Are you itching to take a tour from Galway where you might be based for a few days? Do you want to discover Ireland’s breathtaking landscapes? Galway is the perfect starting place for a variety of amazing day adventures, whether you’re a frequent traveler or local.
Ireland has something for everyone with its picturesque coasts, lush rolling hills, and misty mountains, from the legendary Cliffs of Moher tour which is also now a cruise to the lyrical splendor of the Connemara National Park.
We’ll be showing 10 incredible day excursions from Galway in this article so you can enjoy all the breathtaking beauty Ireland has to offer. Prepare to be mesmerized by these enchanted places and begin making plans for the ideal Irish vacation right immediately.
Introduction to Galway
The lively and picturesque city of Galway, which is sometimes referred to as the “cultural heart of Ireland,” is situated on the west coast of the nation. It is a well-liked tourist attraction for people from all over the world because of its vibrant streets, bustling taverns, and rich history.
There are many sights and things to do in the city each day from Galway itself, such as going to the Galway Cathedral, wandering through the Spanish Arch, or enjoying a cruise down the River Corrib. But you must leave the city and visit some of the neighboring day trip locations if you want to fully appreciate Ireland’s natural splendor.
Options for a Day Trip from Galway
Here are 10 incredible day trips from Galway that will take you on an unforgettable journey through Ireland’s enchanting landscapes. Each destination has its own unique charm and beauty, so be sure to add a day tour from Galway to your travel itinerary.
1. Day Tour to the Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are without a doubt the first and most famous day excursion from Galway. The Cliffs of Moher day trip from Galway is one of the most popular tours in Ireland. These breathtaking cliffs, which may reach heights of up to 702 feet, are found on the west coast of Ireland and span more than 8 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the most well-liked tourist spots in Ireland because of the breathtaking vistas and rough terrain.
To obtain a close-up view of the cliffs of Moher, go on a guided tour or trek along the well-maintained trails. Even the Aran Islands may be seen in the distance on a clear day. Take a boat excursion along the wild Atlantic side to observe the cliffs .
Taking a guided trip is among the greatest ways to explore the Cliffs of Moher. This enables you to unwind while a knowledgeable guide gives their insights and anecdotes about the area. You can enquire about the iconic cliffs of Moher Tour’s past, present, and future, as well as its geology and biodiversity.
During the 8 hours of the Cliffs of Moher tour, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning views and capture memorable photos. Your guide will also take you to some of the lesser-known viewpoints, allowing you to see the cliffs of Moher cruise in from different angles and appreciate their beauty even more.
In addition to admiring the breathtaking scenery, many tours also include stops at nearby attractions such as the Burren National Park and the picturesque village of Doolin. These stops offer a chance to explore more of Ireland’s natural beauty and learn about its rich culture.
2. Connemara National Park
One hour of driving from Galway will take you to the lovely Connemara National Park. This park, which covers an area of more than 2,000 hectares of unspoiled land, provides expansive views of mountains, lakes, and forests.
Hike on one of the many properly marked routes or just relax with a picnic while taking in the breathtaking surroundings. Even a few of the Connemara horses who live there occasionally can be seen strolling around.
The Connemara National Park is located just 6km from the well preserved Kylemore Abbey, a stunning neo-gothic fortification that operated as a Benedictine monastery. Make sure to visit this architectural wonder and its magnificent gardens if you are planning to visit the Connemara National Park.
3. The Burren
The Burren, which translates to “great rock” in Irish, is an unearthly setting close to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The 250 square kilometers of this distinctive geological formation are made up of limestone hills, rock structures, and caves.
To learn about the area’s extensive history and varied flora and animals, go on foot explorations or join a guided tour. The Burren is home to a number of historic monuments, including Poulnabrone Dolmen, a gateway tomb from the Neolithic era.
Don’t forget to stop by Ballyvaughan, a quaint beach hamlet where you may listen to traditional Irish music and eat delicious seafood.
The Aillwee Cave is a well-known cave system in the Burren that is well worth the visit
4. Inishbofin Island
Take the boat from Galway to Inishbofin Island, a tiny but charming island off the coast of Connemara, for a genuinely unique day excursion. The island is a haven for environment enthusiasts because of its clean sandy beaches and surrounding crystal-clear seas.
Inishbofin, also known as the “Island of White Cow” in Irish, provides a variety of outdoor pursuits like fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling. You may also enjoy the breathtaking vistas by taking a stroll along one of the island’s many paths.
