Family Trips Ireland | Take a Tour of Galway 2017
Galway docks|Deluxe Chauffeur Drive Ireland
When travelling through Galway city 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.
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.
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. 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 the islands!
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 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.
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.
Connemara, the place Oscar Wilde called a ‘savage beauty’ , it’s known for the mountainous wild rugged surroundings and quiet, serene beaches. There is history and heritage in every corner of Connemara and something completely bewitching about this unique part of Galway. It is also home of the magnificent Connemara pony, the pony is strong and rugged and able to endure the sometimes harsh weather conditions of Connemara. The pony’s charm represents the beauty of the land. Connemara has also become a backdrop to many famous movies, the renouned Quiet man bridge is featured in the movie of the same name ‘The Quiet Man’ starring John Wayne, all set in Connemara. Also Marley and Me (Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson), Tristan and Isolde (James Franco) and Into the West (Gabriel Byrne) are just a few of the movies that have attracted film crews worldwide.
The famous Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) comes from co. Galway and the design is thought to have been created by one of the tribes of Galway. It is a traditional and popular Irish ring with two hands holding a heart with a crown. The two hands represent friendship, the heart represents love and the crown represents loyalty. It is an endearing gift to give a loved one.
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