Visiting Athenry

What to see and do in Athenry, Ireland

The little town that time forgot, visiting Athenry is like stepping back in time. If you are planning a tour of historic sites in Ireland, then you must add Athenry to your list. Atenry is in County Galway, and about 16 miles east of Galway town. History is everywhere in Athenry, which is still to this day surrounded by its medieval city walls. This little town only has around three thousand inhabitants, however, its history can be tracked all the way back to the 9th century. It gets its name from being known as "The Ford of Kings" because it was located at the crossing point of three important kingdoms. Overall, the entire town does not have more than fifty or sixty houses, but it includes dozens of historical buildings that date from as far back as 1240. The oldest buildings in town are the Athenry Castle and the Dominican Abbey that can be tracked down to the 13th century. The Abbey had a troubled history and was closed and vandalized several time throughout its years. Nonetheless, you will be happy to know that the building is still standing tall. The medieval walls that surround and protect the city are one of the things that impresses the most in this town. The walls are one of the best preserved medieval sites in the entire Ireland, giving tourists the impression of taking a visit back in time. Athenry is well worth a quick stop if you find yourself in the Galway area.

Getting to Athenry

Athenry is 16 miles east of Galway, not far from the M6, making it extremely accessible. You could easily make a nice day trip from Galway, or stop off at Athenry on your way to or from the Galway area.

Nearest ferry port to Athenry

Athenry is tucked away on the western side of Ireland. But since it is close to the city of Galway, road connections are good, especially from Dublin and Dun Laoghaire

Distance fom Ferry Port

Athenry is about 120 miles from Dublin.

Driving time from Dublin or Dun Laoghaire to Athenry is about 2 hours drive. The drive is fairly straightforward since it is directly along the M6 motorway.

Moving on from Athenry

If you plan on travelling west from Athenry, then you will soon meet Galway, and from there push further west, passed the huge lake of Lough Corrib, and on to the famous Connemara National Park. If you head south from Athenry, you can reach the beautiful Burren National Park, and then on to Ennis and even Limerick.

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