An enjoyable way to get from West Kerry up to Couny Clare, instead of taking the route all the way up into the traffic of Limerick, is to go to Tarbert and take the ferry across.to Killimer. My part of the trip from Ballybunion to Ennis saved 40 kms. Only takes about 20 mins to get across and I am sure the views of the Shannon are nicer than the suburbs of Limerick and without the inherent traffic problems.
Price was 18€ for the vehicle including all passengers, but can be had for cheaper by booking online.
For me it was much cheaper to fly in to Dublin than to Belfast and as there is a bus from Dublin airport to Belfast that was a good option for me. Goldline service 200 runs every hour (almost) between Dublin and Belfast. The buses leave 20 minutes past every hour from Dublin Airport and leave Belfast on the hour.
My flight was supposed to land at 11.20 so I hoped to catch the 12.20 bus. To my luck the plane landed almost 25 minutes too early so I could take the 11.20 bus. The bus stop is Stop 8 Atrium Road and it is only a few minutes away from the arrival hall. Just follow the signs from the arrival hall and turn right as you leave, cross the road, walk through a building and you will have the bus stop on your left. Tickets can be bought from a machine at the bus stop, but can also be bought on board the bus. I bought a return ticket for 20 Euro (February 2011) and they are valid for one month. The bus made a few stops along the way and arrived at Europa BusCentre in Belfast 2 hours and 5 minutes after we had left Dublin airport. From the bus station it was only a 10 minutes walk to the hostel where I was going to stay.
Going back to Dublin airport I took the bus leaving 8.00 from Belfast. Suddenly the bus stopped and a man came aboard asking for passport or id-card. I saw we were standing in front of a sign saying Welcome to County Louth and I realised this was the boarder to The Republic of Ireland.
To and from the airport it is very convenient to use AirLink buses. When you go out of the arrival hall take the left exit and you will see the green double decker just outside. It takes about 30 - 35 minutes to the central bus station of Dublin, Busaras, which is the end stop. From the same spot you can take the bus back to the airport. The ticket is 6 Euro (February/March 2007).
Hi All, Long time reader, first time poster. Love the forum and always check here for tips when using a new service, especially on travel. It is a great resource. I wanted to share my experience of a recent dealing with a company specialising in travel and chauffeured services. As I say first post for me, but I was so delighted with them I wanted to share it! I had a key client of my company coming to visit our Dublin offices recently, and being Irish-American they wanted to see some of the sites while here. The guy was travelling with his wife and kids, and wanted to see an ancestral home, and some other stuff like Glendalough, Powerscourt etc. Normal tourist stuff, but quite spread out and they only really had a limited window to do it. I was asked to pull together an itinerary for this family, to follow on from our meetings and to be honest I was struggling. They didn’t want to drive, so that ruled out car hire. All the sites were rural and quite dispersed so public transport wasn’t an option. So on the off chance I contacted Optimum Chauffeur Drive Ireland, who are used by my company as our corporate chauffeur firm. I didn’t think they would be interested in doing a public/family type thing, but might give me a lead that would. How wrong I was! The guys at optimum were brilliant! They pulled together a great day for the family, in a nice car with a knowledgeable driver who acted as a tour guide. He escorted them around, arranged tickets fort he attractions that needed it, and even arranged a lunch stop off en route which they loved. It turns out they do this all the time, and often for the American visitors.. The feedback from the guys who took the tour was fantastic, they said it made their trip to Ireland (and I came out looking very good for arranging it!) So if you are looking for a chauffeured service in Ireland, or to arrange a tour I cannot recommend these guys highly enough. They seem to really pull out the stops and the whole package was very very reasonable, far less than I would have expected. Thanks Optimum! www.optimumchauffeurdrive.ie P
You can buy a 'SailRail' combined ferry & train ticket from Dublin Ferryport to London or ANY train station in Britain (York, Bath, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, wherever) for just 40 euros, any time, any day, one price covers both the ferry AND the connecting trains.
Book it online at www.irishferries.com.
Tickets can be collected at Dublin Ferryport.
The price is fixed: It's 40 euros even if you need to travel tomorrow! Dublin-London 40 euros, Dublin-York 40 euros, Dublin-Edinburgh 40 euros, an amazing bargain.
Recommended service leaves Dublin Ferryport 08:05, arrives London around 17:38 after a relaxing and scenic crossing of the Irish sea by cruise ferry, and a trip along the north Wales coast by air-conditioned inter-city train to central London.
It's 6 euros extra if you use their Swift fast ferry rather than the excellent cruise ferry 'Ulysses'.
Tip: For 18 euros more you can use the VIP Club Lounge on the Ulysses with complimentary tea, coffee, red and white wine and smoked salmon canapes.
The absolute best way to tour Dublin is to use what they call "The Hop On and Hop Off Bus". Essentially, these buses are run by a couple of different companies but really do the same tour. A ticket is purchased for a 24 hour period and you can get off and on as many times as you want. The tour takes you to about 15 of Dublin's most popular tourist sites and if you like one you can exit the bus and then get back on when you're ready. If you have only a short time in Dublin this will give you a good overview. If your stay is more than a few days you can return to one of the stops for a lengthy visit.
These buses are double decker and the best view is from the top level but bring a sweater because you are basically sitting outside, it can be cold up there.
You can make reservations ahead of time but unless you're traveling at the very peak of tourist season I don't think it's really necessary.
The airport bus (Airlink), which will take you from Dublin International Airport into the city centre, costs €6 (Jul 2008 price), but if you want to go to Temple Bar, or other places on the route, you can get the local bus (16A) and pay €1.90 (Jul 2008 price) for the 40-60 minute ride.
Route information and times for the 16A can be found here: http://www.dublinbus.ie/your_journey/viewer.asp?route=16a
You can search for bus routes via the same website: http://www.dublinbus.ie/home/
You can also buy tickets online.
NOTE: You will need exact change to buy tickets on the local Dublin buses, or you can buy from ticket machines located at some stops, including the airport, with coins or €5 notes (it doesn't accept larger notes), and get change.
Planning my trip I have found the website for Ireland's national bus company (Bus Eireann) incredibly useful. It has printable timetables even down to the smallest routes.
Busiest days seem to be Friday and Sunday.
This site also links directly to the train service (Iarnrod Eireann). The site is as useful but the network is nowhere as nearly comprehensive.
Bus - Dublin to Waterford (one-way) EUR 10.50
Train - Dublin to Waterford (one-way) EUR 22
When you don't have a car Bus Eireann is a good substitute.The buses are very comfortable and you can get all sort of different passes that will make it cheap as well
The only problem is that to some destinations there are only 2 or sometimes just one connection a day but from what I understand they are rapidly improving this
Since I had only 16 days to see as much of Ireland as I could I even planed the bus times ahead through the internetsite of Bus Eireann and it all worked out perfectly.
The main tourist routes of the West of Ireland's Shannon Region are linked via the Killimer-Tarbert car ferry. This 20 minute journey across the Shannon Estuary will save 85 miles (137 km) from ferry terminal to ferry terminal.
Times may vary, check schedules.
1st April - 30th September Departure, Monday - Saturday, Sunday
every hour on the hour
07.00 - 21.00
09.00 - 21.00
every hour on the half hour
07.30 - 21.30
09.30 - 21.30
1st June - 30th September
(peak holiday season)
Two ferries operate, to give an additional half-hourly service between 10:30 and 18:00 from each side.
1st October - 31st March Departure- all week
every hour on the hour
07.00 - 19.00
10.00 - 19.00
every hour on the half hour
07.30 - 19.30
10.30 - 19.30
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