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8 Night Itinerary

Hi all,

I have finally purchased airfare into and out of Dublin for an 8 night trip in late April / early May with my husband and my parents. While we are into checking out Dublin, it is not at the top of our list. My thought was to land in Dublin (early - around 5am) and take the bus from Dublin out to Galway. Once in Galway we plan to rent a car. I'm wondering how this general itinerary sounds:

Sunday morning - Galway (take bus from Dublin airport)
Monday - Galway
Tuesday - Thursday - base ourselves out of Clifden
Friday - Saturday - Dublin
Sunday - depart from Dublin

Are 3 nights in the Clifden area too much? Considering this is a first visit for all four of us, is there a must-do that I'm missing? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks!

Posted by
130 posts

I love the Connemara area and never find it difficult to fill in the time. The scenery is superb. Don't miss the Sky Drive from Clifden. On a good sunny day this must rank as one of the best short drives in the world. Drive to Roundstone with its small harbour and views across to the Twelve Bens. Explore the coast from here. Visit Kylemore Abbey and is gardens. Go for a cruise on Killarey Harbour. Do a day trip to the Aran Islands. Visit Westport and explore that area. Visit the Country Life Museum in Castlebar and watch the videos of what life was like in Ireland 50 years ago. This is a fascinating place and you can easily spend several hours here. It is also a good place to head to if the weather is wet!

Posted by
10 posts

Fantastic. Thank you! One more question. Would it be too much to find time to add Cork in here somewhere? I hate to move around too much, but my father has brought it up and I’m wondering if it’s possible to do it all.

Posted by
130 posts

Not easily, unless you are willing to sacrifice a couple of days in Galway and completely replan your itinerary.

Posted by
221 posts

More ideas for the Connemara area—Killary Sheep Farm for a sheep dog demonstration; a drive through the Doo Lough Valley (read about it in relation to the Great Hunger); and Croagh Patrick. We did all three in one day. We loved Connemara!

Posted by
1701 posts

Good advice from the other posters.
Would only add a few other potential stops: the village of Cong, where the old John Wayne/Maureen O'hara flick "The Quiet Man" was filmed back in the 50's. It still looks like the movie set it was back in the day. Close by is Ashford Castle where there's a Hawk Walk that many here rave about. Nice place for afternoon tea as well.
Connemara National Park is worth a stop on your way around the loop drive to Kylemore Abbey. There's a short hike up to the top of a feature called Diamond Hill, from which there are spectacular views of the surrounding area. Good place to stretch your legs and grab a coffee at the visitor center.
The Sky Road west of Clifden is one of Ireland's great scenic drives.
Another vote for the Doolough Valley and the famine memorial there - puts the whole history of the Great Hunger into rather harsh perspective.
Maybe take the short ferry ride from the village of Cleggan out to the island of Inishbofin - one of Ireland's better kept secrets.
You'd have to reorganise your whole trip in order to include Cork in your itinerary - it's a 5 to 6 hour drive from Clifden. Better to save it for a future trip since it's likely that you'll be returning - Ireland does have that effect on people.