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Ireland's west coast

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Jan 30th, 2015, 07:53 AM
  #1
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Ireland's west coast

Myhusband & I are interested in a driving tour --i'm told to take in slow in ireland and not push it, so i have already deleted dingle, but my thoughts are this:
fly into dublin and spend 1 night
drive to galway--don't know whether to spend only 1 night or a few
we plan on going to Cong--Cong Abbey--falcon walk but also
Clifden--clifden castle ruin---horseback riding--sky road---kylemore abbey & walled garden
connemarra natl park---
so my question is--would it be better to spend 2-3 nights in clifden as opposed to going back down to galway every night? Maybe just 1 night in Galway and 2-3 nights in Clifden? But then if i want to see aran islands and cliffs of moher am i wasting time in clifden? We have to keep it tight as my sister will be coming in to stay with my mom...so 10 total days--that incl 1 fly day in and 1 fly day out....i need help! Should we skip aran islands and cliffs of moher altogether and just enjoy pubs---but i had thoughts of seeing corocomroe abbey on way to cliffs.....aackk! thanks for any suggestions keeping in mind main thing here was for husband to do falcon walk in cong!!
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Jan 30th, 2015, 09:20 AM
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What about flying into Shannon instead of Dublin? You could see the Cliffs of Moher on your way to Galway. I definitely wouldn't skip them! Others will likely post with more expert advice; we've only done a bus tour 2 years ago. But one day-trip from Galway was up to Kylemore Abbey, then over to Cong and back to Galway. We had plenty of time at Kylemore (most of the day); beautiful gardens and interesting history. We didn't get to see Dingle and I regret that.
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Jan 30th, 2015, 09:43 AM
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Well, we spent three nights in Clifden, and would have loved more time there.
We also went spent a night on Inishmore, which was wonderful, but also worth it as a day trip, provided you don't get seasick!
I personally found the Cliffs of Moher underwhelming, but I'm guessing most folks will disagree with me on that!
The sky road is amazing, but be sure to do it on the inside, if that makes sense, we went the other way,, closest to the sea, and it scared the s**t out of us! Fortunately, no one passed us.
I loved Ireland, one of our best trips ever.
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Jan 30th, 2015, 10:10 AM
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Connemara by bus is like instant coffee looks and smells the same but totally lacks the flavour.

Clifden is a good base for a week so 3 days will scratch what is available http://goo.gl/UL09QA has been butchered by Google but gives some points for the Connemara area. including horse riding at Cleggan and maybe a boat trip to Inishbofin?

Flying into Shannon and seeing the Cliffs on the way up could work, Kinvara is a small coastal option just south of Galway, drive round to Rossaveal day 2 for the Inis Mor ferry (possible overnight?) then on to Clifden.
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Jan 31st, 2015, 05:53 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions! Now I know that Clifden is a great choice to stay at. I appreciate your input.
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Feb 1st, 2015, 05:02 AM
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Definitely fly into Shannon, you will be so much closer to your destinations. We loved Connemarra National Park (see my review on Tripfinder). Galway is a college town but you will enjoy visiting there. If you decide to spend the night in Galway let me know as we loved the B&B we stayed at. When are you going? We make our 3rd trip to Ireland in September!

Enjoy!

Becky
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Feb 1st, 2015, 08:17 AM
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In June/July of 2013, we used Tony's map and suggestions to spend two nights in Clifden. Our only regret was that we couldn't stay LONGER.
Trip Report: http://ireland.activeboard.com/t5450...junejuly-2013/
When we visited the Inish Mor on a previous visit, we spent two nights in Carraroe, not far from the Ferry port -- having 'done' Galway city on a couple of earlier trips.
Don't have a report, but pix at the bottom of page 3 are from that part of trip: https://www.flickr.com/photos/italli...2291641/page3/
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 09:32 AM
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to pugmom--yeah, i orig suggested shannon as another poster commented, to my husb, who replied that american does NOT fly into shannon (we are using frequent flier miles) so i'm stuck flying into dublin---however it might be good to start south and go around north instead of other way around--just want to make sure we have time to enjoy the areas that we want to explore---i just ordered a clifden guide to help with that area!
to ital. chauffer---thanks for all the pics--enjoyed all the nature shots and fun buildings!
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 10:10 AM
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You can get the Bus direct from the airport to Galway. You could get a bus from Dublin to Limerick or Ennis. Galway is a 2 1/2 hour motorway drive from Dublin Airport.

My general comment is that if coming in and leaving from Dublin then leave Dublin to the end rather than time at both ends.
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 10:58 AM
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I totally agree with Mr. Tony, our hero here, that if you MUST do Dublin because of AA miles, then just leave it for one part of your stay.

The bus systems in Ireland are fabulous. You could get from Dublin to many places on the West Coast in a wink.

To get a grasp of possiblities, play around with these websites:
http://www.buseireann.ie/
http://www.citylink.ie/index.php/rou...les/timetables

Then you can rent a car at your destination and not waste time.

Where buses are bad is in the term "tour". Avoid.

For other remarks:
I happen to like Galway a lot, and although we did spend time at the University of Galway, I think Galway residents would be greatly amused to hear of the place described as a "college town". Galway is the fourth most populated area in the Republic of Ireland and is known as Ireland's "Cultural Heart" (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann).

As fans of trad music, we were gluttons on the streets of Galway, because even the buskers were of a very high standard.
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 11:45 AM
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http://www.journeyplanner.transportf..._TRIP_REQUEST2 has more options than just the big 2 bus operators in its database. http://www.dublincoach.ie/timetables...ublin-city.php runs from Dublin to Limerick and Ennis.

Not sure about Hero, many prefer to call me far worse than that at the villain end of the scale. I did once have a Raccoon named after me, I thought that was rather appropriate.
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 12:29 PM
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I do know that you and GPS databases have been having a run-in lately, Tony2phones

My biggest fear when cycling Ireland used to be American tourists driving on the wrong side of the road. Now my biggest fear is American tourists driving on the wrong side of the road whilst reading Google Maps.

Hence my need to put American tourists on good public transport as much as possible.
AZ
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 12:53 PM
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American does fly into Shannon....I am watching the prices right now.
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 02:02 PM
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KATTLYN,

I love Clifden and surrounds. Would highly recommend ABBEY GLEN CASTLE.

http://www.abbeyglen.ie/

Also provides a fine dining experience for its guests and the public.

SUGARMAPLE,

" The sky road [in Clifden] is amazing, but be sure to do it on the inside, if that makes sense, we went the other way,, closest to the sea, and it scared ..." True, but it's a beautiful ride. Did you notice that lovely abandoned castle just below the road by the sea? Right out of Ivanhoe.
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 03:31 PM
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Here's the link to the castle on the Sky Road in Clifden. Sigh...

Hope this works...

https://www.google.com/search?site=&...%3B3648%3B2736
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 03:33 PM
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This google image page also includes pics of the ABBEY GLEN CASTLE HOTEL nearby - lovely place.
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 07:18 PM
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TONY2PHONES,

Thanks for the links and info on the castle on the Sky Road in Clifden. Love the pics of the Seven Bens in the background.

I stayed at the Abbey Glen twice with my cousin whose husband's family own a farm in Newbridge, Galway, not far from my forebears' ancestral seat in Roscommon. Love Ireland!

KATTLYN, you will love this area....
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