My husband and I, and two other couples will be traveling from Ennis June 6 to the Dublin airport to fly out, June 7. I would appreciate any suggestions for sites to see as we make our way there. I am also looking for Dublin airport hotels (with a shuttle) suggestions. Thanks in advance.
The Cliffs of Moher are near Ennis, Galway is also a stop off. Or just pick a random town and get off the beaten track to stop for lunch. You could just drive to Dublin and look around Malahide, Portmarnock & Howth. Very nice little towns near the Dublin airport. Taxis are about 10 or 20 eurs from airport. Better than staying in a generic hotel.
I just googled the time it would take to drive from Ennis to Dublin Airport, about 3 hours. I always double it, that is 6 hours. Doubling it usually works for me when estimating Ireland driving times.
We will see the Cliffs of Moher June 5. We have not seen Galway. I'm pulling out my Rick Steves book right now and checking out the other places you mentioned, Malahide, Portmarnock & Howth. Thanks so much for responding.
You could make a stop at Clonmacnoise monastery ruins. It’s a beautiful site on the banks of the Shannon. In addition to the ruins, there is a small museum with a film, and a small cafe. You could easily spend a couple of hours there, if you like that sort of thing.
Thanks Stacy. I will check it out.
The M7 route would take you through Kildare, home of Irish National Stud & Gardens. We stopped there for a few enjoyable hours while making a similar cross-country return to DUB last May. https://irishnationalstud.ie/
My wife's interest in horses greatly exceeds mine, but I found the tour interesting. And the grounds/gardens are an eyeful.
Airport hotel: We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express; nothing fancy but the price was right. Next door is the HI Crown Plaza. They share a large, comfortable and reliable shuttle to the airport. There's also a nice Italian restaurant a short stroll away if you'll have dropped off your car.
Thanks for your input.
You've 2 motorway options from Ennis to Dublin via Limerick or Galway. Coastal route from Ennis through the Burren is truly stunning. You Can come up through Gort and Athenry to avoid Galway traffic. Motorway M6 then to Athlone - historic sites castle etc or as suggested Clonmacnoise. 2hrs up to Athenry - 1hr to Athlone - 90mins to Dublin. First stretch is tough driving, rest is very good motorways 1 toll €2 approx.
Other option is via Limerick M7 where you literally pass Bunratty Castle. Lovely castle with villlage layout set in past times - really recommend. National Stud also only just off the motorway at Kildare. Great road (dual carraigeway/motorway) start to finish. 3.5hrs max (excl sightseeing stops) with 2 tolls €2 each. Could also cut across from Limerick to M8 for Rock of Cashel if not already visited. Would add 40-50mins to your trip and you would rejoin M7 prior to National Stud etc.
Two other options if time is not an issue and assuming you've already "done" Dublin, would be cross country. Two nice drives which would bring you to quieter parts of the country are (1) via Scarriff or Killaloe hills/lakes nice restaurants etc and then back to motorway M7 at Birdhill or north to Portumna and onwards as below.
Or (2) coastal route to Gort but rather than motorway at Athenry stay on local roads to Portumna and Birr and either head north to Tullamore to rejoin M6 or east to Mounthrath to rejoin M7. This is a harder drive but if taken leisurely it will bring you off the beaten track to the heart of Ireland. Lakes (Loughderg) mountains (Slieve Blooms) castles (Birr) and away from the tourist traps. Prepare to get lost a few times but enjoy the views and people.
Would suggest buying a prepay €20 SIM card with free data for google maps and local info to assist with planning. Google maps is exceptional here for traffic route info. Both these routes would be 6hrs+ and would hesitate it in heavy rain etc as driving conditions would be very hard and views etc limited. Sunny day though (we do get some) absolutely gorgeous.
Too much to list here. From the top of my head, without knowing what route you are taking, how much time you have,what you're interested in, and how far you are willing to detour: Clonmancnoise, Kilmacduagh, The Burren, Newgrange/Knouth; Hill of Tara, Glendalough, Trim, Drogheda, Monasterboice, Powerscourt, Cashel...
King John's castle Limerick
The hunt museum
Moneygall - President Obama ancestry
The Irish national stud
ChaperoneVIP Private tours
I'm looking at a similar cross-country from, essentially, Galway to Dublin. It's not a horrible drive but there isn't a lot of extra time for one day. I'm planning on looking around Clonmacnoise and a stop at nearby Clonfert Cathedral. I don't think I'll have time for much more than that.