County Galway
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended County Galway Off the beaten track

From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Explorer Tour

1. From Galway: Cliffs of Moher Explorer Tour

Depart from the Kinlay Hostel at 9:00 AM and take the scenic journey along the Wild Atlantic Way, through the lunar-like landscape of the Burren and on to the Cliffs of Moher. Pass  the picturesque villages of Clarenbridge, Kilcolgan, Ballindereen, Kinvara, Ballyvaughan and Doolin. Turing right at Ballyvaughan, your local, driver/guide will take you south following the Wild Atlantic Way. Witness the power of the Atlantic Ocean as it battles the coastline of Ireland. Your driver / guide will drop you at the Quay at Doolin, from here you start your walk via the village of Doolin along the cliff path to the Cliffs of Moher. Have 5 hours to yourself and meet your drive/guide at the visitor's center.  Return to Galway via Lisdoonvarna, home to the world famous matchmaking festival held every September.

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Wild Atlantic Way: Sea Kayaking along Mannin Bay, Connemara

2. Wild Atlantic Way: Sea Kayaking along Mannin Bay, Connemara

Get off the beaten track and into a sea kayak at Bundouglas in Connemara for an unforgettable experience. Explore the Wild Atlantic Way from the salty waves as you set off on this exciting adventure. Expect to see stunning sea caves and arches created over hundreds of years by the power of the ocean, as well as a variety of marine life and perhaps even a dolphin. Kayak safely with your guides in and around the stunning Connemara coast and coves, and the magnificent cliffs near Cleggan Head. All necessary equipment is provided, including sit-on-top kayaks, paddles, wetsuits, buoyancy aids, and snorkeling gear. All you need to bring is your swimwear, a towel, a pair of sneakers you don’t mind getting wet, and perhaps a waterproof camera.

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Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

3. Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southwest Ireland on a comprehensive 5-day tour of The Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and the fabled Ring of Kerry. Stop at historic castles and monasteries, and wander the colorful fishing villages to sample fresh seafood. Enjoy dramatic views from the Cliffs of Moher, and stroll along the vast stretch of Inch Beach watching the local surfers. Transportation is by small minicoach, with accommodation in quaint bed and breakfast guesthouses for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin and head west through the farmland and peat bogs of Kildare and Offally counties. Stop at Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey to experience the true spirit of Ireland. Continue west to the mighty Shannon River, and vist the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise. Admire its collection of churches, stone crosses, and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in one of the attractive villages, travel to Galway City to check into your base for the night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Day 2: From Galway City it’s only a short drive along the coast to The Burren, one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. Marvel at the limestone pavements, barren hills, and rare flora. See Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area, stopping in Kilfenora for lunch. Known as the “Town of the Crosses,” there will also be time to visit the old cathedral before driving to the Cliffs of Moher. Marvel at this natural beauty, where the cliffs drop almost 700 feet into crashing Atlantic Ocean waves. Take a walk along one of the cliff top trails, and watch the seabirds at work. Alternatively, visit the award-winning environmental exhibition to learn about the region’s ecology. Then, travel south through County Clare, passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon Estuary and into County Kerry. Go to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney, your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings. Day 3 Today, you will explore the Dingle Peninsula, one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Your first stop in this heartland of Gaelic culture will be Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand facing the Atlantic Ocean popular with surfers. From here, increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself, through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings that date back thousands of years. Visit some of the best examples along the way. Enjoy views of the Blasket Islands as they rise dramatically from the sea. Marvel at the mountains of the famous Ring of Kerry to your south. Weather permitting, time will be allotted for a walk on the beach or along the cliff tops. Learn why the area is important in Gaelic literature. Then, head back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbor. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could enjoy an evening walk in Killarney National Park, just on the edge of town. Day 4: Today, you will take one of the world’s classic routes, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. Depart Killarney and enjoy the views to Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. Join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. Possible stops along the way include Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace, and the ring fort of Cahersiveen. Go to the little fishing village of Portmagee for a lunch of local seafood. Alternatively, cross to the island of Valencia and visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the small community of monks who once lived on the nearby rock island of Skellig Michael. In the afternoon, stop in picturesque Waterville, a favourite holiday destination for Charlie Chaplin. Stop again at the top of the Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in Ireland. From here, the road drops down to sea level, where you will visit Derrynane House, the family home of Daniel O’Connell. You can stroll in the gardens and down to the beach, as well as look inside the house itself. Continue around the Ring, stopping at Moll’s Gap and Ladies View. There will also be time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before returning to Killarney. Day 5: The final day of your tour heads east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom. Then, drive along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon, head to the Rock of Cashel to see the medieval monastery complex high above the town. Finally, go to Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Visit the National Craft Centre, or just hang out in one of the pubs for a last Guinness. Hit the road again for the final leg of your journey, arriving back in Dublin at approximately 19:30.

