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6 day trip in June


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.



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Congrats on your planned return and Welcome to Michele's Forum!  biggrin  biggrin

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? 



-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Thursday 5th of January 2017 03:07:01 PM

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We will have 6 days on the ground, including the day we arrive.
We are arriving June 8th and leaving June 14th.
We will be renting a car
Thinking of Galway, Sligo, Donegal, Connemara, Aaron Islands, Giant Causeway, Carrick a Rede rope bridge, Belfast
We prefer B&Bs, and one night in a castle
Our interests are all of the above!



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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.

See:  http://tinyurl.com/krx8g35

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.  hmm  hmm



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Wow....a lot to think about. We will look again and reconsider the places we selected.
Is the fact that we are going in and out of Shannon adding significantly to our trip? Should we consider leaving from Dublin?
Will that make a big difference?

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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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Would you consider cutting out Northern Ireland?

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Yes...we were just discussing that. Sounds like we were planning to do too much. We don't want to over schedule ourselves.
We would also prefer to fly and and out of Shannon. We went to Dublin on our last trip.

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Since this is not your first trip to Ireland you know the reality of driving and how much there is to see and do. Perhaps you can share where you went before. That way we can suggest new places to see.

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Sure. We landed in Shannon, visited the Cliffs of Moher, and stayed at Dromoland Castle the first night. Drove to Killarney, and stayed 2 nights at the Killarney Lodge. We visited the Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park, and Dingle. We drove to Kinsale and stayed one night, and the final 2 nights in Dublin.

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I think the farthest north I would go would be Sligo. You could certainly spend two nights in both Galway and Sligo (or add another day to either of them depending on sightseeing preferences). Another one-night option might be Westport or Achill Island.

Most of the flights from SNN leave pretty early so I assume you would have your last night nearby the airport.

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I have a trip similar to the one you started with and it is listed at 10 days.

7 days from Shannon I suggest you start over night one Ennis. only 1/2 hour north from Shannon, you could start by getting some breakfast before visiting Bunratty (book tickets in advance and bring them with you) then drop your bags in Ennis maybe get a quick nap. Adare might also work so substitute Adare for Ennis in the next bit.

The usual dash is towards Kerry so that would be 2 or 3 nights either 1 night Dingle 2 for Killarney or drive round Dingle on the way to Killarney, possible but a long day for day 2 if jetlagged. Then maybe a last night in Adare/Limerick/Bunratty(if going to the banquet/cornbarn). So either 4 or 5 of your 7 nights are spoken for. The other 2 I would spend in/around Galway? again your last night by the airport either Bunratty or Shannon..

If not interested in Kerry then Galway for night 1, Connemara then into Clifden night 2, Westport for nights 3 and 4 maybe see Achill? You then have 3 more nights to get back down to Shannon. Sligo has been mentioned you could make Donegal if you were willing to have a long drive back south for your last night?

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We are arriving at 6 AM. in Shannon. We have decided to go to Galway, and eventually as far as Sligo. We thought we would stay in Galway the first few nights. It has also been suggested that we pay for a room at a B & B near Shannon and go there directly for breakfast and a shower, before we head out later in the day. Wondering what you think of that idea, or should we drive right to Galway. The last time we landed at the same time, and drove to the Cliffs of Moher. We were hungry and tired...and didn't spend too much time there. We definitely want to see the cliffs again. I purchased your book when we planned our trip in 2013. I notice you don't have too many suggestions for places to stay in Galway. We are unsure if we should stay in a hotel or a B & B. We would like to see Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, and maybe the Aaron Islands. We plan to go as far as Sligo, and stay there 2 nights. That would leave us one night, as we plan to stay near Shannon on our last night, since the flight is early.

Any suggestions as to where to stay between Galway and Sligo, and what we should not miss in both areas, will be appreciated.

Thank you !

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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

 



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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

 https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PzDDrrtHmP1sLhTs1AbrbcXjRx0&usp=sharing 

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? 



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We are now re-thinking our plans. We have booked 2 nights in Galway, which leaves us 4 nights. On our list of things we would like to see are the following: Connemara National Park; Kylemore Abbey, Aaron Islands, Sky Drive, Bog Road, maybe Archill Island, maybe spend one night in Doolin on the way back, or Bunratty, since we haven't seen the Burren and only spent a short time at the Cliffs of Moher on our first trip, and our last night near the airport. We don't want to spend a lot of time back-tracking. Any suggestions on where to stay and what route would be best would be appreciated. Thanks !


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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?



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No, we are not planning on either the first day....just touring Galway city.


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You could end your Connemara touring day in Westport.  Two nights there would allow for a day trip to Achill Island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k9N0n35ZzQ

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.



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Italian Chauffeur, you give some great advice and answers.

