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Trip List by Sarnia G

Ireland Itinerary: 8Nts Dub-Dub, Visiting Dublin, Sligo, Mayo and Galway.

29 Aug 2009  Ireland Fan
4.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

An 8-night Itinerary, flying in and out of Dublin Airport, and visiting the north-west counties of the Republic of Ireland. This route takes you through areas slightly off the beaten track, but with beautiful scenery.

This itinerary could easily be extended into a 9-10 night itinerary by adding an extra night to Westport and an extra night to Galway. There is so much to see in these areas, you'll be happy to spend extra time there.

Drive times quoted are from the aa routeplanner web-site, and are "minimum drive times" for each journey. Please factor in extra time to allow for traffic delays, plus time to stop at various places, a break for lunch, rest stops etc.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Dublin, Sligo, Westport, Galway, Malahide
  • Category: Perfect week or more
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Dublin

    Days 1-2 - Dublin

    Travel from Dublin Airport into the city on public transport, or by taxi.

    Day 1
    Explore the City on foot, and hop-on hop-off bus.
    Popular places include: Kilmainham Gaol; Trinity College; Guinness Brewery; Grafton Street (shopping).

    Day 2
    On the following day you might like to take a guided tour to beautiful Glendalough: a peaceful monastic settlement hidden in the Wicklow Mountains, or Newgrange: one of the most important prehistoric monuments in Ireland.

  • 2. Sligo

    Day 3 - Dublin - Sligo (approx. 210km, min drive time: 3hrs)
    Collect your rental car, either from a City centre location, or from Dublin airport and take the 3hr (minimum) journey to Sligo town.

    Day 4 - Sligo
    A "must" for Yeats fans, Sligo town and the surrounding countryside has several places that will be of interest: the Yeats Memorial Building in the town; the graveyard at Drumcliffe (short drive north of Sligo) where Yeats is buried; and closeby awesome Ben Bulben and Glencar Lake.

    Lissadell House also has connections with Yeats, and is well worth visiting in its own right.

    For those interested in prehistory, Carrowmore Megalithic Tombs are located a short distance from Sligo town (direction of Knocknarea); and Knocknarea itself is famed for its cairn, said to be the resting place of Queen Medbh.

  • 3. Westport

    Day 5 - Sligo - Achill Island (approx. 160km, min. 3hrs drive)
    Achill Island - Westport (1hr)

    Drive via Ballina to beautiful Achill Island off the west coast of co. Mayo.
    Spend a few hours exploring the Island; don't forget to stop at the deserted village, and visit Keem Bay a gorgeous sandy horse-shoe shaped beach.
    Allow approx. 1hr for the drive from Achill Sound to Westport.

    Spend the night in Westport and enjoy some traditional music in the pubs.

  • 4. Galway

    Day 6 - Westport - Galway via Croagh Patrick, Doo Lough Valley and Connemara (approx. 170km, min. 3.5hrs drive).

    Head west out of Westport towards Murrisk which lies in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, and where you will also find the National Famine Monument.

    On to Louisburgh (small museum about Granuaile, the Pirate Queen), then turn left through the stunning Doo Lough Valley where you will find a memorial to victims of the famine who perished in the Valley.

    Next point of interest: Killary harbour, the only fjord in Ireland.
    Your route will take you past Kylemore Abbey where you might want to stop for an hour or two.

    On to Clifden, then head to Galway city via Maam Cross and Oughterard.

    Overnight in Galway for 2 nights.

    Day 7

    Options for the day (all are full day excursions):
    Aran Islands:
    Consider taking a ferry or flight across to one of the Aran Islands. Highly recommended!

    Burren and Cliffs of Moher:
    The Burren: a fascinating limestone landscape in northern co. Clare lies approx. 45 minutes drive from Galway city. Spend the day exploring various sites of interest in the Burren combined with a visit to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher.

  • 5. Malahide

    Day 8 - Galway - Malahide via Clonmacnoise (approx. 240km, min. 4hrs drive)

    Leave Galway and head for Malahide, a pretty seaside town north of Dublin, and a short drive from Dublin airport.

    En-route you might like to stop at Clonmacnoise, once an important Christian settlement on the banks of the River Shannon.