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10 days in Ireland - itinerary help needed

10 days in Ireland - itinerary help needed

Jul 29th, 2006, 06:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 17
10 days in Ireland - itinerary help needed

Hello! I will be in Ireland with my boyfriend for 11 days during October. We will fly into Knock airport and out of Dublin. We plan on renting a car. Below is the itinerary we are considering...I would appreciate any feedback as to the choices we`ve made and also if anyone has particular suggestions as to what we must not miss in each area and B&Bs you`ve particularly enjoyed!
Much thanks in advance.
3rd - Connemara, County Mayo
4th - Aran Islands
5th - Cliffs of Moher, Burren
6th - An Daingean
7th - Kenmare
8th - Kinsale
9th - Cashel
10th - drive to Dublin, drop the car off and sightsee
11th - Dublin
12th - Bru Na Boinne
13th - flight to UK
jenniferchantal is offline  
Jul 29th, 2006, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,216
Are you spending only one night in each place for your entire trip except Dublin? If so it seems fast paced. Lots of time in the car going from place to place. Run it through the AA website and divide the mileage by 35 to get actual drive times: http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/
IrishEyes is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 02:00 AM
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Posts: 17
That's what I was afraid of - however, I went to www.viamichelin.com and mapped out the driving time per day. It ends up being two days driving an hour and a half, two days driving three hours and three days driving 2 hours. I really wanted to avoid having days with 5 or 6 hours of driving. This seems reasonable - do you still think it`s too much?
jenniferchantal is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
You will enjoy the delightful places you are passing through if you just say at least 2 nights and actually see them, I promise! For example we had 3 nights in Dingle, and barely had enough time for the gorgeous Dingle Peninsula drive, which takes most of a day by the time you get out and look around and take photos etc. We spent 4 hours in the fascinating Great Blasket Island center. We wanted to take the boat to the Great Blasket Island but it was too late in the day. WE didn't have any time for shopping at all in Dingle. WE barely had enough time to eat! That just gives you a sample of why people are suggesting that you slow down. No use in driving by someplace if you don't have time to enjoy it.

Driving in Ireland is slow, no way around it. Also you will get lost a few times. You might as well slow down and enjoy Ireland.

Also meals are slow in Ireland. Especially in the southwest and the west even lunch is slow by American standards. You have to go at Irish pace.

Here is one suggestion I have for you. Choose either Kenmare or Dingle, and spend 2 nights there. You don't need both, as even though they are different, they are still in the southwest region. Save one for next trip!

If you allow only 1 day for the Cliffs of Moher you may find them all rained out and fogged in for example, the weather can fowl up your plans.

Choose Cashel or Bru Na Boinne, that's my suggestion, to represent your "ancient ruins". Leave the other one for your next tour.

I hope this helps! Ireland is gorgeous, wild, and musical.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,137
To me, the charm of Ireland can't really be discovered from within your car. It's best to base yourself in a few places, go on terrific day trips and give yourself hours to spend visiting in the corner pub, walking in the hills, having a picnic on the cliff overlooking the ocean.

You'll have a great time if you select 4 places and spend quality time in those places. Like this:
3 days: Westport, Galway or Clifden
1 - 2 days: Co. Clare
3 - 4 days: Kenmare
3 days: Dublin

It takes so long getting from place to place, checking in and out of accomodations, finding a place to eat... I think you'll have more fun going at a slower pace.
rosetravels is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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Thank-you Melissa5 and Rosetravels for your words of wisdom and also for your suggested itinerary. It`s quite overwhelming and difficult to choose when everything seems like a `must see`.
jenniferchantal is offline  
Jul 30th, 2006, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146
Jennifer, Most of Ireland is a must see. Pick a few places, slow down and enjoy them. I've been 8 times and still haven't gotten up to the northwest. When I go, I pick a place or two and walk,talk, look and love every minute. You can always go back.
chatham is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi jennifer:

The driving between points is not terrible though driving times on both michelin and aa are much less than actuality. the 35 MPH driving estimate from Irish Eyes is spot on.