I read through your suggestions for the 6 day trip in June. We will arrive in Dublin on April 26 at 8:40 in the morning and fly out on May 23 at 8:55 am, giving us 27 days on the ground. We are hoping this amount of time will give us the best chance to see as much as we can. We will rent a car and be flexible about our itinerary.

A few questions:
Since we will be arriving before the true tourist season, how imperative is it to book BnBs early? If we are just driving from one town to the next in the afternoon, will be it fairly easy to find a local BnB? We would really prefer to stay with local families who are offering a room for rent. Do you have any recommendations for local lodgings? Or somewhere to stay in Dublin that is easy to get to and from the airport?

We would like to go 'off the beaten' path. Do you have any special places that you could recommend?

What type of car would be the best to rent? I have heard from others that many roads are very narrow and the brambles scratched the car as they drove. Would a small car be best? Would it be suitable for any hidden paths we find?

I would really love to have Michele Erdvig's book, but getting it shipped to Ecuador is a costly and tortuous process. I am trying to find someone from the States coming this way before we depart who could bring it to me.

Thanks for any info you can share. It is so cool that you are helping those of us who want to visit Ireland.

tresa


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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.  biggrin  biggrin

Here's a link to your Post:  http://ireland.activeboard.com/t63255698/bb-recommendations-and-hidden-gems/?page=1#lastPostAnchor 



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We have modified our plan again, and we have decided to eliminate Sligo on this trip.

We have booked 2 nights in Galway, hoping to tour the city and the Aaron Islands.

We are then thinking of either 1 or 2 nights in Clifden, as there seems to be alot to see in this area (Connemara Nat'l Park, Sky Road, Kylemore Abbey) then one night on Archill Island, and the last night in either Ennis or Bunratty.

Any comment on this plan or suggestions on where to stay would be appreciated.

 

 

 

 



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That will work.

Clifden: Seamist House or The Quay House 

Achill Island: The Bervie (right on the beach!)

Bunratty: Headley Court

Feel free to mention my name. Sometimes my readers get a discount, depending on circumstances and time of year.



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Thank you for the recommendations, Michelle.

Do you think 2 nights in Clifden is a good idea, or should we save the last 2 nights for Bunratty or Ennis?

I also have a question on car rental. The last time we visited, we rented a car from Dooley at Shannon and returned it to Dublin.
We arrived at 6 AM and got the car right away. We returned the car at 10 AM at Dublin airport, and we were charged for 6 days, the length of our stay.

However, when I asked for a quote today, I was informed that there is only a 1 hour grace period, and if we picked it up at 6:30 AM (our scheduled arrival) it would have to be returned by 7:30 AM or we would be charged for another day We are leaving at 12 noon, so I assume we don't need to be at the airport until 8:30 - 9 AM.

Just curious if this is standard, or if you have another suggestion for car rental. It seemed kind of riducuouls to have to pay for another whole day for 1 hour.

I'd appreciate your feedback.

Thank you!


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Each car rental company has their own rules. You would have to check on several others to see if they are more lenient. Another way around it is to stay at an airport hotel, return the car the evening before departure and take the hotel's shuttle instead.

Clifden is a lovely town but it just depends on what you want to see in each area. Two nights there will allow more Connemara explorations.



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The 'One Hour' leeway is fairly standard.  Something to consider, though -- If you are scheduled to arrive at 6:30, it will likely be closer to 7:30 by the time you actually reach the Dooley Pick Up counter, as you must first clear Customs & Immigration, collect your luggage and then take the shuttle bus to the depot.  That being the case, you could schedule the pick up for 7:30 and then have until 8:30 to return it.



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Thank you !

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We have returned our car the night before departure the last 2 times In Ireland.  This works the best when you are staying at an airport hotel and can take advantage of their shuttle services.  We use Park Inn Shannon airport and Premier Inn Dublin airport.  Since we opt for all-inclusive insurance, this saves us an average of about 40 Euros for elimination of a part day of car rental expense which is charged to you at a full day rate.  We can instead use a bus or taxi (if needed) for a fraction of the cost, and use the savings for a nice evening restaurant meal on our last day in Ireland!  And the added bonus is one less hassle to contend with on departure morning, esp if you have an AM flight, and the 3 hour check-in cushion, hotel checkout, etc.

Dan



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I generally say to go get breakfast before collecting the Rental. The limestone Cafe at Shannon is not as good as it used to be but has got more expensive so maybe breakfast at the Park Inn across from Arrivals? depends how much baggage you have?

2 nights in Clifden gives a lot of options. Possibly Westport on a loop. Achill is possible but makes a very full day. Michele's B&B suggestions are great but top end on price, I could have stayed in the Abbeyglen Castle for less than Quay House when there the beginning of this month. Dun Ri is my choice but both Kingstone house and Ben View are in town and lower budget.

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