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Bay - a must see on the west coast of Ireland! by Mairead Foley
So where exactly is Galway
Bay? It's located off the west coast of Ireland, between counties Clare
and Galway in an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches westwards from
historic Galway city, is bordered on the north by County Galway, and to
the south by the Burren area of North County Clare. The bay is protected
at its mouth by the Aran Islands (Inis Mor, Inis Meann and Inisheer) and
is around 50km in length, and 30km wide.
|Galway Bay is immortalised
in the song "Galway Bay" which was originally composed by Frank Fahey,
and renewed by Arthur Colahan in 1947, and popularised by legendary singer
Bing Crosby. Indeed, Galway Bay has been mentioned in many songs in recent
times, notably the Pogues "Fairytale of New York" and Disney's "Darby O'Gill
and the Little People", where Sean Connery sings a song about the Galway
There are many picturesque
villages and towns that dot the coastline of both counties Galway and Clare
which border the majestic Galway Bay. These include: Spiddal, Barna, Oranmore,
Claddagh, Galway city, Salthill, Kinvara, Ballyvaughan and the Burren Area,
with its unique rock formations, monuments and enchanting plant life.
The best way to tour the
Galway Bay shoreline is by car. Starting in the Doolin/Liscannor area of
County Clare, you can take in the stunning views of the Cliffs of Moher,
and if you've time to spare pop into the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre.
From the Cliffs of Moher,
follow the N67 around Black Head and onto Ballyvaughan, home to some of
the country's finest beaches and again breathtaking views of Galway Bay.
|Another popular tourist
attraction in this part of County Clare is Ailwee Caves, underneath the
landscape of the Burren. You can see the Aran Islands from here on a clear
day! From Ballyvaughan take the N67 to the famous fishing village of Kinvara
in County Galway.
Kinvara is an Irish speaking
area. From the pier you can see the famous wooden framed, hide covered
''currach'' boats that are still used by fishermen to catch fish in the
Galway Bay area. Check out the beaches here as well!
The journey from Kinvara
to Galway is a scenic drive along the shores of Galway Bay. Take the N67
to Kilcolgan, then the N18 to Oranmore and then the N6 to Galway city.
Galway city, known as the
''City of the Tribes'', is a city much inspired by culture and music, laced
with pretty shops and charming restaurants, and is perched on the shores
of Galway Bay.
About 3km from the city is
the seaside resort of Salthill. Along the promenade, overlooking Galway
Bay, you can sit back, relax and watch the waves of Galway bay rolling
in! It's also dotted with many fine restaurants, many famous for their
fresh seafood. From here take the R337 to Barna and Spiddal. This is a
stunning drive along the coast road.
|Things to do
There are many activities
you can enjoy along the coast of Galway Bay. Sailing can be arranged at
the Galway Bay Sailing Club. You can take a boat trip from Rossaveal in
Galway, or from Doolin in Clare to the Aran Islands, at the mouth of Galway
The Aran Islands are located
about 48km, 30 miles or so, from the mouth of Galway Bay. Irish is the
everyday language spoken on all 3 islands. Attractions here include Dun
Aengus, an ancient stone fort on Inis Mor, while from the cliffs you can
take in the spectacular views of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. With
no end of unspoilt sandy beaches with clear blue water, watersports of
all kinds are hugely popular in the area, as is fishing.
From Doolin, you can also
take a boat tour along the Cliffs of Moher.
If you're a keen angler there
are plenty fishing opportunities on Galway Bay. For the golf enthusiast
there's the Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore.
Galway Bay was also renowned
for its unique sailing craft, the ''Galway Hooker''. The ''Hookers'' were
most prominent just after the Great Famine in Ireland in the middle of
the nineteenth century. The Claddagh Fleet was at its zenith at that time,
with nearly 100 vessels. Galway was the centre of the boat building industry
in the West of Ireland at the time. However, more modern technologies led
to changes in working practises, and the fleet was rendered obsolete.
- Featured Galway Hotels
About the Author: Mairead
Foley writes for the Ireland travel and accommodation website GoIreland.com.
Visit GoIreland for all you need to know before visiting Galway, like what
to see and where to go. You can also view B&Bs, guesthouses, self catering
and hotels all over Ireland.
for Galway Hotels
GALWAY HOTELS - REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
browsing Galway Hotels
Hotel Galway City
Carlton Hotel Galway City
is located in Galway, close to Galway Greyhound Stadium, St. Nicholas'
Collegiate Church, and Spanish Arch. Nearby points of interest also include
Galway City Museum and Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St.
Nicholas. Dining options at Carlton Hotel Galway City include a restaurant
and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational
amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and
a fitness facility. Spa amenities include spa services and massage/treatment
rooms. High-speed Internet access is available in public areas. Guest parking
is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a children's club
and supervised childcare/activities.
Flannery's Hotel Galway
is a family-friendly hotel located in Galway, close to Galway Greyhound
Stadium, Galway Atlantaquaria, and Galway City Museum. Additional points
of interest include St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church and Spanish Arch. Dining
options at Flannery's Hotel Galway include a restaurant and a bar/lounge.
Room service is available during limited hours. Complimentary wireless
Internet access is available in public areas. Guest parking is complimentary.
Additional property amenities include tour/ticket assistance and currency
exchange. This is a smoke-free property. A total renovation of this property
was completed in March 2009.
Harbour Hotel is located
in central Galway, close to Eyre Square, Spanish Arch, and St. Nicholas'
Collegiate Church. Nearby points of interest also include Galway City Museum
and Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas. Recreational
amenities include a fitness facility and a steam room. Complimentary wireless
Internet access is available in public areas. This Galway property has
event space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, a ballroom, and small
meeting rooms. Additional property amenities include self parking. This
is a smoke-free property.
Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway
Situated in Galway, this
family-friendly hotel is near Eyre Square, St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church,
and Spanish Arch. Additional attractions include Galway City Museum. Dining
options at Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway include a restaurant and
a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities
include an indoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, a sauna, and
a fitness facility. The Wireless Internet access is available in public
areas. Wedding services, concierge services, and tour assistance are available.
Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include barbecue
grills, multilingual staff, and currency exchange.
The Westwood is a business-friendly
hotel located in Galway, close to National University of Ireland-Galway,
Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, and St. Nicholas'
Collegiate Church. Additional points of interest include Galway City Museum
and Spanish Arch. Dining options at The Westwood include a restaurant and
a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. This 4.0-star property
offers small meeting rooms, limo/town car service, and audio-visual equipment.
Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The property offers
an airport shuttle (surcharge). Guest parking is complimentary. Additional
property amenities include multilingual staff and laundry facilities.