Galway is the capital of the West of Ireland. It is a growing city with a lot of character and serves as a central location for several notable day trips. Several afternoons can be enjoyed walking the narrow, pedestrian-only streets in the center of the Galway and discovering the pubs, restaurants and shops, often owned and run by the locals. Just outside of Galway, drive through the mountains, bogs and grasslands of the scenic Connemara region, where Connemara Marble gets its name. The Aran Islands are 90 minutes by ferry or a 10-minute flight from Galway. Here you can walk along the jagged cliffs, or take a bike or pony ride around this peaceful, quiet area. Wildlife lovers can view the many species of protected birdlife or visit the seal colony, and nature enthusiasts can enjoy the wide variety of flora in Aran.