Ireland is often known as the Land of 1,000 Welcomes, but when it comes to transportation around County Clare, it comes with certain challenges. It is often advised that if you’re going out to western Ireland, one should rent a car to see the sights as everything is spread out and there’s a lot of ground to cover. Not everyone can do so due to the crazy rental insurance on the vehicles. Add in horror stories about the different rental agencies and people not wanting to drive on the other side of the road, it’s understandable that renting a car might not be for you.
Important Genreal Ireland Transportation Links:
Bus Eireann - http://www.buseireann.ie/
Bus Eireann Regional By County- http://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=245
Rail Services - http://www.irishrail.ie/
City bus/tram maps - https:/…
Gobus (Galway to Dublin) - https://www.gobus.ie/
Eire Eagle Bus (Galway/Limerick to Dublin Airport) - https://www.eireagle.com/
To and From Shannon Airport
If you’re flying into or out of Shannon Airport, you should know upfront that there is no direct route to Dublin. You have to go through either Galway or Limerick as a gateway to Dublin. There are several buses and taxi options available:
The X51 Express Galway- Shannon Airport - Limerick
The 51 Local
Bus Eireann 343 Limerick – Shannon- Ennis
This has got some great information on distance and the 2018 going rate for taxis to various places. The takeaway is that it’s typically €1.40 per km or €2.25 per mile is the approximate fare to various destinations throughout the country, subject to negotiation with your taxi driver before you start your fare.
County Clare Transport Options
I found this great link that covers much of the information I was looking for here:
It covers a ton of transportation options like bus routes, bike rental, ferries, amongst other things. The links don’t always work for some of the individual companies, but it’s a good resource nonetheless and a great starting point!
CLARE BUS - http://www.clarebus.ie/
I have contacted ClareBus, which is on the list to ask some general questions. While it is available for tourist use, it is more suited for domestic use rather than for the tourist. It is aimed at the rural person getting transport to other transport links (bus and train) or for doing the shopping or going to the post office. Rides must be scheduled in advance. If you wish to contact with questions (the person I corresponded with was very kind and patient) you can do so at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Clare Bus is a non-profit organisation. Please Note: Routes and timetables are very limited. You must ring +353 61 924375/1890 687287 to book your place, tickets can be purchased online, or on the bus.
Shuttle - The Cliffs of Moher Hop On Hop Off Bus from Doolin
This shuttle bus, run by Paddywagon Tours, will take you up and down the cliffs to different points.
E-Whizz Electric Bikes http://www.e-whizz.com/wordpress/index.php
Prices as of July 2018: €130 for 2 ebikes including delivery for two days, not including €100 per bike deposit.
Doolin Rent-a-bike http://www.doolinrentabike.ie/
Prices as of July 2018: Bikes are €15 each per day and you can bring them on the ferry to the Aran Islands. No deposit info given.
Tierney’s Cycles https://www.clarebikehire.com/
Rothai InishOirr http://www.rothai-inisoirr.com/
Getting to the Tourist Sites
As we’re staying in Doolin, all of my planning begins at this point, specifically the Rainbow Hostel Bus Stop, which is the closest to our B&B.
Bus Eireann 350 Galway – Doolin – Cliffs of Moher – Ennis
Doolin Cave – Get off the 350 bus at the Ballinalacken Castle Stop and walk 1000 feet south to Doolin Cave Entrance.
Fanore Beach – Get off at the Munough Bridge and walk south 1Km to Beach.
Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center – Get off at the Cliffs of Moher Coach Park Bus Stop
The Burren – The Burren covers a great deal of area in Clare County, and access is limited by public transport. The Poulnabrone Dolmen, the Caherconnell Stone Fort, Ailwee Cave, and the Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb are all on R480, a 21 mile road in the middle of County Clare, which has no direct bus route. The closest bus routes to get there would be to take the Bus Eireann 350 to Ballyvaughan and go south, or the Bus 333 to Lemenagh Castle and go north. Renting a bike or taking a cab from would be advisable unless you like long hikes on tiny roads.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it touches on a great many options. Your mileage may vary. Good luck!