast, and coupled with the Burren, is recognised as a UNESCO Geopark.
Connemara, Cong and Kylemore Abbey. Idyllic setting with picturesque views, the heart of rural Ireland beats wild and free on the tourist trail that takes you off the beaten track.
Aran Islands. Glimpse traditional Irish life with authentic Irish cottages and enjoy the elements of island life by taking a break from the stresses and strains of modern living.
The seasons impact the visitor experience. Some trails are adapted to colder climates to ensure your ongoing health and safety. However, now is the perfect time to map out your itinerary for the year ahead and tick off the places you would like to visit most.
Colder climes draw residents and visitors inside. There is no shortage of pubs and clubs on the west coast – especially in Galway – to wet your whistle or whet your appetite for that matter.
The Spring and Summer months typically generate the most traffic when the tours of the west are highest in demand. The Galway Tour Company daily tours offer a fantastic opportunity to sightsee in comfort and receive insights from a knowledgeable guide about the local customs and traditions of the region.
The scenic route on the west coast makes for incredible views, less congestion than a major city excursion, and represents excellent value for money.
Given the relatively smaller size of the cities along the western edge of Ireland, the accessibility for buses and cars are excellent across the network of roads and trails.
The city and town close proximity mean that visitors can easily chart their course for the day and be all tucked up in their hotel bed by night having traversed the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way. The contrast is ideal and has a broad appeal – younger visitors can enjoy the lively and energetic nightlife in Galway; sightseers can experience the best views Ireland has to offer; adventurers can experience island life, cycling around the Aran Islands and chat with the locals.
To learn more about the tours on offer for the West of Ireland, check out our Day Tours page featuring the latest itinerary updates.