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Itinerary/Plans

Dallas, Texas
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Itinerary/Plans

We have rented for two weeks a cottage that is on the coastline between Kinvara and Ballyvaughan. Can anyone give us some thoughts on what we should do in the two weeks? We'll have a car. Thanks for the help.

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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1. Re: Itinerary/Plans

What are your dates? Being honest and despite really liking the Burren, 2 weeks could be a long time out there. If Iknow the dates I can link you with events in Clare. I would plan to have a night a week out of the area heading up through Connamara for an overnight and down to Killarney for another.

You are on the doorstep for the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin and Aillwee Caves. Galway and Ennis are in easy reach. The West Clare coast has some good beaches and surfing. You could Dolphin watch from Carrigaholt. I am off this afternoon to Carron for a sunny day out and possibly see the Michael Cusack centre which I have not done before. There are lots of things to fill the weeks.

http://www.dolphinwatch.ie/

http://www.michaelcusack.ie/

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2. Re: Itinerary/Plans

You might like to consider a trip to the Dingle Peninsula www.dingle-peninsula.ie & www.dodingle.com

Also the route planner on www.aaroadwtch.ie will come in useful when you are planning your journey.It will give you APPROX times & distances.

Personally i think 2 weeks is too long to be in the one area.If you could do a week in the cottage you have booked & another week in somewhere like Killarney,you would be able to drive the ROK,visit Dingle/Slea Head,Kenmare & the Ring of Beara to mention just some of many options.

www.bearainfo.com

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3. Re: Itinerary/Plans

Well, I spent 2 very happy weeks in the area with my family, and we liked it so much that we returned for a further week 2 years later. I know that it is an area we will continue to visit because there is so much to see, do and enjoy.

Ballyvaughan: pretty village on the edge of the Burren with a good choice of pubs and restaurants. There's a great little farmer's market on a Saturday morning:

http://www.ballyvaughanireland.com/

Just up the road from Ballyvaughan you will find Aillwee Cave and Burren Birds of Prey, plus a nice shop in the grounds selling locally produced cheese, fudge and other products made in Ireland. The Caves aren't particularly interesting in terms of stalactites/stalagmites, but we ended up spending virtually a whole day at Aillwee because the children were so interested in the birds of prey. We watched both flight displays. There are also nice walks above Aillwee:

http://www.aillweecave.ie/

http://www.birdofpreycentre.com/

Kinvara is another pretty village with some great pubs, including Connolly's which has a sunday afternoon music session:

http://www.kinvara.com/

http://www.connollyskinvara.com/

and Kinvara has a farmer's market on a Friday:

www.kinvara.com/farmersmarket/index.html

Burren Beo is based in Kinvara; a great little charity that aims to promote awareness and understanding of the unique landscape. You can pick up lots of useful information from the centre, and there's a nice little cafe upstairs (check the web-site for opening times):

http://www.burrenbeo.com/

On the shore just outside Kinvara lies Dunguaire Castle: stunning setting and worth visiting:

shannonheritage.com/Attractions/…

The Aran Islands are well worth visiting; you can take a ferry from the little village of Doolin, which lies a few miles north of the Cliffs of Moher:

http://www.aranislandsfastferries.com/

http://www.cliffs-of-moher-cruises.com/

I spent a blissfully happy afternoon on the smallest island: Inis Oirr:

http://www.inisoirr-island.com/

you could always take the Cliffs of Moher cruise combined with Inis Oirr one week, and visit one of the other two islands the following week:

http://www.visitaranislands.ie/

and it's worth visiting the Cliffs from landside as well; try to visit first thing in the morning before the coaches turn up. I was there just a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday morning, and found myself all alone at O'Brien's Tower. First time I visited it was thronging with people!

http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/

Then there are the fascinating historic remains scattered all over the Burren, dating from prehistoric times. If you're interested in learning more, then maybe start with a visit to the Burren Centre in Kilfenora, where you will also find the Cathedral (ruin), with it's fine examples of High Crosses:

http://www.theburrencentre.ie/

These are some of the most well-known sites:

http://www.burrenpage.com/Corcomroe.html

www.megalithicireland.com/Poulnabrone.htm

http://www.burrenforts.ie/

but there are many more hidden away, waiting to be discovered.

