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Please help with a West-toNorth Ireland itinerary

Hello!

We've planned for a Sept 2010 trip to Ireland and very much want to hit Belfast, Donegal, Sligo, and, since we're are going with friends who have never been to Ireland, a bit of the west coast, possibly Galway/Aran Islands. And we only have nine (9) days. I've never been North so don't have a good grasp on travel distances. Any thoughts on reasonable itinerary and what not to miss?

Thanks

Posted by
977 posts

We travelled from Dingle to Cong in one day. Day 2 Cong to Donegal in one day. Day 3 Donegal to Ballintoy on Antrim Coast. Balintoy to Belfast is a relatively short hop. 9 days will enable you to see the sites without too much rushing around. Our daughter loved Westport. As you will be advised, don't be too ambitious with driving distances in Ireland. Ideally 200km a day would be about right.

Posted by
180 posts

We did the antrim coast sites in one (long) day, I would recommend two days, if you're not interested in rushing from place to place. I think you could do Belfast in two days and one night...

That would leave you a good amount of time to do Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Donegal and Sligo before heading to Antrim Coast.

We took the Greencastle ferry to get over to the Antrim Coast, and it was a very easy and gorgeous trip!

Posted by
1811 posts

Two really beautiful spots in northwest Ireland are Lake Nafooey and the road which goes past Delphi. We enjoyed staying in Clifden, a pleasant small city with a good selection of restaurants at the western edge of Connemara. Check out the website irelandexpert.com.

Posted by
333 posts

9 Days should be plenty of time.

I would try to fly into Shannon and out of Belfast is possible(or Belfast-Shannon and reverse the trip)

Day 1 Galway

Day 2 Connemara staying in either Clifden or Westport (about a 3 hour drive and so beautiful you won't mind it at all)

Day 3 Sligo Town (2.5 hours) I've never stayed there but have driven through it a lot.

Day 4 & Day 5 Donegal- Oh...Dear Donegal. It's a big place and a lot of it is rural farmland (like co Kerry) so you have to pick where you want to go.
Killybegs, Gweedore and the Innishowen Peninsula are my favorite places. I highly suggest taking a day to drive the Innishowen if the weather is nice.

Day 6 Derry City- (1 hour from Letterkenny Co Donegal)

Day 7-8 Antrim Coast (about 7 hours to drive the entire coast Derry-Belfast but I would stop along the way in a coastal town for the night)

Day 9 Belfast City

Posted by
29 posts

Here are some details form our 2005 itinerary that may help::
Tue 9 Aug -> departing Fri 12 Aug (3 nights)

Galway (110 mi north of Kinsale) @ Carraig B&B Catherine and Paddy Lydon http://www.dirl.com/galway/salthill/carraig-beag.htm#contact

Fri 12 Aug -> departing Sat 13 Aug (1 night)
Inishmore Island (8 mi southwest of Rossaveel) @ Kelly House

Mary Kelly, owner/agent http://www.ireland.ie/accom_search_results_single.asp?sID=ICS0G895

Sat 13 Aug -> departing Tue 16 Aug (3 nights)

Murrisk (7 mi west of Westport on Clew Bay near Crough Patrick Mtn) @ Seaview B&B

Margaret Grady, Owner margaret.grady@yahoo.co.uk

Tue 16 Aug -> departing Fri 19 Aug (3 nights)

Bunbeg (120mi northeast of Westport) @ Tigh Bhreisleain B&B

Georgina and Eamonn Breslin breslins@hotmail.com

Fri 19 Aug -> departing Mon 22 Aug (3 nights)
Bushmills (80 mi east of Bunbeg) @ Valley View Country House Valerie McFall http://www.irish-bnb.com/valleyview/index.html

Mon 22 Aug -> departing Mon 29 August (7 nights)
Slane (135 mi south of Bushmills) @ Slane Farm Cottages

Joanne and Paddy Macken http://www.slanefarmhostel.ie/cottages/cottages.html

Slainte.