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Help me plan a day from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher....? What else?

If we leave Galway in late October for a day drive to the Cliffs and we also want to do a quick stop in Doolin.....

Is there anywhere else you would suggest for a stop and what route would you suggest to take there and back ? What other places to add to fill the day ( a short reststop )?

I appreciate any and all help.

Posted by
11 posts

You might consider a trip out to one of the Aran islands.
The Burren Nat'l Park is a fascinating natural landscape & the Buren Perfumery had scent, soaps, & creams using the natural wild platoon the region.

Posted by
1837 posts

The Burren would be a good choice, especially if you're keen on doing a little light hiking.
If the weather cooperates another option would be to take the scenic drive south along the coast to Kilkee. There are lots of scenic vistas along the way, and Kilkee would be a pretty little place to stop for lunch or coffee. The beach there is one of the nicest in Ireland, and there's a Cliff Walk nearby that's quite nice too.
Depending on your interest and the time you have available you could continue your scenic drive south thru the Loop Head peninsula to a picturesque lighthouse at the end - it's one of the better kept secrets in Ireland, but I'd only venture out if it was a sunny day.

Posted by
867 posts

If timing works out, Monks in Balleyvaughan makes a great stop for a meal. With only a short time that day, you might also enjoy the one-hour boat ride below the Cliffs (if weather is good and if no one gets seasick). And I am sure you know to avoid driving after dark. :)

Posted by
533 posts

If taking a day trip from Galway to visit the cliffs, I would add Doolin and Ennis. The Aran Islands should be separate day trip when you have a full day.

Posted by
732 posts

Why no driving after dark ? I know you have to be careful and go slow but is it worse in Ireland than in the U.K. ? We are going in Late October and early November so days are short.

Posted by
867 posts

I was there last year in early November and was the designated driver. I don’t mind driving on the left at all (with an automatic) but it was simply a lot harder to see after dark. Add that to the narrower unfamiliar roads (and in that area you will find a lot of narrower roads) and it was far more than my level of risk tolerance. For me, the M roads were fine, as well as some of the N roads. Nothing smaller. And I did a harrowing drive Cork to Killarney on an N road after dark I would never repeat. I am only talking about driving after dark, though, not during the day. In the daylight, I actually enjoyed the driving on roads of all sizes.

Posted by
732 posts

Thank you for the info..... we will try to only do bigger roads after dark. It’s hard cause with my mom and hubby it’s rare that we leave for the day before 9:30 am. We are just not early risers but we also don’t cram too much in a day either. We learned that the hard way in the U.K. in 2017.

Have you traveled in Cornwall ? Would that be comparable to Ireland ? We thought Cornwall was the most challenging part of the U.K. and it is where we went first. LOL

Posted by
1868 posts

The smaller roads are narrower than we are used to here in the US we thought and in some areas did not have a shoulder such as we have and in some areas when it is dark it is really really dark. We thought the worse part was having no shoulders on the small roads.. When we drove thru a farmers field following trusty GPS in the dark that was very interesting. Enjoy that wonderful country!!!

Posted by
1868 posts

It really was funny at the time especially with my brother in his car following us and when we got back to the house it was OMG do we know what we just did??? You will love Ireland we just keep going back and back because we just can't get enough of it!! Best of luck and enjoy!!

Posted by
690 posts

Driving to Doolin from Galway will take you through The Burren. Take the N67 from Oranmore toward Kinvarra. Dunguaire Castle is on the road just before you get to Kinvarra. Keep going to Ballyvaughan and there take coastal road R477. At Ballinalacken Castle take R479 to Doolin. It's a beautiful drive and you'll want to make a few stops along your journey. When you get to Doolin the Cliffs are only a few minutes away on R478. Depending on your timing, after the Cliffs you could continue south to Lahinch and then over to Ennis on N67/N85 before heading back to Galway on M18. We drove this route in May 2018 in 2 legs since we spent 3 nights in Doolin - except that we went on to Waterford from Ennis rather than double back toward Galway. It will be a full day and you'll love it!

Posted by
578 posts

I agree that KBK's plan would be a good one for you and your family. We stayed at Ballinalacken Castle about 20 years ago and did a similar trip. Since you say you'll not get a particularly early start, I would consider dropping Ennis and drive back to Galway through the Burren National Park. If you are going this October, the Visitor's Center may be closed, but from there, there are varying levels of walking trails that would get you up close to the Burren. Or there are other places to explore in the area that others have suggested.

You will love Ireland!

https://www.burrennationalpark.ie/visit-us/.