Ireland is a fascinating country to visit and no area reflects its romance and beauty more than the west coast. Boasting scenery that ranges from magnificent cliffs to serene lakes and people and culture that are friendly and intriguing, it is easy to see why many thousands of tourists each year are drawn to the region.
There are various ways that one can get around and experience the west coast of Ireland with some people choosing to take a cycling holiday around the region and others renting a car and driving from one county to the other. I have personally done the latter a couple of times driving from County Sligo to County Mayo, through Galway and the beautiful Connemara national park down to County Kerry with it marvellous locations such as Killarney and Dingle bay.
It is even possible to hop on and off a combination of local buses and some brave souls even hitch hike from one town or county to another! Whichever mode of transport is taken, the one thing that can be assured is that it will be a memorable experience.
With many different routes that can be taken through and around the west coast of Ireland, knowing what and where the highlights and attractions of the region are is a good help when planning a trip there. Below is a list of some of the more important places that should be included on a touring itinerary of the Irish West Coast.
Galway: Galway city is amongst the most popular places in Ireland for tourists to visit. The universities around the city contribute to its vibrant youth culture. At the same time, the historic centre still retains a medieval feel to it and walking along its small streets and alleyways are a wonderful way to explore its hidden gems. The city is also well known for its excellent nightlife and for its great number of unique pubs. A pint of Guinness or two is the perfect way to begin a fun night out.
Connemara: Considered to be one of the most unspoilt areas along the west coast, Connemara has amazing landscapes that change between the Twelve Bens mountain range through to white sandy beaches. The spring and autumn months are perhaps the best time to visit, as although the weather may not be at its best, from a traditional holidaymakers point of view the area is most alive. A slew of colours from the flowers and trees during the spring herald the arrival of new born lambs and during the autumn, the sun seems to cast a different light every hour of the day.
Burren National Park: With perhaps one of the weirdest landscapes in Ireland, the Burren National Park has virtually no soil and is made up of limestone. People visit here to experience its other worldliness and to see the Aliwee Caves.
Killarney: Another popular tourist destination, Killarney is a picturesque town which itself is surrounded by an area of outstanding natural beauty. Many people use this as a starting point for a tour around the Ring of Kerry.
Ring of Kerry: This 170 kilometre long tourist route passes around the Iveragh Peninsula, going through some of the most beautiful scenery along the west coast. Some people may choose to divide the tour into three days, although it can be completed in one. The major attractions include Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall and the Bog Village amongst many others. The Ring of Kerry is considered to be a highlight of any tour along the west coast of Ireland and if only a one place trip is possible, this should be the one.
Dave is passionate about traveling and writing about traveling on various sites and blogs. He regularly contributes his writing to Spa Travel an online travel agent offering Cheap city breaks and Spa destinations for the UK outbound Traveller.
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