Ireland- 3 Scenic Routes

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Travel for fun, Skellig Island, Ring of Kerry, visit Ireland: Little Skellig in the distance as viewed from visiting Skellig MichaelThe west of Ireland is by far the most beautiful part of Ireland and you definitely can’t claim to have seen it unless you have supped pints with the locals in some small old bar on some small road and the next stop west is America. From Donegal in the north down to Cork in the south the jagged coastline is full of spectacular cliffs, pristine beaches and topped with a sprinkling of islands and is definitely the coast to go when visiting Ireland. Even if the water is always cold its worth getting in just to say you did! The west coast of Ireland is full of small towns and villages and has no cities as such as Galway and Limerick although technically on the west coast are still a long way from the brunt of the Atlantic Ocean.

I’ll outline below what I feel are some of the best circuits on the west coast. It is only 3 of many and hopefully I’ll get around to penning a few more soon. The circuits can be driven or cycled but cycling would give the scenery more justice although it may be hard work sometimes as it is perpetually windy.  I’ll give the distance and estimated time of the circuits but obviously these are scenic routes so if you allow more time you won’t be disappointed.

Ring of Kerry (Killarney –Cahersiveen-Killarney) (180km, 3-6days)

One of the most famous circuits in Ireland starts in the spectacular surroundings of Killarney. This ring provides the sea, beaches and some spectacular mountain passes. From Killarney I’ll describe the action in an anti-clockwise direction.

Killarney

One of the main tourist hotspots in the south-west which provides a launching pad for several tourist routes. Killarney provides lots of accommodation as well as having many sights of its own. It is on the backpacking trail but is also on the golf course trail so it caters for all types.

Travelling for Fun, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, visit Ireland: Muckross House in Killarney National Park One of the attractions in the park to visitKillarney National Park: Nestled between the Lakes of Killarney and Irelands highest mountains is Killarney National Park. There are plenty of walks in the woodlands on the slopes of the mountains and plenty of spots to take a dip in the lake. Muckross House lies on the shores of the lake and is a major tourist attraction and looks spectacular when on one of the surrounding mountains peering down. Around the house there is a restaurant and botanical gardens. Climbing Torc Mountain in the park gives superb views of the lake, Muckross house and Killarney. At 540mtrs and a path to the top it is well worth the effort.

Ross Castle and Ross Island: On the shores of the lakes, this restored castle is open to guided tours from April-Oct. Lived on for over 9,000 years and has one of Europe’s oldest mines.

Carrauntoohil Mountain: The highest mountain in Ireland at 1038mts which means it’s not very high and is relatively easy to climb. There is a worn path all the way to the top and the start is about 15km from Killarney. To get there you take a left 4.7km after the last roundabout on the N72 heading towards Killorglan. Don’t be put off by the wicked names on the way up such as Hag’s Tooth and Devils Staircase as they are only bad if you fall down! Needless to say the views are superb. It takes between 4-6hrs round trip to climb depending on fitness and amount of time stopping to take pictures!

Jaunting Trips: Hop into the cart and let the horse and jarvey bring you where you want to go. A unique way to see a few sights in and around the town. There are lots around Killarney National Park.

Travel for fun, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, visit Ireland: Some of the lakes on view when trekking on Carrauntoohill MountainKillorglan (21km from Killarney)

As you head to the north-west along the N72, the first town you come across is Killorglan. This town is famous for the ‘Puck Fair’ which is held every 10-12th August and is Ireland’s oldest fair. King Puck is a goat that is brought down from the mountains to be celebrated every year. Lots of street entertainment and activities.

Glenbeigh

The locals like to call it the ‘jewel of the ring of Kerry’ and with blue flag beaches (Rossbeigh) and Lough Caragh they have a point. A very small village where having a quiet pint is mandatory. Kells Bay is again a blue flag beach and is about 10min drive to the south where the N70 kisses the coast

Cahersiveen

(61km from Killarney): As you continue west the coastline is spectacular as you roll up and down the hills and eventually roll into Cahersiveen. A good spot for a rest whether you are backpacking, driving or cycling.

Beentee Loop Walk: The desert after the main course of the walk is the view from the top of Beentee Mounain (376mts) which looks down on the bay and the town. The walk starts in Fair Green Car park and just follow the blue arrows or the purple National Loop arrows. Takes 3-4hrs.

