7 Day Trips from Galway – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Galway, located on the stunning west coast of Ireland, serves as the perfect base for exploring the diverse landscapes and attractions that the region has to offer. Embarking on day trips from Galway allows travelers to immerse themselves in the rich culture, history, and natural beauty of the area. From the rugged cliffs of the Cliffs of Moher to the enchanting landscapes of Connemara National Park, there is no shortage of captivating destinations to visit within a short drive from Galway. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, historical sites, or charming villages, day trips from Galway offer a delightful array of experiences for every type of traveler.

Cliffs of Moher

Travel tips

  • Distance from Galway: Approximately 50 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 to 2 hours
  • How to get there: You can take a bus from Galway Coach Station or a train from Galway Ceannt Station to Ennis, then transfer to a bus that will take you directly to the Cliffs of Moher.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Cliffs of Moher

Exploring Cliffs of Moher: Things to do

The Cliffs of Moher stand majestically along the rugged west coast of Ireland, offering visitors a breathtaking natural spectacle. This iconic landmark is a must-see for anyone exploring the beauty of the Emerald Isle.

One of the top things to do at the Cliffs of Moher is to simply marvel at the stunning views. The sheer cliffs rise dramatically from the Atlantic Ocean, reaching heights of up to 702 feet. Take a leisurely stroll along the cliffside pathways and soak in the awe-inspiring vistas of the crashing waves below and the Aran Islands in the distance.

For the adventurous souls, hiking along the cliff trails provides an exhilarating experience. The rugged terrain and fresh sea breeze make for a memorable outdoor adventure. Be sure to capture the panoramic views from various vantage points along the cliffs, perfect for photography enthusiasts.

Birdwatching is another popular activity at the Cliffs of Moher, as the area is home to a diverse range of seabirds, including puffins, razorbills, and guillemots. Keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures as they soar above the cliffs or nestle in the crevices.

Visitors can also explore the interactive visitor center, which provides insights into the geological formation and cultural significance of the cliffs. Learn about the rich history and folklore surrounding this natural wonder through informative exhibits and audiovisual presentations.

Whether you are a nature lover, adventure seeker, or history enthusiast, the Cliffs of Moher offer something for everyone. Plan your day trip from Galway to witness the raw beauty of one of Ireland’s most iconic landmarks.

Connemara National Park

Travel tips

  • Distance from Galway: Approximately 47 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 hours by car
  • How to get there: You can take the Citylink bus from Galway Coach Station to Letterfrack, which is the nearest town to Connemara National Park. Alternatively, you can take the train from Galway to Westport and then a bus or taxi to the park.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Connemara National Park

Exploring Connemara National Park: Things to do

Connemara National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The park’s rugged landscape, vast expanses of bogland, and stunning mountain ranges make it a paradise for hikers and photographers. One of the top activities to do in Connemara National Park is hiking the Diamond Hill Loop Trail, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

For those interested in wildlife, the park is home to a variety of bird species, including peregrine falcons and merlins. Birdwatching enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Additionally, the park is known for its population of Connemara ponies, a hardy and beautiful breed native to the region.

Visitors can also explore the park’s visitor center, which provides information on the park’s history, geology, and wildlife. The center offers interactive exhibits and guided tours, making it a great starting point for your Connemara adventure.

Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself with a strenuous hike or simply relax and take in the stunning scenery, Connemara National Park has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to experience this unique and unspoiled corner of Ireland.

Aran Islands

Travel tips

  • Distance from Galway to Aran Islands: Approximately 30 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 2 hours
  • How to get there: You can take a bus from Galway to the ferry terminal at Rossaveal, where you can catch a ferry to the Aran Islands. Alternatively, you can take a train to Galway Ceannt Station and then transfer to a bus to Rossaveal.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Aran Islands

Exploring Aran Islands: Things to do

The Aran Islands, located off the west coast of Ireland, are a must-see destination for travelers seeking a unique and authentic Irish experience. Known for their rugged beauty and rich cultural heritage, the islands offer a variety of activities and attractions that showcase the best of traditional Irish life.

One of the top things to do on the Aran Islands is to visit Dun Aonghasa, a prehistoric stone fort perched on the edge of a cliff with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. This ancient site provides a glimpse into the island’s history and offers a breathtaking backdrop for photos.

For nature lovers, exploring the rugged landscapes and coastal cliffs of the islands is a must. Hiking or cycling along the scenic trails allows visitors to appreciate the raw beauty of the terrain and observe the diverse wildlife that calls the islands home.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Aran Sweater Market, where you can shop for traditional hand-knit sweaters and other Irish crafts. You can also sample local cuisine at one of the island’s charming pubs or cafes, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and traditional Irish music.

Overall, a visit to the Aran Islands is a unique opportunity to experience the authentic beauty and culture of Ireland’s west coast. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply soaking up the laid-back island atmosphere, the Aran Islands have something to offer every type of traveler.

