Will have about 16 days to spend Northwest and Southwest Ireland in Sept / Oct. Expect to stay the first half between Limerick and Tralee to see that area. Then drive to Donegal(family roots) for the second half of our visit. Watching the forums I see very little inquiries rergarding the Northwest. Does anyone have any suggestions re: rental units or their availabilty around Donegal?
Donegal is Ireland's best kept sceret. Shhhh.... I did a similar trip in 2000, when my mam and I went to Ireland in September of that year on family business. We decided to do the West from North to South. We flew in and out of Shannon. After a few days in & around Galway we headed north to Donegal. We agreed then that N17 is the best road North of Galway, in Ireland; as it took us no time to get to Knock,Drumcliff(Yeats Grave), Fantastic beauty of BenBulben, and then to our stop in Bundoran which is just north of Sligo town; which is a nice seaside town. www.discoverbundoran.com. This town was a really handy place to stay while exploring Donegal. My mam who grew up in Ireland was totally blown away with the O'Donnell Castle in Donegaltown; since she is related to Red Hugh O'Donnall. Many surprises off the beaten path: watching a surfing competition sponsered by Coor's; fairey bridge, pottery co-op, feeding cows thru a fence.... the only regret is not making time to take a boat..
cont... My only regrets were not taking a boat ride to see the Slieve League; getting to Malin head(the tip top of Ireland) and Tory Island. That will be another trip.
I have a friend who is from Ireland and is going to be staying in a hotel in Co Donegal that is actually in a cave; which I thought would be a cool thing to do on my next trip. I will get the info from him and fwd to you later.
Thanks Clare, I have heard the best view of Slieve League is by boat. Any info would be appreciated. A cave sounds interesting. I came across a rental cottage on An Chruit near Kincaslough in the Rosses, but have lost the link. If anyone knows this area I would appreciate any info. The help and suggestions on these forums is amazing. My hope is that when I return I can share experiences to help make someone else's visit more enjoyable.
Hi Chuck, I spent a week last June at the Bunbeg House which is about a 10-15 minute drive from Cruit Island. I personally feel that this is the best part of Ireland. Ruggedly beautiful with a lot of hidden beaches,spectacular scenery and without the hordes of tourists that descend on Blarney,Dingle,Killarney etc.In my week there I did not meet another American, the tourists I did meet were from Scotland,England and Northern Ireland.
Glenveagh National Park is about a 45 minute drive and is not to be missed. Burtonport where you can take the ferry to Aranmore Island is close by as is the boat to Tory Island.
I did not play it but there is a great 9 hole links type course on the end of the island.
www.donegalholidaycottages.co.uk may be of some help to you.
Chuck - Please post a message about your trip after you return. Except for a bit of the Connemara, I've not seen Ireland north of the imaginary line between Dublin and Galway. But Co. Donegal has always been tempting and the pictures I've seen are gorgeous. I've heard not many people, including the Irish, tend to visit Donegal because it's not on the way to many destinations. Don't know if that's true (you can, after all, get to Northern Ireland via Donegal) but I can appreciate that it is a less-oft visited area.
Have a great trip!
Hey, my friend who I mentioned before is presently in Ireland. Once I get the cave hotel info I will fwd to you. :)
Thanks for your comments Mike. I will certainly keep good records, photos and information as we make our way around Ireland. I hope to post a blog when we return. I am realizing as we make our plans that the 16 days we will have there are not near enough for all we want to see. We are already tentatively planning a return visit in the Spring. Warm regards, Chuck
Chuck - You are right that 16 days won't be enough. But neither would two or three times that. Still, you'll have 16 days more than many people and you'll love every one of them.
Looking forward to your report.
shhh those of us who love donegal want to keep it a secret. donegal is like a minature Ireland without the tourists. it has the sea, mountains, peat bogs, beaches, high wonderfully wild cliffs. Try the website for Irish Cottages. Also, the hotel on St John's Point right outside Donegal town has apartment rentals -- Castlemurray hotel. You might also check vacation rentals by owner www.vrbo.com and see if they have listings in Donegal.