County Clare, Galway, and the Aran Islands: Places to Explore

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Kinvara

The picture-perfect village of Kinvara, just across the border in County Galway, is a growing holiday base, thanks to its gorgeous bayside locale, great walking and sea angling, and numerous pubs. It's well worth a visit, whether you're coming from Ballyvaughan or Gort. The late Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s Nobel laureate poet, described this drive along what he called the "Flaggy Shore" in the poem "Postscript": "…the wind/And the light are working off each other/So that the ocean on one side is wild/With foam and glitter." Kinvara is best known for its longstanding early-August sailing event, Cruinniú na mBád (Festival of the Gathering of the Boats), in which traditional brown-sail Galway hookers laden with turf race across the bay. Hookers were used until the early part of this century to carry turf, provisions, and cattle across Galway Bay and out to the Aran Islands. A sculpture in Galway's Eyre Square honors their local significance.

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