Set between the lakes of Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, the idyllic village of Cong is known for its pretty, thatched-roof cottages and its starring role in the Oscar-winning movie, The Quiet Man, where it was upstaged only by the lead actor — John Wayne.
Covering 350 acres, Ashford Castle and its grounds are also a popular visit while in Cong. The old country estate of the Guinness family, today it’s one of Ireland’s finest 5-star hotels that’s hosted everyone from Brad Pitt to Princess Grace of Monaco.
Surrounded by forests, streams, and lakes, Cong sits on the border of County Galway and County Mayo. While in the village, a popular attraction is the ruins of Cong Abbey. Dating back to the 13th century, the abbey is the burial site of the last High King of Ireland, Rory O’Connor, and a National Monument of Ireland that’s said to feature some of the country’s finest medieval ecclesiastic architecture.
Cong is also where Celtic art originated. The original Cross of Cong can be seen at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Kayaking trips along the Cong river are a favorite among visitors, as are boat trips across Lough Corrib — the biggest lake in Ireland, and movie fans can visit the village’s The Quiet Man Museum, which is dedicated to the 1952 film.
28 miles from Galway City, there are about three buses a day that will take you to Cong. The Quiet Man Museum is open from 10am to 4pm, and entrance costs €5. Admission to Cong Abbey is free, and the ruins are open from dawn til dusk.