Car Hire in Galway, Ireland
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Galway is an old city in the west of Ireland, sitting on the banks of the River Corrib.
Galway Bay looks out over the Atlantic Ocean, whose high waves and ocean breezes have helped to shape the rugged western coast of the island.
Galway does have a domestic airport, most flights coming through Dublin – the capital – or Shannon, on the southwest of Ireland.
Exploring Galway by car
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher
One of the most stunning features the Atlantic Ocean has created is the Cliffs of Moher.
Towering 700ft and stretching 8 kilometres, it forms a border to the Burren region.
From Galway, follow the signposts towards County Clare.
On a clear day you can see for miles around, from Galway Bay to the mountains of Connemara and south to the Dingle Peninsula.
O’Briens Tower is near the highest point of the cliffs and serves as the best viewing point.
The Burren – a Gaelic word meaning “great rock” – is one of the largest Karst regions in Europe.
The landscape is limestone criss-crossed with “grikes” (cracks); thanks to its temperate climate, it has an extremely long growing season supporting diverse and rich flora.
Not to mention the stunning rock formations, limestone cliffs and portal tombs, as well as traditional Irish stonewalls, constructed by layering stones found in the western region creating strong and sturdy walls without cement.
With Limerick just down the road, it’s an easy drive down the coast with expansive views of the stunning west coast of Ireland.
Stay at a local Bed and Breakfast and explore your chosen town for hearty dinners and the West Clare Style of traditional Irish music and ceile.
For cavers, base yourself in Doolin and get underground, a highlight being Pollnagollum.
Getting around Galway
While it is a modern city with all the amenities you can expect from shopping, nightlife and cuisine, Galway retains a distinct old Irish atmosphere.
You can enjoy traditional Irish music and dancing at Monroe’s Tavern, or sample the jazz at Blue Note.
There are several cathedrals and towers in and around the city.
Nearby is Coole Park, a haven for writers and poets and home of a patrol and inspiration to many of them, Lady Gregory.
The house, park and lake provided the inspiration for Yeats’ poem The Wild Swans at Coole and are now open to the public.
Take a boat day trip from the city to the Aran Islands, home of the Aran wool knit style, usually producing warm jumpers and cardigans worn by farmers on the wind-beaten hills.
The rocky hills are littered with old Christian churches, hill forts and Celtic crosses dating back as far as 1500 B.C. Rent a bicycle for the day and explore the island chain.
Though not a large area, Galway by car will seem like an adventure never-ending discovery.