Ring Forts: Just north of Carersiveen are the ring forts of Leacanabuail and Cahergal. The thick outer walls from the 6th century can still be walked on. The walls on Cahergal are 10feet thick! The forts are only 300mtrs from each other so it’s easy to visit both. The forts are the other side of the water to the north near Ballycarbery Castle.

Beaches: Some of the best beaches on the ring are around Cahersiveen. Cuas Crom and Whitestrand (blue flag) beaches are just to the north of Cahersiveen.

Valentia Island: One of the largest islands on the west coast of Ireland, Valentia is very barren on the western side and dominated by cliffs but the eastern side is comparably mild and allowed the gardens of Glanleem House to be planted in the 1830’s with plants from the southern hemisphere that still survives today and is one of the main sightseeing attractions on the island. The main village is Knightstown which is where a lot of treks and boat trips can be started. Valentia can be driven to across a bridge at Portmagee or by boat further to the north from Reenard’s Point. Valentia is a popular place for backpackers to explore when the weather is good.

Skellig Ring Road

Travel for fun, Skellig Island, Ring of Kerry, visit Ireland: Careful now! Part of the monastic UNESCO World Heritage Site on Skellig MichaelThis is another short ring off the main ring of Kerry which brings you around the coast through the picturesque villages of brightly painted houses of Portmagee and Ballinskellig. Great views are had on Coomanaspig pass south of Portmagee on your way round. There are also great views of the Skellig Islands and great surfing in St. Finans Bay which is near the village of The Glen. There are plenty of historical churches and ancient religious sites if history is your thing.

Skellig Islands (UNESCO World Heritage site): If you are as far as here then you must go to these islands. Monks voluntarily lived on these very isolated rocks as penance that rise almost vertically to 230mtrs above the surrounding ocean. The second island is home to a huge amount of puffins, the world’s second largest gannet colony, seals, dolphins and even basking sharks and turtles. Well preserved reminisces of their dome shaped huts remain as do the steps that they carved by hand out of the rock up to their tiny village. It was lived in from around the 6th century to the 12th century. How people lived on this fore lone island where getting turf for a fire was a 6hrs row across the sea is a feat in human endurance. And remember that this is the Atlantic Ocean where wind and waves have an uninterrupted 3000mile trip. Boats to the island depart at 10am and return around 3.30pm with around 2.5hrs on the island. Price is €50 per person. Boats leave Ballinskelligs, Portmagee, Caherdaniel and Valentia Island and depend on sea conditions. www.skelligislands.comwww.skelligstrips.com

Waterville (76km) and Sneem (111km): More traditional villages with Waterville having the beautiful Lough Currane behind it and some championship golf courses. Sneem has squares and gardens to walk around as well as having lots of international sculpture to admire. Sneem is also the capital of the South Kerry Geopark which celebrates the unusual and spectacular geological features. The smaller of the two big climbs on the Ring of Kerry route is before Caherdaniel. It is not anything out of the Tour de France so don’t panic. It has a 200mtr elevation difference so is manageable for anybody.

Kenmare (140km)

A town full of good pubs and good traditional music would be a way to describe Kenmare! One of the bigger towns on the ring it is very lively for most of the year. Kenmare has plenty of short walks and water activities such as kayaking, boat trips and scuba diving. Gleninchaquin Park to the south of Kenmare has plenty of streams and walks and includes a 140mtr waterfall. Even if backpacking and not doing the Ring of Kerry it is a good base from which to head out. www.kenmare.ie

Travel for fun, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, visit Ireland: A view from 'ladies view' on a misty day between Kenmare and KillarneyMoll’s Gap: A spectacular pass between Kenmare and Killarney and the highest point on the ring of Kerry with a 235mtr climb. You head out of Kenmare on the N71 and as you pant past the sheep I’m sure they wonder what the cyclists are at! The views of the lakes and the surrounding valleys are again spectacular with panoramic views. I’m not just saying this, they actually are. A very popular attraction for tourists staying in both Kenmare and Killarney.

 

 

 

Need to Know

Getting to Killarney is easy from most parts of the country. Buses go from Cork (approx 5 per day, 1.4hrs, €27), Limerick (approx 5 buses, 2hrs, €27) and Tralee (5 buses, 40min, €13). If going from Dublin you need to get the bus to either Cork or Limerick. These buses also stop along the route. www.buseireann.ie

By train you can also go from Dublin (Heuston Station), Limerick or Cork. From Dublin the cost is €25 and takes 3.25hrs. Some trains require a short change. From Cork (9trains, €27, 1.25-2hrs). From Limerick City (7 trains, 2 changes, 2.5hrs, €41). www.iarnrodeireann.ie

 

West Clare (250km Galway – Galway, 200km  Galway –Ennis), 3-6days

This route takes in some of the most famous tourist attractions in Ireland in the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher but there is so much more to do and see along the coast on this very barren and wind strewn edge.

