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A Half Day Trip from Galway to Athenry and Dunguaire

For those of you planning a visit to Galway, Ireland, we wanted to share a quick half-day trip that'll get you out of the hustle and bustle of Galway and into the Irish countryside. We'll discuss awesome castles, charming streets, and the best places to stop in for a pint and bite.

Irish castle
Athenry Castle

Our first stop on this mini-adventure is Athenry, a picturesque medieval town just a short drive away from Galway. *We rented a van to transport the 6 of us throughout Ireland and we highly recommend it!* It's a beautiful, 30-minute drive from Galway to Athenry. As we wander through its cobblestone streets, we can't help but feel like we've stepped back in time. Our eyes are immediately drawn to the imposing Athenry Castle, proudly standing tall against the skyline. This 13th-century marvel is a testament to Ireland's rich history. Feel free to explore the castle's nooks and crannies, and don't forget to climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside! There is a 20-minute video you can watch as well.

graveyard in ireland
Church and graveyard in Athenry

After strolling around Athenry, it's time to appease our rumbling stomachs. Fortunately, there are a few great lunch spots in town. If you're in the mood for traditional Irish fare, head over to The Old Barracks Restaurant. Their menu is brimming with delectable dishes that showcase local ingredients and flavors. For a more casual option, try Clarke's Bar, where you can savor hearty pub classics like fish and chips or a juicy burger. Whichever spot you choose, be sure to indulge in a pint of Irish stout to complete the experience!

Irish castle
Dunguaire Castle

Next, we hop back into our trusty mode of transportation and make our way to the charming village of Dunguaire, located on the shores of Galway Bay. Prepare to be awestruck by Dunguaire Castle, a 16th-century fortress that seems plucked straight from a fairytale. The castle's striking stone walls, lush green surroundings, and proximity to the shimmering waters create a picture-perfect scene.

As we explore Dunguaire, we stumble upon another pleasant surprise—the lovely village itself. With its colorful buildings, quaint shops, and friendly locals, it's impossible not to fall in love with this hidden gem. After soaking up the medieval charm and embracing the scenic beauty, it's time to treat ourselves to a delightful lunch.

To satisfy our taste buds in Dunguaire, I recommend paying a visit to Pier Head Restaurant. Overlooking the bay, this cozy eatery serves up fresh seafood delicacies that are sure to leave you craving more. From succulent oysters to perfectly seared scallops, their menu celebrates the flavors of the sea in the most mouthwatering way possible. If you prefer a lighter option, head to Moran's Oyster Cottage, a traditional thatched-roof cottage famous for its delicious seafood chowder.

As the afternoon draws to a close, you'll bid adieu to Dunguaire and head back to the lively streets of Galway. So, keep this half-day trip in mind if you're looking to explore the more relaxed and enchanting towns of Athenry and Dunguaire.

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