I have most of my trip to Ireland already set. Days 3-4 will be in Doolin. Days 5-6 in Dingle. I want Days 1-2 to be set somewhere that alows us to either bike, hike or drive through Connemara; possibly go to Inishmore; or, visit Kylemore Abbey; and, definitely spend some time in the evening in Galway. My question is this: where is the best place to use as a home base? We like small, quaint bed & breakfasts. The hosts mean more than anything. Would you choose something right in Galway? Or, elsewhere?
I think Clifden is a great little Irish town. We stay at the Sea Mist when we're there. Close to everything you mentioned and right at the end of the 'Sky Road' scenic way.
Sea Mist looks perfect! Thank you! Do you know how long it takes to drive to the ferry for Inishmore? Or, how long the drive is into Galway?
I would budget at least 90 minutes to either the city or the ferry docks. The road goes over bogs (dips and humps) and around the 'Bens' (as windy as the Kerry the coastal roads) so you can't hurry.
But as long as you're driving past, I would make sure to stop at Roundstone (the 'Bog Wildneress' hike is close by), Kylemore ('The Diamond' hill hike is just across the way), or if you're feeling really adventurous, the Derryclare Woods is on my list for next time.
Here's a good site for more inspiration: http://www.walkconnemara.com/walks.html
Thank you for the suggestions. We are very physically active and nature loving, so those hikes look fabulous! After seeing what Connemara has to offer, we plan to skip Galway City altogether and focus on the country and the drive on the Wild Atlantic Way.