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Connemara: Coasteering on the Wild Atlantic Way

4. Connemara: Coasteering on the Wild Atlantic Way

Get your adrenaline pumping with Coasteering, an exhilarating experience suitable for all levels. Explore Connemara’s west coast up-close like never before. Be ready to embrace a combination of adventure swimming, climbing, scrambling and cliff jumping. Explore the natural wonders of gullies, caves, cracks and different rock formations created by the sea. Each session is unique, as your expert guide will use one of various sites to ensure that you have the best experience Coasteering in Connemara. Benefit from your session being tailored to suit the group’s sense of adventure, fitness, and ability.

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Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Aran Islands Rail Tour

5. Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Aran Islands Rail Tour

DAY 1 Check in at Dublin Heuston Station (Customer Service Desk) for a 7:00 AM departure with the InterCity train to Limerick (breakfast available). Join your coach here for a short tour of Limerick City and then to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park (admission included). Onto the village of Doolin for O'Connors Pub. Next, visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher, Black Head, the Burren, and Galway Bay with an overnight stay in the heart of Galway City (3-star hotel with bed and full Irish breakfast) DAY 2 10:30 AM transfer to Connemara Airport for a flight to Innismor where you'll join a tour of the islands, time for lunch at Kilronan before a visit to the magnificent ancient Fort Dún Aengus. Return flight and transfer. Back to Galway city late afternoon. Overnight as before. DAY 3 At 10:00 AM, head into magnificent Connemara where John Ford filmed "The Quiet Man" in 1951, taking in Clifden, Kylemore Abbey (reduced admission rate applies to Abbey itself), Leenane and Killary Harbour or Roundstone, the Coral Beach and the Sky Road. Take in views of the breathtaking, wild Atlantic Coastline. Return to Galway for an InterCity return train to Dublin Heuston arriving at 8:45 PM (snacks and full bar available). Prices are per person sharing - single room supplement applies Departs Daily (Monday-Saturday)

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From Clifden: Connemara Hill Walking

6. From Clifden: Connemara Hill Walking

Set the day aside, pack a picnic, and get ready to explore the magnificent Connemara mountains on foot. Enjoy the surreal natural beauty of the area, stopping to take in the picturesque views. Suited to both beginners and experienced hikers, choose to be fully guided or step-up the adventure by learning the art of navigation using a map and compass. The Twelve Bens, the Maam Turks and the Mweelrea mountains in Connemara, Co Galway are all dominant topographical features in Ireland with some of the most stunning views in the country and are a "must do" when visiting the area.

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Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

7. Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

Experience the beauty of Ireland’s wild west coast on a 3-day tour that takes you from the dramatic Maam Valley to the pretty villages of The Burren. Enjoy fantastic coastal views on a clifftop walk at the Cliffs of Moher, see the landing site of the first trans-Atlantic flight, visit the Quiet Man Museum, and much more. You will be traveling by small minicoach from Dublin for a more intimate experience. Day 1 You’ll take the fast road from Dublin west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. The destinations today are on Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic Coast and the goal is to get you there as quickly as possible! The first stop is the village of Kinvara, where you’ll have a chance to admire Dunguaire Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop looking out over Galway Bay. From here it’s just a short drive to The Burren, which is one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. The Burren is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. Spend a few hours exploring this unique area, stopping in one of the pretty local villages for lunch. After The Burren you’ll head to the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop nearly 700 feet straight into the crashing Atlantic waves. Walk along the cliff-top trails, watch the many seabirds, or visit the award-winning environmental exhibition. From here the tour follows the coastal road, and you’ll have stunning views across Galway Bay back to Galway City itself, which is your base for the next 2 nights. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants! Day 2 Galway lies at the edge of Connemara, which is the area you’ll explore today. Travel inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib. It is here that the classic film, The Quiet Man, was made. Visit the Quiet Man Museum or Cong Abbey. Continue through the heart of Connemara and stop to tour the lovely grounds and house of Kylemore Abbey. Continuing on, you’ll experience the majesty of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden, where the first trans-Atlantic flight landed, and then drive along the Sky Road and take in the views of the 12 Bens of Connemara. Day 3 After a relaxed start to the day you’ll leave Galway behind and take some of the back roads through central Ireland on the way back to Dublin. The first highlight of the day is the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise, featuring a collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers beautifully situated on the banks of the mighty Shannon River. Following lunch in a local village the tour continues through an area of unique peat bog scenery that is typical of this part of Ireland. Your guide will explain both its environmental and economic importance to the country. The final stop on the tour is Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! From here you’ll continue east to Dublin, arriving at around 7:00PM.

