Galway is a city in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland and the sixth most populous city in the island of Ireland. It is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. View more
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Discover why Connemara is regarded as the 'real emerald' of Ireland during a panoramic, full-day excursion to this visually-stunning locale.
Oughterard, Maam Cross and Connemara Countryside
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately two-hour drive to the magnificent Connemara countryside via Oughterard and Maam Cross. The rugged landscape of Connemara offers beautiful and contrasting scenery. Majestic mountains rise steeply from an earth of contrasting rock and bog lands, with many lakes and rivers. Artists from all around the world come to paint this landscape with its ever-changing light.
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden
Your first stop is at the Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden. The abbey was originally built in 1868, and is now the home to the Irish Benedictine Nuns. Nestled at the base of Duchruach Mountain on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains, it is regarded as one of Ireland's most romantic buildings. The beautiful Victoria Walled Garden underwent an extensive restoration in the late-1990s. Today, the formal flower garden is now restored, two glasshouses have been reinstated and the kitchen garden is once again productive. Every year, the standard of gardening gets closer to Victorian perfection.
Clifden, Lunch and Free Time
Leaving Kylemore, re-board your coach and drive through the wild and rural countryside to Clifden. Upon arrival, proceed for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, some free time is made available to explore the Clifden at your leisure. Known as the 'Capital of Connemara', Clifden has emerged as one of Ireland's most sought-after holiday destinations, where visitors and local people mingle, giving the town a unique and enjoyable cosmopolitan flavour.
Recess, Derryneen, Twelve Bens Mountains and Roundstone Bog
Following your visit to Clifden, re-board your coach for the approximately two-hour drive back to the pier. En route, marvel at the ever-changing landscape of this truly wondrous place as your journey through Recess, Derryneen and Maam Cross. From the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north, through lake-rich Roundstone Bog and to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, it's easy to see why Connemara is regarded as the 'real emerald' of Ireland.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and many steps at the sites visited. Walking in Clifden is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Warm, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket or coat, flat, closed-toe walking shoes, an umbrella, and sun protection are recommended. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled. The tour sequence may vary
Explore the magnificent beauty and landmarks of Galway's city centre and countryside during this splendid, half-day sightseeing excursion.
Galway's City Centre, Eyre Square and Galway Cathedral
Depart from the pier for the short drive to Galway's City Centre. Upon arrival, pass by the famous Eyre Square, the crown jewel of Galway. From here, proceed for a photo stop and brief visit at the beautiful Galway Cathedral. One of the largest and most dominating buildings in Galway and the largest church in Ireland made from stone, the Cathedral is located on the site of the former city jail and features an approximately 145-foot-high (about 44-metre-high) dome.
Galway Countryside and Bay, Salthill, Aran Islands and Burren
Leaving the city, proceed through some of County Galway's most beautiful countryside. Along the way, pass through the seaside resort of Salthill, situated on the northern inner shore of Galway Bay. The Aran Islands are visible to the right, and Galway City to the left. Directly across Galway Bay is the Burren area of County Clare, and to the west are the bogs and mountains of Connemara.
Spiddal, Eastern Connemara, Maam Cross and Moycullen
Continuing through Salthill, pass through the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) area of Spiddal before turning north through the eastern edge of Connemara. Marvel at the ever-changing landscape of this truly wondrous locale as you continue to the small village of Maam Cross where you will stop for tea/coffee and scones. Your return journey will then pass through the village of Moycullen before arriving back at Galway Harbour and the pier. Time-permitting, photo stops are made along the way.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Walking at the Galway Cathedral is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Warm, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket or coat, flat, closed-toe walking shoes, an umbrella, and sun protection are recommended. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled. The tour sequence may vary.
Explore the Old World beauty, charm and landmarks of the west coast of Ireland during this scenic, half-day sightseeing excursion.
Galway Bay, Kinvara and Dunguaire Castle
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive along the shores of Galway Bay en route to the picturesque town of Kinvara. Upon arrival, proceed for a photo stop at Dunguaire Castle. This small, 17th-century castle was built on a rocky promontory by the Hynes clan in 1520. This family who may have been associated with the area since 662, when the site is believed to have once been the royal palace of Guaire Aidhne, the legendary King of Connacht and progenitor of the clan.
From Kinvara, turn inland for a visit to the unique and welcoming Rathbaun Farm. Upon arrival at the picturesque, 150-year-old farmhouse, you are taken on a journey through Irish farming history whilst enjoying some traditional homemade scones and a warm cup of tea. The Connolly family, who still farm today, explain the many stages this unique farm has seen, from famine times to the prosperous Ireland of today. Afterward, you are invited to hand-feed the new-born lambs, and watch the farmer manoeuvre his flock with the help of his dog (activities may vary).
