Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Which is better -- SW or West Ireland? (

blue67 Jul 6th, 2005 07:45 AM

Which is better -- SW or West Ireland?
Based on everyone's postings, it sounds like less is better when planning a trip to Ireland. While I was originally planning to fly into Dublin, do Ring of Kerry, Galway, Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher and then fly out of Shannon, I'm now thinking about either doing just the SW or the West for my 8 day trip. This is my first time to Ireland and I will be renting a car. Would you recommend the SW (Coh'h, Kenmare, Ring of Kerry, Dingle) or the West (Galway, Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, Lough Conn)?

cailin Jul 6th, 2005 08:33 AM

I would go South West. You could include the Aran Islands in that trip too - get the boat from Doolin over to the islands.

Dathai Jul 6th, 2005 12:26 PM

Since you are planning to stay around Sw or West - Maybe fly in and out of Shannon. Drive from Shannon through
Bunratty - see castle and folk park
and drive through Adare down to Dingle.
Maybe stay a night or two in Dingle and a night in Kenmare - taking in Killarney National Park(Muckross House and Torc Waterfall on the way.
(maybe 3 nights SW)

You could drive from Killarney to Tarbert Killimor Ferry in 1.5 hours and then reach Cliffs of Moher in 1.5 hours
Then on to Doolin and overnight with day trip to Inishere next day. You could get back to Doolin and drive to Galway and overnight there. Doolin to Galway 2 hours.
Next day tour Connemara - Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National park - Clifden etc. - It would be possible to do this and stay another night in Connemara. - You could then take beautiful trip up by Delphi to Louisburgh and on To Westport. You could stay a night in Westport and visit Lough Conn if you had a particular reason before making your way back again towards Galway/Shannon or Ennis area.
Visit for driving times etc.
Have a wonderful holiday !

blue67 Jul 6th, 2005 01:41 PM

Thanks for the advice! The only problem is that I'm flying into Dublin, renting a car and then flying out from Shannon. I'll check out the web site your recommended though for the drive times. I wasn't sure how long the drive would be from Dublin to Cob'h the first day.

althom1122 Jul 6th, 2005 01:52 PM

Agree with Dathai on most of the sights, but believe that proposal has you moving to too many different locations - I like to minimize one-night stays if possible. So here's an alternative suggestion... make a beeline for the Dingle area and spend 3 nights in Killarney - with a full day on the Dingle Peninsula and another sidetripping to Kenmare (which gives you a quick glimpse of part of the Ring of Kerry). For the fourth night, I'd head to Doolin (seeing the Cliffs of Moher) and then spend nights 5, 6, 7 in Galway, with a trip out to the Aran Islands and another exploring Connemera. On day 7, head back to Bunratty for your last night before flying out.

althom1122 Jul 6th, 2005 02:04 PM

OOPS - I missed the part about flying into Dublin and out of Shannon. In THAT case, I'd modify to something more like this:
1 night in Dublin recovering from jetlag; head south stopping at Glendalough and Kilkenny, spend second night at Rock of Cashel (alternatively, skip Rock and spend night in Kilkenny); next day head south taking in Cobh and spending third night in Kinsale; then head west to Killarney (via Kenmare) - spend nights 4 & 5 there; move to Doolin for nights 6&7 (include daytrip to Aran Islands); and spend last night in Bunratty before flying home.
Alternatively, skip Cobh/Kinsale and head directly from Rock of Cashel (or Kilkenny) to Killarney for nights 3&4, then head to Doolin for the fifth night, and to Galway for nights 6&7 (do Aran Island trip from Galway rather than Doolin, plus a day trip to Connemara), and spend the last night in Bunratty.
Either would be fabulous. Cobh and Kinsale are very picturesque seaside towns. Galway is interesting - but for the me the highlight in that area were the Aran Island trip and the drive around Connemara. Can't go wrong with either. I would NOT pass up Dingle in either case - I found it to be the most beautiful scenery on our entire trip. (Check out my trip report from last year - search on Karen and Penny.)
Good luck and have fun!

blue67 Jul 8th, 2005 02:17 PM

You mentioned not passing up Dingle as the scenery is beautiful. Would it be worth staying there a night? OR did you just drive through when you were staying in Killarney? There's just too much I want to see in Ireland and not enough time!

mexicobeachbum Jul 8th, 2005 04:18 PM

You didn't say what month you are traveling, unless I missed it. That might have some bearing on where to go. Nonetheless, I'd consider a night in Wexford, another in Ardmore, or in that area, a couple nights in Dingle, a night in or near Doolin, and a couple nights in Galway, and finish at Bunratty. That would leave you near Shannon, and would give you a pretty good flavor of the West.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:26 PM.