Physical Landscape

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  • Aspects of Galway City and County


The Twelve Bens (The Twelve Pins), Galway
Courtesy of Simon Stewart
Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake, divides the county in two. West of Lough Corrib, the countryside is dotted with small lakes.

The landscape is mountainous - the Twelve Bens

The Twelve Bens

This illustration shows the name and location of each of the Twelve Bens.

Courtesy of Simon Stewart

and the Mamturk mountain ranges dominate. Between the mountains lie stretches of blanket bog

Blanket Bog in Connemara

Lowland blanket bog in Connemara. The Twelve Bens (the Twelve Pins) can be seen in the background.


East of Lough Corrib the landscape is mostly pastureland. In the south east of the county, on the border with Clare, the Slieve Aughty mountains dominate. While the west is dotted with lakes there are few large lakes in the east. Lough Cutra, near Gort, and the lake at Loughrea are tow of the largest lakes in the east of the county.

The Shannon bounds the county on the east for about forty miles. Its tributary, the Suck, flows through Ballinasloe. The short Corrib River connects Lough Corrib to the sea.

Connemara Coastline
Department of the Enviornment, Community and Local Government

Galway's indented coastline

Connemara Coastline

The Galway coastline is highly indented with bays, inlets, peninsulas, islands and headlands. There are also numerous small sandy beaches.

Department of the Enviornment, Community and Local Government

measures over 2000 km. There are a number of islands off the coast - 18 of them are still inhabited.
Aerial View of Killary Harbour
Courtesy of Ordnance Survey Ireland.

Killary Harbour forms a partial border between Galway and Mayo. It is Ireland's only fjord. It is sixteen km long and over 45 metres deep in some parts.