Galway is the wild west of Ireland at its best. Rugged coastlines, dramatic hills and valleys, isolated islands, emerald fields and towns filled with traditional music, dancing, and language. Galway city is a tangle of cobbled streets, cosy pubs and mouth watering restaurants, the magnificent Connemara landscape is just a short drive away and the traditional Gaelic community of the Aran Islands are reachable with a quick boat trip too, although they both seem a world away.
Stay at The Salthill Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Mayo is often first on the list of anyone travelling to the west of Ireland, and for good reason. This large coastal county is where you’ll find the brooding Croagh Patrick, which pilgrims climb to honour Ireland’s patron saint every year; the village of Cong, where The Quiet Man was filmed and where an exquisite medieval abbey stands; and of course the vibrant town of Westport, situated along the picturesque Clew Bay.
Stay at The Westport Woods Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Donegal is one of the most beautiful, unspoilt, isolated parts of the whole island. If you want to get away from it all and experience this country at its best, Donegal is where to go. Surfing fans will adore the beach town of Bundoran, while outdoor adventurers will find everything they need at the breathtaking Glenveagh National Park and indoorsy types will find plenty of cosy pubs in Letterkenny and Donegal Town.
Stay at The Sandhouse Hotel or Similar or hand selected Bed and Breakfast
Leitrim’s claim to fame is Ireland’s longest river, the Shannon, which gives this county it’s main water source, tourism attraction, and even food source. A visit to Leitrim means a wealth of opportunities for sailing, boating, fishing, watersports, or even bog walking and swimming if you don’t mind getting a little bit muddy! Afterwards you can experience the typical lifestyle of a small Irish town (as well as some fresh seafood) in the diminutive but utterly charming Carrick-on-Shannon.
Westmeath is home to one of the most important ancient sites in Ireland; the Hill of Uisneach, long associated with the Celtic festival celebrating the arrival of summer, Bealtaine. Apart from that, Westmeath is largely an agricultural county with neatly bordered fields dotted with cows and sheep stretching for miles in every direction. The bustling market towns of Athlone and Mullingar are also worth a look, filled with lively pubs, busy shops and cosy cafes.