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Dublin-Galway-Dingle Questions

My first trip to Ireland will be this August, and would like a bit of guidance with my itinerary. I land in Dublin on Friday, early afternoon and depart Dublin 11 days later, on a Tuesday. I plan to spend 3 nights in Dublin, 3 nights in Dingle, and 3 nights in the Galway area. My last night will be in Dublin so I have an extra night to add to one of the locations. I want to rent a car for one leg of the trip, maybe longer but I have never driven on the opposite side of the car, opposite side of the road. I am all for an adventure but don't want to wear myself out. My immediate questions:

  1. Would you travel Dublin-Galway-Dingle-Dublin or Dublin-Dingle-Galway-Dublin?
  2. Mode of travel, and approximate travel time for each leg: car, bus, train?
  3. Thoughts about Newgrange? I am drawn to ancient cemeteries, churches, castles, etc.
  4. Would you stay in Galway, or somewhere nearby?
  5. What about County Mayo, anything worth seeing in that area?

Thanks so much for your feedback.

Posted by
1250 posts

1) I would opt for the Dublin-Dingle-Galway-Dublin route.
2) I you do decide to rent a car check out for travel times and routes. Also with Via Michelin increase your travel time by 25%. If you opt to take the bus checkout for fares, routes and departure times.
3) I'm kind of so-so on Newgrange. It was ok, but I don't know if I'd go back.
4) I would opt to stay in Galway. In Galway check out Galway Tour Company for coach tours to Cliffs of Moher & Burren and Connemara & Cong.

Posted by
326 posts

Personally I would drive, because you'd be more independent and can stop at interesting places along the way. Driving in Ireland isn't too bad, even though it's on the other side of the road. It can be slow, but that makes it a little less stressful than in England, for example. And the motorways (freeways) are easiest of all, and fastest.

I loved Newgrange and would highly recommend it if you're interested in ancient stuff. But keep in mind it's out of your way, so plan accordingly! To me, it would be worth cutting short your time near Galway. (That sounds terrible! But whatever you choose, you can't go wrong!)

another reason to drive is that there are lots of interesting places between Dublin and Dingle: Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle; Killarney National Park. If you rent a car, and follow your nose, you'll have a wonderful time.

Anyway, you're spoiled for choices. You'll have a wonderful time.

Posted by
312 posts

If Irish history is of interest, then go to Murrisk, County Mayo to visit the National Famine Memorial with its replica statue of a c. 1845-50 famine ship. Just across the road from the memorial is Croagh Patrick. It's about a two-hour plus round trip hike to the top. Every last Sunday in July, hundreds of the faithful do just that - barefoot. To get there from Galway City, go west on the N59 (in Connemara), turn north into the remote and beautiful Inagh Valley, then east alongside Killary Harbor (Ireland's only fjord) and through the village of Leenane. To me, this is the most beautiful spot in Ireland, situated as it is between three mountain ranges. Just past Leenane, on the other side of the harbor, is County Mayo.

Further north in County Mayo lie the Ceide Fields, a c. 5,000 B.C. settlement. But perhaps that's better saved for a future trip when you have more time. The commercial Mayo town of Westport is a nice, lively place to spend a night as well. Matt Malloy of the Chieftians has a pub there, where you can listen to traditional music at night.