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West Coast
Golf Holidays in Ireland

The West of Ireland stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the banks of the River Shannon, embracing Counties Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon. It is a rugged terrain of rock and stone, inlets and coves along the coastline, and many golden beaches. There are mountain ranges and woodlands of rowan, beech, sycamore, and wild rhododendrons. The Lough's (lakes) Corrib, Mask, and Conn divide the counties. Throughout the region there are prehistoric sties, monasteries, fortifications, and castles. Each county offers a variety of attractions, accommodations, sport activities, and a variety of entertainment and festivals, especially in the summer.

County Galway, The City of Tribes, (in Irish Gaillimh). In ancient times there were fourteen families who controlled Galway. They were known as the Tribes of Galway. Galway is situated on the River Corrib. It was a thriving Anglo-Norman city because of the trade with Europe, especially France and Spain. The Spanish influence dominated the tribes, which was evident in the architecture, as with the Spanish Arch built in 1584.

Today Galway City is a growing and thriving university city, complemented by a high technology industry. The city offers the arts in theatre, museums, churches, and there is music everywhere from buskers in the streets to music in the pubs. A short five-minute drive from the city is the Galway Irish Crystal Heritage Centre. In the Hall of Tribes you learn of the merchants, seafarers, and artists who made up the original 14 tribes. You will learn about Claddagh Village and the famous claddagh ring, you also learn the story of the glass craft, showing the crafts people at work. There is a showroom and restaurant available.

The Western part of Galway is a 'An Ghaeltacht', the Gaeltacht areas, meaning the first language is Irish. The people speak, work, and think in a language that has unbroken links with pre-conquest Gaelic Ireland and further back in time. You will miss so much if you just pass through these areas. Take the coast road through Bearna to Carna, through An Spideal (Spiddal), An Cheathru Rua (Carraroe) and Sraith Salach (Recess). There are hidden islands linked by bridges and causeways, Leitir Moir (Lettermore), Leitir Meallain (Lettermullen) and Garumna (Gorumna).

West of Galway City lies the wild and beautiful Connemara (in Irish Croi an chultuir) area, bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Lough Corrib on the east. Many of the ancient Irish traditions and customs are preserved and savored with the Gaelic-speaking people.

The most dominant feature of Connemara is the cluster of the Twelve Bens Mountain Range, also called the Twelve Pins Mountain Range with Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght. The mountain range offers spectacular high-level walking, overlooking hundreds of small lakes, wild bogs, and a rugged coastline. Gorgeous scenery is available at Connemara National Park, covering 2000 hectares of mountains, bogs and heaths, and grasslands. Glanmore (large glen) forms the centre of the park and 10,000 years are displayed at the visitor center, with 3D models and displays.

Much of the present park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School. Many remains of human presence can be seen in the park. The oldest are megalithic court tombs, some 4000 years old. Ruined houses and old walls are remains of a population of times past. Kylemore Abbey, built in 1868, is home to the Irish Benedictine Nuns and a secondary school. Some activities available in Connemara are regattas at coastal villages with the Hookers and Curraghs, and other water sports.

Galway's traditional fishing vessel is known as The Hooker. The Curragh is a long, narrow canoe like boat, sometimes made of oiled animal skins, over a wooden frame. Throughout the county of Galway there is deep sea fishing, coarse and pike fishing, cruising, other water sports, horse racing, horse riding, golfing on championship courses and less challenging courses, motor sports, greyhound racing, cycling and a ferry trip to the Aran Islands, or watching the sun go down on Galway Bay.

Golf holidays in Ireland is a must for any travelling golfer!
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