Just outside the tiny village of Carron is one of my favourite shops for souvenirs for my girl friends; there's a really nice coffee shop there too, but it's only open at weekends at the moment:

http://www.burrenperfumery.com/

and whilst you're there, call into the Michael Cusack Centre:

http://www.michaelcusack.ie/

There are some great marked walks in the Burren; I walked the Caher Valley Loop a couple of weeks ago: fabulous scenery and I didn't meet a soul along the way. Here are my photos:

flickr.com/photos/…

and details of more walks and activities:

http://www.shannonregiontrails.ie/

Travelling south from the Burren, at the very tip of Clare you can visit beautiful unspoilt Loop Head and spend an hour or so walking along the clifftop watching the many varieties of sea birds flying below. It's one of my favourite places in Ireland:

http://www.loopheadclare.com/

my photos of Loop Head:

flickr.com/photos/…

There are a couple of pubs in Kilbaha for refreshments etc (Keatings and the Lighthouse).

In the southern half of the county you can visit the lively town of Ennis, and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, plus Craggaunowen Prehistoric Park, which are within easy driving distance:

http://www.visitennis.ie/

shannonheritage.com/Attractions/BunrattyCast…

shannonheritage.com/Attractions/Craggaunowen/

And you might want to explore east Clare, which has very different scenery and is rather unspoilt and not at all busy with tourists:

http://www.visitclare.net/

Highly recommend a visit to Holy Island on Lough Derg (boats depart from Mountshannon):

http://www.visitclare.net/holyisland.php

Just a couple more things to recommend:

Beautiful Coole Park lies just outside the town of Gort; it's a lovely spot for a picnic on a sunny day, and the walk down through the woods to the lough is really lovely:

http://www.coolepark.ie/

and if you're interested in literature, you might like to visit Thoor Ballylee, which was W B Yeats' summer home for several years; it's signposted from Gort:

http://www.gortonline.com/TouristGuide/PlacesofInterest/ThoorBallylee/Thoor+Ballylee.htm

on the other side of Gort with lovely views across to the Burren hills is Kilmacduagh monastic settlement:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilmacduagh_monastery

and finally, Galway city should take around 45 minutes - 1hr to reach from your holiday rental. Well worth spending a day exploring this small city:

http://www.galway.net/

More pictures from my visits:

flickr.com/photos/…

flickr.com/photos/…

flickr.com/photos/…

flickr.com/photos/…

Hope this gives you some inspiration for your visit!

:-)

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4. Re: Itinerary/Plans

I forgot to include this link, which will give you 25% discount off many of the places I've mentioned:

www.shannonregiontourism.com/25DiscountCard/

Simply print out the discount card and present it when you go to pay for entry.

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5. Re: Itinerary/Plans

You have chosen a beautiful area to stay. Buy yourself a detailed road map and just explore. You won't have any trouble filling the days.

Galway and Connemara are only a short drive away and the scenery is possibly even better than the Burren area.... Do try and visit the area around Roundstone to Clifden and do the Sky Road drive. On a clear sunny day it must surely rank as one of the best short drives in the world.

…mac.com/wasleys/…P1000690.html

Details of this (and other scenic drives) here:

galway.net/galwayguide/…

Cong was where the Quiet Man was filmed and has a small museum about it.

http://www.museumsofmayo.com/quietman.htm

There is also a ruined abbey and there is a nice walk through the grounds to the river. The monks had a small fishing station here with a bell which they rang to tell the cook each time they caught a fish.

…mac.com/i/…

We also like the ruined Ross Errily Abbey, near Headford.

…mac.com/wasleys/…01C01.html

Athenry is a small walled town with a ruined castle.

www.heritageireland.ie/en/west/athenrycastle/

If you like ruined castles there is also Aughnanure:

heritageireland.ie/en/West/AughnanureCastle/

Make sure you spend a day on the Arran Islands too.

If you are walkers there is plenty of good walking around. There are lots of green roads to explore on the Burren as well as the long distance Burren Way. Ideas and suggestions here:

shannonregiontrails.ie/FindaTrail/Walking/

http://www.walkinginireland.co.uk/walks.html

sport.galway-ireland.ie/western-way.htm

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6. Re: Itinerary/Plans

SarniaGirl ~

I just wanted to compliment your extensive post and the beautiful pictures you posted. (Love the horse!) Thank you for sharing them with us.

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7. Re: Itinerary/Plans

im3dogmom

Thank you for your kind words! The horse was a sweetie; just walked right up to me. I've recently returned from an 8-night stay in Clare, and I had such a great time. Can't wait to go back!

navidad

Update:

I've just seen a post from tony2phones that Thoor Ballylee is currently closed, undergoing repairs after the floods in Gort this past winter.

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8. Re: Itinerary/Plans

great area to stay in - there are plenty of things to do - as other posters said, the usual spots , Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Ailweek Caves, Ballyvaughan. You should also definitely head up to Galway and on through Connemara - maybe even stay a couple of nights. You won't be lost for things to do - its a beautiful area.

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9. Re: Itinerary/Plans

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