Discover the dramatic beauty of Connemara with its rugged wilderness, welcoming locals and historic treasures, on this full-day trip from Galway city. Traveling with an expert guide, your tour visits Ross Errilly Friary, pretty Cong village and must-see Kylemore Abbey. Spend time at leisure in these Irish gems and enjoy stunning scenery in between each visit.
Leave Galway Coach Station and head north by luxury coach through the countryside of County Galway, in the west of Ireland. First stop is near the town of Headford visit Ross Errilly Friary – one of the best preserved Franciscan friaries in Ireland. Known locally as Ross Abbey, the medieval ruin is considered as a National Monument of Ireland, with atmospheric cloisters and medieval tombs just itching to be explored. After strolling around the ruin with your guide, hop back on your coach for the short trip to Cong village, where The Quiet Man featuring John Wayne, was filmed. With roughly 45 minutes at leisure here, you can perhaps retrace the steps of actors through the village, or maybe amble over to Cong Woods to see 11th-century Ashford Castle. Alternatively just relax with a coffee (own expense) on the banks of Lough Corrib – Ireland’s largest lake.Continue to County Connemara, traveling around Loch Na Fooey – an unspoiled glacier lake – and soak up sights of the region’s incredibly scenic countryside. Hear tales of life in Connemara from your guide and learn about the time-honored Irish traditions and customs that are still preserved in Gaelic-speaking Connemara today.Next stop is Kylemore Abbey – a majestic Benedictine abbey on the banks of Lake Kylemore. Steeped in history, the abbey is said to have been built as a romantic gift in the late 1800s, and later served as a refuge for Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium during World War I. Entry to Kylemore Abbey is at your own expense, and once inside you’ll have two hours to spend at leisure. Enjoy lunch (own expense), stroll around the abbey or perhaps take a look at its Victorian walled gardens. On the journey back to Galway, pass though the spectacular scenery of Connemara’s Inagh Valley, weaving alongside the Maam Turks Mountains and back around Lough Carrib. Arrive back to Galway in the early evening.