Road Trip Around Ireland-- thoughts appreciated!
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Nov 27, 2012 1:18 AM Last Post By: rwilson8834
Sep 11, 2012 12:11 PM
Road Trip Around Ireland-- thoughts appreciated!So, I have a feeling my itinerary may be ambitious, so I was hoping to get thoughts on where it could best be altered (or if it needs to be...). Here goes nothing....
May 27th: flight into Dublin (from London); spending one full day in dublin (28th)
May 29th: Rental car! drive to belfast--spend one full day in belfast (30th)
May 31: drive the scenic route towards Derry (giant's causeway)-- spend the night in Portstewart area
June 1st: continue driving giant's causeway, perhaps see derrytown for a beer/food midday, continue on to Killybegs to stay (or elsewhere in this area? is this much too far? what could be a better alternative?)
June 2nd: Drive to Galway; spend one full day in galway (june 3)
June 4th: cliffs of moher and head to Adare to stay the night
Here's where things get trickier...
So let's say I have June 5th-8th (full days) and I'd like to do dingle/ROK/cork area... what is a good/reasonable itinerary considering what we would have already seen?? I would like to see cork for about a day at least and our flight would be on the 9th from Cork (1:10pm).
We are early/mid-twenties (2 of us) and are very active, don't mind driving a bit (I personally really enjoy travel by car--although I know the roads of Ireland are different than California!), and we always enjoy a good beer at a friendly pub + delicious food.
Any advice would be love, thanks in advance! And any great (but affordable) hostels/lodging advice would be appreciated as well.
Sep 12, 2012 2:51 AM
1Your schedule is possible - but is deffinitly a bit rushed.
Portstewart I find to be tacky and overrated - Ballycastle is nicer. I'd spend some time around there - Glens of Antrim, Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, rope bridge thing (the name of which is escaping me at the moment) and Ratlin Island are all worth a visit. I'd skip Derry/Donnegal entirely in favour of more time in Northren Antrim.
After that head to Galway via Dublin on the Moterways - long day drive, but easy enough at the same time. Spend some time there. If you went to Ratlin already Aran Islands are not worth a visit - but the burran and the Cliffs of Moher are. Galway one of the best if not the best place in Ireland for 20-somethings looking for banter.
I'd stay away from Conamara - lovely area of the country but you won't have time and Kerry is nicer IMO
Then go to Killanrny (another longish drive), from there you can do Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Mucross house, etc. You could break the drive by finishing a day in clare (cliffs of Moher, Burren) by staying in Adare (or somewhere else - there is nothing special about Adare other than an expensive hotel). Don't discount Limerick as a place to stay overnight.
All americans seem to want to go to Blarny stone - could look at that on the way back to Cork - Cork is a nice enough spot - but nothing particuarly special either so wouldn't be that bothered if I was to loose a day there in favour of a night somewhere else (Killarny, Galway or Belfast would be my choices)
Sep 12, 2012 2:53 AM
2Your plan looks fine but it is a long drive through the north.
Killarney is a good overnight point for both RoK and Dingle or you could do a night in Dingle itself instead and maybe Baltimore or Clonakilty or KInsale. That's say 5/6/7 and then a full day in Cork.
Hostelworld might help with accom.
Sep 12, 2012 2:55 AM
Sep 12, 2012 12:03 PM
4Interesting. I know it is quite a long drive through the north, but I think I'd rather not back track all the way to Dublin and then out to Galway. Would it be worthwhile to maybe stop in Sligo one night, and then go down to Galway from there. Spend a few nights there. Then head down towards ROK/Dingle with a night in between in Limerick/Adare? Basically I would just be skipping past the Donegal area. I know the driving is probably slower than the main motorway from Dublin-Galway, but it's my first time in Ireland and I'd really enjoy just seeing countryside--even if it is a long drive.
Sep 12, 2012 2:01 PM
5Okay, new thought. I would like to make sure to spend enough time in Northern Antrim. Look at this and please provide any feedback...
5/31-6/2 Northern Antrim (5/31 night spent in Bushmills/Ballycastle, 6/1 night spent in Derry)
6/2 Drive to Galway (I know this is long, but it is feasible for a day? How long would it likely take?)