Galway City

Galway is probably the best city in Ireland to go out in. The place to enjoy the delights of the Irish pub and music scene with the ever lively shop street providing much of the entertainment. The city is small and easy to walk around and between buskers on the pedestrian streets, Eyre Square, the River Corrib and the Spanish Arch you will have plenty to gaze at. The Galway Races Festival is on over the end of July, first week of August and is a huge event with most people going for the ‘craic’ rather than any horse racing. (www.galwayraces.com). There is also culture with the Irish speaking Gaeltach close by to the west. The bay and Atlantic can be enjoyed with several water activities including kayaking (www.kayakmor.ie ) and diving (www.scubadivewest.com, not in city).  www.galwaytourism.ie

Kinvarra: As you head south of Galway on the N18 and then turn off onto the smaller N67 the first town you come to is Kinvarra. It is picturesquely located on an inlet and the small Dunguaire Castle greeting you as you enter. Although nicely situated on the sea it is nothing compared to the jewels further south.

Travel for fun, Ballyvaughan, Clare, visit Ireland: The choices, the choices? A decision to be taken in BallyvaughanBallyvaughan (48km from Galway): Further on the winding coastal road and you end up in Ballyvaughan that is situated on the edge of the Burren. The Burren Way Walk starts here and goes through the Burren and ends in Lahinch. The ancient Cahermore Ring fort has 9ft high walls and is located south of Ballyvaughan. One of the main attractions around is the Aillwee Caves, 4km south of Ballyvaughan. These caves used to contain bears and their bones are now on view in this underground cavern. The cave has waterfalls,stalagmites and stalactites hanging and growing. Open 10:00-17:30 (times vary slightly throughout the year). Admission €12. Aillwee Caves also has a bird of prey centre with several flights daily. Admission €8 but a combo ticket for both cave and prey centre is €17. www.aillweecave.ie

Rather than continuing on the N67, in Ballyvaughan you head directly west on the R477. This road gives superb views of the Burren on your left and the cliffs and Atlantic Ocean to your right. It is 30km to Doolin by this road along spectacular scenery. The road is narrow but it is only really a problem if two buses meet.

Doolin (77km from Galway)

Right up against the Atlantic, Doolin is probably most famous for its surfing although you need to be good to surf here. It is nicely located between a few major tourist sites and gets very popular when the weather is good. There are a campsites for backpackers just outside the village. It has beaches but not as good as other places that are close by. The village has a few pubs that seem to constantly play traditional music which makes for a great session at night. From 1st April to 31st October you can get the ferry to the beautiful Aran Islands from Doolin. There are several trips daily to the islands and some can include a drive by of the Cliffs of Moher. Price €30 return to islands. www.mohercruises.com, www.doolin2aranferries.com

Lisdoonvarna: Not exactly on the trail but only 7km from Doolin so I’ll mention it. Famous for its Natural Spa Complex that dates back to the 18th century that has restorative effects. What it is probably more famous for is its matchmaking festival in September that draws people from all over the world and the local bachelor farmers who have finished the hard summer work.

The Burren (Kilfenora, 15km east of Doolin)

Travel for fun, Burren, Clare, visit Ireland: A stone alter stands the test of time in the Burren. The Burren is one of the most unique and most visited sightseeing destinations in IrelandIf you are cycling or driving on this route you are skirting around the edges of the Burren for the entire time but in Kilfenora you can visit the heart of the Burren and learn some interesting facts about the uniqueness of this seemingly lifeless rocky area. The Burren contains tombs and dolmens older than the pyramids, 630 of 900 of Ireland’s native plant species reside here and some spectacular limestone landscape. Some of the plants are found nowhere else, only here. www.theburrencentre.ie

 

 

