Ireland on April 6th - 17th - some questions )
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jan 31, 2012 12:23 PM Last Post By: peoplesdavid
Jan 24, 2012 6:40 AM
Ireland on April 6th - 17th - some questions )Hi all!
We (two people) are trying to plan our first trip to Ireland on April 6th to 17th.
We are not interested in exploring big cities, probably will spend the first day in Dublin (we arrive on April 6th in the morning), sleep there and then head to somewhere else. Again, we don’t want to put in too many places (though we would love to see EVERYTHING – we just realize we don’t have time for it) and spend our quite short stay rushing from point A to point B to point C. We’d rather choose some nice area (or two) with a spectacular scenery (as I understand, Ireland is full of those), and spend days hiking/biking/exploring – that is, enjoying this beautiful land.
I’ve been hesitating between the south-west (Kerry, Cork) and the west and north-west (Galway, Mayo, Donegal) and by now I came to the conclusion that the latter is less touristic while not less beautiful (tell me if I’m wrong and we’d better do the opposite).
So, my questions are:
- do we have enough time to explore the Galway area (Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, Burren, Aran Islands) and maybe add to this Mayo or Donegal county? We are not driving, so we’ll need to use the public transportation. And if we decide, for example, to spend some time both in Galway and Donegal – what should be our approximate schedule?
- are these places good for biking and is it possible to rent a bike there?
- Where is it better to stay? We are interested in B&Bs.
- What is the weather in this time of year; is it much colder over there than, say, in the south-west regions?
Jan 24, 2012 9:32 AM
1A good start is the Ireland edition from either lp or Rough Guide. I prefer the latter and the end of each regional chapter gives a good precis of the public transport in the area. I think this will be of utmost importance since there is generally only a limited rural bus service with limited stops. Bus Eireann will be the major operator outside the cities.
Cycle hire is common and the lp / Rough Guide is a good source of information or e-mail the nearest TIC. Generally very helpful free advice.
Your first weekend will be busiest since it is Easter. Worth booking ahead and checking whether your proposed bus or train service is running as normal.
Weather - Can be variable. That is why the guide books cannot give a definite answer to this query. At that time of year I have been in the hills with just a T shirt one day and pullover and full wet weather gear the next. It is just as likely to be wet as dry. The west is going to be wetter than the east of the country. For example the annual rainfall in the Bluestacks (Co Donegal) is twice that of the Mountains of Mourne (Co Down).
I think it is impossiblr to say which is the better area. I have a personal love of the northern areas including Counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Cavan which includes Yeat's Country.
For hillwalking also try http://www.simonstewart.ie/ as a good resource.
Jan 26, 2012 11:23 AM
2This could be relevant to your interests if you want to cycle... There are plans to create an extensive cycle path all along the West coast of Ireland and some stages are already in operation. There's a great path from Newport (Mayo) along the coast to Achill island. There's loads of bike hire places in Westport (Mayo), which is the nearest town (and very pleasant in itself), including places that will drop you in Newport (approx 15 km up the road I think) and collect you in the end. E-mail the TIC for more info.
I second #1, be very careful in planning public transport along either of these parts of Ireland. Generally anywhere outside of Dublin or within a major city you'll want to have a few timetables with you and, as pointed out before, mind the Easter Bank Holiday as it could cut services back significantly. Not to say you shouldn't bother by any means, just be careful.
Jan 31, 2012 12:23 PM
3Travel in the west coast is slow - so plan ahead.
check out bus eireann for bus timetables. Avoid trains, they aren't very regular.
In donegal there are also Lough Swilly buses depending on what parts you visit.
one of the most beautiful parts of ireland is around Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair) in Donegal. It's also a region where Gaelic is spoken as the main language, which would be interesting for you to hear in pubs and things.
Also great for hiking and the beaches are second to none - although very very cold!
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