Unique Places in County Galway

  • Cliffs of Moher
    Cliffs of Moher
    by MalenaN
  • The coach at Ballyreen
    The coach at Ballyreen
    by MalenaN
  • Poulnabrone Dolmen
    Poulnabrone Dolmen
    by MalenaN

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in County Galway

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Cliffs of Moher and Burren Tour, from Galway

    by MalenaN Written Mar 17, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cliffs of Moher is not off the beaten path, but it is not in County Galway, but in the neighbouring County Clare.

    My intention had been to visit Cliffs of Moher independently on a day trip from Galway and to do some hiking there. But to my disappointment there were very few buses on a Monday in the end of February, only two arriving before the last one returned and it would not give me more than 2h at the cliffs.

    At the hostel where I was staying, Kinlay House Hostel, I asked about the day tours going to Cliffs of Moher to see if that could be an option. I was told that the tour was a better option as it would give me 2h at the cliffs plus stops at interesting sights along the way, and it would be cheaper than going independently. The tour was with Galway Tour Company and booking from the hostel I paid 20 Euro (February 2013) and that also included the ticket to the visitor centre at Cliffs of Moher. The tour started at 10 and finished at 18.

    The day of the tour I and a few others were picked up by a small bus and taken to the coach station. To my surprise we there changed to a big coach and it turned out to be fully booked. I think I was the oldest tourist on the bus. In the beginning of the tour we were told that we were not staying 2h at the Cliffs of Moher as the brochures says, but were only staying 1h 15minutes. This was because they used to eat lunch there, but they are very slow at the restaurant there so we were now stopping in Doolin for lunch instead (I wonder how long it has been like that). Well, lunch or not, I was disappointed to get less than 2h at the cliffs.

    The bus driver talked almost all the time and gave us lots of information about the places we passed. At a few places we stopped and we got 15 minutes or less at each stop. These are the stops we made:
    Dunguaire Castle
    Ballyvaughn (for bathroom and snacks)
    Ballyalban Earthen Ring Fort
    Poulnabrone Dolmen
    Kilfenora (High Crosses)
    Doolin for lunch at a pub (not included in the tour)
    Cliffs of Moher, where we stayed 1h 15min
    Ballyreen

    I will soon build a separate travel page about this trip and you can find it here: County Clare .

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • eden_teuling's Profile Photo

    ARAN ISLANDS.....

    by eden_teuling Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    These Island are situated some 45 km. from the shore of Co. Galway and form part of the same limestone formations as the BURREN in Co. Clare (see my THE BURREN PAGE!!)

    The islands are quite flat although the shores have high cliffs.
    You won't find there many trees, bushes, plants or grass: it is indeed very poorly and the few people who live there always have to fight the fierce Atlantic storms and work very hard to get some produce from their little fields...

    No wonder the number of inhabitants is diminishing.....life is so difficult and hard there!

    Those who live there still speak GAELIC and often weat traditional clothes and use their CURRACHS (little frames covered with animal skin) nowadays provided with a motor to make things a bit easier and more safe!

    One day of cisiting the Island is something but it is of course so much better to stay there in one of the small hotels to get the real taste!

    There are ferries from Galway e.g. that can ferry you to ARAN.

    And......AER ARANN can take you there by air.....little birds, but great experience.....

    Inishmore is the largest of the Islands, some 12 km. in length: you can walk there or cycle, hire a pony cart or a MINIBUS....

    It is here that you can see DUN AENGUS: a rock fort.
    It consists of 3 concentric stone walls in U shape and these are situated on the top of a cliff.

    It seems to be a strange place as a refuge in times of danger, because of the see and an enormous abyss at one other side!

    It is a very interesting place to visit.....to dream and in thoughts go back into time......

    THE ARAN ISLANDS are: INISHMORE, INISHMAAN and INISHEER.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Dunsandle station

    by sourbugger Written Apr 25, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You won't find Dunsandle station on any rail map of Ireland as it shut years ago when the system was rationalised. The old Loughrea to Attymon branchline must have been a marginal concern at the best of times. Somewhat ironically millions is now being spent on a motorway 'branch' that will do the same job. The new motorway passes within a whisker of the Dunsandle railway station. The family who live there (privately) have paid to relay a stretch of railway line and buy a carriage, shunting engine and a couple of wagons that has lingered on in Tuam when that section shut as well.

