I’m hoping to tour Wales in early October, then visit friends in Galway, Ireland mid-month. What’s the best (cheap but pleasant) way to get there, and where should I head toward the end of my Wales wandering to catch the flight/ferry/bus?
'Best' is always a matter of personal preference. Personally, I'd just take the fast ferry from Holyhead to Dublin then the bus to Galway. Straightforward, safe, efficient and comfortable enough.
No method of travel is less 'pleasant'. If you fly you have the hassle of security and queues and are unlikely to see anything of interest. If you take the ferry there can be choppy seas and seasickness if you are susceptible.
Taking the ferry as a foot passenger will be cheaper than flying, especially once you have factored in baggage costs plus transport to/from the airport.
www.nationalrail.co.uk will give you train times, details and fares for getting to the relevant Welsh ports (or English airports).
www.nationalexpress.com will give you long-distance bus times, details and fares ditto. This includes combined bus + ferry tickets from some places in Wales to Dublin but note that it's an overnight trip and that buses do not run every day of the week.
https://www.traveline.cymru/ will give you times and details for local buses in Wales.
You have the following options from Wales to Ireland.
1. Get to Holyhead on Anglesey the island of Anglesey is worth visiting for itself) and take the Stena or Irish Ferries boat to Dublin. Journey time is from a couple of hours, depending on ferry type.
Irish Ferries: https://www.stenaline.nl/en-GB-nl/ireland
Both companies offer Sail & Rail tickets which offer deals on combined train & ferry fares.
3. Use www.skyscanner.com to find flights to Dublin. Depending on your Welsh itinerary, the nearest and easiest departure airports will be Liverpool, Birmingham (England), Cardiff or Bristol. All have regular direct flights to Dublin.
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