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Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

8. Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

Enjoy a scenic tour of Eire and Northern Ireland’s Atlantic Coast on a 5-day package tour from Dublin. Stay in quaint bed and breakfast accommodation in Portrush, Donegal, and Westport along the way. Go to the edge of Europe at Achill Island, explore the new Titanic Quarter in Belfast to see where the ill-fated ocean liner was built, marvel at the dramatic geology of the Giant’s Causeway, and immerse yourself in Gaelic culture. Day 1: Depart Dublin at 09:00 and travel north towards the border with Northern Ireland. From here it is a short journey to Belfast, famous for its industrial past and turbulent history. After a short tour of some of the city’s key areas, arrive in the newly redeveloped Titanic Quarter, where you will have time for lunch and a visit to the award-winning museum. In the afternoon, experience the contrast between the busy city center and the scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens. Follow part of the coast from Ballycastle to the world famous Giant's Causeway. Marvel at the stunning coastal scenery, before checking into your overnight accommodation in the holiday town of Portrush. Day 2: Go to the walled city of Derry, designated a UK City of Culture in 2013. Enjoy some free time to explore the old city center, and visit one of the many museums or galleries. Then cross the border to the Republic of Ireland, traveling into one of the most remote and unspoilt areas of the country. Explore County Donegal’s dramatic scenery and Gaelic culture. Pass through Glenveagh National Park and the Errigal Mountains, before following the coast through traditional fishing villages. Stop for nature walks along the way, and soak up the local culture before checking into your overnight accommodation in Donegal. Day 3: Travel south along the coast from Donegal to County Sligo, and see the grave of the famous poet W.B. Yeats. Gaze at the mountain scenery of Ben Bulben, before exploring Sligo Town at Carrowmore, site of the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland. Continue west into County Mayo to discover an area hit hard by the great potato famine, leading many to emigrate to North America. Drive through large areas of farmland, bog, and open moor, enjoying panoramic views of the distant hills. Return to the Atlantic Coast and Achill Island on the edge of Europe. Savor the peace and quiet of the beautiful area, before driving to Westport for your next 2 nights accommodation. Day 4: Today’s itinerary is weather dependent, and your guide will advise the best things to see. Explore the beautiful house and grounds of Kylemore Abbey, or marvel at the wilderness of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden to see where the first transatlantic flight landed. Other options include the scenic Sky Road and 12 Bens of Connemara. Return to Westport for an evening at leisure, and the chance to sample some local seafood in one of the many excellent restaurants. Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, before leaving Westport and going inland through the heart of Connemara. Visit the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib to see where the classic movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed. Explore Cong Abbey, or the Quiet Man Museum, before driving through the Maam Valley to Galway City. Enjoy some free time for lunch, and to explore the vibrant city center. Return to Dublin, stopping at the old whisky distillery of Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan to learn about Ireland’s favorite tipple en route.

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Other Sightseeing Options in County Galway

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What people are saying about County Galway

Overall rating

3.8 / 5

based on 124 reviews

Phenomenal experience, with detailed history of Ireland's culture, politics, sports, etc., while driving through some of the most beautiful scenery in the continent. The coach's small size allows a journey through some smaller villages and hidden-away gems that the big buses can't get to. Highly recommended!

Superb. 5 hours was a perfect duration to fully enjoy the walk, the view, pick blueberries, have a coffee, feed the horses on the way and visit the information center. The guide was funny and very good. I absolutely loved this day.

Great experience! Very friendly guide. Plenty of time to do the whole trail.

it was really amazing and beautiful experience, i would like to go again :)

Very beautiful place. I can recommend it to everyone.