Kylemore Abbey

Travel tips

  • Distance from Galway: Approximately 48 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 to 2 hours by car
  • How to get there: You can take the Citylink bus from Galway Coach Station to Letterfrack, then transfer to a local bus to Kylemore Abbey. Alternatively, you can take a train from Galway to Westport and then a bus to Kylemore Abbey.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Kylemore Abbey

Exploring Kylemore Abbey: Things to do

Kylemore Abbey, set amidst the stunning Connemara landscape, is a must-see destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. The abbey, originally built as a private home in the 19th century, offers a glimpse into Ireland’s past and showcases breathtaking architecture.

Visitors can explore the abbey’s elegant rooms, including the Gothic Church and the Victorian Walled Garden. The Abbey’s history is rich, with tales of tragedy and triumph that add depth to the experience.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the Abbey’s location near the serene Kylemore Lake and the lush Connemara National Park. Hiking trails abound, offering opportunities to soak in the natural beauty of the area and spot local wildlife.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Abbey’s craft shop, where you can purchase handmade souvenirs and local products. And be sure to indulge in a traditional Irish meal at the on-site restaurant, which serves up delicious dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.

Overall, Kylemore Abbey is a place where history, nature, and culture converge, making it a top destination for those seeking a well-rounded Irish experience.

The Burren

Travel tips

  • Distance from Galway: Approximately 47 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 hours by car
  • How to get there: You can take the Bus Éireann route 350 from Galway to Kinvara, then transfer to the 350A bus that goes to Ballyvaughan, a town near The Burren. If you prefer the train, you can take the train from Galway to Gort and then catch a bus to Ballyvaughan.
  • Click for Google maps directions: The Burren

Exploring The Burren: Things to do

The Burren, a unique limestone landscape in County Clare, Ireland, is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Its rugged beauty and rich history make it a fascinating place to explore.

One of the top things to do in The Burren is to visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a Neolithic portal tomb dating back to around 4200 BC. This ancient monument provides a glimpse into Ireland’s prehistoric past and offers a stunning backdrop for photos.

For those interested in flora and fauna, The Burren is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, including rare orchids and butterflies. The Burren is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with species such as the peregrine falcon and the chough often spotted in the area.

Hiking and walking trails crisscross the landscape, allowing visitors to explore the unique rock formations and hidden caves of The Burren. The Burren National Park offers guided tours and educational programs for those looking to learn more about the area’s geology and ecology.

Overall, The Burren’s stark beauty and ancient history make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting the west of Ireland. Whether you’re interested in archaeology, nature, or simply enjoying a scenic hike, The Burren has something to offer every type of traveler.

Doolin

Travel tips

  • Distance of Doolin from Galway: Approximately 47 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 hours by car
  • How to get there from Galway: You can take the Bus Éireann service from Galway Coach Station to Ennis, and then transfer to the Bus Éireann service to Doolin. Alternatively, you can drive along the N67 and N85 roads. There is no direct train service to Doolin.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Doolin

Exploring Doolin: Things to do

Doolin, a charming village on the west coast of Ireland, is a must-see destination for those seeking an authentic Irish experience. Known for its traditional music scene and stunning coastal landscapes, Doolin offers a unique blend of culture and natural beauty.

One of the top things to do in Doolin is to visit the Cliffs of Moher, located just a short drive away. These iconic cliffs rise dramatically from the Atlantic Ocean, offering breathtaking views of the rugged coastline. You can take a leisurely stroll along the cliffside paths or join a boat tour to see the cliffs from the water.

For music enthusiasts, Doolin is famous for its lively pubs where you can enjoy traditional Irish music sessions. Join the locals for a pint of Guinness and tap your feet to the sounds of fiddles and bodhráns. The vibrant music scene in Doolin is a testament to the village’s rich cultural heritage.

Nature lovers will also appreciate the outdoor activities available in Doolin, such as hiking along the Burren Way or exploring the underground wonders of the Aillwee Cave. The rugged beauty of the landscape and the warm hospitality of the locals make Doolin a truly special place to visit.

Whether you’re interested in music, nature, or simply soaking up the Irish atmosphere, Doolin has something to offer every traveler. Plan a day trip from Galway to Doolin and discover the magic of this picturesque village on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Westport

Travel tips

  • Distance from Galway: 80 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
  • How to get there: You can reach Westport from Galway by taking a bus from Galway Coach Station or by train from Galway Ceannt Station. The bus journey takes around 2 hours, while the train journey takes approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Westport

Exploring Westport: Things to do

Westport is a charming town on the west coast of Ireland that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences. One of the top attractions in Westport is climbing Croagh Patrick, a sacred mountain that offers stunning views of Clew Bay and the surrounding countryside. For history enthusiasts, a visit to Westport House, a stately home with beautiful gardens and a fascinating history, is a must.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the Great Western Greenway, a scenic cycling and walking trail that stretches from Westport to Achill Island. The trail passes through picturesque countryside, charming villages, and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

In the town itself, visitors can wander along the colorful streets lined with shops, cafes, and traditional pubs. Be sure to stop by Matt Molloy’s, a famous pub owned by the flautist of The Chieftains, where you can enjoy live traditional music sessions.

For a taste of local culture, don’t miss the Westport Food Festival, held annually in September, showcasing the best of Irish cuisine and local produce. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, history, or simply soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of a traditional Irish town, Westport has something for everyone.

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