We will be traveling to Ireland in September for 8 days visiting Dublin, Cork, Killarney and Limerick. After we are planning on getting a car for 3 days. It was suggested that we stay in Galway for the 3 nights and use that as a base for other day visits. Not sure if staying in Galway is too much and if that is a good idea or not.
Aran Islands - We were planning on taking a day trip over to the Aran Islands. Not sure if you can take a car on the ferry or not, any idea? If we do not take a car to one of the three islands, which island should we go to for the day, what would you suggest we see and how might we get around?
For the extra 3 days or maybe 4 days, what would you suggest as an itinerary.
Galway can be quite a busy city and although lovely there are many places in the county worth visiting and staying in. I would suggest driving to Leenan from Galway and staying there a night - Killary Fjord is one of the most beautiful places to see. Clifden, again in Galway is also a lovely spot and has lots of good restaurants and pubs - it is a very vibrant town. It is not possible to take a car over on the ferry to any of the Islands but there are bike hire and buses on some of the Islands. Inish Mor has most tourists and there is a tour bus to bring you to the main attractions. Inish Meain is easy to walk around, quieter and very beautiful. Bofin Island has three hotels and good music in one or other of the pubs at night. It is a lovely place to stay. Hope this helps
Galway is a great small city to stay in. Plenty of good food places to eat, and if you shop around in advance you should get a reasonable hotel price. Get somewhere in the city itself. Jury's Inn in the city is quite good. I have used it, and it is very central.
Regarding the Aran Islands, you can go from Doolin, in Co. CLare, which is one of the main points of departure, and is only a 30 min or so trip to the first island, Inisheer, which I think is the most beautiful, and in Sept, it wont be too busy. If you are only doing a day trip, go to Inisheer. Inisean, the middle island, is very quiet, and not really a touristy place, whereas Inismore, the biggest island, is just too commercial for me.I have returned to inisheer most years for the past 30 years, so it is really inviting. An overnight stay in the small hotel makes the trip worthwhile. You can also go from Galway city, though the trip is longer, and a visit to Doolin in Co. Clare will be really special also. It is world famous for its music and scenery and coastal walks. A truly special place, with Inisheer, these are the last bastions of old Irish ireland !
I agree with Moojea re Leenan and Clifden. The Wild Atlantic Way from Clifden to Westport (or the other way round) is stunning! If you've a couple of days around Westport the Achil Greenway is a fantastic cycle. It's not too tough going, (I did it having not been on a bike for 18 month). There are lots of places you can stop and admire the view.
Enjoy your trip!!
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