Going round and round about plans! I will be in Dublin with my 2 teens on July 25-26 (We must be back in Dublin on 31st to fly out next day) and plan to rent a car. We must go to County Mayo to Kiltimagh for a day to see relatives and spend one day near Westport? (climb Croagh Patrick) so 2 nights near Castlebar. Then we really want to see Burren and Cliffs. Do I stay the other 2 nights in Galway? Or should we head a little further south for those nights? I'm not sure we have time to see much more. When I leave Dublin should we go North first and cirlce down and around or go clockwise around the country....any suggestion would be appreicated
So, essentially, you'll spend the nights of 27 & 28 in Westport or Castlebar and drive out on the 29? If so, I would get a place in Galway for the other 2 nights, mainly just because I would prefer leaving from Galway straight to Dublin on the 31st. Get an early start on the 29th and land in Galway, briefly check it out, spend the night, and drive out early for a day trip to both the Burren Nat'l Park and then the Cliffs of Moher, in that order. Driving out of Galway, you'd drive south (check out Googlemaps or other map app of your choice for directions; it's easy). After the Cliffs, you could return on a different route, via Doolin, Lisdoonvarna, Kinvarra, back to Galway - a loop. The drive back, without stops, would take about 3hrs, maybe more if you get lost, and definitely longer if you stop in Doolin or along the way (I would). It will be a full-day day trip. The next day, from Galway to Dublin, you'll be going across in about 2 - 2.5 hrs. The highway is excellent and easy. Having driven in Ireland, whatever map app you use, I would add an extra 1/2 hr to the driving time. I, personally, wouldn't drive further south or anywhere else for that matter if, as you say, you really want to see the Cliffs and the Burren area. You also have the option of skipping Galway altogether and driving straight to the Burren and/or the Cliffs for the day, then staying in Doolin (fun town, great music) or Kinvarra, and using those places are your base, then driving from that area to Galway on the 31st. It might be helpful to check out Googlemaps or another map/driving app to get a visual on the routes. Love Ireland - I'm sure you'll have a great time.