As I mentioned in Part 1, Galway is a fantastic base for day trips on the west side of Ireland.
One of the not-to-be missed sites, within driving distance of Galway is the Cliffs of Moher. There are several day tours available or if you are renting a car this is an easy drive, with plenty of time for side stops along the way.
Our first stop was Dunguaire Castle, built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan. It was restored in the early 1920’s and became part of the Irish literary movement, hosting gatherings George Bernard Shaw, W.B. Yeats, Edward Martin and others.
From Dunguaire Castle we continued into Burren National Park for a stop at Poulnabrone Dolmen. This megalithic monument is the oldest one in Ireland. It is classified as a Portal Tomb and researchers believe is was used for rituals well into the Bronze Age. Poulnabrone Dolmen is in an isolated area and requires a bit of walking to get to, but the view of the monument and surrounding area, is worth the walk.
From Poulnabrone Dolmen, we made our way to Kilfenora for a stop at the Celtic crosses. Dating back to the twelfth century, the Doorty Cross is the most famous of the Kilfenora crosses. Be sure to take a few moments to enjoy the incredible stone work on the crosses.
Just before heading to the Cliffs of Moher, make a lunch stop in Doolin. We recommend Gus O’Connor’s Pub. Brett still says this was the best Seafood Chowder he’s ever had. It’s safe to say, we’ll be back to Gus O’Connor’s Pub on our next trip!
After our lunch in Doolin we headed to the Cliffs of Moher. (If you are a Princess Bride fan, you may also recognize them as the Cliffs of Insanity). We were both looking forward seeing the Cliffs of Moher, but I’m not sure anything could have prepared us for just how incredible they would be in person.
Note: Plan to spend at least two hours exploring the Cliffs of Moher and the visitor’s center. There are plenty of walking paths in both directions for exploring, you’ll want to wear good hiking shoes and bring a jacket as it can get quite windy up there!