With superb scenery and attractions, and the warm Irish welcome to be experienced at the many great hotels in Galway, the Emerald Isle is a truly magical place to visit.
No matter how old the children, Galway delivers fun with a capital F. There are rich pickings for seaside sojourns and families should check out Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay for spectacular scenery and good swimming.
Silver Strand Beach is popular with young families as the safe waters and facilities are good. For rock pooling and exploring, take a look at Coral Beach.
West of Ireland beaches are well maintained and clean, and lifeguards patrol many of them.
Apart from wielding buckets and spade on the beach, there are other activities nearby for families with younger children. Loughwell Farm Park promises an exciting day for all the family. In addition to a collection of animals to encounter, including alpacas, pigs, horses, chickens and donkeys, there’s also bouncy castle fun, zip wire challenges, obstacle courses and playgrounds.
Closer to Galway city in the buzzing and scenic Salthill area, discover Leisure Land, where three swimming pools, water slides and general aquatic fun provides the entertainment for al the family.
The famous Connemara ponies from this area of Ireland are very popular, and a wide range of equestrian and trekking centers cater for riders of all abilities. There can be few more fabulous ways for all the family to take in the breathtaking scenery than on horseback.
Being active and getting out and about is what holidays are all about; Galway makes the perfect place to do it. Older children should check out mountain biking on the Derroura Mountain Biking Trail. Do the loop in an hour and a half and get to bike through deep forests and steep terrain.
Those wanting to have a go at surfing should head for the beaches at Lahinch, Fanore and Doonbeg in County Clare. The waves here are suitable for both beginners and more experienced surf dudes, and board hire and lessons are available.
Avoid getting quite so wet (well that’s the theory) and take windsurfing lessons at Rusheen Bay. Alternatively, head inland for kayaking on the River Corrib through Galway town itself – a great way of getting a good view of the pretty place.
Hopefully there won’t be any, but it’s good to keep some rainy day excursions on hand just in case. For an educational and fun trip, go to Galway Atlantiquaria where the region’s marine life is showcased.
Alternatively, learn about local history free of charge at Galway City Museum. Right in the heart of town, it’s a good place to spend an hour or two, followed by dining at one of the nearby restaurants. Or if adrenalin and speed junkies just need to let off steam, sample Galway City Karting for indoor go-kart capers.
With so much to explore in Galway, any family holiday deserves to be a great success. And we haven’t even mentioned the castles, the Guinness, the seafood, the music and all the other treats that Galway has in store for its visitors.