Driving form Dublin to Galway-what to see

In late September we'll be driving from Dublin to Galway-or near to it, as we are booked in the Dingle area the next day-and would like some input as to the best route, though it could be a different town. We are not hell-bent on getting there as quickly as possible, but a semi-direct route with good stop offs for sightseeing would be ideal. If there were a small country lodge or B & B that wouldn't leave too much of a drive for the next day that's great. It's about the same distance to Limerick as to Galway, and our drive the next day would be about 100 km shorter than if we came from Galway. Galway seemed, looking at a map, like a natural 'half-way' point, but if going a bit more south and heading to the Limerick area is a better tour, we would do it. We'll leave early a.m. from Dublin, so if we took all day to get wherever, that's okay.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
218 posts

There are a couple of issues at play here: What to see on the way to Galway? Especially if you're picking up your car at the Dublin airport Newgrange/Knowth/Brú na Bóinne are some of the obvious stops as is Trim and the castle there. We did Newgrange/Knowth/Trim castle and onto Galway and that was a full day but was great. The second issue is the distance to Dingle from Galway if you plan to see the Burren and Cliffs of Moher. We did this as well but stopped in Tralee rather than push onto Dingle because it was already late in the day. While technically the drive might only take 4 hours or so if you want to allow yourself the time it takes to absorb nature sites like the Burren and Moher without a schedule you can easily fill a day and end up much later than you think. If Dingle is really your goal I would maybe pick one site (like Trim castle) see it and then plan to push further into the south to someplace like Doolin or Ennis to put you more in reasonable reach of Dingle during the day. If you are on the coast take the ferry at Killrush and save yourself the extra time and trouble of driving through Limerick. I had never done it but the ferry is a low-drama mini-adventure and saves you a bunch. I'm also not the biggest fan of Galway as a place to visit. We stayed overnight there but and it has its appeal but it's deliberately not very "Irish" so it seems a little off the mark. Also keep in mind that my experiences come from May but you'll probably have a few hours less of sunlight in September than that. Hope that helps,
=Tod

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

I would drive toward Galway, but turn south and see the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. You could stay somewhere like Lahinch or Doolin and continue on the next day via the Killimer-Tarbert ferry. The area is loaded with B&Bs, so you won't have any trouble finding something. I can recommend Moher Lodge outside of Liscannor, about a five minute drive past the Cliffs.

Posted by Dave
Ventura, CA, USA
172 posts

Hey thanks Nancy & Tod, these are great suggestions, I appreciate it!
Dave

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

The ferry is at Killimer, not Killrush. It saves you some driving distance going around through Limerick, but depending on wait time (the trip is 20 minutes plus loading and unloading the ferry), it might not save much actual driving time. I can testify to the fact that it is something different and fun, though.

Posted by Dave
Ventura, CA, USA
172 posts

That's great, I see the ferry runs every hour, and like Tod said probably a good mini adventure; a little less driving-in a right hand drive car, manual shift on the left, on the left side of the road-is okay by me. Moher Lodge looks terrific, thanks again.
Dave