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Western Ireland Itinerary - First Attempt

Western Ireland Itinerary - First Attempt

Jan 21st, 2007, 09:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19
Western Ireland Itinerary - First Attempt

After researching a bit more, we have finally produced draft one of our Ireland itinerary! There are still a few holes that we need to fill in – so any suggestions are greatly appreciated! In a previous post I posted that we were trying to stay away from renting a car – but after all the advice we received from this board, we reconsidered and now will have a car for most of our trip! Below is our first attempt at our itinerary:

May 18th – Leave United States

May 19th – arrive in Shannon – take bus/train to Galway. Find B&B or Hotel (which we will already have a reservation at). Walking tour of to Galway City (on our own).

May 20th – Aran Island – Inishmore – DunAengus fort,

May 21st – Back to Galway – Rent Car for rest of trip. Drive the shores of lough corrib

May 22nd – drive to Quin – See Cliffs of Mohr and Burren on drive. Medieval dinner?

May 23rd Morning - Knappogue Castle & Walled Garden as we leave Quin.
Drive to Dingle Peninsula – Slea head drive. Is it possible to stay at The Shores Country House and do this drive? From what I have read the BB is great, but it is a bit remote.

May 24th – Dingle Peninsula - Sciuird Archaeological Tour

May 25th – Killarney - Gap of Dunloe

May 26th – Killarney – National Park

May 27th – travel to Limerick – King John’s Castle - Return car

May 28th – Take bus/train from Limerick to Shannon to leave
HMIreland is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9
I would add (which probably means subtracting something!) a drive from Westport through Clifden to Kylemore Abbey. We had the best morning doing this. If you have the time you can add in Crough Patrick in Westport, but I LOVED Kylemore Abbey.
cmo1004 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
I was about to ask you about your car rental plans, but I'm guessing you have some sort of Enterprise deal and they don't rent from Shannon.

There are no trains from Shannon to Galway. The bus ride to the Galway bus stationis a little less than 2 hours.

It sounds like you are staying overnight on Inishmor. That's a very good idea. There is a bus that takes you to the ferry at Rossaveal. I'm not sure if there is service to the airport at Inverin, another nice and quick option to get to the islands.

Most of the roads along the shores of Lough Corrib don't get very close to the shores, so you can't see much from the road. There is a tiny little road outside of Oughterard which follows the shore for a while and then comes to a dead end. It's a nice drive with some wonderful picnic options. The road to Clonbur and then on to Cong offers the best view of the Lough. Another suggestion are the Lough Corrib cruises (http://www.corribcruises.com/) which leave from Oughterard and Cong (Ashford Castle). The cruises are about 90 minutes with a stop at historically significant Inchagoill Island. In good weather, this is a wonderful trip. A word of warning, if there are not enough passengers for the boat to make a profit, they don't sail. I think Ashford is more likely to sail than Oughterard as it gets a bit more traffic.

Knappogue does a dinner which I have never done. I believe the theatrical premise is women in Irish history.

You can absolutely do the Slea tour from The Shores. I did it last May and a number of other times. The drive over Conor pass is well worth it and the road has been widened substantially. As of last May, there was only one truly narrow section left. Take a walk on the beach in the evening. It is quiet and magical. You may be the only ones there. Ned Natterjack's in Castlegregory does music on Wednesday and Saturday nights. This is a great old pub and well worth the time. This will be a nice difference from the more tourist oriented pubs of Killarney.

I prefer Kenmare to Killarney but some people love Killarney. The tourist season is starting to get underway in earnest by late May but the crowds don't get really bad until late June-August. The Gap of Dunloe is a pretty good tour of Killarney National Park in itself. If the weather is good, consider making your way out to Portmagee for a trip to the Skellig islands. This is a trip you will never forget, but tread lightly please. From Kenmare, follow the road on the south side of the Peninsula. From Killarney, take the north road (which I find less interesting than the south).

Sounds like you have a pretty good plan. You should have a lot of fun.

wojazz3 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 294
Knappogue's Banquet is one of the best. I would recommend it over Bunratty, to be sure. I would vote for Kenmare, as well. Killarney is a bit over run for my taste. If you've not booked your B&B on Inis Mor yet, try Man of Aran Cottages, which is close to Dun Aengus. In Galway, St. Martin's is a delightful B&B that few have found yet. I would suggest that you start your exploration of Galway with a Hop-on/off bus tour, which will give you a narrated tour of the main attractions of Galway and help you to get your bearings.

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
Cowboy Craic
CowboyCraic is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 19
Thanks so much for all of your help & suggestions - I'm glad we are on the right track to planning our first Ireland Vacation!

Bill - I didn't know that Shannon didn't have rental cars at the airport - good thing we planned on taking the bus up to Galway. We are just renting from an enterprise. Also thanks for the tips on our visit to the Dingle Peninsula - this is our Honeymoon, so I was hoping we could throw in a romantic location somewhere on our trip! Question for you have you done the Sciuird Archaeological Tour before? It sounds interesting and educational, but I'm not sure if it's worth the time...what do you think? Also, if we do make a trip to Skellig Islands, does this require an entire day? Thanks again for all of your help!!

CowboyCraic - thanks for the B&B option - it sounds like it should be perfect for our first night! Also - if we choose a hop on/off bus tour of Galway do we need to book this ahead of time or can we decide when we get there? Generally how much does this cost?

Thanks again for all your help!!

HMIreland is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 157
There are several rental car agencies at the Shannon Airport. Usually cheaper if you reserve one on the airline web site. Don't know if this still pertains, but a Gold Mastercard (not Visa) pays for some of the insurance.
PaulH is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 35
We rented a car at the airport in Shannon last year. Wouldn't it be more convienent to do that. A modest drive the 1st day and you could overnight at Cliffs of Moher, and be in good shape to visit the Arans, or Galway
loves_labs is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 294
Regarding the Galway Bus Tours, you can purchase your ticket that day on the bus or at the Galway tourist office, www.lallytours.com. If the weather is good, you could also hire a Horse & Cart in Eyre square and take a tour of Galway that way. The Carriages line up on the north side of Eyre square under the Banner of the 14 Tribes. The carriages are first come first serve. As for the cost of the bus tour, I know that Lally's tour is 10 Euro per person.

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
Cowboy Craic
CowboyCraic is offline  
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