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Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

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Saratoga Springs...
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Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

My husband sons and I will arrive at 6am on 6/19. Our first reservation is at Galway Bay Hotel for three nights then continuing onto Killarney (2)-Kilkenney(2)-Dublin(3). We will be jet lagged and new to driving on the left. What do you suggest we do the first day en route to Galway Bay? Were going to do the walking tour with Shane but may be too tired and will save that for our trip from Galway to Killarney. Do we need reservations for that?

Cork, Ireland
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1. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

No, don't do the walking trip with Shane on arrival as it takes 3 hours and while it is probably doable, your concentration might not be the best.

While your arrival time is 6am, it will be nearer 7am by the time you get through arrivals and are in your rental car.

It's an unfortunate arrival time as nothing outside of Shannon airport opens until 9am (ish).

A good option would be to get somewhere for a big gulp of fresh Irish air.

I suggest you head for the town of Lahinch. (34 miles from Shannon - about 50 mins driving). A good opportunity to accustom yourself to the rental car. (A good tip is to attach something small to the steering wheel which will be a reminder to you to drive on the left)

Lahinch - not the most beautiful town in County Clare but it has a fabulous beach, that you can get a good decent walk on prior to breakfast, and that's my next suggestion that you find a good place for breakfast in that area. Lahinch should have someplace that will open at around 08:30 for breakfast which should suit your timing. Regardless of whether you feel hungry or not, I recommend you get something inside you which will help with your tiredness and jet lag. I will have google for eateries in Lahnich town or perhaps one of the Clare DE's can assist there.

After Lahinch I recommend that you drive to the Cliffs of Moher. which is only 9 miles from Lahinch - about 20 mins driving at that hour of the morning. You should arrive there fairly early giving you some time to check out the great views from the cliffs there (accessible 24x7). There is a car park at the cliffs which you must pay for (it was previously €8 per car). If you are early enough - you may be able to get away with parking for free - roadside (Clare DE's?)

If you have not breakfasted in Lahinch, and if the interpretative centre at Cliffs of Moher is open, then you will be able to get a snack there. Alternatively drive the 1 mile to nearby village of Doolin and I am sure that O'Connors pub there do breakfasts. If you do get to Doolin, a visit to the pier is worth a look, just to get to see the expanse of Liscannor Bay and the Atlantic beyond.

After this you can proceed to Galway - 50 mIles about 1.5 hours travel. The hotel is located at Salthill (very well known Irish holiday destination) overlooking (yep, you guessed it) the dramatic and beautiful Galway Bay !!

Salthill is very easy to find once you hit the outskirts of Galway - follow signs for Salthill, or failing that Barna and Spiddle)

If it is too early to check in, park your car at the hotel and either stroll the promenade at Salthill or indeed walk into Galway city (less than 2 miles) and get a taxi back at the appropriate time.

However I am guessing that at this stage you may probably just want to lounge around Salthill as you will be tired at this point.

P.S. O'Looneys and Danny Macs come recommended on Tripadvisor for breakfast in Lahinch (Clare DE's?)

Edited: 30 May 2012, 07:34
Western Ireland...
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2. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

After a job this side the Shannon Bryno ;-)

All the above basically. http://www.randaddys.ie/ for Lahinch.

An alternative is to breakfast at the Oakwood Arms in Shannon (open for non residents) head straight to Galway drop your bags and have a wander round town.(city, sorry) Maybe have a run down and park on the prom at Salthill for a wander and on to the Craft Village at Spiddal.

new york
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3. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

Although I agree with Bryno on The Cliffs or Lahinch, I would not suggest doing it the first morning you arrive. The coast road, as it is known can be very twisty and narrow. It is a beautiful drive at that, but driving for the first time on the left side of the road, I would stick to the highway and go straight up to Galway. The Salthill area is lovely to walk around and Galway will also be waking up for the day. I would strongly suggest going that route back down after your three days in Galway after getting better experience driving on narrow and winding roads. Just my thoughts and from my own experiences driving in Ireland.

4. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

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Cork, Ireland
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5. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

God, don't ya hate that, - you see a msg saying the post was removed for it's inappropriateness but you didn't get to see it - sheeeesh'

Anyone get to read it?

Saratoga Springs...
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6. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

I didn't get to read it, but I am curious. Guess I will just have to leave it up to my imagination!! I love your suggestions and think we will have plenty of time to see Galway so would like to hit the ground running as much as we can. The 50 min. drive should be enough for my husband to get used to the roads- (like your tip) and since it will be early maybe the Cliffs will be not so crowded. Thanks for the tips on breakfast-will play it by ear on how hungry everyone is when we get there and decide where to eat. So after the Cliffs we can proceed to Doolin then onto Galway? That will take 2 things off my list the first day which will be Great ! Thanks so much - - we are getting tickets to the semi final Hurling on June 24 and will be back with questions !

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7. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

It was just a duplicate of noseymammas above post.

Rather sad if Doolin is on the must see list for county Clare there are better options on the way up the Clare coast and Burren. There is a good Café by the Harbour in Kinvara (Co Galway) and of course Dunguaire Castle.

Cork, Ireland
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8. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

No one said Doolin was on any 'must list'. Just thought that if the OP was at the COM an obvious side trip (only one mile away) is Doolin. True, not a must see, but it's been a visitor magnet for as long as I can remember and would be no harm to see it if in the vicinity for that reason alone.

Ennis, Ireland
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9. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

Just to follow up on a few of Bryno's questions.

I would not advise parking on the road at the Cliffs of Moher, even if you arrive early, as they are quite strict about enforcing the rules.

If you decide to have breakfast in Lahinch, Danny Macs is very good but they might not be open early enough for you.

If you just want to have a quick snack before you go to the Cliffs, you could stop at the Rock Shop in Liscannor, as they have a coffee shop inside(some lovely jewellery too but might be a bit soon to go shopping:-)

There are plenty of options for an early lunch along the way, in any one of these places : Doolin, Ballyvaughan or Kinvara(Monks just outside Ballyvaughan is very popular).

The drive all along the coast from Lahinch to the Cliffs, on to Ballyvaughan and Kinvara is stunning, so hopefully it will be a nice clear day.

Philadelphia...
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10. Re: Early arrival first day-what to do before check in Galway

I have a question--who are you using for a tour guide? You mentioned "meeting Shane for a walking tour". We are looking for a walking tour guide for the area and I have been hunting for suggestions. Can you help???