Additionally, along the Wild Atlantic island is home to several inviting bed & breakfasts and regional eateries, so you can easily turn your day excursion into an overnight stay for a unique experience.
Take a walk along the coastline, explore the island’s rich UNESCO World Heritage site at its various historical sites, or simply relax and take in the stunning views. Inishbofin Island also offers opportunities for fishing, bird-watching, and water sports such as kayaking and snorkeling.
5. The Aran Islands
The Aran Islands are a trio of islands called Inishmore, Inisheer, and Inishmaan that are situated off the coast of Galway. Each island has its special charm, and ferries to them depart from Galway every few minutes.
The largest of the three islands, Inishmore, offers breathtaking vistas of cliffs and stone fortifications. Take a guided tour to discover the island’s rich history and culture, or hire bikes to explore the untamed landscape.
The smallest of the Aran Islands, Inisheer provides a more quiet setting. Visit the island’s well-known lighthouse, wander along its white beaches, or just unwind at a neighborhood tavern.
The final island, Inishmaan, is the quietest and most traditional of the three. It’s picturesque landscapes and charming cottages will transport you back in time.
All three islands offer a glimpse into traditional Irish life and a chance to experience the beauty of rural Ireland. You can also take a boat tour around the islands to see them from a different perspective and spot some wildlife along the way.
6. The Wild Atlantic Way
For a longer day trip, take a drive on the famous Wild Atlantic Way – a 1,500-mile coastal route that stretches from Donegal to Cork. Along the way, you’ll pass through stunning coastal towns and villages, as well as some of Ireland’s most breathtaking natural landscapes.
Highlights of this scenic drive include the must-see Cliffs of Moher, as well as the stunning beaches of Fanad Head and Mulranny. You’ll also pass through charming seaside towns such as Dingle and Kinsale.
Be sure to stop along the way and take in the views, try some delicious local seafood, or embark on a hike to discover hidden gems. The Wild Atlantic Way is the perfect way to see Ireland’s stunning west coast in all its glory.
Additionally, if you have more than 2 hours of time to spare, you can extend your one day only trip and spend a few nights at one of the many charming coastal towns along the way. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of Ireland’s west coast.
7. Galway Bay
It is essential to take a day excursion to visit the breathtaking Galway Bay. From Galway City to County Clare, this magnificent bay provides breathtaking vistas of mountains, islands, and attractive seaside settlements.
To really enjoy the splendor of this location, take a leisurely drive down the coast or board a boat excursion. There are also many of chances to engage in outdoor pursuits including kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing.
Walk down the Salthill Promenade, a favorite destination for both locals and visitors, for a more leisurely experience. In addition, you may savor some classic fish and chips while admiring Galway Bay’s breathtaking sights.
Nature enthusiasts will love exploring the area’s diverse wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and various bird species. And for history buffs, there are several ancient sites to discover along the coast, including the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle.
8. Connemara day trip from Galway city.
Take a day excursion to the stunning Connemara to fully escape the rush and bustle of city life. These islands are accessible on a day trip from Galway and are off the coast of County Galway. They provide visitors with a serene and beautiful escape.
Lettermore Island, the biggest of the Connemara Islands, has charming settlements and gorgeous sandy beaches. Visit one of the island’s traditional taverns to experience a little of local culture or take a stroll down the coastline and take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Omey Island is only a short distance away from Lettermore Island and is reachable on foot during low tide. This remote island provides a tranquil setting and breathtaking views of Connemara National Park. Along the island’s coastline, you may also see several bird and seal species.
The final island in Connemara is Inishturk – the most remote of the group. This island is best known for its rugged cliffs and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also visit the remains of an ancient castle and explore the island’s tranquil beaches.
A day trip to one of the Connemara Islands is a perfect way to experience Ireland’s rural beauty and immerse yourself in traditional Irish culture. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, these islands offer something for everyone.
9. Traditional Music in Doolin
Doolin, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Aran Islands,” is renowned for its striking natural landscapes. As you embark on your day trip, prepare to be captivated by the rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and rolling green hills that epitomize the beauty of the region. The mesmerizing Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most iconic landmarks, are a must-see attraction during your visit. Towering over 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, these majestic cliffs offer awe-inspiring panoramic views that will leave you breathless.
