6 day trip in June
My husband I will be coming to Ireland in June...2nd trip. We would like an itinerary from Shannon to Belfast. We are planning a round trip from Shannon, and would prefer a different route back, avoiding Dublin.
Congrats on your planned return and Welcome to Michele's Forum!
We would need to have a bit more info to make any informed suggestions, though. With only 6 days, you'll need to be pretty specifically focused.
Is that 6 days, 'On the Ground', or inclusive of travel days? You won't want to go too terribly far on arrival day.
Do you have specific dates for arrival and departures? Monday, 5 June is the last day of a three-day, Bank Holiday weekend, so it will impact availability and pricing.
Are you renting a car or planning to use public transit?
What are your 'Must See' sites?
What are your interests? Coastal, or mountain views? Scenic wonders, historical buildings / structures, museums or music and culture?
What is your budget?
Do you have an accommodation preference -- B&B, Self-Catering, hotel?
What is your traveling 'style' -- 1 night stands, multi-night stays or 'hunker down' and tour from 1 or 2 fixed bases?
Help Us to Help You. The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!
Although what you propose is possible, it is EXTREMELY hectic and rushed. It would result in what Michele calls a 'Green Blur' tour -- and that's something we are loath to recommend. Is there any way to add a couple of days, or shorten the list?
In any event, I'll give what you have a shot --
Day 1: Arrival at SNN (assumingly, early AM, after an over-night flight) and drive to Galway. Spend the afternoon / evening touring the city.
Day 2: Day trip to one of the Aran Islands -- presumably, Inis Mor. It's usually an all day trip ( 9 - 5) My advice would be to consider flying over early and returning about 3 or 4 PM, rather than taking the Ferry. If you do that, you can then drive trough some of Connemara enroute to an overnight in either Westport or Castlebar.
Day 3: Drive from Westport / Castlebar, via Sligo, to Donegal to over-night.
Day 4: Drive to Ballycastle, visiting Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede along the way.
Day 5: Drive to Belfast and spend the day touring.
Day 6: Long drive from Belfast, via Dublin, to either Bunratty or Ennis, to be near the airport for your (presumably) early morning departure.
Trip as outlined covers approximately 1,000 Kilometers (620 Miles), driving and your DRIVE time, averaging about 30 MPH, will take approximately 21 hours. That's exclusive of time spent actually visiting sites, stopping for photos, meals, snacks, fuel and to use the toilet.
My biggest problem with a schedule this frenetic is with how much you will be missing. For example, driving through Connemara to Westport affords some stunning scenery -- BUT, the route doesn't detour to Kylemore Abbey or the incredible, Doo Lough Valley Drive. It also excludes Roundstone and Clifden, so you will only view / experience a tiny TASTE of Connemara.
To put this into perspective, I recently spent 6 nights in Moycullen (just outside of Galway -- and only scratched the surface of the many delightful options that the area has to offer. I made it to Roundstone -- but NOT to Clifden, Doo Lough or Westport on this trip -- although I've been to those locations on previous visits.
Hope this helps.
Ideally, Into SNN and out from DUB would definitely help, as it would save the 3 hour or so drive back to SNN. Dublin is only about 2 - 2.5 hours South of Belfast, almost all of it on Motorway (M1) and with day light lasting until 10:00 PM, it could actually 'free up' a fair amount of time.
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Two rules for Ireland, Take your time & bring a sense of humour
That is an early arrival in Shannon and from last time you know you will be tired, hungry and perhaps not interested in doing a whole lot the first day. Especially since you did not enjoy the Cliffs of Moher. You might consider having breakfast at the Oakwood Arms Hotel in Shannon. Will you really need a shower on arrival? If not, proceed with you day but maybe build in a nap time so you can enjoy things better. Doolin is near the cliffs and you could always see them on the second day or for sunset after a nap on arrival day. Do you think an overnight there might work out better? There are also other things to do in the area such as Aillwee Cave, Burren Perfumery, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Burren Center, etc.In Galway I recommend:
Park House Hotel (right in town): http://bit.ly/parkgalway
Jurys Inn Galway: http://bit.ly/jurysgalway
Galway Bay Hotel: http://tinyurl.com/gvvessy
Sea Breeze Lodge: http://bit.ly/seabreezegalway
Marless House (Salthill - suburbs): http://www.marlesshouse.com/
Cashelmara Lodge (Salthill - suburbs): http://www.salthill-galway.com/
In Sligo I love staying at Iorras B&B. It is so clean and comfortable with a lovely host and wonderful breakfast.
For your last night near the airport try Headley Court.
From Shannon to Galway https://drive.google.com/open?id=1d-7NXw-3VkcZyJtO4-5IWVX-whs&usp=sharing
Possibly overnight in Kinvara @ the Merriman? See Galway on the way through to Clifden for a couple of nights to see the Connemara
Then from Clifden to https://goo.gl/maps/dUyj3P9bn8x Westport and onward https://goo.gl/maps/J2bxi53LGf12 to Sligo .
Back down to Shannon or if you do want a last night out Ennis?
If I am understanding you correctly, you will spend your first two nights in Galway? Connemara, Kylemore, etc. will take a whole day. The Aran Islands takes a day. Are you planning on doing one of them on arrival day?
You could end your Connemara touring day in Westport. Two nights there would allow for a day trip to Achill Island.
Follow that up with two nights in Sligo and then your final night, near the airport.
My personal favorite drive in the area: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cBbMLNQRE0
It's a detour, from Lenane to Westport, via Delphi and Louisburgh along the R 335.
tresakon : Thanks for your kind words. You would really be best served, though, to start your own question, so that everyone can respond to it without confusion. We have LOTS of really experienced, knowledgeable and helpful folk on this board, as well -- and I'm sure they will add their valuable insights, too.
To that end, I'll paste your questions into your previous thread -- and then try to give you some answers.
Here's a link to your Post: http://ireland.activeboard.com/t63255698/bb-recommendations-and-hidden-gems/?page=1#lastPostAnchor