We are traveling to Ireland in August, landing on 8/14 in Shannon. We plan on heading to Dublin on 8/17 via train from Galway. Suggestions for 3 days? We will be renting a car. I was thinking of visiting Doolin, Aran Islands, Cliffs of Mohr and the Burren, then the last night in Galway, taking the train to Dublin on 8/17/15. Or should we do Dingle and keep the car until we get to Dublin? Thanks so much!
I can't recommend Dingle enough. It was our favorite stop on our trip to Ireland. If you go there, you want to stay there at least one night, and the more the better. You'll want to do the Slea Head road too, which is at least a half day.
Aran Islands is probably a solid full day trip, you won't be able to do much else that day if you go there.
Cliffs of Moher are stunning and a must-do, but it isn't a full day type thing. The Burren, in my opinion, is more of something you drive through, as opposed to stopping at. You could easily do the Cliffs of Moher and drive through the Burren to get there. Doolin is small, and I would rather spend my time in Dingle over Doolin.
Something we really enjoyed on the jetlagged arrival day was the Bunratty folk park. I didn't want to go, and went because my companion was interested. If you like social history, I think you would enjoy it.
Unlike the preceding comment, I think the Burren is a magical place--a place of stark beauty. And if you get out to explore, you'll likely find wonderful wildflowers in the limestone. We also really enjoyed the Burren perfumery. We didn't do a Burren tour, but I've heard they're a good way to explore the area.
I would vote for your idea to stay in the Co. Clare area. Bunratty, Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher, Ballyvaughn, one of the Arans, if weather permits. And I agree, the Burren is very interesting. I have never had enough time to spend there. Dingle is great, too, but it's a good distance away. Depending on your flight arrival time, it might take most of your first day getting there, and do you really want to drive over four hours on your first day after a transatlantic flight?
I agree with Nancy. The drive to Dingle is a bit far south. We did shave I think 80 miles by taking a ferry as suggested by Rick Steves from Galway to Dingle. Best advise ever! But since you have 3 days, I would do what the others suggested but throw in the Ailwee Caves. When I was in Ireland, this hadn't made Rick Steves book. I found this by picking up a brochure. It was a fantastic tour. After that we drove through The Burrens and Connemara. Bring your CDs from home! You'd want a little Irish music while taking in the gorgeous landscapes.