Exploring the Aran Islands From Doolin is also possible on a day trip. You can easily catch a ferry to the enchanting Aran Islands, a group of three islands known as Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inis Oírr. Each island boasts its own unique charm and character, making a visit to the Aran Islands an unforgettable experience. Inis Mór, the largest of the islands, is famous for its ancient fortresses, such as Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric stone fort perched on the edge of a cliff. Inis Meáin, the middle island, offers a tranquil escape with its serene landscapes and traditional Irish culture. In contrast, Inis Oírr, the smallest island, is home to beautiful sandy beaches and a vibrant local community.
10. Tour via Minibus
Consider going on a minibus tour for a more personalized and adaptable day trip. These tours usually allow for a more customized agenda and smaller group numbers.
While some minibus trips provide a broad picture of the country, others focus on particular regions or hobbies, including hiking or photography. For a completely personalized experience, you can also choose to have bus driver or go on a private tour.
Regardless of the trip you select, you will get to see and do more in a shorter length of time. You can stop at hidden treasures that might not be featured on larger group excursions and explore several locations in a single one-day tour.
In addition, minibus trips with tour guides provide an opportunity to meet locals and acquire insider knowledge about the greatest spots for dining, drinking, and sightseeing. This makes traveling possible for a more genuine and engaging experience.
Small group tour bus trips may cost a little more than big group tours, but the added flexibility and individualized service make the difference. You’ll also have experiences and memories specific to your trip.
Tips for Organizing Galway Day Trips
- Especially during the busiest travel times, plan ahead and reserve your day trips in advance to guarantee a seat.
- To maximize your time and financial resources, think about bundling several attractions or activities into a single-day excursion.
- Remember to bring rain gear and comfy walking shoes because the weather on the West Coast can be erratic.
- To record the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife you’ll see on your day outings, pack a camera or phone.
- Before making a reservation for a tour, find out if there are any age or physical limitations, particularly if you have small children or mobility concerns.
- Keep an eye on cancellation conditions in case something comes up that prevents you from attending your planned day trip.
- Remember to pack cash because certain events or locations might not take debit or credit cards.
- When you go on day trips, show consideration for the locals and the environment. Refrain from littering and heed any instructions given by tour guides or posted on signage in natural areas.
- With so much to see and do in Galway and its environs, day tours are an ideal way to take in the breathtaking scenery and fully immerse oneself in Irish culture.
When it comes to day trips from Galway, should I rent a car or go on guided tours?
This depends on your spending limit and tastes. Although planned excursions give convenience and the benefit of a former tour guide’s knowledge, renting a car offers greater freedom and flexibility. It’s also feasible to combine the two approaches by going on tours occasionally and renting a car for certain day trips.
Should I pack my own meals for day trips?
Bringing snacks or a packed lunch is a great idea no matter what, especially if you have dietary requirements. Still, a lot of trips and activities include lunch stops at neighborhood cafés or eateries.
Is it possible to take a day excursion from Galway to the Aran Islands?
Indeed, one can make a day’s journey from Galway to the Aran Islands. Rossaveal, which is roughly an hour’s drive from Galway, is the ferry departure point. In order to guarantee availability and prevent lengthy wait periods, it is advised to reserve a tour or mode of transportation several hours in advance. Lastly, you can choose to go on a boat excursion that gives you a new perspective of these picturesque islands while cruising past the Cliffs of Moher. You also can go to the Islands directly from Galway City.
Do you have any more suggested day tours departing from Galway?
Indeed, a few other well-liked day trips from Galway are to the lovely town of Westport, the medieval city of Limerick, and even Ashford Castle in Cong. In addition, there are chances for kayaking, fishing, and equestrian riding. It’s best to consider your interests and preferences while researching and selecting the best day trips here. In general, there is a wide range of possibilities for day trips from Galway that suit different kinds of tourists.
Galway provides a plethora of possibilities for day outings, catering to the interests of history buffs, nature lovers, and those simply looking for a good time.
Everything from self-driving adventures to minibus excursions and guided tours is available for everyone to enjoy and make lifelong memories. Thus, make the most of your time in Galway by taking one or more day trips to see the stunning surroundings.
Prepare in advance, and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland’s breathtaking west coast. Happy journeys!
Seamus is the devoted cyclist and dedicated to providing the best self guided ebike tours of the island of Inis Mor, The Aran Islands, Co. Galway. Recognizing the growing need for technically superior and reliable ebikes coupled with tremendous customer service, Seamus makes every attempt to please his customers. We also rent regular bikes of all shapes and sizes. We service all ferries that make a port of call on Inis Mor, such from Rossaveal, Galway City, or Doolin in Co. Clare.