Located west of Galway City, in large tracts of Connemara, is Ireland's largest Gaeltacht region. Here, the Irish language (Gaeilge) is the everyday spoken language of the people who live and work in Galway's cultural heartland. People here switch from Irish (Gaeilge) to English and vice-versa with ease and their English is peppered with Gaeilge phrases. Here is a treasure house of all that is best in rich Irish heritage, culture and folklore where people still sing and dance in the old traditional manner.
Driving westwards along Galway's coast, the variation in landscape will strike you. On the left is the powerful Atlantic and to your right is Connemara, a scenic vista of bogs, valleys and lakes whose spectacular intricate coastline encloses the dramatic Twelve Pins (Na Beanna Beola) and Maamturk Mountains. Quiet little roads wind through the majestic landscape and lead you from village to village. Still unspoiled and relatively unexplored, you will find clean beaches, scenic walks, peace and quiet and regardless of where you turn you are never far from the sea.
Just off the coast, in the mouth of Galway Bay, lie the three Aran Islands of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr. These islands are renowned for their unique way of life, where age-old traditions co-exist comfortably with modern living. The islands have a rich history that can be seen from their ancient monuments, from both prehistoric and Christian times.