Galway

According to one local , "laid-back" and "quaint" are words that are way overused to describe Galway. Well, "active" is the term BTG believes best characterizes this West Coast city. And it is well worth your while to wind your way here. Sure, you will be charmed by Galway's small shops, its cobbled medieval streets, its open-air squares. You will appreciate the creative atmosphere of this university town. You will also love how easy it is to find a cozy pub in which to pass a wet and windy night. But really, Galway is the perfect place to make your basecamp for an active Irish vacation. The Cliffs of Moher and Connemara Hills are easy day trips from town. Both destinations offer a plethora of cycling and hiking opportunities. Those looking to gear up for a multi-day trek can start the 240-mile Connemara Way along the Bay of Galway's coast.

Galway has good news for runners, too. Its coastal promenade promises the most pleasing territory to run in the Emerald Isle. The flat, well-marked jaunt is perfect for the traveler looking for a quick way to stretch their legs, or for the longer-distance runner looking to get in some enjoyable miles. Don't forget to kick the wall at Blackrock when you reach the path's end. As tradition tells it, you'll return home with a host of good luck and fortune.

Watch Out For: 
  • Rain: Rain is no stranger to the wet West Coast of Ireland. In addition to being cold and annoying, the water also makes the streets slippery. Tread carefully.
  • Crowded City-Center Streets: Galway is one of the top-50 tourist destinations in the world, and its streets are not always wide enough to accommodate all those travelers. The crowds make it near-impossible to run in the city center during busy times of day. 
  • Stubbed Toes: It is Galway tradition for those who reach the Blackwall end of the Salthill Promenade (see Run #1) to kick the "Prom" Wall. Be careful not to kick it too hard. 

In the mood for a ride? Check out West Ireland Cycling. Liam Codd and company have been in the biz for over 40 years. Whether you're looking for a commuter bike, touring bike, or a sweet road bike to fly over those Irish hills, they have - and rent - what you're looking for. Liam also organizes customized tours.
11 Upper Dominic Street ~ +353 91 588830
http://westirelandcycling.com.

In the mood for a swim? See " . . . or don't" for the Salthill Promenade run.

Did you know? A run for the tongue: Ireland's longest place name, Muckanaghederdauhaulia, is in Galway county.