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6 Night Itinerary - Skip Galway?

Hi, I am new to the forum. I have been reading hours of posts and I’m still unsure how to handle the first 6 nights of a 3 week trip.

My son and his wife (late twenties) join us for the first week and I want to make sure we hit some key areas for them without being overwhelmed with driving. They love outdoors/nature but a mix of small town pubs would be fun.

We will have a rental car but I don’t like the idea of driving in Galway and one of my biggest reasons to possibly not go there.

We already booked flights into Shannon and out of Cork. I may have made a mistake flying them out of Cork but it is set. I also realized it is advised not to have 1 night stays but this is my rough itinerary.

arrive Shannon (May 2019)
galway - 1 night
doolin - 1 night
dingle - 3 nights (taking the Shannon ferry)
kinsale - 1 night

depart Cork airport

Questions:

1- Should we drop Galway? either add a night to Doolin or add Kenmare?

2 - Should we make Dingle just 2 nights?

I am stressing to the point of not feeling excited about the trip so any help is really appreciated.

Posted by
1085 posts

I loved my trip to Ireland in June. However, the one stop I would have skipped was Galway. It is a crowded university town and felt dirty. But to be fair they were having a dry spell and the streets probably needed a wash. There also didn't seem to be a lot to see or do in Galway. If it were me, I'd drop Galway and add another night to one of your other stops. For instance, I really liked Kinsale. It is a beautiful village.

Posted by
1530 posts

I agree to drop Galway. I have been there. Great place if you are into shopping or you want to go to the Aran Islands.
Two trips to Ireland so far. And while I have not seen it all, Dingle is my favorite town.

Posted by
6047 posts

I enjoyed Galway a lot, but for one night in a 6-night itinerary that is mostly south of there, I don't think I'd head up that way. I'd head straight from Shannon to Doolin. Spend a night in Kenmare if you want another one night location or add another night to Kinsale, it was one of my favorite places and I hate one-night stays.

Posted by
224 posts

I wasn't a huge fan of Galway either. You wouldn't be missing anything if you didn't go.

Posted by
479 posts

We enjoyed a single day-trip into Galway while staying farther west on the peninsula. We felt we'd seen it all in a morning with a leisurely lunch and spent much of the afternoon enjoying the Promenade in adjacent Salthill. It was crowded and touristy; if we had to delete anything from our 3-week trip, it would be Galway.

So, given your plans, I agree with the others who suggest dropping Galway in favor of more time elsewhere. It should be less stressful if you spent 2 nights each in Doolin and Dingle. We didn't get to Kinsale. While there's much to see and do in/around Kenmare on the ROK, I see the logic of visiting Kinsale en route to Cork. Those are all nice problems to have. You'll have a great time regardless of the details.

Posted by
1165 posts

I would for sure include Galway if I was with people in their twenties. It is a fun, younger town with great pubs and restaurants.

Posted by
552 posts

Galway was actually my favourite place so I’m not sure why some people don’t like it. I heard the best live music of my trip there, and there is a lot to see and do in the surrounding area (a trip to Inishmore, Connemara, Burren, cliffs of Moher), but I would probably not drive all the way up there just to spend the night. Between Shannon and Cork there is enough to do to easily use up a week. I would certainly try to fit Galway in at some point, though.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all so much for your help. Even though I read through many posts it was great to have comments on my exact itinerary. We have decided to skip Galway since we will be mostly on the South end. Perhaps we can experience some time in Galway in a future trip. Appreciate all.

Posted by
29 posts

If you have time on your drive between Doolin & Dingle, stop in Kilkee and drive Loop Head. Wonderful cliffs and not crowded. Had it not been raining we would have taken the hike. Had a wonderful lunch at the trail.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you! We are going to work this in. I was actually waffling on including that area so thanks for the input.

Posted by
65 posts

I just returned from Ireland. I chose not to go to Galway. Dingle was by far my favorite! We stayed 4 nights there, and I could have easily stayed a week. We spent 3 separate days driving parts of Slea Head Drive (following Rick Steves self guide), stopping at many of the places Rick mentions. It was a lovely drive, and we thoroughly enjoyed all of the stops (ring forts, bee hive huts, Blasket Island Center, etc.). We stayed in a lovely 3-4 bedroom home in Ballinloghig, about 10 minutes drive from Dingle in the beautiful countryside. I personally wouldn't stay less than 3 nights anywhere, or you are too busy traveling between destinations.

Posted by
16 posts

Hi Cindy.

I certainly wouldn't drop Galway, no way, its the number 2 city in Ireland after Dublin and its wonderful!! Don't be afraid to drive in Galway, in fact the roads are better in Galway than they are in the area surrounding Doolin, Co Clare! Having said that, the roads on the west coast are pretty much all the same, narrow, winding, hilly and like something out of a story book. Just take your time and enjoy it!

I know that part of ireland like the back of my hand so please contact me if you need ant further advice.

Best,
Mike.

Posted by
27 posts

Hello all,
This is not a reply to Cindy, but a request for advice as I have a very similar situation, only that i’m returning to Shannon airport and the trip will be in February. Will anything be open in these small, seaside towns in the winter, or should I stay in Galway? Thanks, Annie