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Ireland in July - Some Advice/Suggestions

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So, a previously planned trip to Europe fell apart this week and while trying to figure out where we should go (we almost came down to just throwing a dart at the map) we stumbled on Ireland! I can't believe this wasn't at the top, since one of my bucket list trips is to drive around Ireland. So....here we are, trying to plan a last minute trip. OK, I say last minute, but it's really for early July (usually I spend a year planning my trips).

We would arrive either 7/7 or 7/8, and we just need to be back in the US by the 23rd as we have an Alaskan cruise departing on the 27th (as a Professor I get limited travel time in the summer, so I make the most of it!). So, we could potentially stretch this into a longer trip. Initially we were thinking 10 days, but I know I need more. So, we could go as much as 14-15 days on the ground. Of course, I want to see it all. I'm slowly reading through my guidebook to try to figure out an itinerary so determine our flights, etc.

We are planning on renting a car. We are not super outdoorsy people....so we won't be doing any hiking or any of that (DH is also disabled and can't do a ton of walking anyways). We want scenery and castles.

DH prefers hotels that have television and I prefer B&Bs, so we'll likely compromise and do a mix.

We'll arrive and depart from Dublin.

I was thinking that we would spend the arrival day in Dublin. So possibly not rent the car until day 2. Would it be a pain to pick it up on day 2? Or maybe stay outside of Dublin and just train in for the sightseeing.

I want to see Belfast, Giants causeway, the Cliffs, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, and a ton of countryside. I see a lot of talk about Galway as a base for a few nights and then maybe Killarney.

We don't mind spending time in the car....but then stopping and jumping out when we see something interesting. So many of our vacations are planned to the T, but this time I am just letting go and winging it. Except for booking the car and the hotels, I just want to wander and see Ireland.

Am I nuts? How best to squeeze in Belfast? That is would you do Belfast as a 1 night or as a day trip from a Dublin-area base? Use that Dublin-area base to see the Giants causeway?

A friend suggested renting two houses: One outside of Dublin for a week, and another in the SW area for a week. But it seems like that would be too much driving back and forth to the base. That it would be better to stay on the move, but staying for a few days in each place.

Sorry for seeming so lost....like I said, we're just diving into this....and I haven't done as much homework as I'd like, but I'm afraid that the longer we wait the less likely we will be able to get our ideal flights, car, hotels.

I appreciate any and all advice.

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