West Coast

 

West Coast: Three-Day Tour

Start: Shannon  Finish: Galway

Recommended Length: 3 days

Total distance:  640km / 399mls

Day One: Shannon to Galway

Distance: 164 km, 102 mls

1  From Shannon, take the R472 and follow the signs for Galway and Limerick. Limerick is a largely Georgian city superimposed on an older town on the banks of the River Shannon. Find time for a short tour of the Castle, the Hunt Museum and Limerick City Gallery of Art. 

2  Next, take the before N18 northwest into County Clare past Bunratty Castle to Newmarket-on-Fergus. If you fancy spoiling yourself, you should stop off at the luxurious Dromoland Castle for an overnight stay. 

3  Continue along the N18 and at Ennis head west along the back road to Ennistymon and the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which drop 200m/600ft to the Atlantic. 

4  It’s only a short drive to the Burren, a vast expanse of naked grey landscape with superb wild flowers and hundreds of ancient monuments. 

5  Rejoin the N18 at Kilcolgan and you're left with an easy run into Galway City, the most thriving and lively community on the west coast and a good jumping off point for exploring the scenic splendour of County Mayo.

Day Two: Galway to Westport

Distance: 196 km, 122 mls

1  Start your tour from the city of Galway. If you want to take the Connemara tour, you’ll pass by the villages of Spiddal, Costelloe, Screeb, Gortmore, Carna, Toombeola, Ballynahinch and Glendollagh. Alternatively, travel northwest of Galway to the pretty village of Oughterard, with views of Lough Corrib along the way, continuing through the rugged countryside of Connemara to Clifden. 

2  From Clifden, continue northwards to Tullycross and on to Leenane, at the head of Killary Harbour. 

3  Drive northwards through the mountains to Louisburgh, in the shadow of Croagh Patrick. Alternatively you can get from Leenane to Westport through Joyce country, taking you to Maam, Cong, Ballinrobe, Partry, and Ballintubber. However you choose to get there, try to spend some time in Westport.

Day Three: Westport to Galway

Distance: 280 km, 175 mls

1  Explore Achill Island by taking the road to Newport, Mulrany, through Curraun Peninsula, Achill Sound and on to Keel and Dooagh. 

2  Return to Mulrany and take the road northwards to Bangor Erris, then to Crossmolina before turning south for Pontoon, with views of Lough Conn. 

3  Return to Galway by Castlebar, Claremorris and Tuam.

 

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