We are 5 Seniors who are flying from Liverpool to Shannon Airport the last week in Oct, spending 9 nights in Western & Southern Ireland, and flying home from Dublin. We are renting a car to get around. We've been studying Rick's Book on Ireland and getting a feel for what not to miss, and what is touristy. We're wondering where we should stay our first night in Ireland, when we leave Shannon Airport but a good stepping off point for hitting the road the next day. We're okay with missing the Cliffs of Moher near Galway, as they will be closed to walking along in Oct. But what's not to miss in or around County Clare, Limerick or Burren areas? Thank you! Brenda
I'd opt for Dingle so you can experience the Dingle Peninsula.
I agree, Dingle is beautiful, and the drive along the peninsula is fantastic. Try to come into Dingle from the North, going over Conor Pass. Amazing views if it isn't clouded over.
The Cliffs of Moher visitor center, the best vantage point for the cliffs, is open yearround except for Christmas Day. The visitor center is a beautiful facility with interactive displays. Just because you can't walk along the cliffs (which are fenced off, anyway, so you can't get too close) is not a reason to skip it. Dingle would be a pretty long drive for that first day, even if you take the ferry across the River Shannon. Someplace like Lahinch might be a good choice.
I flew into Shannon, too. I stayed in Doolin my first night. That allowed me to tour some of the Burren my first day, and then I went to the Cliffs of Moher (and on to Ennis) during day 2.
Would not miss Cliffs of Moher. We were there last time in December year and half ago and was well worth it, site not to be missed in my opinion. I think a hour drive more or less for Shannon. Then spend night in Doolin, lovely very tiny place with great pubs for trad music. Then went down to area near Shannon next day not so much to see Bunratty CAstle but the park there or whatever you call it with replicas of homes, shops, etc. Drove over Connor Pass but we were lucky as was a beautiful day for a "harrowing" drive and would do it again in a heartbeat. Spent night in Dingle and then continued on south and across to Kinsale, eventually ten days later to Dublin.
For our honeymoon, we flew into Shannon and spent our first night in Doolin...lovely little town with beautiful views and fun pubs for your first night
Thank you all for your responses! We flew Liverpool to Shannon on Ryannair.
Beware! Steep checked baggage fees if paid at the airport. Be sure to pay your fees ahead of time. We stayed our first night in Ennis. Perfect location for visiting Cliffs of Moher our first full day in Ireland. Glad we went there. The sun was shinning and the view was spectacular. Second night we stayed in Bunratty. Two nights in Ventry on the Dingle Peninsula. Don't miss Gap of Dunloe or the Heritage Center in Cobh.
Glad you liked the Cliffs, Brenda! We often do warn people to book checked bags in advance if flying on Ryanair because, as you discovered it costs so much more if you wait till you are at the airport.
Brenda, "Steep checked baggage fees if paid at the airport." They're also STEEP if RyanAir finds that passengers are even one ounce over the limit when they check in. That's one reason I now try to avoid RyanAir whenever possible. I had paid extra when booking, but my scale and theirs must measure differently. I'd also highly recommend Dingle. It's a great town for Pubs and local music. There are some interesting sights in that area, such as the Gallarus Oratory and the Blasket Islands Interpretive Centre. Regarding the Cliffs of Moher, as I recall they didn't allow walking along the cliffs, other than in the "official" visitor area. There's a Visitor Centre built into the side of a hill, and that should be open. Cheers!