Top 5 best outdoor activities in County Galway

Whether you’re looking for a bit of fresh air or a grand adventure, these are the five best outdoor activities in County Galway.

Galway is a coastal county that boasts some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Ireland.

From craggy islands to freshwater lakes to the sprawling expanse of Connemara, Galway has an activity for everyone. If you want to relax and soak it all in or get your hiking boots dirty, County Galway is the place to be.

With the warm weather gracing Ireland’s shores as summer arrives in full force, now is the perfect time to grab your walking shoes and enjoy the amazing scenery on Ireland’s West Coast.

5. Walk the Salthill Promenade enjoy nature close to the city

Walking the Salthill Promenade is one of the best outdoor activities in County Galway.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Located along Galway Bay, the Salthill Promenade is great for walking, cycling, rollerblading, or simply taking in the views of the water and the Aran Islands beyond.

It is a 2 km (1.2 miles) boardwalk just beyond Galway City and borders stunning beaches perfect for a dip in the ocean. There is also a diving board for the more adventurous swimmers.

Strolling along the Salthill Promenade is an ideal activity for urbanites who want to enjoy some fresh air and scenery while staying close to the beautiful, bustling Galway City.

Our recommendation is to work up an appetite along the coast before returning to the city for a pint and some fresh, locally caught fish served in one of Galway’s many pubs.

4. Bike around the Aran Islands get off the beaten path

Take a bike ride around the Aran Islands.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Ireland is home to many islands. Some of the most famous are the Aran Islands, off the coast of Galway.

If you have limited time, our suggestion is to head straight to Inis Mór, the largest of the three islands. With various Christian and Celtic historical sites to visit, the best way to get around the island is by bike.

For about €15 per day, you can rent a bike and explore the ancient pagan standing stones, old churches, the beaches with seal colonies, and, of course, the famous fort, Dun Aengus.

The variety offered by the Aran Islands is what makes it one of the five best outdoor activities in County Galway. Just make sure you check the weather forecast before planning your trip!

3. Horseback riding on the beach – an adventure for experienced equestrians and novices alike

Horseback riding on the beach is one of the best outdoor activities in County Galway.
Credit: Facebook / @MoycullenRidingCentre

Galway is home to one of the biggest horse races in Ireland. So, it’s no wonder that there are many places throughout the county for visitors to experience the joys of horseback riding.

Whether you’re looking for a trekking holiday or a few hours in the saddle, Galway is the best place for equestrian adventures. While you’re at it, why not combine your riding excursion with Galway’s incredibly scenic beaches?

With professionals guiding you every step of the way, horseback riding along the beach is a must for anyone looking for an adventure in Galway.

2. Take a boat tour of Lough Corrib – soak up the scenery in style

A boat tour on Lough Corrib is a relaxing experience.
Credit: Facebook / @corribtours 

Lough Corrib is the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland (the second largest on the island of Ireland) and supposedly has 365 islands.

Taking a boat tour of Lough Corrib will allow you to sit back and relax as you absorb the natural beauty of the lough and learn about the history of the area.

You can even take a tour of the islands in Lough Corrib, the most famous of which is Inchagoill Island.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to explore Lough Corrib, you can always book a kayaking tour. This allows you to explore the islands, inlets, and stunning nature up close and personal.

1. Explore Connemara National Park – a must for anyone visiting Galway

Connemara National Park tops our list of best outdoor activities in County Galway.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Connemara National Park is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. This is the reason we’ve chosen it as one of the five best outdoor activities in County Galway.

From stunning mountains to ancient bogs, the National Park offers scenery for everyone. Connemara National Park has walking trails for every level, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or exploring the countryside with children.

If you’re looking for a real adventure, the park allows for wild camping. However, make sure to check out any restrictions that are in place before visiting.

There are also picnic facilities and walking tours for families on a day trip. A popular walking route is Diamond Hill, which has four different routes, ranging from easy to difficult.

The National Park boasts some of the most stunning views on the island of Ireland. Whether you’re climbing one of the Twelve Bens or walking through a bog, natural beauty abounds. Do make sure to dress for the weather and wear appropriate walking shoes.

By Audrey Martin

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