Glorious Galway Bay and the Atlantic Coast: Day Trips In County Clare


The mere mention of Galway Bay cues a nostalgic Irish tune for many visitors. Imagine if I tagged on dramatic sea cliffs, cozy villages, welcoming pubs, a boat trip to the Aran Islands, lush green hills dotted with sheep, and the rocky landscape known as the Burren to the mix.

The New Bus Route

A new bus route from Galway City to County Clare was designed with the dreaming day tripper in mind. The bus leaves the new coach terminal just off of Eyre Square at 8am and delivers guests to their choice of idyllic destinations in northwest Clare before lunch. At the end of the day, the coach returns to carry travelers back to Galway before the city begins serving up dinner and live music sessions.

In addition to offering a premier route that sticks to the shoreline and courses through the Burren, the ticket can be combined with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre, a ferry trip to Inis Oírr (the smallest of the Aran Islands), or a boat tour of the Cliffs of Moher.

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Our Day Trip Picks:


Probably best known for it’s often-photographed signpost at the junction in town, the walks in and around the village of Ballyvaughan can include a visit to Galway Bay, a stroll along country roads, and a stop in some of the friendliest pubs in Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher

Whether looking out to the ocean from the top of the Cliffs or taking in the view from a ferry at sea, the iconic Cliffs of Moher are among Ireland’s most notable natural wonders.

Inis Oírr

The smallest of the Aran Islands, a visit to Inis Oírr (Inisheer) includes a tour of the island, but for those feeling more adventurous hiring a bicycle or pony and trap offers an ideal way to see the island… and no visit is complete without a peek at the wreck of the Plassey which was featured in the opening scenes of the sitcom Father Ted.


When it comes to views of Galway Bay, Kinvara enjoys some of the finest. The village’s relaxed atmosphere makes it perfect for enjoying a pint, walking along the waterfront, and wandering around Dunguaire Castle.


Known as a destination for world class golf and some of Europe’s best surfing, Lahinch attracts a diverse crowd from around the world. Add to that it’s mix of pubs, restaurants, and shops and Lahinch may demand more than a single day trip.


Irish matchmaking calls Lisdoonvarna home, and the population swells in the month of September for the famous matchmaking festival. The rest of the year, it’s known for it’s natural spa and pubs.

Photo by bestbib&tucker/Jessica Allen


Author: Corey

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  1. This little view makes my mouth water to return; Galway has my heart and I daily long to return…
    anyone interested in a house swap for a time?

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  2. Stayed in Ballyvaughan one month in 1972, first trip to IRE. Been going back ever since. Love that whole area. Will be in Doolin in Sept.

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  3. I remember, years ago, sitting in Spiddal looking across Galway Bay at The Burren. It was the first time I’d seen it and I felt such an incredible pull across the water. When I got there a few days later, I felt like I’d come home.

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