Our 4th night in Ireland (in May) will be in Dingle after our first days on the SE coast & Ring of Kerry. Nights 7 & 8 are in Dublin (driving from Galway on day 7). Our "must sees" on the west coast are the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, and Connemara. Originally thought we'd leave Dingle in the morning, drive through Ennis & on to the Cliffs, Doolin, & ultimately wind up basing in Galway for 2 nights. However, I've been reading some posts about Galway that make me second guess 2 nights there. Any suggestions?
Cathy, I think you will find the consensus on here is that Galway may make a good base for 2 nights but most don't think it's worthy of 2 nights just for itself. We actually turned Dingle into 2 nights. We LOVED the Lighthouse B&B. We left Dingle early on a Monday morning - drove through Connor Pass - stopped in Limerick at lunch for some genealogy research and finished the day at sunset on the Cliffs of Moher. We stayed at a B&B about 5 miles from the Cliffs and had dinner in Doolin. You'll love it! Safe travels!
You might enjoy basing in either Clifden or Roundstone instead of Galway. Near Roundstone, Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is lovely if you want a "castle" stay. In Clifden, we enjoyed Quay House. Clifden is a little bigger than Roundstone and has lots of good restaurants and shops. If you stayed there, you could also drive a little bit south of there and explore the bog road. Other options are Roseveal (name of town may be slightly different) to take the ferry for a day trip to the Aran Islands or heading north of town to drive through the stunningly beautiful Delphi Valley.
Hi, Cathy We took the ferry from Galway to the Aran Islands (specifically Inishmoor) during a 3 week stay in Ireland in June. It was one of the highlights of the trip. It's a car-less island (the locals have vehicles) but you can rent a bike as soon as you get off the ferry and bike your way to wherever you want to go. The bike rental places will drive your luggage to your hotel. You can also leave your bike at the hotel when you leave and get a taxi back to the dock. Some folksw travel via horsedraen buggy. We stayed at Man of Aran B & B and loved it. Opted to eat our dinners there as well. Lovely place, warm friendly people, lovely views. The island is a fabulous (altho not strenuous) place to bike on uncrowded roads, walk the beach, see stone walls, animals grazing, amazing cliffs old fortresses,(the nearby tea rooms is good). I actually preferred it to Dingle because it was car-less and seemed less clogged with tourists. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
Rather than going to the Cliffs through Ennis Cathy, I would suggest taking the ferry from Tarbert to Killimer, and then on through a series of small Clare towns/villages (Kilrush, Doonbeg (fantastic golf course here), Quilty, Spanish Point, Miltown-Malbay, Lahinch (another fantastic golf course here), Liscannor) on up to Doolin, a far more scenic route. Much of this route is along by the sea, it is a shorter route (104 miles against 141 miles) than going via Limerick and Ennis, only drawback is that the roads aren't as good so there will be little difference timewise.
I totally agree with John, the route he suggests is a lot more scenic. I am a huge Lahinch fan myself, and have also stayed in Liscannor. And I often suggest the Killimer-Tarbert ferry, partly just for the experience.
Thank you all so much for the feedback. Will definitely take the ferry route - I'd been thinking about it but wasn't sure if it was a better choice. Sounds much better than the motorway! And, definitely won't stay in Galway more than one night, if that. Looking at choices in Connemara for last night & possibly Doolin the night before.
Definetely agree with the Talbert ferry route- very scenic and cuts alot of miles off the trip. I would also take the ferry to the Aran islands. In Connemara we stayed just outside Outerard(about 20 miles north of Galway) at The Currevaugh House. Great place with wonderful breakfast and terrific dinners. I would also do two nights in Dingle if you have the time. Great food, pubs and music. Tom
I would also vote for another night in Dingle. After the Ciffs of Moher, don't forget to see The Burren which should be beautiful in May.