Galway; Paradise on Earth

Galway; Paradise on Earth

Galway is abound with captivating #natural attractions. A perfect destination for those who like to be up and about doing various #active activities including #island hopping, cave tours, #farm visits and #bird watching. It is indeed on the list of must-see attractions in Ireland.


Located in County Clare in Ireland, Galway was our choice for a short vacation, when my mum visited us in June last year. I have always wanted to visit this picturesque destination especially to see the famed Cliffs of Moher. So, my husband and I decided to do a 2 nights and 3 days trip to Galway with my mum and son.

It took us about 5 hours to cover 230 miles with couple of breaks. We checked into the Clayton Hotel which is a short distance from the city centre.

from  $81.59

Clayton Hotel Galway

 Ballybrit Lynch Roundabout, Galway, Republic of Ireland
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Loughwell Farm Park

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It was not a very well known brand so we were a bit skeptical about the quality. Even the entrance to the hotel didn’t seem very appealing but we didn’t regret our stay here. The rooms and bathrooms were quite spacious and the bed was extremely comfortable. I have never come across such accommodating staff. They were truly brilliant.

They were truly brilliant

We quickly freshened up and headed directly to the Loughwell Farm Park. 

from  $13

Loughwell Farm Park

Active
 Galway, Ireland
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After a long drive, we thought it would be a good idea to start with something light. The farm trip was a lot of fun as my son had a blast while we relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine. They had a very good selection of indoor and outdoor activities. Outdoor activities included mini-golf, zip lining, barrel train, obstacle courses and swings. 

Outdoor activities included mini-golf, zip lining, barrel train, obstacle courses and swings

The best part of the park was the indoor play area, which was quite entertaining for all of us. They had some massive slides, which are supposed to be the best in Ireland. 

They had some massive slides, which are supposed to the best in Ireland

The vertical drop slide was pretty scary even for an adventurous person such as myself but an absolute rush of adrenalin. My son was able to touch and play with the ponies and ride on them. The tiny go-karting corner and sand pit were not too bad either. Admission fees are around €12 for a child and €5 for an adult. We managed to grab a sandwich and some chips at the restaurant in the indoor play area. The farm visit was what we needed to get us going. We had a take-away Indian dinner that night.

The next morning we were up and ready for our daylong sojourn to the Cliffs of Moher. So, we booked a combined ferry tour of the Inis Oirr and the Cliffs of Moher from O’Brien Line.

from  $33

Inis Oírr & Cliffs of Moher Tour

Active
 Galway, Ireland
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It was around €30 per person, which was quite affordable. We did a good thing by booking in advance as the tickets were sold out pretty quickly being the summer season. The ferry was from a place called Doolin, about 1.5 hours’ drive from Galway city. With great difficulty we found a nice parking spot and exchanged our online booking voucher with the tickets for the ferry. The boats were convenient but not very well maintained. The bathrooms and seating area were quite dirty but it was pretty okay for a 30-minute ride. The first stop was Inis Oirr Island, the smallest of the Aran Islands. We opted to take a horse cart around the island, which was fun for my son but very boring for us as we got a very old driver. He was a very sweet man but he just wouldn’t budge. The Plassey, an old cargo vessel, was shipwrecked on this very island. We got to see the remains of the huge ship. Apart from this, we got some awesome views of the cliffs and the sea. We learnt about how rock walls were made to protect the island from floods. Joe Watty’s Bar & Restaurant, with a very old-town ambiance, was the perfect spot for lunch. We spent a short while on the seashore before boarding the ferry to the Cliffs of Moher.

The ferry took us around the stunning Cliffs of Moher. No words can entirely describe the sheer beauty of these mammoth cliffs. 

No words can entirely describe the sheer beauty of these mammoth cliffs

The ferry took us very close to the rocks and went almost till the edge of the cliffs before turning back. It stopped briefly at one point where we saw more than a million Atlantic Puffins sitting on a tall rock. It was an amazing feeling to see so many birds at the same time. We reached Doolin Pier late in the evening and headed straight back to the hotel. It was quite a hectic day in the end. Although we chose the direct ferry tour, the concierge at the hotel mentioned that the Galway Tour Company does some excellent day tours of the cliffs.

from  $49

Galway Tour Company

Active
 Galway, Ireland
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Next morning, we drove about 51 km to Ailwee Caves to explore Stalactites, Stalagmites, bears that once lived in the cave and mini waterfalls. 

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Aillwee Cave

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 Burren, Ireland
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The informative and educational tour lasted for 30 minutes. 

The Birds of Prey Centre was more fascinating than the cave. We were not very sure if it would be good but glad that we went ahead with it. We witnessed the birds of prey show, which displayed the flying styles of Hawks, Owls, Eagles & Falcons and how they would find their prey. 

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Birds of Prey

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 Ballyvaughan, Clare, Ireland
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My son and I were bold enough to feed the Hawks. It was indeed a thrilling experience. We got an opportunity to meet all the heroes of the show in their wee cage.

It was indeed a thrilling experience

I have been to Galway twice already and am ready for another trip; might explore Inishmore, Doolin Caves, do the hawk walk at Ailwee Caves or try flying to Aran Islands. 

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