West Coast driving tour

Mar 27th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4
West Coast driving tour

I am travelling to Ireland for a wedding, arriving in Dublin, where we will spend 2 nights. We would then like to drive Galway and head down the western coast to Glengariff, where the wedding will be. We will only have 4 to 5 days to get ourselves from Dublin to Galway and then down the coast. We thought we would stop at Ennis, Limerick, Dingle, and Kilarney on our way.
I'd love to know if our plan is a realistic one. Can we cover this distance in 4 to 5 days and comfortably at that?
Thanks and happy travels,
pmsan is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Hi Patricia:

It sort of depends on what you want to do and see. Coastal views, castles, religious sites ... Is this your 1st trip to Ireland? What time of year? Here are some thoughts.

Dublin to Galway is about 4 hours + or - depending on traffic. South from there you have some of the most beautiful coastline you can find. You would pass through Kinvara where Dunguaire Castle stands and when the tide is in, provides one of those picture postcard photo stops. They've done a pretty nice job with it and they serve banquets there in the evening during the high season. Northwest of Galway is Connemara, a beautiful area of lakes and moutains and beautiful coast. It requires a full day and if you are headed south, you may want to save this for a future trip.

You could certainly go to Ennis though, if I were you, I wouldn't miss the Cliffs of Moher just south of Doolin. You can reach there by either traveling through the Burren and seeing one of the most unusual landscapes in Ireland and seeing among other things, the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a roughly 3000 year old burial tomb. This is another one of those sites that gets big play on Ireland calendars.

One thing to keep in mind in Ireland, don't choose places to stay or visit based on the largest font size on the map. I find Limerick to not be terribly exciting and somewhat difficult to navigate. Consider coming down the coast from Doolin, poassible down to Loop Head and then catching the ferry Killimer. From there you can easily make it to Dingle.

Dingle is ceratinly worth some time and the area is very compact so that you can see quite a bit relatively easily. The area is covered with early Christian sites such as the "beehive huts" and the Gallarus Oratory. The coast line is magnificent and a ride over the sometimes scary (for the uninitiated) Conor Pass is good for a thrill. The fews at the top on a clear day are sensational.

You might consider Kenmare over Killarney especially during the high season. Killarney gets pretty crazy in the summer. Kenmare is much smaller but has wonderful choices to both stay and eat. It also gives you the option of both the Ring of Kerry or the Beara peninsula. From Kenmare you would have a relatively short ride to Glengarriff through the rock tunnels and over Caha Pass or the winding road up and over Healy Pass.

Though you could easily spend weeks covering the area that you are talking about, you can reasonable make it in 4 to 5 days and see quite a bit.

Hope this helps.

wojazz3 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 08:03 PM
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Thank you, Bill. This is very helpful. We are going in 2 short weeks, and of course are just now planning! Your advice sounds really good. Upon further research, I've cut out Limerick, as you suggest and decided we can't miss the Cliffs of Moher. Definitely want to see the Ring of Kerry, maybe not the town of Kilarney but the National Park sounds like its worth a trip, however maybe not if we wont have time to do a hike.
Since the trip from Dublin to Galway is so long would you suggest taking a train instead of driving? We could then rent a car in Galway to begin our journey along the coast.
Thanks again for your suggestions.
pmsan is offline  
Mar 28th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Hi Bill, (again)
To get an idea of pacing your travel ideas out over 4 days I thought I would ask you at which points would you stay for the evening?
Would it be something like this:
Day 1: Train to Galway from Dublin. Stay in Galway.
Day 2: Drive south. Check out Kinvara, Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher and stay somewhere between there and Ennis.
Day 3: Head back down coast and take ferry Killimer to Dingle, and stay in Dingle or surrounding area.
Day 4: Check out Kenmare, Ring of Kerry or the Beara Peninsula and stay there or head straight to Glengariff that night.
Would love to know what you think.
Thanks again!

pmsan is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I'd have to recommend Ireland West Tours to anyone checking out Western Ireland and is starting in the Galway area: http://www.irelandwesttours.com/

Jim's tour was one of the highlights of our Ireland trip. It gave my husband and I a real feel for western Ireland. If you are curious about creating your own tour Jim is good at understanding what you are looking for. He was full of suggestions, flexible and informative on our trip. The price was reasonable and the ride was fun. Ireland West Tours is a hidden gem of the area. It will allow you to see an area of Ireland that is the picture book idea that many have about Ireland. I am not one to use travel agents or conventional tours when I vacation, and I am afraid to drive on the left side of the road. Ireland West Tours was an excellent solution to my vacation style. It was like have a personal friend in Ireland who wanted to show you the area, or anything else that I wanted to see.
erikakay is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 08:34 AM
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Not!! This is an ad.
Budman is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 03:58 PM
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It is one of her only two (identical) postings here. You go, Budman!
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