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West Coast

South Coast

Irish Marinas

This page is
excerpted from:

Cruising the Wild Atlantic Way

SSCA Cruising Station

OCC Port Officer

Trans Ocean

Getting to Galway

Approaching Galway Bay by Boat:


  • Charts for approaches: AC 2173, 3339, 1984, 1904; Imray C55; Irish OS 45, 46, 51
  • Chartlet of Galway Harbour available at
  • Reeds Afloat Almanac 2009. London: Adlard Coles Nautical, 2008.
  • South and West Coasts of Ireland Sailing Directions. Irish Cruising Club Publications, 2006.


Galway Bay is sheltered from large oceans swells by the Aran Islands, but seas can build up in the 20M from Aran Islands to Galway. There is no safe harbour from Cashla to Galway (~20M).

Note: Beware salmon drift nets in the approaches.


Enter Galway Bay through one of four Sounds:

  • North Sound, between Inishmore and Golam Tower (conspic.), 4.5M wide, is easiest but beware Brocklinmore Bank in heavy weather.
  • Gregory Sound, between Inishmore and Inishmaan, is free of dangers but give Straw Island a berth of 2-3ca.
  • Foul Sound, between Inishmaan and Inisheer; only danger is Pipe Rock (dries) at end of reef extending 3ca NW of Inisheer.
  • South Sound between Inisheer and mainland. Only danger is Finnis Rock (dries 0.4m) 4.5ca SE of E point of Inisheer (marked by ECM buoy Q (3) 10s). From S, Beware Kilstiffin Rocks off Liscanor Bay.

Galway Harbour

53°15’.6N 09°02’.2W

Facilities: 120 guest moorings, 25 floating pontoon slips with fresh water and electricity. Contact the Harbourmaster for availability. Everything one could need in Galway town.

New Harbour (Rinville)

53°14’.6N 09°00W

Beware Black Rock (dries 4.1m) on S shore. N shore is clean; can be approached to within 0.5ca below half tide.

Facilities: Galway Bay Sailing Club (Tel. 091 794527) Anchorage SW of quay in 2m, mud. Visitors’ moorings available. Contact GBSC for availability. Fresh Water; Oranmore (2M) Shop, Bar, Hotel.

Getting to Galway by Car:

Roads leading into the centre of town can be rather congested and traffic by the industrial estates is subject to rush hour surges. Parking within the old city is available on the streets as permitted with pay and display tickets and there are several garages convenient to the centre of town and the harbour (one right on Dock Street).


  • From North, East & West (N6, N17, N18, N83, or N84)
  • From the South (Cork / Limerick / Shannon Airport) N18
  • From West Galway (N59)

Getting to Galway by Plane:

Galway Airport has scheduled flights via Aer Arann to Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Donegal and to the Aran Islands.

Getting to Galway by Public Transportation

Train and bus service go to Ceannt Station as a central destination. Frequent bus service between Galway and Salt Hill is available. The Galway Rail Station ("Ceannt Station") is located on the south-western corner of Eyre Square. The tourist office, city centre and harbour are all less than 5 minutes walk from the station. Station telephone number is 091 562730 (+353 91 562730 international).

To view the latest bus timetables please visit: or

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