The beautiful county of Galway was awarded European City of Culture in 2020. An escorted trip to Ireland must include Galway (or Gaillimh in Irish, named after a river meaning stony). It’s found in the West of Ireland and is part of the province Connacht in Ireland, the largest county in the province. Galway is known as Ireland’s Cultural Heart (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann) and is home to a vibrant, popular city and stunning surrounding beaches. A stop to this cultural county is a must on your tour of Ireland.
When travelling through Galway city with your personal Irish chauffeur the first thing you will notice is the busy Galway harbour or Galway docks established in the 10th Century. Many boats and ships of all sizes would come here to dock, as one of the fastest ways of travelling then would have been by sea. The harbour is now due to have a massive redevelopment and expansion over the coming years to cope with the busy porting in the harbour.
The Spanish Arch in the centre of the city is part of the Latin quarter and can be viewed as part of Galway’s Medieval City walks. The Arch was build in 1584 and was originally an extension of the city walls, in 1755 the arches were partially destroyed by a tsunami from Lisbon that hit the Irish coast. It was thought that the immigrants used to pass through the arches as they came off the ships in the docks.
One of the most popular seaside resorts in Ireland and just 3 km from Galway city is Salthill (Bóthar na Trá, in Irish, the road by the sea). It has a 2 km long promenade ‘ The prom’ , it’s tradition that when you’ve walked the length of the prom (with the sea on your left hand side) you kick the wall at the end of it for good luck. These fantastic little traditions in Galway make it a family vacation in Ireland that you will remember for years to come.
The Aran Islands are a group of three charismatic islands of the coast of Galway Bay, Inis Mór (the largest), Inis Meain and Inis Oírr. The natives of the Islands all speak Irish as their first language but most are also fluent in English. The islands can be accessed by ferry or by plane, your private Irish driver will escort you safely to either. The islands are also famous for the traditional Aran jumper (Geansaí Árann in Irish), it’s made from 100% sheep’s wool and is an off-white colour. A warm keepsake from your Irish vacation!
The Sky Road is in Clifden, Connemara’s biggest town, and gives panoramic views of Galway Bay and islands. Overlooking the Atlantic it stretches over 14 km of famous views and is known as Ireland’s greatest drives, taking this route in a luxury Irish vehicle is a must to really experience the best of Irish views.
Connemara is home to the well known Connemara National Park. Much of the park’s land belongs to the Kylemore Abbey estate and it covers just under 3,000 hectares of bogs, woodlands, heaths and of course the infamous 12 Ben (or pins) mountain range. The park was officially open to the public in 1980 and is an incredible place to hike or cycle. Don’t worry your private Irish driver will be on standby so you won’t get lost in the wilderness!
The alluring Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery and founded in 1920. It was originally a castle and the architecture is some what of a Gothic nature, it’s stands at the foot of the Barren mountain and is still a nun’s convent but open for tours. The Abbey also boasts impressive Victorian walled gardens on it’s land, here there are over 20 green houses, vineyards, orchards with 300,00 trees. There is also a craft shop and a cafe/restaurant on this splendid estate. Learn about the history and the Benedictine mission from this active convent. This tour of Ireland will certainly go down in history for you!
We can help you plan any part of your luxury vacation in Ireland and if you have any questions please do contact us and we’d be happy to help. If you are interested in an Irish Vacation Package and would like more information, please click on the Enquire button below. All the best, Mike Ryan.