    Although it is a private concern, I turned up unannouced the other day as I by chance was driving by. I met the owner who was more than happy to have a quick chat. I would suggest that if you are a serious railway buff then you contact him via the website well ahead of time out of courtesy.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    A great driving road

    by sourbugger Written Mar 28, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I want this tip to remain off the beaten path - so I can enjoy it when I want to. And when I finally get my old sports car fixed I can enjoy it all the more.

    A road exists in Connemara that has everything - fantastic views, mountains, forests - the lot. It has virtually no traffic, and only a few suicical sheep on the lose.

    My advice is take the unclassified road (although it is clearly marked on maps) from opposite Rossaveel up to Oughterard. There is a great place to stop off half way - the art gallery (see other tip)

    Was this review helpful?

  • EPoodle's Profile Photo

    White Sand Beach!

    by EPoodle Updated Oct 30, 2007

    It's beautiful esspecially during the tide...

    How to get there?

    It is in a small village Ballyconneely.
    If you are arriving from Clifden, in the centre (after some pub), you will see on your right hand side a road and a sign "Angling beach".

    Take that road.

    Drive (a mile I would say). Just keep driving. You will pass a castle on your left hand side and after a while you will see The Beach on the left.

    Enjoy!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    "The Quiet Man-bridge" - north of Galway

    by globetrott Updated Jul 9, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "The Quiet Man-bridge" is another sight for all fans of that old movie and you may find it north of the city of Galway.
    Normally all of these sights , where the movie was made, have brown signposts at all the major roads and there is even a map that shows all of these places around Galway - you may get this map in Cong !
    My mother is a fan of that movie and I also saw it quite often, when I was a child, and as soon as I came to Galway, I had to search of all of these places of course.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Cong Abbey

    by globetrott Written Jul 8, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cong Abbey was also used for the movie "The quiet man" .Already at the 6th century there was a monastery in Cong, but it had been destroyed and the Cong Abbey you may see today dates back to the 12th century, founded by Turlough O'Connor, King of Connaught and High King of Ireland.
    You may enter Cong Abbey freely and without restrictions during the day and may see there a very few fine ornaments and plenty of great arches.
    Cong Abbey was also the home for the Cross of Cong - a 75cm high procession-cross, made of gold and precious jewels. It is shown today in the National museum in Dublin.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • School Holidays

    Was this review helpful?

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Take each road across Connemara

    by globetrott Updated Jul 6, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Have a look on your map and you will see that there are only a very few streets going through CONNEMARA - take all of them, and you will see great landscapes from different angels everywhere.
    This place, shown on my picture is next to Maam Cross and the "Quiet Man" - cottage and it is one of these places, that is shown at almost each guidebook about the area around Galway.
    Take Take N59 and about 2km past Maam Cross you will see a big parking and this island with Leckavrea Mountain in the background.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    The " Quiet Man Cottage " near Maam Cross

    by globetrott Updated Jul 6, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the late 1950s the famous movie "The Quiet man" (in german it was called "Der Sieger") was filmed at various places all over county Galway.
    This is the tiny hut, where John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara had their cottage in the film. It is one of the attractions at a petrol-station maybe 2 km west of Maam Cross, on your way to Clifden.
    You may not enter the building, but take a picture from outside, and of course you will also find all sorts of souvenirs there !

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    Delphy Valley - close to Lough Doo

    by globetrott Updated Jul 6, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Delphy Valley is the name of a side-valley , when you drive from Leenane to Westport and leave the main road N59 already a few km north of Leenane at a small village called Aasleagh. The road will take you first to Delphy valley, then to Lough Doo, Louisburgh and finally to Croagh Patrick and Westport. This side-road is another highlight in County Galway, but you will soon realize, that almost no tourists go this way and when-ever I drove that road, I never met more than 3 or 4 cars the whole day.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Mountain Climbing

    Was this review helpful?