Cliffs of Moher

Travel for fun, Cliffs of Moher, Clare, visit Ireland: A 214mtr wall of rock. The Cliffs of Moher are one of the best known attractions in IrelandContinue south on the R478 and you arrive at the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. Towering 214mtrs (660ft) above the sea at their highest point, they stretch for 8km along the coastline.  The Aran Islands and even the north coast of Galway Bay can be seen from them. The visitors centre gives information on the wildlife in the area and has the usual gifts and crafts and the walks that can be done around the cliffs. The cliffs are also one of Ireland’s most famous big-wave surfing spots and only newly discovered is Aileen. During storms surfers come from far and wide to surf the 50ft waves. The opening times, for the centre not the wave, are from 09:00 – 17:00 (Nov-Feb),The opening hours then extend gradually to 09:00-21:00 in July-Aug. Admission €6. www.cliffsofmoher.ie

Lahinch

A small town that is well set up and popular for visiting tourists. The main town in the area and is a perfect place to base yourself to explore and sightsee the Clare region. A big beach that is perfect for surfing, lots of cliff top walks, 2 x golf courses in the town, lots of pubs, lots of restaurants, sure why wouldn’t you want to go! There are several places to rent surfboards and wetsuits and to organise surf lessons if you want (www.greenroomlahinch.com). Lahinch Golf Club is one of the best links golf clubs in Ireland right in the heart of the town. Be warned though it needs to be booked and is expensive. The second golf course is not as good (but still of good quality) but is also cheaper. www.lahinchgolf.com

Miltown Malbay / Kilkee (118km from Galway)

You continue south along the coastal N67 and Miltown Malbay is the first town you come across. A town named after a witch is a great place for traditional music. Spanish point , 3km from Miltown, is a lovely beach to walk and to surf. Again like all towns on this route there are lots of walks and golf clubs. As you continue south the main road stays a few kilometres from the coast until you come to Doonbeg. Doonbeg is a small village that has a world class golf club that is built literally on the coast. The next town is Kilkee, 30km from Miltown Malbay is on the coast and has a huge clear beach that is like a wine glass holding the water in the cove. The town is lively during the summer again with lots of walks by the beaches and cliffs and restaurants and pubs for the evening time. Things really slow down though during the winter.

From Kilkee or Kllrush, the small village of Carrigahoult is close and on the way to the end of the finger of Clare in Loop Head

Kilrush

You have now turned from the Atlantic and are inland although Kilrush is on the Shannon Estuary so the water will still taste salty. Kilrush is one of the biggest towns in the area and although it doesn’t have the spectacular scenery that is associated with the towns directly on the Atlantic Coast it still has a lot to offer. Once again walks, pubs, golf and beaches are high on the list. One of the best things to do in Kilrush or Carrigahoult is dolphin watching (www.discoverdolphins.ie)

Kilrush is also the closest point to the Killimer to Tarbert ferry. This ferry allows you to skip across the Shannon Estuary rather than having to go through Limerick saving a 2hr drive. Foot passengers are €5 and cars cost €18. Ferries leave Killimer and Tarbert every half an hour from 1st June – 31st Aug, 07:00-21:00. From 1st Sept to 31st May the ferry leaves Killimer every hour on the hour and from Tarbert every hour on the half hour, 07:00-19:00. www.shannonferries.com

Ennis

Travel for fun, Ennis, Clare, visit Ireland: One of the many sculptures you will see when visiting EnnisThe county town of Clare and the biggest town in the county so it has all of the entertainment you need but none of the scenery that accompanies the coastal villages. Ennis is similar to a lot of county town with a central square and a big statue, this time of ‘the liberator’ Daniel O’Connell. Ennis has an abundance of history that is represented in sculptures around town. A map of these can be got from the Tourist Office on Arthurs Row. The history can also be found in the friary, north of the square, and in the small Clare Museum that occupies the same building as the Tourist Office. As well as the history, Ennis like most of Ireland has its fair share of pubs and traditional music.

Need to Know

Buses go very regularly from Dublin (Busaras) to both Limerick and Galway. Buses go from Dublin to Ennis for €20 but requires at least one stop. Either head to Limerick or Galway and then from there take a bus to Ennis. The journey from Galway to Ennis is 1.2hrs and is 45min from Limerick to Ennis. www.buseireann.ie

From Dublin airport you can also take a direct aircoach to Galway (www.citylink.ie, www.gobus.ie) in 3hrs for €16.50. From Dublin Airport to Limerick city you can use Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

It is also possible to get the train to Galway or Limerick directly from Heuston Station in Dublin, cost €15. From Dublin to Ennis requires a change in either Limerick (Limerick Junction and takes 1.33hrs) or Athenry (50min). There is also a separate train that goes from Galway city) to Limerick via Ennis. The train takes 1.3hrs from Galway and 40min from Limerick. www.iarnrodeireann.ie

West Cork (Cork City, Baltimore, Mizen Head, Bantry), 200km, 4-7days

This southern exploration is a great route and one of my favourite in Ireland. If the sun is shining then driving or cycling along the narrow country roads by the sea with the sides of the road alive with the fiery orange of the wild montbretia flower then it is one of the best places in the country.

