Mary is a fountain of knowledge on where to go and what to see and do in the local area. Here's the list of her famous 'Top Ten' attractions!
Mary's Top Ten
1. Explore Galway – The City of the Tribes
There is no better way to spend a day than by exploring our vibrant city, which is famous for its rich heritage and its variety of activities and festivals. Why not combine a visit to one of our many ancient buildings and monuments with a little shopping in the cosmopolitan heart of the city. Take a stroll down the medieval cobble stoned streets with innumerable boutiques, music shops, book shops, art galleries. Stop and listen to the street buskers and musicians.
2. Drive the Connemara Route of the Wild Atlantic Way
Drive the breathtaking Wild Atlantic Way route from Galway to Connemara. This is one of the most scenic regions in Ireland, with its many bogs, rugged mountains, blue lakes and rivers running down to many beach lined shores. Drive along the coast road with the Atlantic ocean on your left. Visit many little towns along the way. Not to be missed is the Sky road north of Clifden, Kylemore Abbey, the National Park. Here the pace of life is relaxed. Return by the lakes via Oughterard, where fishing is abundant. Artists from all over the world have come to paint this region with its ever changing light.
3. Go Back in Time with a Trip to The Aran Islands
If you fancy a day free of driving, then a day trip to the Aran Islands is a must. Situated on the edge of the Atlantic, are the three world famous Aran Islands – Inishmore, Inismaan and Inisheer, – a maze of stone walls and tiny fields, high cliffs and incredible rugged landscapes. Gaelic is still the spoken language on all three Islands. They are renowned for their unique way of life, where age-old traditions co-exist with modern living. The islands are rich in history, with ancient monuments, from both pre-historic and Christian times. The Dun Aengus fort on Innishmore, the largest of the islands, is the main attraction.
4. Be at One with Nature on a Visit of the Burren National Park and the Cliffs of Moher
Take a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren National Park. On the way visit the pretty fishing village of Kinvara, Dunguaire Castle and the Ailwee Caves. Next on to the Burren. This is a unique bare limestone area with its combination of many unusual factors, its geology, its flora and fauna, caves and archaeology. Going south are the majestic Cliffs of Moher, dropping 700 feet to the heavy swelling Atlantic Ocean on the west coast to Clare. At the foot of Abbey Hill is the ruin of the12th century Cistercian Abbey. Return by the coast road towards Blackhead lighthouse with breathtaking views of Fanore beach, the blue Atlantic and the Connemara coast with the Aran Islands in the distance.
5. Take in that Fresh, Salt Air on a Stroll on the Promenade
We are situated just steps from the Salthill promenade and Galway Bay, which is one of Ireland’s most popular destinations. Enjoy our seaside walks and sandy beaches or just sit on the promenade and enjoy the salty air and marvellous sea views. In the evening take a stroll along the prom and ‘watch the sun go down on Galway Bay‘.
6. Learn about our Medieval City on a Walking Tour of Historic Galway
Galway city has many relics of its medieval past, and is well worth taking time to explore. Galway is best known as the ‘City of the Tribes’ and dates back to the 13th century, when 14 wealthy merchant families lived within its medieval walls, and controlled the commercial, political and social development of the town. Ramble through the many narrow medieval pedestrianised streets and lanes with cafes, restaurants and art houses. Visit the impressive Lynch’s Castle on Shop Street with its gargoyles still intact. Close by is St. Nicholas Collegiate church, dating back to the 13th century. Further down the street you will find the Spanish Arch. The impressive modern Cathedral is built on the grounds of the old Galway gaol is well worth a visit. For more detailed information visit our Historical & Cultural page. If you’re after an entertaining and engaging way to experience the history, folklore and culture of our beautiful city, we highly recommend Brian’s Walking Tours of Galway, which starts at O’Connell’s Bar on Eyre Square daily at 10:30am and noon. Brian is both knowledgeable and entertaining while giving you an insight into life in Galway over the past thousand years.
7. Splash out with some Retail Therapy
On a visit to Galway, take some time out to shop. Galway city offers the best in local and souvenir shopping. There are several department stores in the heart of the city, as well as Craft shops in the narrow medieval streets, all within easy walking distance. Best buys are Claddagh jewellery, knitwear, Irish linens, Galway Irish crystal, Royal Tara China, Judy Green pottery, to name but a few.
8. Sit back and enjoy some Traditional Irish Music and Dance
Galway city is one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities in the country. Both the city itself and Salthill have many pubs providing a wide range of Musical entertainment. Some specialise in Traditional Irish Music, while others feature Jazz and Modern Music. By far the most spectacular show is ‘Trad on the Prom’ (May to September) which takes place in the Salthill Hotel, just a few minutes walk from our house. This show is a fantastic mix of Irish music song and dance, featuring world famous musicians and Irish dancers of Riverdance fame.
9. Relax on a River Corrib Cruise
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising on the river Corrib on the Corrib Princess departing from Woodquay . This 90 minute cruise takes you past the Salmon Weir bridge, under the shadow of the Galway Cathedral along the old Clifden railway line on to the scenic and tranquil setting of Lough Corrib. Passengers are treated to a commentary which covers all major points of interest, and includes many historical and interesting anecdote associated with the river and the lake. There is a full bar on board in addition to tea and coffee service.
10. See Galway in Style on an Open-topped Bus
Take an opportunity to see Galway city’s sites and outlying areas, by travelling on the open topped hop on/hop off touring bus. Tours depart from Eyre Square every hour. All Galway’s main historic sites feature in these tours, starting with Eyre Square, the Courthouse, Town Hall theatre, Galway Cathedral, University. Then on to Circular Road, Salthill, (past our house), The Claddagh, Wolfe Tone Bridge, Spanish Arch, Galway Museum, and back to Merchant’s Road.Click here for more information