Southwest Ireland Driving Routes

Jul 26th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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Southwest Ireland Driving Routes

Our Ireland trip is in 3 weeks (yeah!) and it's time to get down to some specifics. Looking for some help from the locals and other knowledgeable Fodorites. Our itinerary is the following:

Day 0--Fly from UK to Shannon (no jet lag); Drive to Killarney (3 nts)
Day 1--Killarney
Day 2--Killarney
Day 3--check out, drive to Dingle (2 nts)
Day 4--Dingle
Day 5--check out drive to Salthill/Galway via Cliffs of Moher/Burren (3 nts)
Day 6--Aran Islands
Day 7--Connemera
Day 8--checkout, drive to Shannon

Shannon to Killarney: AA route is N19/N18/M20/N21/N23/N22/ (2 hrs)

Any issues or different suggestions?

Killarney to Dingle: N71/N72/R563/N70/R561/N86 (68 minutes -- doubt it)

I take it the "R" roads are when it starts to get fun. Is this the recommended route into Dingle?

Dingle: Is it recommended to tour around the peninsula via R559? Where do you cut back through if you want to return to Dingle? Must see stops along the way?

Dingle to Cliffs of Moher to Burren to Salthill/Galway: AA is taking me to Limerick. Isn't there a ferry or now tunnel option to cut that down? What's the recommended route? I realize this will be a long day, but we will be breaking up the trips along the way.

Connemera: recommended sites for our exploring day?

Salthill to Shannon: Looks straightforward -- N6, N18/M18, N19 (80 minutes). We'll allow plenty of time. Any issues?

indy_dad is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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Anyone? Too detailed a post maybe?
indy_dad is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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Yes, there is a tunnel that runs from a bit west of Limerick on towards Cork. (The N20) We were on that road on a Sunday afternoon a few weeks back and it seemed that most of the drivers opted for the non-toll route.

Our route (the portion that I was on as my family arrived several days before I did) took us Shannon to Galway via the N20.

As you look to be on the N20 heading towards Galyway, I might suggest a stop at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, if with young kids. Castle is just next to the N20 about 20 miles or so to the southeast of Shannon.

From Galway we went south into Cork for a few days and then on to Dublin.

If in Galway we enjoyed a pint or two at the Skeffington Arms in Eyre Square and dinner at The Quays in one of the more vibrant sections of Galway City.

BTW, I highly recommend a lined wool sweater from the Aran Islands. I wore it one of the few days we had Irish weather and it was as good as any raincoat I have.

I don't think you'll be near it, but I thought Kinsale was lovely. It's on our plan for a night next time we head to Ireland.
Ryan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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From Dingle to Galway area I would skip Limerick and take the ferry at Tarbert. If you have time, detour to Loop Head. It won't take long and you will be glad you did. I would visit Loop Head and skip the Cliffs of Moher.
jaja is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Ditto the Killimer-Tarbert ferry. Easy as pie.

Regarding Killarney-Dingle - that sounds like what we did (it's been a few years). But regardless of the route, you are right to assume that it will take more than 68 minutes.
jent103 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Thanks all. I'll give Loop Head a ponder. I'm concerned about trying to get from Dingle to Salthill with what would be 3 stops (can't skip the Cliffs of Moher without judging it myself).

I now see where the tunnel under River Shannon is. AA is saying it is about the same time versus the ferry, but obviously a bit farther drive.
indy_dad is offline  
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