Looking for information on private tours of Ireland’s West Coast? You’re in the right place!
The West of Ireland is one of those iconic regions that looms large on postcards and in the popular imagination. With a great mix of destinations there is more than enough to keep visitors busy for a week or more. However, if time is at a premium or you would also like to take in other Irish destinations such as Dublin or Northern Ireland we can recommend the following 2 day itinerary as a starting point:
- Galway City
- Galway Bay
- Connemara National Park
- limestone Burren region
- towering Cliffs of Moher
Simply contact us to get the conversation started and we can work out the best plan together. NB: This itinerary is best approached from the Dublin or Shannon areas, but can also be structured as a tour extension for those already in the Killarney / Kerry region to the south.
Day 1 – Galway & Connemara Tour
Your private guide will pick you up from the airport or your hotel at the start of the day. Relax back into the leather upholstery of your Mercedes- Benz tour vehicle and get to know your private driver guide who will use his local knowlegde to seamlessly tailor this experience to your priorities and personalities.
At just over 200km the journey between Dublin City / Airport and Galway takes just over 2 hours under normal conditions.
We recommend heading straight into the Connemara National Park before returning to Galway city this evening (unless you prefer to stay overnight in the countryside). In Connemara you’ll enjoy some of Ireland’s wildest landscapes where wild ponies run free and incredible vistas of mountains, lakes and fjords take your breath away. One of the highlights here is Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful castle with a history of romance broken by tragedy.
There are many other places of interest in and around Connemara such as the charming town of Cong with its Augustinian Abbey ruins (film location for The Quiet Man), Lough Corrib with its 365 islands, Twelve Bens Mountain Range and famous lakes of Connemara.
Unless you have any must- sees, we recommend having a chat with your driver first thing in the morning to get a feel for how far you’d like to go; after seeing the highlights most guests look forward to dinner and relaxation in Galway, one of Ireland’s most atmospheric cities.
What is there to see and do around Galway?
Many guests enjoy the following local recommendations;
- Enjoy a sunset walk along the Salthill Promenade
- Sample fish & chips at McDonagh’s Traditional Chipper (Quay Street)
- Wander the medieval alleyways and shopping streets
- Offer a prayer at St. Nicholas of Myra Church (like Christopher Columbus did in 1492)
- Enjoy a fine seafood supper at nearby Bearna Fishing Village (try O’Grady’s on the Pier)
- Chat about your day over the perfect pint of Guinness at Tigh Neachtain (Cross Street)
- Shop for a traditional Claddagh Ring – the famous symbol of friendship, love and loyalty
- Wash down a half dozen oysters with a pint at Moran’s Oyster Cottage (20km from centre)
Where should we stay around Galway?
Well, that depends on your taste and budget- whilst the price of private ground services remains constant, the cost of accommodation differs widely. Guests can get value at each price point from B&B to 3*, 4* and 5*+ when booked in advance (and sometimes at very short notice!).
Tip: Galway Race Week (7 day festival starting in last Monday of July annually) and Galway Oyster Festival (last weekend of September) are massively popular and push up rates significantly- book well in advance.
Some recommendations include;
- The G Hotel – 5 Star flamboyance from €200.00 per room
- Park House Hotel – 4 Star haven of quiet just off Eyre Square from €159 per room
- Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa – 4 Star Sea Views at centre of social scene from €170.00 per room
- Westwood House – 4 Stars in the suburbs allows you to enjoy quiet time in the evenings (and a mean charcuterie board & Rioja Reserva!) from €119 per room
- Salthill – a suburb overflowing with B&Bs and Guesthouses, some of them excellent (rooms from €70 to €110.00+ depending on quality.
Day 2 – Burren & Cliffs of Moher
Today begins with a private drive along Galway Bay with views of the Aran Islands and Twelve Bens Mountains back in Connemara. As we drive you’ll notice the landscape becomes quite surreal – we are now entering the famous limestone Burren region of county Clare – one of Europe’s best preserved Karst plateaus.
If castles are your thing, there’s several in the area to check out including Dunguire Castle and Bunratty Castle. The highlight for most however are the Cliffs of Moher – 700ft tall walls of rock marking the end of western Europe and the Old World as it was known long ago. Your private guide can point out the best spots for photos and viewing.
For the more adventurous we can even arrange for you to view the Cliffs from the ocean on a boat cruise! (limited to scheduled sailing times). From here it is approx one hour drive to Shannon Airport or three hours to Dublin. Unless you would like to make alternative arrangements, the average return time to Dublin is 20:00pm.
A little about us…
Private tours are a speciality here at Kennedy & Carr. A partnership of Ireland’s leading tourism entrepreneurs, we can provide you with a private guide and state-of-the-art vehicle to give you maximum freedom and flexibility for your excursion.
Enjoy the comfort, safety and class of our Mercedes- Benz touring fleet; Sedans for couples, Vans / MPVs for families and larger buses / coaches for extended familes and larger groups of friends. Travel as it should be.