We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

Marblehead...
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

We are a 3 generation family heading to Dingle to visit family, the to Killarney National Park for 2 days and finally to Galway in late June and early July. We are running into problems booking tickets for things in the Galway area. We were unable to get reservations for a Castle banquet, a tour to the Aaran Islands and I am getting nervous about what will happen when we arrive with 3 grandchildren and their parents and find that we cannot do/see many of the things we have been promising. We did book the Heart of Burren 2 hour tour and have looked at walking tours of Galway city but haven't booked anything. Am I over reacting? Any suggestions? Thank you

Mentioned in this post
Galway
Galway
County Galway, Ireland
The Burren
The Burren
County Clare, Ireland
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
2,368 posts
275 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

The title says "off tour routes," but the listing of places to go are all on the heavily toured list and you are traveling at the height of tourist season. The best way to get off the tour path is to do your own driving. First, get a good map of Ireland, like the OSI Map. Then look at places like Connemara, Westport & Achill Island, Loop Head, Slea Head, Ring of Beara vs. Ring of Kerry & Killarney Nat'l Park and Mizen Head. These are all places with fewer tourists and tour buses, but at the time you are going it will likely be crowded wherever you go. Suggest you keep trying to book the touristy stuff now if you can. There are castle banquets at more than one castle and some offer 2 seatings per evening. Good luck!

Mentioned in this post
Ireland
Ireland
Europe
Connemara
Connemara
County Galway, Ireland
Westport
Westport
County Mayo, Ireland
Loop Head
Loop Head
291 Reviews
County Clare, Ireland
Ring of Beara
Ring of Beara
123 Reviews
Kenmare, Ireland
Ring of Kerry
Ring of Kerry
1,711 Reviews
County Kerry, Ireland
County Kerry
County Kerry
Province of Munster, Ireland
Killarney
Killarney
County Kerry, Ireland
Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
Level Contributor
19,972 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

"How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes"

Stay off the main Tourist routes, Having family in Dingle excuses the need to go there and the National park is generally big enough to get away from the crowds. Galway is a touring base and popular with tourists but consider the places along side Kinvara far less tourists than Ballyvaughan and infinitely less than Doolin but has the Dunghare castle banquet on the doorstep far lees tour bus than Bunratty. Aran Has 3 islands I am sure you can get to one from Doolin avoiding the Inis Mor crowd. West of Galway Spiddal and Oughterard on the edge of Connemara which is definitely big enough to get lost in being 3 or more sizes the size of Dingle. How about a trip to Inisboffin or Clare Island rather than the Aran's?

Forgot to mention East Clare, we get very few non outdoor pursuit tourists over here!

Edited: 03 May 2013, 17:23
Mentioned in this post
Dingle
Dingle
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Galway
Galway
County Galway, Ireland
Ballyvaughan
Ballyvaughan
The Burren, Ireland
Doolin
Doolin
The Burren, Ireland
Bunratty
Bunratty
County Clare, Ireland
Connemara
Connemara
County Galway, Ireland
Clare Island
Clare Island
25 Reviews
County Mayo, Ireland
County Clare
County Clare
Province of Munster, Ireland
Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
14,135 posts
115 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

We found the best way to "see" County Clare was getting out into the countryside and walking. Take a look at Shannon Walks to find a route that appeals to you. There are some for all levels of walking ability.

shannonregiontrails.ie/FindaTrail/Walking/

And, I'll second Tony's recommendation for Kinvara. We enjoyed this town very much and were even able to get a booking for the banquet at Dunguarie Castle at the last minute (although I will say we visited in May, not July).

Mentioned in this post
County Clare
County Clare
Province of Munster, Ireland
Shannon
Shannon
County Clare, Ireland
Guernsey, United...
Level Contributor
5,199 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

@ Kate H

Are you staying in Clare or Galway?

And how old are the grand-children? I have two children age 9 + 13 and we have some favourite activities in Clare which might be suitable depending on the ages of your grand-children.

Edited: 03 May 2013, 18:25
Mentioned in this post
County Clare
County Clare
Province of Munster, Ireland
Galway
Galway
County Galway, Ireland
Marblehead...
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

Thank you for your advice. I will get busy and do what I can but I fear that I waited too long. Some good advice from other posters so I think that we will be OK.

Marblehead...
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

Thank you. Kinvara sounds like a great destination. Dunguaire Castle is booked both seating s for the month of July. I am sure that the grandchildren will get their castle fix without the food, which they probably wouldn't have eaten anyway. The island suggestions are welcome and I will investigate.

Marblehead...
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

Thank you. I will check that website immediately. I agree that walking is the best way to see places and your suggestion sounds perfect.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
Level Contributor
19,972 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

What dates are you over Clare/Galway?

Mentioned in this post
County Clare
County Clare
Province of Munster, Ireland
Galway
Galway
County Galway, Ireland
Marblehead...
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

We are staying at the Raddison Blu in Galway. The children are 11, 8 and 6. The two oldest will have been horseback riding in Dingle but might be up for more in Galway. We booked that so that the kids could have a pool so work off energy stored while driving from place to place. Any suggestions are welcome.

Mentioned in this post
Galway
Galway
County Galway, Ireland
Marblehead...
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: How to avoid crowds, find places/activities off tour routes

We arrive July 2 and leave July 5.