Bandon (26km from Cork)

After heading south west out the N71 from Cork City the first major town you come across is Bandon. Situated on the River Bandon, it will be your first introduction to some of the bright multi-coloured towns you will come across on this trail. Lots of bright colours, lots of fresh flowers hanging from the lamp posts and lots of activity. Bandon has plenty of history with a 240year old bridge, 400 year old church that is now the West Cork Heritage Centre (Christchurch) and 200year old vegetable and meat farmers market. Bandon is a very nice town but not a patch on the towns further west.

Clonakilty (50km from Cork)

Travelling for fun, Clonakilty, Cork, visit Ireland: A typical Irish put in Clonakilty. One for the touristsOne of the most colourful and well presented towns in Ireland. ‘Clon’ is the start of West Cork where the Cork accent gets stronger and it now resembles singing rather than talking.  Clonakilty is always near the top of the list in ireland’s tidy towns competition. The town is full of good restaurants and pubs. It is the birthplace of one of the founders of the Republic of Ireland, Michael Collins and there is a museum in Clonakilty in his honour. An unusual little feature in Clon is the West Cork Model Railway Village (www.modelvillage.ie) which is a handmade village of what life was like back in the 1940’s and 50’s. Tours can be taken on a road train and takes 30minutes. In the middle of September every year there is the International Guitar Festival that is a great ‘little festival’ in the town. Galley Head lighthouse is 16km south of Clonakilty

Inchydoney Beach (blue flag) is 6km from the town and is a superb beach, or two long beach’s separated by a small headland that gives great views of both sides. There is also a 4 star hotel, Inchydoney Island Hotel, located at this junction and plenty of camping spots for tourists backpacking.

One thing that can be done in many places in west Cork is sea kayaking. I did an unusual sea kayak near the village of Unionhall. It was unusual because it was in the dark. The moon means it is not pitch dark but also you are in an inlet and not in the wide Atlantic so it is also safe. The reason for doing it in the dark is for the bio-luminescence in the water. This crazy phenomenon is amazing. As you paddle along you think that your eyes are going funny as you see little sparks in the water. But in the more secluded spots if you move your paddle or your hand then the water lights up with sparks of green and purple. The best way of describing it is like hundreds of fire flies underwater that only light when you move them. These tiny organisms make for a very exciting evening. The tour was very informative about the bio-luminescence and of the local history and can be carried out in several places and not just Unionhall. www.atlanticseakayaking.com

Drombeg stone Circle 4km south west of Rosscarbery is one of the best kept stone circles in Ireland. It measures almost 10mtrs (30ft) across and dates from approximately 900BC

Skibbereen (80km from Cork)

By now you will be familiar with cosy colourful towns and the strong accent and Skibbereen fits into that mould. A good hub for which to base further afield activities but also a great little town to ‘have the craic’. The Heritage Centre provides history on the town and of the Great Famine which happened between 1845-50. In terms of percentage of people affected in any country it was one of the most devastating in world history.

Lough Hyne is the largest sea water lake in Europe 5km south of Skibbereen. It is always warmer than the sea and hence contains fish that are usually found in much warmer countries. The Knockonagh Forest Walk is perfect to get a view of the lake and sea together.

Baltimore

It is west of Skibbereen that west Cork really comes into its own and for both the peninsula out to Baltimore and the next one, Mizen Peninsula, to the west the views are stunning. 13km along winding roads and bright orange ditches is the village of Baltimore which is great for sightseeing. Most things to do and see in Baltimore involve getting on a boat, whether this is fishing (sea or fresh water), kayaking, whale or dolphin watching or visiting some of the nearby islands

Islands:  From Baltimore you can take a boat to Cape Clear, Sherkin and Heir Islands. All of these islands have great walks and stunning beaches. The islands are all of a similar size and can be walked around in half a day. Sherkin Island is the closest and is only a 10min ride across the harbour, Cape Clear is a gaeltach which means they speak Ireland’s native language, Irish, normally. They still have good English so don’t worry about that. It is a 45min ride (www.cailinoir.com) and goes 4 times a day during the summer (Jul-Sept), €16 return.  Heir Island tours can be got to from the town of Schull for €15.  www.heirislandferries.com. Tours can be taken to Fastnet Rock which is a bird colony but is only a rock outcrop with a lighthouse that warns sailors of the impending dangers.

