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Ireland itinerary help: Dublin-Donegal-Doolin

Ireland itinerary help: Dublin-Donegal-Doolin

Old Nov 1st, 2011, 10:51 AM
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Ireland itinerary help: Dublin-Donegal-Doolin

My boyfriend and I are planning a 7-day trip to Ireland for May 2012. I've been to Ireland before and have always flown into Shannon and driven up the West coast. We're flying on FF miles so have to fly into Dublin this time. I'd like to minimize the time we spend in Dublin, but feel like we might as well spend a day there since we're flying in/out. I'm inclined to pick up our car and head West the morning we arrive, then spend the last night or two in Dublin (we will have 7 nights in country, departing Dublin early on day 8).

We don't care about castles, museums, art, etc. We do care about music, pints, scenic drives, and cliffs. Must sees for me are Donegal and Slieve League. I'd like to make it to Doolin, but it's not mandatory (been there before). We are not big city people, so maybe we should skip Galway since we'll spend at least one night in Dublin? We also don't need to have an itinerary set in stone and will likely only reserve Dublin accomodations in advance, I'm just struggling to figure out a general plan.

The options we've considered are: 1) fly into Dublin, drive straight to Donegal, work our way down the West coast to Doolin, return to Dublin; 2) fly into Dublin, drive straight to Doolin, work our way up the West coast to Donegal, return to Dublin; 3) fly into Dublin, spend a day there, drive to Donegal/Doolin on day 2, work our way down/up the West coast, return to Dublin.

Some specific questions: 1) is there anything worth seeing between Dublin and Donegal or Dublin and Doolin? 2) is the drive across country too far to make at once after getting off a red-eye from Chicago?

Wish we could just fly into Shannon and skip Dublin, but sadly that is not an option. Thanks for any comments/suggestions!
betsyconlan is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2011, 12:38 PM
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Yes, the drive across country is too far after such a flight. I would recommend staying the first day in Dublin or nearby. Even if you think you'll be fine, do so for the sake of other drivers on the road!

Any chance you can fly into Belfast instead? It would be a shorter journey to Donegal, I think, and a fantastic drive along the Antrim coast.

Donegal and Doolin are quite far apart, but you knew that, right?

I would recommend Ardara town in Donegal - we stayed there for three nights and it was delightful. Other places in County Donegal that are breathtaking: Inishowen peninsula, Glencolmcille, Slieve League Cliffs, Glenveigh. Read my latest trip report for lots of details!

Between Donegal and Doolin, we stayed in both Westport (great town base for Achill Island, Clare island, Connemara) and on Inis Mor in the Aran Islands. We then went down to Ballyvaughan, explored the Burren, and headed down to Dingle (stopping in Doolin on the way). There is PLENTY to see and do in your interests. Matt Molloy's in Westport is a great place for all sorts of music, owned by one of the Chieftains.

If you stop on Inis Mor (for a day trip or overnights) check out Man of Aran cottage (say hi to Maura and Joe!) and stop by for a pint at Joe Watty's. Don't miss Dun Aengosa, spectacular! If you do stay overnight, go up there before the day trippers do, you'll have it all to yourselves.

You can get to Inis Mor either by ferry from Rossaveal (near Galway) or Doolin, but Doolin ferries get canceled for weather more often.
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2011, 12:48 PM
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Hi, I also would do option 3, since the drives are rather long. You may want to plan on staying in Dublin also the night before your departure (I'm guessing AA Flt. 93?
trintraveler is offline  
Old Nov 1st, 2011, 03:08 PM
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Is someone out there selling the same trips?


Galway is not a big city it is a small vibrant place with a lot going on and an excelent stepping stone.

7days is not enough time to cover everything from Donegal to Dingle. The latter being the one place I would leave out without loosing any sleep over.
Tony2phones is offline  
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