Galway is a vibrant county with so much to offer for all age groups and all different personalities. It is the ideal place to visit for people wanting to have a great time. Tourists flock to Galway for many events all year round such as the film festival, food festival, Pride festival, ARTS festival and of course the Galway races in Ballybrit. However, this article is for those looking to get away from the busy crowds and to see Galway’s beauty in peace. Below is our top 5 places to visit in this category.
5. Rinville Park
Rinville Park is based outside Galway city near Oranmore. It is a wonderful amenity for all ages created around an ancient castle. Rinville has many walks around the woodlands catered for all levels of fitness. Families can enjoy a picnic or a BBQ while overlooking Galway Bay. There is also a playground for children and an outdoor gym for adults. Away from the busyness of Galway city it is a peaceful walk for everyone. Admission is free. Oranmore based outside Galway is a lovely village with lovely restaurants and cafes.
Address: Marshallspark, Co. Galway, Ireland
4. Mannin Bay
To the south-west of Clifden lies a picturesque beach called Mannin Bay. It is like being in the Caribbean only colder with its white sand and blue waters on a sunny day. It is more commonly known as the coral strand as the sand known as maerl is composed of delicate shells of coralline red algae, but you may also see pieces of sponge, clam, snail and quartz. The bay is in the heart of Connemara and worth a walk on the beach as it is different. At Mannin bay you can experience water-based activities such as kayaking and snorkelling in a safe environment.
3. Connemara Golf Club
Along the Wild Atlantic way lies Connemara Golf Links and numerous beaches wait to be explored including Alliebrack beach. If you enjoy playing golf, then the breath-taking views at these golf links should not be missed. Continue past the golf links for the beaches which ensures peace and harmony. These beaches are situated 10 minutes from Ballyconneely where you can enjoy a pint in Keogh’s bar. The Point Pony trekking and horse riding centre beside Connemara Golf Links offers a range of treks on ponies and horses over sandy beaches. Connemara is the home of Ireland’s only native horse breed, the Connemara Pony.
Address: Creggoduff, Galway, Ireland
2. Sky Road, Clifden
Clifden is a bustling town full of shops, pubs and restaurants. There is also a wide range of accommodation and it is a great base for exploring Connemara. The sky road is 11km long and is stunning with incredible views over the islands, mountains and coastlines of Connemara. There is a car park at the highest point of the road with plenty of room to park and take pictures. From here you can see the stunning landscape and rugged coastline. Some people cycle or walk the route. There is a small hill named Monument hill where at the top there is a view over Clifden Bay, the town and surrounding areas.
1. Dogs Bay / Roundstone
Around an hour and 30 mins from Galway city is a village called Roundstone. On a clear day the views at Roundstone harbour are like the views in Queenstown in New Zealand as you view the sea and the Twelve Bens mountain range in the distance. It is simply beautiful. Restaurants close to Roundstone have plenty of fish on the menu as it is a big fishing community, therefore, the seafood chowder is a must have.
From Roundstone, you can climb Errisbeg mountain with stunning views in every direction but especially across Dogs Bay and Gurteen bay. Just west of Roundstone village you can visit Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay, which is one of the best camping and caravan parks in Ireland. They lie back to back forming a tombolo jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Walk to the end of the tombolo for a beautiful panoramic view – this is one of the most underrated and best walks in County Galway. The colour of the sea and sand in Dogs bay gives the place a special feeling with the shape of the bay as a horseshoe.
Address: Ervallagh, Roundstone, Co. Galway, Ireland