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Trip List by Sarnia G

Galway to Dingle via the Burren and Cliffs of Moher: A Day's Journey

5 Sep 2010  by SarniaG: I Heart Ireland
4.5 of 5 stars based on 3 votes

A Route from Galway to Dingle taking you through some of the Highlights of the Burren, plus a visit to the Cliffs of Moher.

Then down the coast of Clare and across the Shannon, using the car ferry service operated by Shannon Ferries. This is a drive-on, drive-off ferry, which runs at regular intervals during the day.

Continue your journey via the towns of Listowel and Tralee, before taking the breathtaking route over the Connor Pass and down into Dingle Town.

Depending on weather conditions, plus number of times you stop, this route could take a full day; allow 5.5hrs for the drive, plus time for stops at sights along the route.
You probably won't have time to stop at all places listed below, so research those that interest you and take your pick!

  • 1. Galway
    Galway

    You will probably have spent a night or two in Galway, using it as a base from which to explore Connemara or visit the Aran Islands.

    Now it's time to leave this vibrant, but small city and travel through county Clare on your way to the beautiful Dingle Peninsula.

    Head out of Galway in the direction of Limerick, but turn right in Kilcolgan onto the N67, direction Kinvarra and Ballyvaughan.

  • 2. Dunguaire Castle
    Dunguaire Castle, Kinvara

    You might want to stop for an hour in Kinvarra, a pretty village on the shores of Galway Bay to visit Dunguaire Castle.

    Note: open May-September only. Check Shannon Heritage web-site for full details.

  • 3. Ballyvaughan
    Ballyvaughan, The Burren

    Continue from Kinvarra along the coast to another pretty village: Ballyvaughan. There are several nice souvenir shops in the village if you have time to stop.

    From Ballyvaughan village, head towards Lisdoonvarna on the N67, but turn Left onto the R480, signposted "Aillwee Cave".

  • 4. Aillwee Cave and Burren Birds of Prey
    Aillwee Cave, Ballyvaughan, The Burren

    You'll see signs directing you to Aillwee Cave in Ballyvaughan Village.

    The Cave itself isn't hugely impressive: not many interesting features inside. However, Burren Birds of Prey is a most enjoyable stop for anyone interested in Birds of Prey. Highly recommended!

    Check their web-site for opening times, details of flight displays etc.

  • 5. Poulnabrone Dolmen
    Poulnabrone Dolmen, County Clare

    Continue along the R480, and you will see the iconic Poulnabrone Dolmen on the left-hand side of the road.

    There is parking available, plus some useful information boards.

    A stop here should only take 10-15 minutes.

    At the end of this road (R480) you will come to a junction, with the impressive ruins of Leamaneh Castle on your right-hand side. The Castle lies on private land, so a photo from the roadside will have to suffice.

    Turn Right onto the R476, direction Kilfenora.

  • 6. Kilfenora Cathedral & Crosses
    Kilfenora Cathedral & Crosses, Kilfenora, The Burren

    In Kilfenora Village you will find the informative Burren Centre (and cafe), and next door, the ruins of Kilfenora Cathedral with its fine High Crosses. Note: the Bishop of Kilfenora is the Pope!

    From Kilfenora, drive to the Cliffs of Moher, via Lisdoonvarna, on the R476/R478

  • 7. Cliffs of Moher
    Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

    A "must-see" on many people's list, the Cliffs of Moher are a spectacular sight on a clear day.

    Note: Entry Charges Apply. Check Cliffs of Moher web-site for up-to-date information.
    Recommend you also check Shannon Region Tourism.ie web-site for details of any special offers or discount cards that may be available.

    (FYI: Galway - Cliffs of Moher: approx. 91km, min 2hrs drive)

  • 8. Shannon Ferries
    http://www.shannonferries.com/

    From the Cliffs of Moher continue down the coast through the town of Lahinch, and on towards Killimer on the N67.


    At Killimer you will take the short ferry journey across the Shannon to Tarbert, co. Kerry.

    You will find full details of ferry times and cost on above link.

  • 9. Listowel
    Listowel

    When you arrive in Tarbert, take the N69 through Listowel and Tralee.

    Once at Tralee you have a choice of routes: if the weather is clear and you have time, I recommend take the route via the north coast of the Dingle Peninsula and over the stunning Connor Pass to Dingle Town.

    If the weather isn't so good, or you are pushed for time, from Tralee take the N86 via Camp and Annascaul to Dingle town.

  • 10. Connor Pass
    Connor Pass, County Kerry

    If you opt for the Connor Pass route, then from Tralee take the N86 (sign posted "Dingle" or "An Daingean") towards Camp, but just before Camp, turn onto the R560 direction Castlegregory and Stradbally.

    Continue on the R560 to Stradbally and you will see signs for the Connor Pass and Dingle.

    This is a scenic route with just one slightly "hair-raising" section at the top of the Pass where the road is very narrow. Once you have driven through this narrow section, there is a car-park on the right-hand side where you can stop to enjoy the views.

    If the weather is misty and/or raining, you may prefer to take the easier route (N86) via Camp and Annascaul.

    (FYI: Cliffs of Moher - Dingle via Shannon Ferries and Connor Pass: approx. 160km, min 3.5hrs drive time).

  • 11. Dingle Town
    /GoListDetail-i19068

    You should arrive in Dingle late afternoon or early evening depending on how many stops you have made during the day.

    Time to find your accommodation and get a bite to eat before turning in for the night.

    Recommend minimum 2-night stay in Dingle, which will allow a full day to drive out around Slea Head and some time to wander around Dingle town.