A gem of itself, the Irish language is still spoken in certain areas of Ireland, and you will hear it spoken if you travel there on your vacation. Part of the Emerald Isle's culture and old traditions, it certainly is a great reason to visit Ireland.
First of all, what is 'An Ghaeltacht'?
An Ghaeltacht (“The Gaeltacht”) covers all regions in Ireland which are officially recognised to be mainly Irish-speaking areas. More generally, Gaeltacht (plural Gaeltachtaí) is a word in the Irish language to describe any region where Irish (Irish Gaelic) is the main language.
An Daingean (Dingle), Co. Kerry
An Daingean is both a tourist hot-spot and a local fishing village. Many small boats operate out of the town’s port, and you can wander up the pier to see the men at work. While you’re wandering around, grab yourself a traditional “fish and chips”.
You won’t hear much Irish spoken in the town of An Daingean, despite its Irish-speaking status. Chances are you won’t hear a word. However, it’s still being spoken in the privacy of many locals’ home, and you might hear the ould lads speak it in the local pub. If you’re booking a local B&B, I suggest that you first ask if the family is Irish speaking. If you want to hear the Irish language, drive out further down the peninsula to places such as Baile an Fhéirtearaigh.
County Galway is the heart of Cúige Chonnacht (Connaught, or Connacht), Ireland’s western province. The West is known for its traditional, rural, sparsely populated land, with windy mountains and countryside speckled with low stone walls and peat bogs. The rough Atlantic coastline gives shelter to numerous prehistoric sites such as the ring forts on the Aran Islands, and the tower houses.
Conamara is quite a large region, so try to plan your trip to see where the best place to spend the night would be. Galway City is a great base from which to start you travels.
County Galway is home to Loch Coiribe (Lough Corrib, the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland), Na Beanna Beola (Twelve Bens) mountain range, Na Sléibhte Mhám Toirc (the Maum Turk mountains), and the low mountains of Sliabh Echtghe (Slieve Aughty).
An Cheathrú Rua (Carraroe)
An Cheathrú Rua is a small vibrant town at the heart of the Conamara Gaeltacht. The population swells during the summer’s months with people visiting here to learn the language. An Cheathrú Rua sits within its own small peninsula. At the end of this peninsula is a great view from the small beach of the Atlantic and Conamara mountains.