Angling: Pollock and mackerel are to be found just off the harbour. There are licensed deep sea angling companies that can bring you further from shore to cast your skill to catch skate, cod, conger and sharks among others. www.wreckfish.com

Kayaking: A good way to explore the coves and caves on the west coast around and to exert yourself before settling down in the evening. www.atlanticseakayaking.com

Whale and dolphin watching: Twice a day from April to June and 3 times from July to August. Cost €50 per person for 4hr tour. www.whalewatchwestcork.com

Festivals: The main festival in Baltimore is the Seafood Festival which is on at the end of May each year and allows you to taste the delights of the surrounding seas.

Schull and Mizen Head (110km from Cork)

Travel for fun, Cork, Mizen Head, visit Ireland: Superb scenery in Mizen Head, the most southerly point in IrelandYou head south off the N71 in the lovely sounding village of Ballydehob. The roads are small and the scenery stunning as you enter into Schull and it gets even better as you continue to roll south to the most southerly point in Ireland Mizen Head. Mizen Head is a slow 33km from Ballydehob where sheep and some narrow lanes are your companion.

Scuba Diving: There are plenty of wrecks to explore on the south coast and there is a dive centre in Schull. www.divecology.com

Culture: In Schull there are art galleries, farmers markets, traditional music in the pub to enjoy. Walking, hiking and bike hire are also a good way of seeing the local hills.

Mizen Head: The spectacular end of Ireland that boasts narrow roads, cliffs and a lighthouse at the very edge. There is a visitors centre there to give more information about the area. Three Castle head is just north up the coast which are actually 3 walled houses built in the 16th century that look out on the raging ocean.

Travel for fun, Barleycove Beach, Cork, visit Ireland: A beautiful beach near Mizen Head, Barleycove is one of the most scenic in IrelandBarleycove Beach: Close to Mizen Head on the way from Schull you will pass one of the most spectacular beaches in Ireland in Barleycove Beach. On the road you are gazing down at this large sandy beach and wish you could jump all the way down. The dunes at the back were actually put there by a tidal wave from the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and are now part of an area of conservation.

Bantry

Another well turned out town with more flowers and coloured houses that sparkle in the sun. Bantry has a lovely centre full of life and activity and open spaces all at the head of Bantry Bay. There is plenty of history like most of Ireland and places like Bantry house and the French Invasion exhibition centre are worth a visit. Just south of the town is the ancient Kilnaruane Carved Pillar Stone that still stands from early Christian times.

Whiddy Island sits just off the coast and is only a 15min ride from Bantry. The island is still inhabited mainly by fishermen. The ferry leaves from Bantry all year round. www.whiddyislandferry.com

Bere Island is a historical island that is still lived on today and has many exhibitions and historical attractions on the island.  It can be got to by taking a boat the town of Castletownbere that go all year round but more crossing are scheduled in the summer. www.bereislandferries.com

Need to Know

Cork city can be accessed by bus from most major cities, Dublin (3.5hrs, 8 per day, €22 return), Limerick (1.8hrs, 10 per day, €19 return), Waterford (2.2hrs, 10 per day, €28 return), Killarney etc with Bus Eireann. www.buseireann.ie

Bantry to Cork (2hrs, 9 per day, €25 return)

By rail you can get to Cork from Dublin (every hour, 2.5hrs, €15), Limerick (every 1.5hrs, 2hrs, €26 with one change). Trains can also be got from Killarney. There are no trains to Bantry. www.irishrail.ie

 