Galway, Corrib River and Galway Cathedral
Next, re-board your coach for the return drive to Galway, the capital city of County Galway. The 'City of the Tribes' is located on the north-eastern corner of Galway Bay, and the Corrib River runs through the city. Upon arrival in Galway, take a short sightseeing drive through this famous city. Its hub is the 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls. A photo stop is made at the Galway Cathedral before commencing the short drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Walking at Rathbaun Farm is at the discretion of each guest. Galway City is mainly pedestrianised so the panoramic drive through the city is very brief.This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible. Warm, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket or coat, flat, closed-toe walking shoes, an umbrella, and sun protection are recommended. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled. The tour sequence may vary.
Embrace the spectacular natural splendour of the iconic Cliffs of Moher and wondrous Aillwee Caves during this picturesque, full-day sightseeing excursion.
Burren Region and Cliffs of Moher
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 1.5-hour drive south, through the towns of Oranmore and Kilcolgan, before reaching the Burren region, a mythical area of majestic mountains, limestone rock formations and spectacular landscapes. Upon arrival, a visit is made to the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. The most-visited natural attraction in Ireland, they are enjoyed by more than a million visitors annually. Rising high out of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cliffs of Moher soar to a height of approximately 657 feet (about 200 metres) at their peak and extend for approximately five miles (about eight kilometres). The cliffs have been immortalized in film, notably in 'The Princess Bride' as the 'Cliffs of Insanity', and in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince', among others.
The Cliffs of Moher have several viewing platforms, including the main platform overlooking the south cliffs. The north platform, the highest one at the cliffs, rises 700 feet (about 213 metres) above sea level. On a clear day, you can see the distant Aran Islands. The Cliffs of Moher are home to major colonies of cliff-nesting seabirds. Designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) for Birds, the Cliffs of Moher are populated by 20 species of nesting birds, including nine species of breeding seabirds. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, an environmentally-sensitive, interactive exhibit, is built into a hillside to preserve as much of the natural landscape as possible. Inside, view interactive, themed displays and a virtual-reality film, The Ledge, which enables you to experience life at the cliffs, both above-and-below sea level.
Next, re-board your coach and proceed for lunch at a local restaurant on Ireland's West Atlantic coast. After lunch, re-board your coach and drive into the heart of the Burren. Here, discover the Aillwee Caves, some of the oldest in Ireland. The Irish name, Aill Bhuí, means 'yellow cliff', and these caves were cut into the limestone by the melting waters of the prehistoric Ice Age. Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour through the dark and wondrous caverns, past rock formations and ancient artefacts, and even a thundering waterfall. See various artefacts and treasures, and feel the cool spray from its waters. Back in the sunshine, be sure to stop by the gift shop, which sells local crafts, before re-boarding your coach and commencing the approximately one-hour drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at times over uneven surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and many steps at the sites visited. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Warm, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket or coat, flat, closed-toe walking shoes, an umbrella, and sun protection are recommended. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled. The tour sequence may vary.
Discover the treasures of County Mayo during this unforgettable, half-day excursion to Cong Village, setting for many scenes from the classic movie, The Quiet Man.
County Galway, Irish Countryside and County Mayo
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately two-hour drive to Cong. En route, pass through County Galway. As you traverse coastal roads and marvel at the iconic splendour of the Irish countryside, traverse the towns of Oughterard and Maam before reaching neighbouring County Mayo. Upon arrival, a visit is made to Cong. This lovely hamlet is visited each year by throngs of movie fans eager to see the locale where the classic John Wayne film, The Quiet Man, was filmed.
Cong Village and Ashford Castle
Nestled in a picture-postcard setting and surrounded by rolling emerald hills, Cong welcomes visitors with its friendly and historic charms. It is home to such highlights as Cong Abbey, an excellent example of Ireland's early Gothic architecture, and the world-renowned Ashford Castle. Dating from 1228, Ashford is the oldest castle in Ireland, situated on the shores of gorgeous Lough Corrib. Once owned by the Guinness family, the castle was turned into a hotel in 1939, but it still feels every inch the grand, medieval fortress it once was. Following your visit to the grounds of the Castle, proceed for tea and scones in the village of Cong, followed by some free time for a leisurely stroll along the streets made famous as a film location for The Quiet Man.
The Quiet Man Film Locations
Embrace the serenity of a town seemingly untouched by time, and walk in the footsteps of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara at every turn. See such locations as Dannaghers Farmhouse, the Reverend Playfair's home and Pat Cohan's bar, where many pivotal scenes from the film took place. An independent visit to the nearby Quiet Man Cottage Museum reveals an exact replica of the film's White o' Mornin' abode. The furnishings, costumes and artefacts are masterful reproductions, and a thrill for fans of this classic film. Local newspaper articles on display and a heartfelt letter from John Wayne's widow depict the excitement of the time. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately one-hour drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. Walking in Cong is at the discretion of each guest. Admission to the Quiet Man Cottage Museum is not included but a visit can be made during free time.This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible. Warm, layered clothing, a waterproof jacket or coat, flat, closed-toe walking shoes, an umbrella, and sun protection are recommended. Due to the local climate, most of the coaches are air-cooled. The tour sequence may vary.