Connemara by the coast

This year my family and I went on a staycation to Connemara and stayed in the fabulous four star, Connemara Coast Hotel.

This hotel boasts sea-view rooms, a leisure centre, gym, restaurant and bar as well as an elegant lounge area to relax with a night cap. My family of five stayed for four nights, and the staff were very welcoming. Each morning after our satisfying breakfast we headed off in the car on an excursion. The meals and leisure centre had to be pre-booked, so every day we swam in the pool, dined in the restaurant two nights and the bar the alternative nights. The hotel provided a good selection of food; from smoked salmon to fish and chips and succulent steak. For the active guests, there are tennis courts at the back of the hotel, leading down to the beach and for the little ones, a playground is provided.

Spiddal

Spiddal, was our first stop before proceeding on to Galway City. This quaint seaside village was only a few minutes drive from our hotel. We sauntered around the craft village, stopped off for a coffee and cake, listened to the locals speaking Irish and then drove on to Galway City.

Galway City

Eyre Square is the main indoor shopping area in Galway City, so we went there first as the weather wasn’t to our advantage. After having something to eat we ventured outdoors to soak in the atmosphere. A bustling city, as we meandered our way through the crowds, with no shortage of restaurants and shops. We shopped in the Claddagh jewellers and my daughter purchased a sparkling ring with her birth stone. After a tiring day, we returned to our hotel for a swim in the pool and some food.

Salthill

Salthill is a seaside town with rocky and sandy beaches, amusements, a great aquarium, and an abundance of coffee shops and restaurants. We walked along the promenade and viewed the Aran Islands from afar, we ate our lunch at Ground & Co., sharing an assorted platter of food and afterwards we viewed the colourful fish in the aquarium next door. The amusement park was only up the road, so we stopped off, and bought tickets for the rides. I am petrified of almost all of them, so while the kids were on the scary rides, enjoying themselves immensely, I was sitting on a not so challenging ghost train, that wouldn’t have frightened a three year old.

Aran Islands

After a forty minute ferry ride to Inis Mor, we stepped off the boat with the rain bucketing down from the sky. Lucky for us a tour guide was ready at the port to whisk us away and explore the island. We saw the Dun Aonghasa cliffs, claiming to be the highest cliffs on the Aran Islands and we saw the oldest stone fort in Western Europe. We also saw the seals in their colony perched on the rocks at the blue flag beach. Before we went back to board the boat we stopped off at Teaglach Einne, a rectangular church that was built around the 9th century.

With its stone walls and green grass, Connemara is a beautiful spot to venture for holiday.

Fact file: For more information log on to http://www.connemaracoasthotel.ie

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