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West Eire Journey Information: Exploring Eire’s Western Coast


Trying to expertise the most effective of the Emerald Isle? West Eire is looking your title. It’s dwelling to colossal cliffs, vibrant cities, and an genuine Irish tradition that you simply gained’t discover anyplace else. The West of Eire provides a lot tradition, historical past, and nature – that it’s simple to see why so many individuals fall in love with it.

Whereas most guests of Eire select to remain in and round Dublin, the true magic lies within the countryside. And so far as that goes, there’s really no place higher to go to than Western Eire.

Right here, you’ll discover wild, windswept coastlines and inexperienced, unspoiled surroundings that present why Eire’s known as the “Emerald Isle.” Add to that energetic cities with cobblestone streets, thatched-roof cottages, and conventional pubs, and also you’ll see why it’s a high bucket-list vacation spot.

I just lately did an 8-day guided tour with Globus Journeys, the place I obtained to discover the west coast of Eire firsthand. This was one in all their Selection Touring itineraries, a brand new idea combining conventional touring with a extra immersive, native expertise. So, along with visiting must-see sights across the island, we additionally did customized excursions based mostly on our personal particular person pursuits. Such a enjoyable (and versatile) strategy to journey!

If you happen to’re on the lookout for distinctive issues to do in West Eire, preserve studying. Right here’s all the pieces that you must find out about visiting the western coast of Eire.

Learn additionally:

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Disclosure: My journey to Eire was in partnership with Globus Journeys. As all the time, all opinions are my very own.

Western Eire at a look

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the River Shannon, West Eire is a good place for journey. It’s greatest recognized for its coastal landscapes, together with cliffs, mountains, and seashores. Nonetheless, the West of Eire can be dwelling to pleasant folks and distinctive cultural and historic websites.

It rains a lot in the west of Ireland
It certain rains lots within the west of Eire. That’s why the grass seems so inexperienced!

The West Area of Eire encompasses three counties:

1. County Galway

2. County Mayo

3. County Roscommon

West Ireland map of 3 counties
West Eire map (highlighted in darkish inexperienced)

On this a part of Eire, there wasn’t a lot affect by the British. Because of this its conventional Gaelic roots are very a lot nonetheless intact. The area is especially rural, so that you’ll hear native Irish spoken, notably in small cities and villages.

Rathbaun Farm in County Galway.
Beloved studying about farm life at Rathbaun Farm in County Galway.

The most important metropolis in Western Eire is Galway, which has a inhabitants of 79,000. Different cities and cities embrace Castlebar, Ballina, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Roscommon, and Westport. The area is related to Dublin by rail, and there’s additionally a world airport right here known as Eire West Airport Knock. As well as, you will get right here by automotive or bus.

I discovered it tremendous handy to go to Western Eire on a guided bus tour with Globus Journeys. We stayed a pair nights in Galway and Westport, two stunning cities with a wealthy and native heritage. It was simple to get round and discover the area from these two dwelling bases.

If you happen to’re seeking to uncover the West of Eire, we’ve obtained you lined. Listed here are among the high locations and experiences it is best to find out about.

Irish west coast views
The landscapes on the Irish west coast are really unbeatable

Greatest issues to do in West Eire

From nature outings to cultural experiences, listed below are among the high points of interest in West Eire.

Wild Atlantic Manner

Spanning over 1,500 miles (2,414 km), the Wild Atlantic Manner is without doubt one of the world’s longest coastal roads. It extends from the Inishowen Peninsula up north to County Cork within the south. As its title suggests, this street is completely wild—providing beautiful vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and emerald water at each flip.

Coastal cliffs in the West of Ireland
The Republic of Eire has no scarcity of awe-inspiring coastal cliffs

Throughout my tour with Globus, we had the chance to go to a number of scenic elements of the Wild Atlantic Manner. This consists of the Cliffs of Moher, Achill Island, and Keem Bay, amongst different stunning photograph stops.

Drive, bike, or stroll alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner and also you’ll see why it’s a high attraction within the Emerald Isle. The sounds and smells of the ocean, paired with the normal seaside tradition, makes this a driving route like no different.

Sheep dot the coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way
Sheep dot the shoreline on the Wild Atlantic Manner

From picturesque villages and seashores to towering cliffs, Eire’s Atlantic shoreline doesn’t disappoint.

