Surrounded by lakes, forests, and streams, Cong is a charming village near Connemara best known as the location for the 1952 movie The Quiet Man. Visitors can head to the Quiet Man Museum, which includes an exact replica of the White O’Morn cottage from the movie; take walks through the surrounding countryside; do some boating on the nearby river; and enjoy the village’s small shops and cafes.
The village of Cong sits next to the 350-acre Ashford Castle estate, which was once owned by the Guinness family and is now home to one of the country’s best five-star hotels. Several day trips from Galway City and multi-day tours from Dublin include Cong and the surrounding region on their itineraries.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Many of the streets in Cong are set up for one-way traffic, so pay close attention to street signs if you’re driving.
Local restaurants, cafes, and pubs may operate on limited hours, depending on the day of the week and the season.
Bring waterproof shoes if you plan to go boating or kayaking on the Cong River or Lough Corrib.
How to Get There
Cong is located about 30 miles from Galway City, on the border between County Galway and County Mayo. To reach the town from Galway, take the N85 road to the R346; the drive takes about 40 minutes. You can also reach Cong from Calway by bus, but the trip requires transfers and takes 1.5 to 2 hours. You can also visit on a guided tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
The most popular time to visit Cong is during the summer, when the long days offer more time to explore. To avoid crowds, opt to visit during shoulder seasons, in spring or fall. The town can also be charming in winter, especially when decorated for the holidays.
The Ashford Castle estate, located next to Cong village, offers visitors a variety of upscale attractions. Even if you’re not staying in the luxurious castle, you can book experiences like a lesson at the falconry school, a boat tour of Lough Corrib, or zip-lining at the on-site ropes course. The castle also boasts a stunning spa and offers an elaborate afternoon tea. (All activities require advance booking.)
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- Lough Corrib
- Ross Errilly Friary (Ross Abbey)
- Galway Cathedral
- The Spanish Arch
- Galway Arts Centre
- Galway Bay
- Galway City Museum
- Galway Atlantaquaria
- Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden
- Roundstone Harbor
- Dunguaire Castle
- Dunguaire Castle's Medieval Banquet
- Aran Islands
- Poulnabrone Dolmen (Poulnabrone Portal Tomb)