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Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Dublin, Ohio
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Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

I'm a semi-regular traveler to Ireland but wanted to spend time in Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. I have nine days, a car and a desire to see the countryside and coast. On my last trip, we went from Dublin south to Kinsale, to Kilkenny, to Killarney, to Clare with stops along the way -- in 10 days. Have I planned enough time/too much time in any area?

Day 1. Shannon to Oughterard, Recess or Clifden (TBD) -- 4 hours?

Day 2. through Connamara (+Kylemore) to Westport area (location TBD) -- most of the day?

Day 3. Westport to Crossmolina/Coolooney (TBD) -- via N59

Day 4. To Donegal (stop in Sligo) location TBD -- most of the day?

Day 5. Donegal/TBD full day (Glencolmcill, Slieve League and Ardara) -- all day?

Day 6. To be determined ... Somewhere on the way to Clare; Cong perhaps?

Days 7 - 8. Kilkee and Loop Head -- very familiar with this area.

Day 9. Kilkee to Shannon area for flight home midday on Day 10

I'm fine wandering -- just trying to make the most of my time!

Thanks.

Solowanderer

Boise, Idaho
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1. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

If you get to Clifden on the first night then have the full day to spend in Connemara that would be nice. We had about two days and wished we had more, but also took a leisurely approach. As we drove to Clifden it didn't look like Recess or Oughterard had as much to do as Clifden. I haven't been to the other areas you are planning to visit, but it sounds like you should have some great scenery.

Western Ireland...
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for Sligo, Charlottesville, Virginia
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2. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Greetings solowander, Connamara, route, R335, Diamond Hill, (great hike, 360 degree views) Louisburgh, Louisburgh 74 cafe, great food, restrooms. Consider taking the N59 to Newport, Mulranny, (Nevin's Inn, Fantastic food) a stop at Achill Island, just a drive on the Atlantic Drive. Back on N59, to Ballycroy N.P., onto Crossmolina>Ballina> N15, Sligo town connection.

Sligo?

En route to Slieve League Cliffs, stop at Kilcar, Donegal wools, Mockler's Tea Shop (fantabulous food/bakery)

Adara, Nancy's for food, a must.!

Enjoy!

Keshgrammy

Fredericksburg, Va
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for Fredericksburg
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3. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Hello. I would like to suggest a few changes to your itinerary. On day 1 I would probably stay at Oughteard, as this is the closest to the airport and takes the least amount of time. It certainly looks like it has enough to do on your first day. Day 2 would be to drive through the beautiful Connemara region, and I would suggest staying in Newport rather than Westport. It's very nice, much smaller and less busy than Westport, and brings you even closer to Achill Island, which you could visit on Day 3 on your way up north. There really isn't a whole lot in Crossmolina, so I would suggest you make your way to Ballycastle. It's farther north, and is close to the megalithic site Ceide fields, and has some gorgeous coastal scenery close by. When you visit County Donegal, you could stay in either Donegal town or closer to Slieve League would be Killybegs, a nice fishing village. Anyway, something to consider. Look these places up and see if they work for you. Hope this helps, and enjoy.

Dublin, Ohio
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4. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Thanks, all, for the information. I appreciate any and all recommendations!

Mumbai (Bombay...
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5. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Hi Solowanderer,

I've just returned from Ireland. If I were to make one massive alteration to your itinerary, I'd suggest you explore the south-west region of Co. Cork. Given as you have already been in Kinsale, try going further out west and check off Clonakilty, drive through the lovely hamlets of Timoleague & Courtmacsherry, move further through Skibbereen, Baltimore, Schull, Goleen until you finally reach the south-westernmost tip of Ireland - Mizen Head. This entire drive will possibly take one whole day, but is full of breath-taking coastal scenery and absolutely lovely country roads and landscapes. Not as commercial as some of the towns in Kerry, but as much of an Irish experience as anything.

If this is too much of a detour for you, I'd suggest you definitely make a day trip to Aran Islands from either Galway or Letterfrack (which is only 30 mins from Clifen). Ferries leave as early as 10ish in the morning, and I'd suggest you take the first one to give you enough time to explore.

Between Sligo & Donegal, is the lovely surfing town of Bundoran, worth a pit-stop if you'd fancy salt-tinged pubs. They also have a cliff-diving spot, if that interests you.

If literature is your thing, you might want to pay the sacred tomb of 'Sir' William Butler Yeats at a tiny village called Durmcliffe in Co. Sligo - it's right on the Highway, so isn't much of a detour. From Donegal, you might want to make the drive right up to Malin Head - mainland Ireland's northernmost points - sure shot bragging rights and one of the most spectacular views of the Atlantic!

Also agree with Keshgrammy, the cliffs at Slieve League are taller than the ones at Moher, and not as crowded in the summer - definitely worth a hike.

I hope you have a great time :)

Dublin, Ohio
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6. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Great recommendations, Sanket. I have visited West Cork in the past (loved it!) as well as the Aran Islands so I agree with your comments. I appreciate the mention of Drumcliffe and Bundoran, though I'll leave the cliff diving to someone else!

Beaufort, Ireland
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for Galway
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7. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

Think Sanket might mean Rosabheal ( Rosaveel) rather than Letterfrack when talking about getting a ferry to the Aran Islands

8. Re: Itinerary Check Please! West and Northwest

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