14-day Ireland Itinerary

Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 40
14-day Ireland Itinerary

Looking for some recommendations or sample trips for 14 days in Ireland. Would arrive/depart from Shannon.

Interested in doing big loop with own rental car.

Is it worth trying to get to see Dublin, or would it be better to just skip that and only go as far as Kilkenny area? Was thinking something like below in this order:


Would prefer to stay at most places for minimum of two nights.

Any suggestion?

bdesaul is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
bdesaul, we had a great first trip to Ireland in summer 2006. I started out the planning process with questions similar to yours. Skip dublin or not? See Cashel or not?

I researched a lot...actually I have a whole shelf of Ireland guidebooks! Spent many happy hours on the web agonizing about what to leave out.

You know what? As long as you research well, once you arrive, regrets about places you skipped disappear...and become pale ghosts...compared to what's real and right there under your feet and before your eyes! The only regrets we had were not having MORE days to spend in the places we were seeing.

The places we enjoyed the most were the places where we spent 3 nights...more time to enjoy. Loved spending 3 nights on the Dingle peninsula; we ended up wishing we had an extra night to get over to the Great Blasket Island.

We flew into shannon and out of Dublin...that worked fine for us..however we didn't actually see Dublin. Next Time...

We saw Belfast instead of Dublin as that is where my grandmother grew up. Belfast is a great city!

3 nights in County Clare were just right, enough time to include the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and dunguaire castle medieval banquet.

Loved 3 nights in Westport, County Mayo, where there are fewer American tourists and more Irish and also european tourists...Great music in Westport. Nice sized town.

I'm babbling too much. In my opinion, there's no way to do Ireland "wrong", except that for us, going too fast feels "wrong". Our daughters, who are now 19 and 21, and my husband and I all prefer to choose a fascinating area and settle there for 3 nights as a base, taking day-trips from there.

Good luck! Just choose places you love, and a minimum stay of 2 nights per place is a great idea.

Driving will be slow on narrow winding roads.

Ireland is friendly, green, and each small town has its community pubs with great trad music, which I loved.

Didn't see Blarney, Kinsale, Waterford, Kilkenny, or Cashel.

Loved Dingle and Dingle peninsula as I mentioned...I could have spent a week there as a base, with day-trips out from there...Loved staying at Heaton's guesthouse in dingle...

Drove through Galway and stopped for a couple hours of shopping. Major traffic jams around Galway as Galway is busting at the seams...not my kind of place. I was glad to move on, too crowded for me, although my daughters noticed an increased number of young people their age hanging about, which they thought was interesting.

The other places we saw aren't on your list...loved County Clare, where we also spent 3 nights...

I posted a question about Dublin, a Must-See or a Waste of time...let's see if I can find it for you...

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,254
bdesaul, I found and topped for you the discussion on Dublin...a Must-See or a Waste of Time. I'm sure Dublin is a wonderful vibrant city, but I worded the question that way to get a variety of different responses when I was trying to build my itinerary. I ended up deciding we would enjoy Dublin on our next trip...we skipped Dublin on our first trip as we were concentrating on the SW, the West, and the NE of Ireland.

Enjoy your trip!

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146
bdesaul, Melissa5 said it so well. Take your time and stay a few days at your stops. I've never stayed in Galway city but have spent about 10 days in the county. Dingle is a wonderful place. I actually enjoyed Blarney off-season because of the gardens around the Castle. I stayed in the hotel connected to the gift shop. Didn't care that much for Kinsale. Too crowded. Kilkenny was a very good visit for a few days. I'll always remember seeing The Rock of Cashel lit at night from our hotel.

Melissa, it was so good to hear from you again. You know, you need to check in with your friends here. Where are you going next?
Kind Regards, Joan
chatham is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Joan, Melissa is off to New Zealand. Click on her name to see her discussions about that.
IrishEyes is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 40
Thanks for all the wonderful info. I am convinced now to just skip Dublin based on my research.

So now I am thinking I will revisit and try to stay 3 nights at most places and do day trips from each location. Starting from Shannon and making nice loop around.
bdesaul is offline  
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