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6-7 nights in the West (Clifden, Galway, Doolin) -- would appreciate any advice!

Hello! We're traveling to Ireland in late April / early May. Will not have a car. Want to see the Burren, Cliffs of Mohr, and Connemara BUT want to avoid cramming too much in. A big part of this trip will be spent lounging in cafes and pubs, people-watching, and just strolling through the various towns checking things out and talking to people along the way. Would prefer to see the off-the-beaten track stuff and are aiming to get out for some hiking. Our draft itinerary is --
- 5 nights in Dublin;
- train to Galway and bus to Clifden (2-3 nights);
- bus to Galway (2 nights);
- bus to Doolin for 2 nights (options of things to see/do: walk out to Cliffs of Mohr and back; the boat cruise along the Cliffs; trip to Aran Islands);
- bus to Ennis for one night before we fly out.

This looks a bit busy to me but I'm having a hard time figuring out what to drop (if anything). Thoughts? Would appreciate any advice / suggestions. Thank you!!
- Laura from Washington, DC

Posted by
425 posts

Hi Laura-
We stayed 4 nights in Dublin and that was plenty. I would take the extra night to use on west coast which is just amazing and beautiful. We skipped Aran Islands as it takes a full day and is weather dependent. We stayed 3 nights in Galway and it wasn't enough - so much to see. Driving to Connemara is a full day also. I would assume you would need to add time if using buses.
Lounging and people watching are a highlight - pubs are so much fun and people are very friendly so great idea to make that a priority!
Cliffs are a must - incredible.
Have fun!

Posted by
4 posts

Just returned last night from 8 days in Ireland. I agree 5 nights in Dublin is too much. We spent 4 and that was more than enough. This included a day trip to N. Ireland, so really two full days in Dublin. Spend an extra day in W. Ireland. The day trip to Inishmor is worth it, we did it from Galway. Below is our itinerary. Just so you know we had a 12 and 14 year old with us. We did a lot of driving but it allowed us to explore a lot of country roads and visit towns where family was from. I was worried it would be too much but is was perfect. Towns like Galway and Dingle (and I assume Doolin) come alive at night leaving you time to book day trips.

Day 1 Landed Dublin drove to Galway (3 hours).

Day 2 Aran Island of Inishmor

Day 3 Left Galway for Cliffs of Mohr drove Wild Atlantic Way to Dingle (All day)

Day 4 Dingle Peninsula

Day 5 Drove to Dublin

Day 6 booked a day tour to Belfast and Giants Causeway

Day 7-8 Killmainham Jail, GPO, Book of Kells, Museums.

Day 9 Left for Seattle