Map of the Wild Atlantic Way
Map of the Wild Atlantic Manner in Eire | Picture Credit score: thewildatlanticway.com

Cliffs of Moher

Towering over Eire’s western coast, the Cliffs of Moher are among the most epic sea cliffs conceivable. It’s Eire’s second most visited attraction after the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and it’s simple to see why.

The Cliffs of Moher are truly timeless
The Cliffs of Moher are really timeless

The Cliffs of Moher are among the many most iconic and broadly recognizable sights in Eire. It’s been featured in lots of Hollywood movies and music movies over time, together with Harry Potter, The Princess Bridge, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

Stroll alongside the paved pathways the place you’ll encounter sweeping views of the Atlantic. A few of the cliffs are as excessive as 702 ft (214 m), which is not like another sea cliffs I’ve seen. Plan to spend round two hours right here; nonetheless, you possibly can simply spend for much longer, as these cliffside walkways lengthen 14 km alongside the Atlantic Coast.

These sea cliffs are home to many bird species, including puffins.
These sea cliffs are dwelling to many chook species, together with puffins.

Notice: For photographers planning to go to the Cliffs of Moher, bear in mind that stone obstacles have been put as much as stop folks from getting too near the cliffs. In prior years, folks may stroll as much as the sting of the rim, however now there are stone slabs there for security functions. A few of these fences alongside the Cliffs of Moher are greater than 10-15 ft from the sting. Because of this many fashionable photograph spots are now not possible to get to, so you possibly can’t seize photographs just like the one under:

Me overlooking the Cliffs of Moher
Me overlooking the Cliffs of Moher

Are the Cliffs of Moher among the finest locations to go to in West Eire? Completely!

Achill Island

Positioned off the coast of County Mayo, Achill Island is without doubt one of the high vacationer points of interest within the west of Eire. It’s the nation’s largest island and takes just a few hours to drive round it. Right here, you’ll discover no scarcity of gorgeous seashores, rugged mountains, and cute sheep.

Sheep are everywhere on Achill Island
Sheep are in all places on Achill Island

There’s a bridge connecting Achill Island with the mainland, making it simple and handy to get to. When you get to the island, it feels such as you’ve been transported to a complete different world with its vibrant verdant landscapes and roaring seas. The very best sea cliffs in Eire are discovered right here, in addition to a wide range of wildlife.

The island is sort of massive, so that you’ll need to cowl it in a bus or name somewhat than on foot. We visited right here as one in all Globus’ Selection Tour excursions, the place they confirmed us some stunning photograph spots and seashores alongside the way in which. On a coastal trip this stunning, it may be a bit overwhelming to find out the place to tug over and cease. Happily, Globus took care of this for us, making it a enjoyable and hassle-free day.

With its jaw-dropping surroundings and rustic farmland, Achill Island is a must-see on a Western Eire itinerary.

The West Coast of Ireland, including Achill Island, is about as green as it gets
The West Coast of Eire, together with Achill Island, is about as inexperienced because it will get

Kylemore Abbey is among the many greatest locations to go to in West Eire

Trying to get your Eire citadel repair? Kylemore Abbey gained’t allow you to down. This grand property within the west of Eire is brimming with magnificence and splendor. Right here’s why it is best to go to on a Western Eire journey itinerary:

Kylemore Abbey is located in Connemara, which lies along the Wild Atlantic Way
Kylemore Abbey is positioned in Connemara, which lies alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner

As one in all Eire’s high tour points of interest, Kylemore Abbey is the oldest of the Irish Benedictine abbeys. It was inbuilt 1868 as a personal property earlier than turning into a monastery in 1920. The property is about on 1,000 acres – overlooking scenic mountains, forests, and a lake. Such a romantic setting!

The Victoria Walled Garden has 6 acres of flowers, vegetables, and herb garden plants.
The Victoria Walled Backyard has 6 acres of flowers, greens, and herb backyard vegetation.

It was superb to walk via the inside and see the ornate fixtures all through the constructing. Ten nuns nonetheless dwell, work, and pray right here, although we didn’t see any on the tour. Along with the abbey, there’s additionally a neo-gothic church, mausoleum, and delightful Victorian Walled Backyard on the property.

So far as issues to do in Western Eire go, it is a should!

Ireland's Taj Mahal
Only a 5 minute stroll from the Abbey, this church is taken into account Eire’s Taj Mahal.

