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The Aran Islands in Galway Bay

Throw yourself in to a truly terrific day trip to the gorgeous Galway Bay and the incredible Irish islands: The Aran islands. Get to grips with some real history and possibly even a spot of Gaelic as you peruse around some of the oldest archaeological remains in the whole of Ireland such as Dun Aonghusa on Inis Mór. Indulge in the culture as you get to know some of the lovely locals which are full of fire and charm. Feel like you’ve been thrown back in time as you feast your eyes upon this seemingly untouched beauty that is just waiting for you to explore.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Fly to the biggest island of all: Inis Mór

* Cast your eyes on the port: Dún Aonghusa which dates back more than 2500 years

* Shopping stop off in Galway City which is set to be the 2020 European Capital of Culture

You will start off in Dublin and before you know it you’ll be making your way through The Curragh which is best known for its racecourse. The Curragh is also the headquarters of the Irish army and you’ll certainly catch an eyeful of that on the way. As we go through the little town of Kildare, you’ll be astounded by The Cathedral of St. Brigid’s which was completed way back in 1223.

We make our way through County Laois before we get to the junction station of Portarlington. After Portarlington, the train heads west through County Offaly. The route ventures across the midlands and the Bog of Allen. We go through Tullamore and then on to Clara across the fabulous farmlands of North Offaly.

After we leave Clara Bog, we move on to the historic town of Athlone and stop for a bit at the station, before going over the rebellious River Shannon which is the longest river in these islands. When we head west, we shall be surrounded by peat bog from all angles. Bit by bit the hedgerows give way to dry stone walls, a famed feature of the west of Ireland. Ballinasloe, on the River Suck, is our next stop. Continuing through east County Galway, the train arrives at Athenry, a small town which is home to an array of castles, old forts and ruined abbeys. During the last stretch of the journey before Galway, you will get your first peek at Galway Bay.

Irish is the first spoken language on the Aran Islands but fear not as the locals will be as hospitable as ever and will happily chatter away in English with you. It’s not unheard of for the locals to sporadically break out in to song at any given time with some good old fashioned Irish music, so keep your eyes and ears albeit peeled. Considered as the highlight of the tour: the pre-Christian fort of Dún Aonghusa will dazzle you with its captivating cliffs on the western side and views of the Atlantic Ocean that just go on and on.

You will stop off for a bit in Galway which has been nicknamed: City of the Tribes since the Hiberno-Norman period. This culture rich city will be the 2020 European Capital of Culture and it’s not hard to see why. There’s a lot to see and plenty more to do. You’ll have some time to meander around and acquaint yourself with the city before we head back to the capital. Throw yourself in to a truly terrific day trip to the gorgeous Galway Bay and the incredible Irish islands: The Aran islands. Get to grips with some real history and possibly even a spot of Gaelic as you peruse around some of the oldest archaeological remains in the whole of Ireland such as Dun Aonghusa on Inis Mór. Indulge in the culture as you get to know some of the lovely locals which are full of fire and charm. Meeting point: Dublin 8 Heuston Station (Customer Service Desk). Duration: Approx. 14 hours. Start/opening time: Every day except Sundays. Present yourself at 7am for the 7:30am departure of Intercity train. Languages: English. Others: Includes: return rail travel, reserved seats on the train and escorted coach, flight to Inis Mor. Includes stops at 'Seven Churches' (15 minutes), Dún Aonghusa (75 minutes) and Kilronan for lunch (45 minutes).