On our very first day in Ireland, my travel buddy and I decided to rent a car, get out of Galway and explore the country side. We planned to hike the Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park but we knew that hike won’t take the whole day.
To complement this main activity, we booked an Airbnb experience only 10 minutes drive from Connemara National Park: visiting an oyster farm.
Google Maps displayed that the drive from Galway to the oyster farm was only 60km but make sure to budget at least 1h15mins to get there because there could be traffic on the way.
Driving on the highway in Ireland is a very different experience from Canada. This is mostly because the roads connecting smaller towns are more narrow and each direction only has one lane. To pass a slower vehicle, you will need to go into the lane of the opposite direction. Only do this when it’s safe!
This made me feel a bit uneasy as the road was winding and the view of oncoming traffic was often blocked. Many other drivers also felt uneasy and were hesitant to pass the big and slow gas tanker truck. We were stuck behind it for a good 30 minutes of the drive before the view was clear enough to pass into the opposite lane.
Learning about oysters
When you arrive at the farm, you will be greeted by Carmel. She works at the farm and will be giving you the tour, explaining all about the oysters and how they are grown on this farm. Carmel is lovely and welcoming! We arrived a bit late because of traffic but that didn’t seem to be a problem.
We were the only ones who booked so it ended up being a private tour for us. Carmel explained a bit about where the farm’s oyster seeds come from, their stage of growth and what they needed to do to make sure the oysters were fat and delicious.
And believe it or not, the farm doesn’t feed them anything. Oysters in this area grow thanks to the nutrients of the bay! Carmel took us out by the shore to see where the oysters were but we weren’t out for long before the rain forced us to go back inside.
Overall, this was a great educational experience for a food lover like me and made me even more appreciative of slow food and the farm-to-table movement!
Some tips for this experience
- Make sure to dress warm! You will be going outside to see where the oyster racks are and it can get cold and windy by the water.
- Wear waterproof shoes with good grips. It can get slippery as you approach the oyster racks because the rocks below your feet are wet and covered in seaweed.
- Ask ahead about the tide. I’ve seen from some reviews that other people didn’t get to see much. This is because of the tide which can cover all the oyster racks and block your view.
- If you’re a big fan of oysters, buy a dozen and eat them on the spot. We got to try 2 but I wish I had gotten more. These were some of the freshest oysters and tastiest oysters I’ve ever had.
Enjoy this experience! It’s great for any food lover and even great for teaching kids about where your food comes from!