About the West of Ireland


 

Centuries ago Cromwell ordered thousands of Irish people off their lands told them they could go to 'Hell or to Connacht'. Today, Connacht, which makes up the bulk of Ireland's Western region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland, a byword in a kind of natural beauty that time seems to have passed by.

Galway


The weather-beaten Atlantic coast gives way to the quieter waters of Galway Bay, immortalised in songs innumerable. Coming into the bay one passes the Aran Islands where Irish is the spoken language and a warm reception the tradition. Nestled in the corner of the Bay is Galway City, known as the City of the Tribes, a vibrant University town with a dynamic nightlife bringing together the most popular music of today and the ancient traditions of Irish dance and song. Festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theatres and most of all -Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric medieval city of culture.

The Shannon runs along the border of the west on the eastern side separating the tranquility of the West from the more hectic pace of the cities and towns of the east. Cruises along the Shannon are increasingly popular and through the Shannon-Erne Waterway can take you across the county to the north of the isle.

The west of Ireland is linked in the minds of the Irish people with the rural traditions that still survive there today. The small villages and farms hark back to a countryside of long ago which has survived the rush of 'progress'. A rural idyll indeed, but in Galway a place for the excitement and nightlife that is summed up in the peculiarly Irish word of 'craic'. Of course you could always take one of our day tours and we could all have the craic ??

Aran islands where 1 day is never enough ??


Here, on the very edge of Europe, is an Island rich in the language, culture and heritage of Ireland, unique in its geology and archaeology and in its long tradition of gentle hospitality.

Here is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland, to touch the past, but with all the comforts and facilities of the present. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians. This is an island of great peace and tranquility, but it is also an island of great fun and activity.

A timeless land in an endless sea, weathered monuments on awesome cliffs, great labyrinths of limestone, meandering walls, patchwork fields, quiet beaches and a welcoming island people, this is Aran in Galway bay on the west coast of Ireland...

Connemara


A place of natural beauty with its natural flora and peat bog blankets. Also mustled with its high peaked mountains and low valleys running fresh lakes and rivers with natural wildlife running a mist . Of course steeped in culture and its gaelic tounge that sits in the mouth of Galway bay overlooked by fishing villages and famine villages of gone. So much to do in connemmara with its ethnic people always offering a warm welcome.

Clare


Jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean from the Shannon estuary is the county of Clare. Though the unique natural phenomenon that is the Burren provides much of its fame Clare has far more to offer than that. With a host of attractions to appeal to young and old of all tastes Clare is worth seeing no matter where your interests lie.

Close to nature to are the famous Cliffs of Moher, 214 metres high and nothing better to give a feel for the wildness of the county and the power of the Ocean.

Perhaps the most noteworthy natural phenomenon in Clare is the Burren itself with its rich diversity of flora and fauna and unusual limestone landscape. The Burren centre located in Kilfenora introduces you to this fascinating and unique part of the Irish landscape .

Bunratty Castle


The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Today, the castle stands peacefully in delightful grounds. The houses and cottages of the folk park spread out at the foot of its massive walls, much in the way that the cottages and crofts of old would have clustered around its base. We invite you to wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past. Bunratty Castle closes each day at 4pm to prepare for the Medieval Banquet

At night time the castle is the impressive setting for medieval banquetswhich are held year round.

Bunratty Folk Park


Within the grounds of Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park where 19th century life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a 'living' village and rural setting. Meet and chat with the Bean an Ti (Woman of the House) and various street characters including the Policeman and Schoolteacher who give the site its sparkle during the summer months. Enjoy the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of this enchanting place as you stroll from house to house or around the charming village complete with school, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and of course the pub! It's a wonderful experience for adults and children alike with something for everyone to enjoy!