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WELCOME TO GNWS TRAVEL GUIDE FOR IRELAND
DISCOVER GALWAY WITH GNWS
- Sourrounded by Ireland's rugged Atlantic Coastline in the west and Galway Bay to the south, County Galway is an idyllic and beautiful hideaway for a romantic weekend break or long term holiday to enjoy and take in the many natural and cultural treasures around. Visitors have an excellent choice of holiday bases to choose from in Galway, from the Galway City, renowned for its vibrant arts and cultural calendar to the awesome peaks of the Connemara region in the west of the county.
Regarded as Ireland's major centre for the Arts, Galway City boasts an eclectic and colourful array of annual festivals that reflect the region's effervescent music and dance arena and the delicious food and delicacies that Galway is internationally acclaimed for, from seafood to premiere quality cheeses. Galway City has restored much of its distinctive character with authenticity, from its old stone and wooden shop fronts that align the narrow cobbled lanes to its main focal point, Eyre Square where a plaque in the middle pays homage to US President John F Kennedy who visited the city in 1963. No matter what time of year you visit this cultural desitnation, you are guaranteed to be welcomed with a festival or event, from the longstanding Jazz Festival in February to the world-renowned Galway Race Week in July for those who enjoy a flutter.
A remarkable and notable attraction in County Galway is the beautiful Galway Irish Crystal Heritage Centre where visitors may discover Galway and The West of Ireland's rich heritage and culture. Be inspired by the art of producing Irish Crystal with audio-visual presentations or a host of workshops where you can have a preview of accomplished artisans demonstrating their craftsmanship. In open air, The Boatbuilder's workshop equally highlights the seafaring and maritime heritage of Galway Bay, showcasing the traditional boats that ferried passengers between mainland Galway and the offshore Aran Islands. Alternativerly, visit the traditional Claddagh Village where romance and sea-fishing lies in the heart of this community, renowned for its Claddagh Ring, on sale at well-stocked jewellery shops. Why not take a trip down memory lane and visit the Claddagh Exhibition depicting the traditional way of live of that disappeared in the 1930s.
Designated as a National Park, The Connemara is irrefutably one of Ireland's most popular and much-loved destinations, occupying Western Galway where mountainous terrain meets the surfing crests of the Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing over 2,000 hectares of peat bogs, rich grassland and heaths juxtaposed with imposing rugged mountains and desolate valleys, The Connemara is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts who take to the region's peaks at any give time of the year.
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The geology of the area is somewhat remarkable ranging from pink granite in the lower altitudes to a melange of quartzite, gneiss, schist and green marble in the mountainous north of the Connemara.
The area has retained its Gaeltacht traditions where Irish is largely spoken throughout, just to the west of Galway City and where signage is often only in Irish. Why not test your agility and take to the higher altitides. Mount Gable is one of the regions most attractive mountain treks and can be easily reached by novice and accomplished walkers alike, commanding excellent views across this desolate wilderness and two of Galway's largest lakes, Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. .
Take a boat trip across to the Aran Islands in the middle of Galway Bay where you can bare witness to remnants of its ancient and monastic past such as the Killeany Monastery on Inishmore Island. The islands extraordinary landscape comprises the same limestone and karst scenery as the nearby Burren in County Clare. The largest of the three islands, Inishmore is certainly offers a wealth of attractions from live entertainment in the many pubs of the main town, Kilronan, renowned for its hand-knitted Aran Sweaters. Inishmaan is more tranquil affaire with boreens and spectacular cliff tops that inspired famous Irish playwright JM Synge and Irish Nationalist Padraig Pearse. One of the main attractions on the island is Dun Chonchuir, an oval shaped stone fort on a hilltop that serves as a principal vantage point over the island.
The smallest of the three, Inisheer is the nearer to County Clare than mainland Galway, a mere 8km off the coast of Doolin. There is an aspect of timelessness about this islet and as a result of the absence of archeological sites, it is the least frequented by visitors making Inisheer more special. The island's major attractions occupy the north of the island such as the 15th Century O'Brien Castle built on a 1st Century fort and Inisheer Heritage House set in a traditional thatched cottage. The best way to discover the treasures and beauty spots of all three islands is by bicycle or on foot around its sandy thoroughfares. As one of Ireland's most visited counties, County Galway certainly captures the essence and authenticity of Ireland's rich culture and heritage and draws regular visitors back to its shores as a result of its vibrant cultural calendar, wild terrains and friendly hospitality. Come and experience Galway where you will be inspired of its natural beauty and the warmth of its people.