To the east of Lough Corrib and Galway city in the West of Ireland, lies one of the most unspoilt destinations in the country. Galway East is a region rich in heritage and culture, offering scenery that is in subtle contrast to the ruggedness of Connemara and a wealth of activities to visitors.
Those with a passion for history will find East Galway to be a region that resounds with echoes from the past. East Galway has monuments spanning all periods of Irelandís history. The Iron Age Turoe Stone and the early monastic site of Kilmacduagh with its leaning tower, date back to ancient times. The medieval castle at Athenry and the fine 17th century castle at Portumna, tell of past eras in East Galway. Relics of the more recent history can be found at Thoor Ballylee, the home of Nobel Prize-winning Poet, William Butler Yeats. Coole Park, in nearby Gort, was the seat of the Celtic Literary revival at the end of the last century. Ecclesiastical treasures abound in an area which boasts many ruined abbeys. The cathedrals of Tuam, the Irish Romanesque doorway of Clonfert Cathedral, and Loughrea Cathedral, which is a masterpiece in 20th century craftsmanship, each reflect the ecclesiastical heritage of this region. The region is dotted with ruins and ancient monuments waiting to be explored. How can anyone resist the urge to go to East Galway and immerse themselves in the richness of its heritage?
Nature is at its finest in East Galway. The landscape of the region varies from the coast of Galway Bay on the Atlantic at Kinvara and Oranmore to the wilderness of the Slieve Aughty Mountains. Rivers, lakes and forestry are interspersed with agricultural land divided by traditional stone walls.
Not only is the natural environment unspoilt and uncrowded, it is also provides the setting for a wide variety of activities. The sea, the lakes and the rivers provide fishing for the angling enthusiast and water sports for the energetic. The forest parks at Portumna and Oranmore offer trails through woodland abounding with wildlife. Home of the Galway Blazers, East Galway has a strong equestrian tradition. The Horse Museum at Dartfield provides a detailed history of the horse in Ireland.
Festivals are an important part of the East Galway calendar. Two festivals, in particular, that should not be missed, are the Clarinbridge Oyster Festival, a summer highlight, and the Horse Fair at Ballinasloe, held in October, which is world famous. A lively programme of activities and entertainment is on offer to the visitor during these colourful festivals.
Start planning your holiday to East Galway today, a wealth of history and exciting activities is waiting for you!
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