Hi everyone, So our Virtual Tour of Ireland continues this week with a visit to one of Ireland’s favorite destinations-County Galway. This county really has it all; majestic mountain ranges, stunning beaches and of course the Aran Islands, the home of our much loved Aran sweater. The city of Galway itself is in normal times the liveliest of Irish cities with wonderful pubs, great music and a rich cultural life. Here’s hoping it can get back to its former glory sometime soon. County Galway is also a county of outstanding natural beauty so let’s get on the road and explore a few of its many delights!
County Galway’s Hidden Gems
1. Ballynahinch Castle
So first up we’re off to the stunning region of Connemara for some 5 star luxury! The current castle dates back to 1754 although there has been a castle on the site since the 14th century. It stands on the southern shore of Lake Ballynahinch with the Twelve Bens Mountain Range providing a stunning backdrop. Today it is one of Ireland’s leading hotels and if your budget won’t stretch that far then it’s well worth taking a look at this magnificent structure from afar in its fairytale setting.
2. Dog’s Bay Beach
Time for a trip to the beach and it’s a real stunner! Just down the road from Roundstone on the way to Clifden you will find the absolutely gorgeous Dog’s Bay Beach. The horseshoe-shaped mile long strand boasts crystal clear Atlantic waters and the sand is particularly white which is down to it being made up of fragmented seashells. Beautifully sheltered by headlands which make it perfect for swimming.
3. Pine Island
We’re heading back to the magic of the Connemara region and to one of its most breathtaking scenes. Pine Island stands in Derryclare Lough about 12 miles east of Clifden. The trees which cover the island are Scots Pine and with the Twelve Bens Mountain Range in the background the sight is absolutely breathtaking.
4. Killary Harbor
Yes we’re staying in Connemara and why not-it is so beautiful here. Just looking at these pictures makes me long to go there again! Killary harbor is a fjord situated in the heart of Connemara and borders both Counties Galway and Mayo. It is one of three fjords in Ireland and is positively one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the Emerald Isle.
5. Kylemore Abbey Gardens
As always we end in a garden to calm and soothe. Kylemore Abbey was built in 1867 as the private home of Mitchell Henry. It was sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1909 before being bought by the Irish Benedictine Nuns after fleeing Belgium in World War 1. They ran a school there until 2010. A visit here is a real step back in time and the walled Victorian gardens are a sight to behold.
So there ends our trip to County Galway. Thanks so much for dropping by – it’s so good to have your company!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!