Villa Maria, located in the North Clare/South Galway region, is ideally
located close to a variety of attractions.
Kinvara - Co. Galway - Co.
We are situated just 3 miles from the town of Kinvara.
Some of the sights and attractions there:
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Castle has, for hundreds of years, stood proudly on the site of the 7th
century stronghold of Guaire, the King of Connaught, its majesty dominating
the shore of Galway Bay. The castle bridges three centuries of Irish History,
from the skirmishes, battles and sieges that characterise its colourful past,
through to the literary revival of the early 20th century. In 1924, Oliver
St. John Gogarty, surgeon, poet, author and wit, a contemporary and friend
of W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, acquired the Castle as a place of quite retreat.
Today, the restored Castle gives an insight into the lifestyle of the people
who lived there from 1520 to modern times. The castle also hosts Medieval
Castle Banquets by night with entertainment based on the songs, poems and
extracts from great Irish writers. The castle is open daily from May to September,
9.30am to 5.30pm
- Kinvara Riding Centre located approximately 3 miles from Kinvara
offers a Horse and Pony Riding through the beautiful countryside on quiet
reliable horses and ponies. Guides are also available. In addition, Fort View
House provides quality farmhouse accommodation. A.I.R.E. and Bord Fáilte Approved
- For further information on Kinvara and district visit kinvara.com
Coole Park, Gort
- Coole is a nature reserve situated on the outskirts of Gort, situated approximately
20 mins. from Villa Maria. Coole is a historic park which was the home of
Lady Gregory, one of the founders of the Abbey Theatre. An indoor exhibition
depicts the literary and natural history of the area. Visitors to this park
included the renowned poet W.B. Yeats. Carvings of the signatures of many
of Ireland's great literary minds are to be seen on the trunk of the parks
- This was the summer home of W.B. Yeats for 10 years. Many of his most famous
works, including 'The Tower' and 'The Winding Stair' were written here. An
audio-visual presentation illustrates this famous poet's life.
Kilmacduagh Church and Round Tower
- This is the site of the monastery founded by Saint Colman MacDuagh about
600AD. The most conspicuous feature of the well-preserved round tower is that
it leans almost 50cm from the perpendicular, which it shares with a more famous
counterpart of Pisa.
- Traught Beach - received a Blue Ribbon award in 1991 - has newly erected
- The Flaggy Shore - This has been called the most beautiful shore line roadway
on Galway Bay. It also has a small sandy beach.
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The Clare Heritage Centre
microcosm of 19th century Ireland, a fascinating window on the past simply
but effectively presented' The Clare Heritage Centre, situated in Corofin,
Co. Clare is approximately 20 mins. drive from us. It features a museum illustrating
Clare's history. It's main attraction however, is the Genealogical Research
Centre. Open all year, one can trace one's ancestry.
The Burren Centre
in Kilfenora, 20 mins from us, the Burren Centre provides a fascinating insight
into this rich landscape. Audio-visual presentations and guides lead you through
the mysteries and complexities of this unique region. Also available are Tea
Rooms and a craft shop.
See also - the Burren
'Ireland's Premier Showcave'
first cave open to the public in Ireland, Ailwee cave is located near Ballyvaughan,
10 minutes from us. The Burren landscape, of porous limestone, is host to
vast cave systems, of which Ailwee Cave is a part. A guided tour is provided
to explain the sights and formations of the cave. Ailwee cave features remains
of the hibernation chambers of the long extinct brown bears. Ailwee also features
a dairy where the making of goats cheese and honey extraction can be observed.
Other caves in the Burren
- Over 35 miles of cave passages have actually been surveyed. Pollnagollum
Cave on the eastern side of Slieve Elva with its branch passages and tributaries
engulfing streams from off Slieve Elva, can be explored for nearly seven miles.
Slieve Elva has a number of many interesting caves including the 90' dryshaft
of Pollaphuca and the linear caves of Polldugh, Pollballiny and Faunarooska.
Kilcorney's cave is the cave of the wild horses - this complex cave which
contains some internal potholes often fills up with water and floods out on
the valley floor above. Poll-an-ionion near Lisdoonvarna is a difficult cave
to explore and has inside it a huge stalactite nearly 25' long - the longest
in western Europe!
- It must be stressed that caves in the Burren are not developed except
for Ailwee, and they must not be explored unless you posess the necessary
equipment and experience in cave exploration.
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