10 night itinerary Ireland - Help!

Old Jan 21st, 2012, 12:24 PM
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10 night itinerary Ireland - Help!

My husband and I are planning a 10 night trip to Ireland in June. As we have a huge bucket list of countries to visit, this will likely be our only trip. Our dilemma is whether to definitely include Dublin and fly in and out of Dublin, or concentrate on the west/southwest and fly in and out of Shannon and then how to divide up the trip. We have to go in and out of one airport to get travel coupons from our credit card company.

We love great cities, but generally prefer gorgeous countryside, small villages, etc.

If we fly in to Dublin, does this look like a good plan?

Dublin 2 nights (or is 1 enough just to get a feel?)
Kilkenny 1 night
Kinsale 1 night (Rock of Cashel on the way)
Kenmare 2 nights (leisurely drive through Beara Peninsula, Killarney National Park the next day)
Dingle 2 nights
Doolin 2 nights
Drive directly from Doolin to Dublin Airport

An alternative would be to stay in Dublin 2 nights and drive directly to Kinsale with stops along the way and add a night in Galway, which is a little closer to Dublin airport than Doolin and allows us the possiblity of doing some of the drive towards Connemara.
Another option is first and last night in Dublin, more transportation issues, but closer to the airport the last night.

If we forgo Dublin and go in to Shannon we would spend more time from Kinsale up to Galway and Connemara, would we regret not seeing Dublin?

also, another question is whether Beara, Dingle, Burren will satisfy us and be sufficient and ok to let go of Connemara.

I know, a lot of questions, but there are so many places that look fabulous and with every choice to do something, you have to let something else go. I personally like to get it all, totally unreaslistic, so try my best to get the best itinerary I can!!
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 12:41 PM
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With only 10 nights the conventional wisdom is to draw a line east to west and stay one side of it or the other. My personal recommendation would be in and out of Shannon and concentrate on the southwest. Or, check out my blog of my most recent trip at http://travelpod.com/members/jjarnold and choose Lucky Horseshoe Tour. We did fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. We had 8 nights but no problem to add 2 in a number of places and this could certainly be done from Shannon. Didn't spend any time in Dublin except what the sat nav drove us through on the way out.
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 01:00 PM
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Hi Seagulls, so happy for your!! We were on a similar trip a couple of years ago, where we flew into Shannon and departed from Dublin. High level: we started from Cliffs of Moher and drove through Co. Clare, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wicklow with a final stop in Dublin where we spent 3 nights (which we ultimately found excessive, 1 night would have sufficed, IMHO - knowing what we know now, we would have skipped Dublin altogether - just not as charming/enchanting as the small towns and villages we'd stumbled upon - we felt equally about Cork City and stayed only 1 afternoon). The highlights of our trip were Kenmare (Park Hotel Kenmare) and Kilkenny (Butler House - top room floor, facing the gardens/castle).

Given your itinerary, I would recommend flying into Shannon and perhaps departing from Galway or Belfast? We are planning another trip to Ireland this year (West Coast and "Northern Ireland" - i.e., UK - flying into Shannon and departing from Belfast).

Have a blast and happy planning!!
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 01:12 PM
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We went to Ireland for just a week, so we cut Dublin out. We flew in and out of Shannon, spent 1 night in Doolin (highly recommend Sue Daly's B & B), 2 nights in Dingle, 2 nights at Ring of Kerry and one last night in Shannon. We loved our time, but I think an extra night at each location would have been best, so we were definitely glad we cut Dublin out on that trip. We are saving Dublin and Connemara for a future trip. It takes time to get from one location to the next, and you want time out of your car to enjoy that gorgeous countryside.
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 03:54 PM
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I think your itinerary is just fine and I would not eliminate Dublin from it--it is well worth seeing. The only thing I might change is flying out of Shannon rather than Dublin, if possible. If you can't change that or if it is too costly to change it, then driving from Doolin to Dublin on the day you depart should work out OK. (We had a problem with our return flight in May and we had to fly out of Dublin rather than Shannon as originally planned. We drove from Corofin to Dublin and it was not a bad 3 hour drive at all. According to the AA Route Planner, it should take about 3.5 hours to drive from Doolin to the Dublin Airport.)
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Old Jan 22nd, 2012, 09:55 AM
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Thank you for your input so far. In talking to more people and thinking about it, am revising our plan. Will do the first 2 nights in Dublin and instead of doing any of the Southwest will drive the first day out of Dublin directly to Kenmare and stay there 2 nights. (Would still like to see the Beara Peninsula, so might do some of that and Killarney National Park the next day), then 2 nights in Dingle, 2 nights in Doolin and 2 nights in Galway (closer to go back to Dublin from there and will have a chance to see some of the coast going up towards Connemara. I know it's a long drive to Kenmare, but I think it's best to not take the time to stay in either Kilkenny or Kinsale, when I know we'll truly enjoy the West coast more. Any reactions? thanks!
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