I think what most people might consider stressful is packing up everyday and moving to a new place. You only seem to have one multiple night stay and that's at the end. I'm not sure on how you are planning the Aran Islands trip (overnight or day trip)

That said, it can be done though it's not my favorite way to travel. What you may find is that you get to each town with just enough time to say you've been there, but not much time to explore. For instance, Doolin (just randomly guessing that is where you will stay in Clare) to Dingle will take 4+ hours with the ferry ride depending on your timing. You've got to head to Kenmare the next day, so do you do the Dingle Peninsula that day (which to me can fill a day) or the next morning and then race to Kenmare. Of course, if you do that, you will perhaps miss a lot of the beauty around Kenmare ....

Looking at the itinerary that Rose gave you, it would work fine. It may leave out some things that you "must" see" so you may want to alter it a bit. Seeing Dingle from Kenmare is not particularly easy. Quickly looking at yours, I would leave out the Arans and Kinsale. The Arans will be very quiet in October which will be nice, but if the weather is anything less than glorious, it may not be the best use of your time. I didn't visit the Arans until my 6th trip ... loved it by the way, but we stayed overnight. I don't believe the Doolin ferries are still running at that time of year. If this is a must, consider flying from Inverin. It doesn't cost much more and can save valuable time that would be spent on a boat. Again, don't go if the weather is rainy or misty.

Kinsale is nice but not necessary given your time limitations. Dingle and Kinsale are of similar flavor.

You might perhaps try a couple of nights in Connemara, I love Westport, but it's not quite as central as other places. This year I stayed in Oughterard and it was quite nice. We stayed on Lough Corrib and I'll need to look up the name of the place because half of them are Watersomething. I get them confused.

The Atlantic View in Doolin is just a bit out of town (near the pier) and has beautiful views of the cliffs. One room has a view of both the Cliffs and Arans.

When I visit Dingle, I stay at The Shores on the nort coast of the Peninsula. The best B&B I've found. Nobody that I have sent there has ever been disappointed. Annette is an amazing hostess and her 13 yo daughter is beginning to take on some of the cooking duties. The apple fell directly under the tree.

I still haven't nailed down that perfect Kenmare B&B. I like to stay out of town at places with views and the Harbour View is nice, but many of the rooms are painfully small and if the place is crowded, there can be serious parking problems. That's not likely to be the case in October and you may be able to request a downstairs room there which are large enough.

Cashel would provide a nice break between the SW and Dublin and consider Cahir also. The place I used to stay in Cahir is now closed. There is Carrigeen Castle in Cahir which is a neat old building run by a woman that either rubs you the wrong way or the right way. I had no problem with her though she is not particularly warm. She runs a tight ship. The building is actually the old jail and is really very interesting. My sister loved staying there. The prices are B&B like. It's certainly worth one visit.

Book your Dublin rooms asap. I last stayed at the Pembroke Townhouse in Balsbridge which is a healthy walk or a short bus ride to the city center. I liked it because it was in a very quiet and nice neighborhood. I would stay there again.

Hope this helps as a start. If you would like to read some of my adventures here are the websites to three of my Ireland trips:




They are long and full of too much detail and the links on the 2002 one are certainly out of date in some cases. None-the-less, they may provide you with some info.

Hope this helps.

wojazz3 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,216

Just outside Kenmare with wonderful views of the river is Sallyport House. It is not cheap but the experience is worth paying for. First class luxury in an understated way. It is full of antiques yet comfortable and not stuffy. The breakfast is a feast. Try it next time.
IrishEyes is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I believe I drove by that on the way in. There are also a couple of B&Bs near the Harbour View and I forgot to write down their names. I'll check the Sallyport though. As I remeber, it looked upscale.

wojazz3 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 901

everyone has already given you great advice about paring down your traveling and staying, preferably, 2-3 nights in each place you choose.

As for Kenmare, we found a perfect B&B (for us anyway) at Shelburne Lodge about a 10 minute walk from town center. It just has a rugged charm to it, and the owner who usually cooks breakfast is the lady who started Packie's (great restaurant in town).

Bill and IrishEyes, the only thing it lacked was a view of the river. We considered Sallyport House, which looked outstanding, but our budget said no.
beach_dweller is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:43 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Bill - Thanks for taking the time to reply. You`ve also given me a fair bit to think about.
I'm going to work on this and get back to you for more advice!
jenniferchantal is offline  

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