Westport Ireland

Westport Ireland

WESTPORT

Palm trees and steep hills lead down to Westport’s busy Georgian streets. Nearby, the conical Croagh Patrick rises 650m over Clew Bay. The summit has been revered as a holy site for thousands of years. St. Patrick worked here in AD 441, praying for 40 days and nights to banish snakes from Ireland. Climbers start their excursion from the 15th-century Murrisk Abbey, several kilometers west of Westport on R395 toward Louisburgh. Buses go to Murrisk (2-3 per day); for groups, cabs ( 27 171) are cheaper and more convenient. Sheep calmly rule Clare Island, a desolate but beautiful speck in the Atlantic. Take a bus to Roonah Pier, 29km from Westport, and then a ferry to the island. (Bus departs from Westport’s tourist office at 10am and returns by 6pm; ‚25 for bus and ferry combined.) Matt Molloy’s, on Bridge St. is owned by a member of the Irish band the Chieftains and has nightly trad. (Open M-W 12:30-ll:30pm, Th-Sa 12:30pm-12:30am, Su 12:30-llpm.)

Trains arrive at the Altamont St. Station ( 25 253), a 5min. walk up the North Mall, from Dublin (2-3 per day, ‚21-23) via Athlone. Buses leave Mill St. for Galway (2hr. 4-8 per day, ‚12). The tourist office is on James St. (25 711. Open daily 9am-5:45pm.) B&Bs cluster on Altamont Road and The Quay. A conservatory and garden grace lilThe Granary Hostel O, a 25min. walk from town, just at the bend in The Quay. (25 903. Open Apr.-Sept. Dorms ‚10.) Altamont House O, Altamont St. has award-winning breakfasts and incredible hospitality that have kept travelers coming back for 36 years. ( 25 226. Singles ‚25, with bath ‚27; doubles ‚5044.) Restaurants are concentrated on Bridge Street. The Supervalu supermarket is on Shop St. (Open M-Sa 8:30am-9pm, Su 10am-6pm.)

NORTHWEST IRELAND

The farmland of the upper Shannon stretches northward into County Sligo’s mountains, lakes, and ancient monuments. A mere sliver of land connects Co. Sligo to Co. Donegal, the second-largest and most remote of the Republic’s counties. Donegal’s gaeltacht is a storehouse of genuine, unadulterated Irish tradition.

Westport Ireland Photo Gallery



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