Galway, Eire

Town of Galway is without doubt one of the coolest locations to go to on Eire’s western coast. Nicknamed the Metropolis of the Tribes, Galway retains its medieval metropolis partitions and different conventional buildings and customs from centuries previous.

Quay Street in the heart of Galway
Quay Avenue within the coronary heart of Galway

What I appreciated probably the most about Galway was its vibrant pub and meals scene. Each evening, you will discover conventional Irish music enjoying on the metropolis’s many bars and eating places. Nothing beats having a pint of the black stuff as you take heed to songs like Whiskey within the Jar and Fisherman’s Blues. Irish music is extremely enjoyable and festive – and I’ll definitely search for bars and eating places round Boston the place I can get my Irish music repair.

As well as, Globus introduced us on a guided culinary journey with Galway Meals Excursions, the place we obtained a style of the town’s greatest cafés, bistros, pubs, and dessert retailers. Although Eire isn’t notably recognized for its meals, the town of Galway does an awesome job mixing worldwide cuisines with the native taste. From the raspberry croissants and fish & chips to the whiskey and ice cream, each place on the meals tour was high notch.

Galway is a tremendous homebase for exploring the remainder of West Eire. It’s located on the midway level of the Wild Atlantic Manner, making it an awesome cease on a Western Eire street journey. Undoubtedly add it to your bucket listing!

Galway is the festival capital of Ireland
With its unimaginable dwell music scene, Galway is the “competition capital of Eire” with over 120 festivals occurring right here all year long.

Aran Islands

Not far off the coast of Galway are the ever-mystical Aran Islands. They’re made up of three islands, of which Inis Mór is the most important. We obtained to go to this island, taking within the nature magnificence, genuine tradition, and historical archeological websites.

The Aran Islands is one of my favorite places on this west coast Ireland tour.
The Aran Islands is one in all my favourite locations on this west coast Eire tour.

My favourite cease on the island was Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric fort relationship again over 3,000 years. It provides unbeatable views of the Atlantic Ocean and there’s additionally a small museum showcasing the historical past of the fort and the way it was used.

For lunch, Globus introduced us to Joe Watty’s Bar and Restaurant, a comfy pub that performs conventional dwell music. The meals was nice and listening to From Clare to Right here was a bonus!

A traditional thatched cottage near Dún Aonghasa
A standard thatched cottage close to Dún Aonghasa

With its uncooked nature and distinctive tradition, the Aran Islands are a high place to go to on a West Eire itinerary.

The cliffs at Dún Aonghasa are out of this world
The cliffs at Dún Aonghasa are out of this world!

Visiting Westport is without doubt one of the high issues to do in Western Eire

My favourite city in western Eire was undoubtedly Westport. It’s located proper alongside the coast in County Mayo inside attain of Achill Island, one other favourite spot on the Globus itinerary.

Westport is a top destination on the west coast of Ireland
Westport is a high vacation spot on the west coast of Eire

From the second you step into city, it’s simple to fall in love with its charming tree-lined streets, stone bridges, and colourful houses. Westport is stuffed with previous world allure, as seen within the mighty Westport Home that’s 300 years previous. The well-known mansion is about on 400 acres in a serene wilderness setting. It really embodies the west of Eire at its most interesting!

The Westport House is one of the few privately owned estates still standing in Ireland.
The Westport Home is without doubt one of the few privately owned estates nonetheless standing in Eire.

Other than the numerous points of interest and day journeys, Westport is stuffed with quaint pubs and eating places. I actually loved consuming at J.J. O’Malleys Bar & Restaurant and having just a few pints of the black stuff at The Porter Home. The dwell music scene right here was completely superb!

For a correct style of Eire’s west area, Westport has obtained you lined.

Westport, Ireland is a colorful old town
This small city on the west coast of Eire packs a punch with its vibrant buildings, charming promenades, and scenic river.

The place to remain on the west coast of Eire

The Irish west coast is brimming with superb locations to remain, however that are the most effective? Right here’s the place I like to recommend:

If you happen to’re seeking to discover a place that’s centrally positioned and effectively related to different elements of the area, it’s price staying in one in all Western Eire’s cities. Westport, Galway, and Limerick are three fashionable locations out west that make wonderful dwelling bases to the encompassing sights and points of interest.