Practicalities – About Ireland

  • €1 =€1,  USD$1=€0.77
  • Language – English, Irish. The Irish language (gaelige) is thought in schools from 5-18yrs old but approximately only 5% of Irish people speak it on a full time basis. These area’s are called the Gaeltacht and are mainly in the west of Ireland
  • Flights- www.aerlingus.com, www.aerarann.com,  www.ryanair.com (budget),  www.ba.com but most European airlines have flights to Dublin, Cork or Shannon (Limerick) and several American airlines fly to Dublin
  • Buses: Dublin Bus (www.dublinbus.ie) is the city bus company in Dublin and has an extensive network. Bus  Eireann (www.buseireann.ie), Kavanagh buses (jjkavanagh.ie) are the nationwide bus companies that serves other towns and cities across Ireland. Their main bases are in busaras on Store Street in the city centre for Bus Eireann and for Kavanaghs.
  • Irish Rail (Iarnrod Eireann) are the railway company and serve all major cities. www.irishrail.ie
  • Car Rental: All the main car hire companies are in Ireland such as Rentalcars.com (www.rentalcars.com), Irish car rentals (www.irishcarrentals.com), Hertz (www.hertz.ie), Avis (www.avis.ie), Europecar (www.europecar.ie),  Car Hire (Thrifty) (www.carhire.ie)
  • Accommodation – €50 per night for an average double room in a city
  • Population of Ireland – 4.56million

Map of Ireland

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West Ireland - 3 Driving Routes

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Galway: 53.270559, -9.056668
Ballyvaughan: 53.115533, -9.149423
Doolin: 53.017444, -9.373048
The Burren - Kilfenora: 52.989943, -9.218327
Cliffs of Moher: 52.971880, -9.426510
Lahinch: 52.932678, -9.336663
Doonbeg: 52.730850, -9.525995
Kilkee: 52.682823, -9.644412
Kilrush: 52.640700, -9.485937
Killimer Ferry: 52.614514, -9.383698
Ennis: 52.847426, -8.988738
Killarney: 52.057794, -9.502558
Carrauntoohil Mountain: 51.999360, -9.743139
Killarney National Park: 52.021022, -9.516907
Glenbeigh: 52.056186, -9.940348
Cahersiveen: 51.947799, -10.220905
Beentee Mountain: 51.934167, -10.216111
Valentia Island: 51.910774, -10.354900
Skellig Islands: 51.770662, -10.540524
Waterville: 51.829465, -10.174544
Kenmare: 51.877960, -9.583577
Moll\'s Gap: 51.938970, -9.658820
Banoon: 51.746124, -8.731817
Clonakilty: 51.621506, -8.888700
Inchydoney Beach: 51.597228, -8.862877
Skibbereen: 51.555924, -9.262130
Lough Hyne: 51.502413, -9.303057
Baltimore: 51.484327, -9.366109
Cape Clear Island: 51.439316, -9.495010
Schull: 51.526867, -9.547980
Barleycove Beach: 51.468873, -9.776030
Mizen Head: 51.451867, -9.811478
Bantry: 51.680892, -9.448603
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Galway
Galway, Ireland
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Ballyvaughan
Ballyvaughan, Ireland
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Doolin
Doolin, Ireland
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The Burren - Kilfenora
Kilfenora, Ireland
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Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland
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Lahinch
Lahinch, Ireland
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Doonbeg
Doonbeg, Ireland
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Kilkee
Kilkee, Ireland
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Kilrush
Kilrush, Ireland
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Killimer Ferry
Killimer, Ireland
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Ennis
Ennis, Ireland
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Killarney
Killarney, Ireland
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Carrauntoohil Mountain
Carrauntoohil, Kerry, Ireland
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Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park, Ireland
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Glenbeigh
Glenbeigh, Ireland
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Cahersiveen
Cahirciveen, Ireland
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Beentee Mountain
Bentee, Kerry, Ireland
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Valentia Island
Valentia Island, Ireland
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Skellig Islands
Skellig Michael, Kerry, Ireland
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Waterville
Waterville, Ireland
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Kenmare
Kenmare, Ireland
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Moll's Gap
Molls Gap, Ireland
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Banoon
Bandon, Ireland
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Clonakilty
Clonakilty, Ireland
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Inchydoney Beach
Inchydoney, Ireland
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Skibbereen
Skibbereen, Ireland
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Lough Hyne
Lough Hyne, Ireland
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Baltimore
Baltimore, Ireland
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Cape Clear Island
Cape Clear Island, Cork, Ireland
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Schull
Schull, Ireland
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Barleycove Beach
Barleycove, Ireland
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Mizen Head
Mizen Head, Ireland
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Bantry
Bantry, Ireland

My Photo Gallery of Ireland

 

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Ross Travellingforfun

About Ross Travellingforfun

I have ducked, dived, bungeed, burned, skydived, surfed, volunteered, volcanoed, crossed continents, conquered mountains, got robbed, got sick and got drunk and I hope this website will inspire you to do the same.