6/3 touring Galway
6/4 cliffs of moher, etc -- stay in limerick/adare
6/5 drive to Killarney (stay in killarney)
6/6 dingle (stay in Killarney)
6/7 ring of kerry-- drive to Cork (is this feasible?)
6/8 tour cork
The only other place I have a question is whether we could do the drive from cliffs of moher straight down to killarney without a stop in the middle? I don't have a particular reason to cut the drive in half except I'm unsure how long it will take... Then we would have an extra day to distribute somewhere (Galway or Cork perhaps? Or even belfast)
Again, I don't mind a long drive--I spend appx 3 hours commuting for my work every day, so I am immune at this point:) So long as we can get in to perhaps have a decent dinner and a pint, we will be happy.
Sep 12, 2012 2:57 PM
6Derry to Galway - long drive, but manageable easily enough in a day. - http://goo.gl/maps/A32DU
Similarly Galway to Killarney via Cliffs of Moher - that is a long day though - http://goo.gl/maps/NXjy9
Killarney to cork is not that long of drive - just over an hour - so again, a lot of driving in one day but possible to do Ring of Kerry and then drive to Cork.
A lot of driving in your trip - but just about worth it I'd say!
Sep 12, 2012 3:28 PM
7Yes. Perhaps we will make the long drive from Galway to Killarney via Cliffs of Moher, but tack on a day in Galway so we can break up the days we have long drives. What is best to see in Galway? And best place to stay where we may get a bit of nightlife??
Thanks so much. Any more comments/suggestions on the driving would be appreciated as well!
Sep 13, 2012 2:40 AM
Sep 13, 2012 7:35 AM
9Galway - lots and lots of places to stay - depends on your budget. Jurys is good if it's the right price range. I usualy stay in cheeper spots. Sleepzone, Kinley house or Barnacales are good hostels if your on a budget. All these are central for the nightlife! Best sposts are along or just of Shop st, from Ayre Sq. torwards the Spanish Arch.
In Galway just sock in the atmosphere and relax - thats the key attraction rather than tours & buildings like in Dublin or Belfast.
Sep 15, 2012 4:36 AM
10"Portstewart I find to be tacky and overrated -"
Are you sure you're not referring to Portrush? I have never heard anyone refer to Portstewart as tacky before. It is the quieter sister town of Portrush with a large retired population.
Either way, Ballycastle or Portstewart would be fine. Portstewart has a much nicer beach and walks, Ballycastle is close to the glens which are beautiful and Rathlin with better traditional music etc if you're looking for that.
Sep 15, 2012 6:48 AM
Sep 20, 2012 11:26 AM
12Okay, thanks for all the input everyone! I think we are going to try to shorten our amount of time in Ireland by a few days--mostly to make time for other portions of our trip (from Ireland we are flying to Paris).
SO, I need more input. I definitely want to do Dublin, Belfast, take 1-2 days to explore Giant's causeway.
Here's where I need input--- I need to choose between
1) Going to Galway to spend a couple days (and doing Cliffs of Moher, etc)
2) Going to cork to spend a day+ and doing the Dingle peninsula (I've heard it's better to do this than ROK?...but assuming I have to choose one of the two)
Should we go with option 1 or option 2?
Thanks for all the input :)
Sep 20, 2012 10:43 PM
13Forget Cork and Dingle - it's too far away. Dingle I prefer over Kerry but it is each to his own.
I'm not sure exactly how many days you have now but if less than before the Causeway and Cork are the extremes of the country so I would definitely go for Galway. That leaves you doing a nice "northern loop". Don't forget to consider a day trip to Inis Mor (Aran Islands) from Galway. An alternative to the cliffs of Moher would be Slieve League cliffs (best viewed by boat) in south Donegal.
Sep 21, 2012 3:51 PM
14Yes, so my new plan is to go up to belfast from dublin (by bus), explore giant's causeway/etc by rental car (plus a couple days in belfast), then go back to dublin by bus, and THEN go to either Cork or Galway via bus. I'm also thinking that Galway is the better choice-- and then taking a tour bus trip to Cliffs of Moher and perhaps go to Aran islands as well. Then we'd take the bus back to Dublin to fly out.
All in all this would be about 9 days.
That being said, any suggestions of the best tour bus companies / rental car companies in Ireland?
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