Westport, Eire:

Galway:

Limerick:

Taking a tour of Western Eire

As talked about above, I believe one of the simplest ways to see Western Eire is on a tour. Positive, you possibly can hire a automotive and do all of it your self, nevertheless it’s laborious to have an area and immersive expertise this manner. Globus took us to native farms and on excursions with native guides, which might be tough to seek out while you’re researching the journey your self. Whenever you’re exploring this a part of the Emerald Isle, having a educated information who can clarify the breathtaking sights and landscapes is a large plus.

Globus Journeys tour of Western Ireland
Globus provides an unimaginable Eire itinerary

As well as, touring on a guided tour with Globus was merely far more handy. It’s good to have all of the logistics and journey planning taken care of. No stress, no problem, no getting misplaced. Simply pure enjoyment! Globus takes care of the resorts, airport transfers, and getting you to and from all of the sights. That manner, you might be current and totally immerse your self within the second.

Selection Touring with Globus

Along with having all of the traits of a typical tour, this itinerary is part of Globus’s Selection Touring program. As a part of this new type of touring, we had the flexibility to select from a collection of personalized, native excursions throughout the journey. In Westport, Galway, and Dublin, we had selections to expertise – from meals excursions and pub crawls to nature excursions and bike rides. So, not everybody within the group needed to do the identical factor each day – we may all selected completely different actions all through the week that greatest aligned with our private pursuits. It’s not simple for tour operators to arrange this, which is why none of them do it…apart from Globus!

Our tour information for the week, Helen, guided us each step of the way in which – from Dublin, round West Eire, and again to Dublin. Being native to Galway, she was tremendous educated in sharing the historical past, tradition, and enjoyable info in regards to the locations we visited. To not point out that she all the time answered our questions with an awesome humorousness. I might do that journey once more in a heartbeat!

Helen, our Irish tour guide, leading us through our excursion on Achill Island.
Helen, our Irish tour information, main us via our tour on Achill Island.

Trying to e-book a visit to Eire quickly? Globus is providing a $200 per particular person low cost on their Selection Excursions via the top of October. Click on right here for extra info.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions (FAQs) about Western Eire

What is taken into account West Eire?

Below the federal government of Eire and Eurostat classifications, West Eire consists of three counties within the north and western areas of the nation. It contains County Galway, County Mayo, and County Roscommon. These counties make up a giant a part of the Connacht Province of Eire.

Why is the west of Eire a vacationer attraction?

Guests of Western Eire come for the jaw-dropping surroundings and colourful cities and keep for the pub scene and pleasant locals. This makes the west area among the finest vacationer points of interest in Eire, arms down.

A traditional Irish meal in the western part of the country
A standard Irish meal entails soup or stew, brown bread, and naturally, a pint of Guinness to scrub it down.

How far is West Eire from Dublin?

From Dublin, it takes about 3.5 hours to get to Westport and a couple of.5 hours to get to Galway. Relying on the place you need to go within the western area, you’re taking a look at 200-250 km from Dublin.

What counties are within the west of Eire?

Within the western area of Eire, there are three counties: County Galway, County Mayo, and County Roscommon. If you happen to embrace the southwest and northwest (that are technically completely different areas), then you can too embrace the next counties: Clare, Kerry, Limerick, and Sligo.

Rugged coastal landscapes in the west of Ireland.
Rugged coastal landscapes within the west of Eire.

How lengthy does it take to drive the west coast of Eire?

The west coast of Eire is 1,500 miles (2,414 km) lengthy, which is sort of thrice longer than the Pacific Coast Freeway on the USA west coast. This extends from the border of Northern Eire within the north to Cork within the south. If you happen to wished to drive all of it, it will take 1-2 weeks with stops alongside the way in which. So, how lengthy would it not take to drive the complete west coast of Eire? No less than 50 hours.

The western coast of Ireland is truly surreal
The western coast of Eire is really surreal

What’s the west of Eire recognized for?

Western Eire is greatest recognized for its dramatic coastal landscapes and romantic cities and cities. The area is stuffed with breathtaking surroundings, seaside villages, and pleasant locals. It’s simple to see why thousands and thousands of individuals a yr make it to Eire’s West Coast.

The place do you fly into for western Eire?

The principle airport to fly into the West is Eire West Airport Knock (“Knock Airport”), which is in County Mayo. Different airports embrace Galway Airport and Shannon Airport.

The very best locations to see on the west coast of Eire

Hope you loved studying this Western Eire itinerary and journey information! Have you ever been to the west area earlier than? Let me know your favourite spots! Glad Travels! -Jon

The west coast of Ireland is a must-see destination in the British Isles
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