  • Cruefan's Profile Photo

    Visit the local cemetaries

    by Cruefan Written Jun 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I know it sounds ghoulish but I stopped at a few cemetaries and it was interesting reading the inscriptions and relizing how much history was all around me. I shouldn't have to say but when visiting please respect the rules at all times and don't walk on the graves.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • nynaeve1723's Profile Photo

    Step back in time

    by nynaeve1723 Written Apr 9, 2005

    I sometimes question the wisdom of telling people about our favorite place in Ireland. After all, if too many people discover our secret gem, will it change? Still, no one should miss the wonders of the Aran Islands (off the coast of Galway).

    There are 3 islands: Inis Mor, Inis Meain and Inis Oirr. Of these, our favorite is Inis Meain. It is the middle island, both in location and size and is the least visited of all three. Inis Mor is lovely, though I wouldn't go there in summer as it gets about 3,000 visitors a day (and its average population is 1500 people)! Inis Oirr is also pleasant to visit, but a day trip suffices, in my opinion. It is Inis Meain that has captured our hearts for its variety and tranquility.

    Accessible by ferry or small plane, this island offers travelers lots to do - or the chance to do nothing at all! The island was a favorite locale of playwright JM Synge. Visitors can tour the cottage where he used to stay and learn about the culture from the guide there. You can also hike out to his favorite place, called Synge's Chair, a rock formation where you can sit and watch the waves for hours. Hikes around the island will take you to the "puffing holes," formations where time and water have formed vents in the cliffs and essentially, with the waves, natural fountains occur. St. Gregory lived here and meditated in a specific cave, which can be visited. There are several churches (some ruins) on the island, as well as stone age forts.

    There are a few lodgings available on the island, along with one or two restaurants and a pub. In my opinion, it's best to go after May, when more things are open.

    At night, due to the dearth of street lights, cars and other trappings of "civilization" you can enjoy peaceful walks, go star-gazing or simply listen to the sound of the sea. In the summer months, you will also find traditional Irish music nightly at the local pub.

    We recommend An Dun B&B for lodging and nightly meal.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Fishing
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Krumel's Profile Photo

    Padraig Pearse's Cottage

    by Krumel Updated Jul 22, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the cottage where Padraig Pearse, the poet and rebel, spent his summers in Connemara. There is nothing left of the original furniture, as everything was destroyed in a fire, but the local community has re-furnished it, and you can see some photos and other memorabilia from Padraig Pearse. Staff from the Heritage Service is on hand to talk to you about Padraig Pearse.

    Not interesting enough to make a big detour for it, but if you are in the area, you might as well stop and have a look. Admission is only around 2.50 Euro.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Krumel's Profile Photo

    The place where nothing happened

    by Krumel Updated Jun 28, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, it's not really off the beaten path, but on the contrary along the main road between Clifden and Oughterard. It is still easy to miss if you don't know that it's there. There is a big tourist shop in Recess with a huge car park, and while I always gave the shop a wide berth, you might stop at the car park for a few minutes and have a look at the monument of Connemara, and more specifically at the little plaque behind it. If you enlarge the picture you'll be able to read it. It's hilarious.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Athenry

    by c-girl Written Apr 17, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I love the song "The Fields of Athenry" and love the little village as much. Located just east of Galway City, it is a much different place. It is home to Athenry Castle built around 1235. This is one of the best preserved castles in all of Ireland.

    Was this review helpful?

County Galway Hotels

Top County Galway Hotels

Galway Hotels
507 Reviews - 927 Photos
Clifden Hotels
37 Reviews - 173 Photos
Roundstone Hotels
16 Reviews - 36 Photos
Letterfrack Hotels
22 Reviews - 259 Photos
Turbot Island Hotels
See nearby hotels
Spiddal Hotels
3 Reviews - 9 Photos
Rinvyle Hotels
1 Hotel
Portumna Hotels
13 Reviews - 14 Photos
Oughterard Hotels
14 Reviews - 49 Photos
Monivea Hotels
25 Reviews - 28 Photos
Loughrea Hotels
3 Reviews - 5 Photos
Kinvarra Hotels
9 Reviews - 20 Photos
Kilchreest Hotels
1 Review - 1 Photo
Inishmore Hotels
121 Reviews - 331 Photos
Clonfert Hotels
See nearby hotels

Instant Answers: County Galway

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

98 travelers online now

Comments

County Galway Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of County Galway off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for County Galway sightseeing.
Map of County Galway