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Comments on Itinerary

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We leave in 6 short days for Dublin. We will be in Ireland for a total of 17 days (15 full days on the ground). For me, this is the least planned trip I've ever done....usually I spend a year planning things and this was only organized starting back in April/May.

I'm just looking for some advice on extra things to see in areas or interesting routes to take. Our accommodations are all set, so I won't be messing with that.

We are flying in and out of DUB and are renting via Hertz (using Easy Tour Ireland's website - but we have a backup reservation).

We are NOT nature people (i.e., no hiking) and don't really drink. I'm a big history buff.

My current budget (which may need revisions because I based on a stronger euro and so I'm about 15% over) is:

hotels - $2000

food - $100 USD per day for 2 people (keeping in mind that all breakfasts are free) = $1500

car rental - $600

gas - $550 (I'm figuring about 3000 kms)

sightseeing & souvenirs - $800

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Day 1: Dublin overnight at The Merrion hotel

HOHO bus: Must sees are Trinity College, National Museum, Christ Church, and St. Patricks. Wander down Grafton and hit Temple Bar area for dinner.

Extras - National Gallery, Kilmainham Gaol.

Day 2: Pick up car and drive to Belfast. Overnight at Tara Lodge.

Paddy Campbell tour booked for 4 PM. Must sees are Falls Rd & Shankhill Road. Exterior of city hall (not open Sundays).

No interest in Titanic stuff.

Day 3: Belfast to Derry. Rose Park House.

Carrickfergus, Cushendall/Cushendun, Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Derry.

City walls walk (Rick Steves), Bogside murals walk (Rick Steves), guildhall, St. Columb's cathedral.

Day 4: Derry to Sligo. Iona B&B.

Grianan ring fort, Glenveagh castle, Donegal, Sligo. Possible stop at Belleek. Visit Carrowmore, Sligo Abbery, St. Johns Cathedral.

Day 5: Sligo to Clifden. Dun Ri Guesthouse (2 nights).

Foxford Woollen mills, Westport House, down R335 for scenic views and into Clifden. Clifden castle.

Day 6: Explore Connemara. Sky Road, Kylemore Abbey, Renvyle Castle. Travel along R341.

Day 7: Clifden to Ennis. Grey Gables (2 nights).

N59 to Galway: Oughterard (Maam Cross), Aughnanure Castle, Moycullen. Lunch and a few hours in Galway (Eyre Square, Claddagh, Latin Quarter).

Kinvara - Dunguaire castle.

Possible stop at Cliffs if time permits. Otherwise save for tomorrow.

Day 8: Explore Burren/Clare. Aimless driving day.

Day 9: Ennis to Dingle. Pax House (2 nights).

Knappogue castle, Bunratty Castle, Adare (thatch roof houses, priories).

Day 10: Dingle exploration. Dingle peninsula loop and explore Dingle town. Minard castle?

Day 11: Dingle to Kenmare. Abbey Court (2 nights).

Killarney - Aghadoe, Muckross house/friary, Ross castle.

Stone circle in Kenmare.

Day 12: Ring of Kerry drive - Staigue ring fort, Derrynane house, waterview, Skellig ring.

Day 13: Kenmare to Kinsale. Cloisters B&B.

Beara peninsula drive (cutting it short by taking R574).

Day 14: Kinsale to Kilkenny. Rosquil House.

Blarney castle, Cashel, Cahir. In Kilkenny: Black abbey, Kilkenny castle, St. Canice's cathedral.

Day 15: Kilkenny to Ardee. Smarmore Castle.

Wicklow (friary & black castle), Glendalough, Roundwood. In Ardee see Ardee castle & Hatch's castle.

Day 16: Tour Boyne Valley. Holiday Inn airport.

Newgrange, Monasterboice, Trim castle, Mellifont Abbey (some can be done on previous day if time permits).

Car rental needs to be returned by 7 PM.

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