In the southeast corner of the county, the lakeside town of Portumna is popular for boating and fishing. Impressive Portumna Castle & Gardens was built in the early 1600s by Richard de Burgo and boasts an elaborate, geometrically laid out organic garden. Don't miss the moody ruins of a 15th-century friary down towards the water.
Loughrea & Around
Named for the little lake at its southern edge, Loughrea (Baile Locha Riach) is a bustling market town 26km southeast of Galway. Loughrea has the shallow remnant of a medieval moat, which runs from the lake at Fair Green near the cathedral to the River Loughrea north of town. Since the opening of the M6, the town is less frenetic with traffic and is good for a stroll.
Just off the M6, Ballinasloe (Béal Átha na Sluaighe) is famed for its historic horse fair, which dates right back to the high kings of Tara. The fair has an old-time carnival atmosphere, created by the 80,000-plus horse traders and merrymakers who roll into town. They include Ireland's Traveller community, who camp nearby in traditional barrel-topped wagons.