12 Reasons to Love the West of Ireland
Collected by Yvonne Gordon, AFAR Local Expert
We love the West of Ireland; from the peat bogs of Connemara to the stone walls of the Aran Islands, and from the limestone plateau of the Burren to the dramatic mountain passes in County Mayo, the scenery in the West of Ireland changes every few miles and frequently with the weather. While you’re in Ireland’s West, don’t miss the city of Galway, a hive of arts, culture and traditional music. We promise you will love it, too.
Letterfrack, Co. Galway, Ireland
The bleak, windswept landscape of Connemara in the West of Ireland is characterized by bogs, lakes, mountains, and miles of stone walls. Connemara National Park is one of the best places to appreciate this unique landscape, with more than 7,000...
Aran Islands, Co. Galway, Ireland
Just getting to the fabulous Aran Islands is an adventure. Planes make the short run from County Galway, swooping down to one of three short landing strips. Or you can take a boat over the often-lively swells from Doolin or Connemara; either way,...
2 Church St, Knockaunroe, Corofin, Co. Clare, V95 T9V6, Ireland
South of Galway in neighboring County Clare is one of Ireland’s, if not Western Europe’s, unique landscapes: the extraordinary, lunarlike limestone scenery of the Burren. (Its name derives from the Gaelic word boíreann, which...
Lislorkan North, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland
Fancy yourself a brave one, do ye? Aye, aye, then the Cliffs of Moher are right up your alley. Ireland's most popular tourist destination does not disappoint, though visiting during the middle of the day means you're going to have to share the...
Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland
St. Dymphna, a seventh-century peasant who was eventually canonized, is said to have founded the church that this atmospheric cemetery is centered around. Dymphna is the patron saint of mental and nervous disorders and if you're uptight or have...
Newfield, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Hop on a bike and cycle the Great Western Greenway in County Mayo, a 26-mile walking and cycling track that takes in some of the West of Ireland’s best views. The greenway follows the old Great Western railway line from Westport to...
The Quay, Cloonmonad, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Westport is one of the most beautiful places in the world. When I arrived, the tide was out, marooning a number of boats amid the sand and bladderwrack. Seagulls swoop and cry and you are consumed in the dense, leathery smell of seaweed and ocean....
Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland
Before reaching this incredible castle, you will be astounded by the beautiful pastures and lakes along the roadside. Lambs occasionally trot across allowing a great opportunity for photos. Upon reaching Kylemore, you will enter through a quaint...
Rosroe, Co. Galway, Ireland
No, this is not a mistake, I am not writing about Norway. Quickly defined, a fjord is a very deep and narrow inlet originally formed by glacial movement, which can be identified by steep cliffs or mountains flanking either side. The Killary Fjord...
Inisbofin, Co. Galway, Ireland
Get away from it all on this island off Co Galway – less busy than the Aran Islands, it's a great place to unwind with some walking or cycling, with lots of remote beaches and historic ruins to explore. The are plenty of stories too – the ruined...
Tully Beg, Co. Galway, Ireland
Connemara's jagged coastline shows the juxtaposition of vulnerability and strength at every turn. This home didn't fare well against the harsh elements, but its walls remain unyielding. The cool Atlantic winds are saturated with salt, and so are...
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