Western Ireland

Touring Western Ireland’s Connemara and Aran Islands


If you have a sense of adventure and a wandering imagination, then the self-guided tour between Western Ireland’s Connemara and Aran Islands is fit for you. The tour leads you through an exciting journey that commences in Galway City, runs through the wild and the woods, haunting landscape of Connemara, taking you all the way through the rough heart of Western Ireland’s Gaeltacht.

The area is rich in primeval customs, culture, and striking natural magnificence. Intense and constantly varying landscape with changing light and dramatic-looking skies adding to the beauty, are sure to amaze you. With its gloomy mountains, graceful castles, shadowy bogland, calm lakes, shores and subtle flora, Connemara, the place of legends, will go on living in your imagination even after you have gone back home.

Western Ireland

flickr image by micky74007

The tour starts in the historical Galway City or the “City of the Tribes”. Riding through this city, you will get a feel of the atmosphere that inspired many artists, musicians, actors, etc who consider Galway their Mecca. The paved walker streets that run through Galway City’s heart are full of bohemian cafes, craft shops, and traditional pubs on the way. You can also travel beside River Corrib’s banks and a number of scenic canals passing through the city.

Galway City’s real appeal undoubtedly lies in its vibrant music scene. During the night time, streets of this historical city come to life because of its many traditional pubs and old bars.

After exploring and enjoying in this city, you can move next to Headford which is located on Lough Corrib’s eastern shore. It is popular as an angling centre and famous for archaeological monuments. Then you can travel through South Mayo which is known for its breathtakingly beautiful rural region. You can navigate through Lough Mask’s shores, explore the Ballinrobe town, the fascinating Partry village picturesque Finny, Clonbur village and Cong.

Travel Western Ireland

flickr image by Harrogate

Cycling westwards, you can paddle towards Leenane through Cornamona, alongside banks of Lough Corrib, while passing through Maamand. This bicycling track is, without a doubt, the most picturesque in Connemara. The land is filled with bogland in rust colour, the spectacular Maumturk Mountain, and the scenic Lough Corrib.

Further you can ride along the edges of KillaryHarbour moving towards Tully Cross. Near these places, Glassillaun Beach will be waiting to welcome you with pearly white sand which will leave you in awe of its beauty. Other such beautiful beaches can be found at Gurteen and Lettergesh. You can visit Connemara National Park too and observe the country’s unique flora and fauna.

Aran Islands

flickr image by Gianpiero Bozza

Moving further along the path towards Clifden, which is the capital of Connemara, you are suggested to take a detour alongside the sky road in order to view the amazing coastal scenery. You will travel next through the Bog road, the one that has many lakes on the way. The journey further continues and covers Screeb, interesting Ballyconneely, Dogs Bay, which is a stunning shore with white sand, and the scenic Roundstone, which is Connemara‘s idyllic village. Your journey will also take you through Rossaveal and InisMor which is the biggest of the Aran Islands.

This Island is an enhancement to the limestone scenery in the Burren. Here the isolated roads are perfect for biking. You will find joy in exploring the flower-laden fields here. There are also many private beaches at this place that are perfect for swimming. As part of the last leg of the journey, you can take a ferry to Rossaveal and go back to Galway City with memories in your heart that you can’t ever forget.

Date posted: 28th November, 2013

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