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14 day visit in May

Agawam...
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14 day visit in May

My hubbie and I will be arriving in Shannon on Thursday, April 30 for a two week stay in Ireland. We've been to Dingle a few times in the past but now we'd like to travel a bit before we get there. We plan to rent a car and would like to drive up to Galway to spend a night or two then head back to Clare (perhaps Doolin or anywhere else) for a night and finally travel to Dingle for the remainder of our visit. We have family in the Dingle area and will be staying with them perhaps making trips to Killarney and Kinsale.

So my questions are as follows:

What car rental company would you recommend? We've rented cars from Dan Dooley in the past with no trouble. Are there any others that have better rates? What about the insurance? We could get a Gold MasterCard if that would take care of the CDW. Should we reserve a car ahead of time?

Since we've never been to Galway or Clare, where do you recommend we stay? We would prefer a B & B, close to town with on-site parking. Are there any good pubs and restaurants in close proximity to each other? We plan on going to the Burren. Are there any other interesting places to go? Once we get to Clare, we'd like to go to the Cliffs of Moher. Any other ideas? Since that first weekend in May is a bank holiday weekend, are there any festivals or events going on?

I'm posting this on the Ireland forum as well as the Galway and Clare forums.

Thank you for all your help!

Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: 14 day visit in May

In Clare, the village of Ballyvaughan is a good spot to stay in. It has a few restaurants and pubs (including the famous Monk's - where the seafood chowder is legendary) and one hotel.

In Galway city there is a great variety of hotels or B&Bs or self-catering accommodation. For self-catering options check out dreamireland.com - they used to have a good place near Eyre Square.

The B&Bs on College Road are great value - walking distance to town and pretty competetive - as there are about 15 or more grouped together they have to keep standards pretty high. Try the Four Seasons B&B (but don't take an 'annex room' - which I think they use for overflow).

If you are staying in County Galway rather than Galway City, try to stay in or near Clifden. The Abbey Glen Castle Hotel (not a real castle) is highly recommended and has a very loyal following. I love a little B&B in Cleggan on the coast. Can't think of the name now but if you're interested post again and I'll look it up. Cleggan is a tiny village with a harbour from which the boats will take you over the Inisboffin - a wonderful small island - with stunning beaches and plenitful wildlife and just an easy relaxed island vibe.

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: 14 day visit in May

In Galway City - I've stayed at the Radisson which is nice but pricey. Another good bet is Jurys Inn - excellent location if you like to eat, drink and be merry - its right on the end of quay street - an area which is rich with bars, cafes, restaurants and nightlife as well as a Saturday morning farmer's market.

New Jersey, USA
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3. Re: 14 day visit in May

I stayed in Doolin at the Roadford House B&B (see my review) and absolutely loved the accomodations and the town. If you stay in Doolin you are a 10 minute drive from the Cliffs of Moher - go see them after 5 and there will be hardly any people there because all the tour buses will have departed. Doolin is touristy but also definitely beautiful. We drove through the Burren and enjoyed seeing the celtic crosses at Kilfenora (also some fun little shops here and a bar with tradtional dancing).

Georgetown...
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4. Re: 14 day visit in May

Hi - Galway will feel like a big city compared to Dingle. We've stayed at the Park House Hotel, but are trying a B&B in Salthill in April, so I can't advise on a B&B yet. The Park House is a wonderful old-time hotel that has pretty good offers with 2 or more nights and might be worth checking out. You need to go to Tigh Neachtain's for music and Murphy's for a pint and conversation. Martine’s Wine Bar has good food and decent wne list.

For a day trip, make your way to Oughterard to see Aughnanure Castle. Continue on the N59 to Maam Cross and the turn for Cong, setting for The Quiet Man movie. Have lunch, see Cong Abbey, and Ashford Castle. And back to Galway.

If you want to stay in the country, I can vouch for Tullyvrick House in Oughterard. Very pleasant and superb breakfast.

5. Re: 14 day visit in May

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