Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rugged Wonderland of County Galway

County Galway, a remarkable county with a truly unique atmosphere: the vibrancy of Galway City’s bright entertainment scene, the history and culture of Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht (Irish Speaking) region, the spectacular beauty of the diverse landscapes of the vast mountainous Connemara and the rich farming plains of Galway East. On top of all this, Galway has great beaches, soaring mountains, lovely villages, fabulous pubs and some of the friendliest people in Ireland.

Galway City
Galway City is an excellent walking city with pedestrian only streets. Galway is legendary around the world for its entertainment scene. Brightly painted pubs surge with live music on any given night, the winding cobblestone streets are filled with a frenzy of musicians and other street performers, known as buskers. Galway’s streets are steeped in history, yet have a contemporary vibe. The remains of the medieval town walls lie between trendy shops selling traditional Irish goods and more.

Connemara, in the northwest of County Galway, West Ireland has scenery like that out of a fairy tale. Its mountains are a deep and rich color of green and when the clouds roll in it seems almost magical. Its barren windswept landscape is compelling and inspiring. The blanket bog covering the region houses some beautiful and varied flora. The ancient mountains have been raked to their bones by long thawed glaciers, leaving patches of grey granite and jutting outwards, and potato rows still visible from the desperate times of the Great Famine. The fields are divided by hand-made stone walls, often collapsed. Irish is widely spoken in Connemara, and is the native language of all the locals. And will appreciate if you tried to speak a little Irish to the locals, however they will not expect you to speak in Irish.

Sightseeing Highlights

Dun Aonghasa, Aran Islands

This dramatic stone fort is perched on a clifftop almost 300ft above sea level. It’s an extremely important, and vulnerable, archaeological site.

Kylemore Abbey & Gardens
Originally a Victorian-era castle, the Abbey now serves as home to the Benedictine nuns in Ireland. The gardens contain a magnificent 10,000 trees.

St Brendan’s Cathedral, Clonfert
St. Brendan’s is famed for its beautiful Romanesque doorway, which dates back to about 1200. The cathedral is on the site of St. Brendan’s monastery, which dates back to the sixth century.

Spiddal Craft and Design Centre
This center includes a number of workshops producing traditional Irish crafts including candles, leatherwork, pottery, woodwork, screenprinting and bodhráns.

Galway Crystal Factory
Galway Irish Crystal has long been one of the world's best known and loved brands of traditionally crafted Irish lead crystal. Nestled in the heart of the West of Ireland, on the shores of Galway Bay, Galway Irish Crystal is steeped in the rich and diverse heritage of this unique hinterland. Our Master Craftsmen are continuously inspired by the sheer beauty of the surrounding countryside - Connemara, Galway Bay and Lough Corrib - and influenced by the wealth of history and folklore which is synonymous with Galway, the famous City of the Tribes.

Take a trip into the rugged wonderland of County Galway for an experience of a lifetime.

Galway is a featured stop on a number of Celtic Tours Escorted Motorcoach Tours of Ireland. Learn more about Celtic Tours Escorted Motorcoach Tours

No comments:

Networked Blogs