16 days in Ireland

Oct 27th, 2012, 12:09 AM
  #1  
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16 days in Ireland

Together with my husband we are thinking to going to Ireland for 16 days, around September or October 2013. We have already been to Scotland around 2 years ago, and we loved it. We are a young couple 30 yrs, no children and our interests are museums, nice medievel cities, culture, castles and nice landscape (no need to be mountains). We use buses and trains to travel around. We can either fly into Cork and out from Dublin or the way round. What bases do you suggest that I can use to see some nice places, Dublin for sure. We would like to be based in 2 or 3 locations, that we can easily reach other cities via train or bus as day trips. In terms of cost, is Ireland more expensive then Austria or Italy? We do not stay at high hotels, infact we prefer either small nice hotels or Guest Houses...even for dinner, we just normally eat at not cheap restaurants but budget..lets say Euro30 for a meal for 2 (main + drinks).
reutiz is offline  
Oct 27th, 2012, 12:31 AM
  #2  
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Republic of Ireland and not North Ireland
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Oct 27th, 2012, 01:32 AM
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I'll kick this one off... For a medieval theme I suggest Kilkenny and Carlingford. Kilkenny is about 1.5 hours south of Dublin and Carlingford about 1.5 hours North of Dublin.

You can do both as a day trip from Dublin, but I would suggest an overnight in both to get a feel for the atmosphere. Plus there are plenty of places to visit around them so they are valid places in their own right (e.g. around Kilkenny you have Jerpoint Abbey, the picturesque town of Inistoige etc). Carlingford has a lovely ruined Abbey and is a good base for exploring the pretty Cooley peninsula.

Nice day trips from Dublin are Glendalough (for the round towers) and the Dublin suburbs by the sea which you can do by DART from Dublin (either North to Howth,or South to Dalkey and Sandycove).

You will need to up the budget for food - EUR30 will not get you 2 mains in most places, never mind mains plus drinks. You might do OK if you eat early as many places do early bird menus but the trade off is you will lose out on atmosphere as there won't be many people out early, or else it will be the families with small kids.
littlejane is offline  
Oct 27th, 2012, 01:58 AM
  #4  
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Upps I wanted to mean Euro30 per person sorry..so Euro60 in total
reutiz is offline  
Oct 27th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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Just a quick note. You've chosen a most scenic, friendly country to visit.

Have you considered driving? I would highly recommend it, after having driven the entire perimeter three times. Assuming you are Americans, don't let the "wrong side of the road" spook you. Many North American Fodorites and those from other "right side of the road" countries have done it.
tower is offline  
Oct 27th, 2012, 08:18 AM
  #6  
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Well we drive on the right side, and I'm from Malta, but we prefer not to drive abroad as we prefer to 'relax' by avoiding driving..
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Oct 27th, 2012, 08:25 AM
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I would also suggest that you consider driving rather than depending on public transportation. The trains and buses will get you where you need to go, but you are going to see those fantastic landscapes only as they quickly pass by your window. Also, you'll have no opportunity to stop and explore ruined castles, ringforts, etc. or get out and walk through some of those great landscapes.

Based on the many B&Bs I've stayed in during our trips to Ireland, you should be able to find good accommodations for around 30 - 35 euros per person per night.
longhorn55 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2012, 06:13 AM
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I would question why not the North? there is a line between Dublin and Westport which is neglected by tourists but has an awful lot to offer.
That said without a car you are going to need tourist bases for the coach trips out. So Dublin, Galway and Killarney would tick your boxes.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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Should mean to imply the area above the Dublin Westport line..but you would need a car.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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To get much off the beaten path and really see things --having a car is almost necessary.

You can travel around some by public transport - but you'll likely end up taking a lot of commercial coach tours to get to the scenic bits.

A lot of the rural W/SW areas aren't easily doable by bus/train.
janisj is offline  
Nov 10th, 2012, 04:12 AM
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Hi reutiz, if you're hoping for a relaxing holiday with Medieval cities and beautiful surroundings - your 16 days in Ireland will be well spent.

Autumn is a great time of year for Ireland as the weather is generally crisp and comfortable, the summer crowds have slowed, and there are festivals aplenty! Of particular interest check out the Galway Oyster Festival in September, Cork's Folk and Jazz Festivals (the first and last weeks in October respectively), and the Kinsale Gourmet Food Festival in October.

In terms of using public transportation, you may like to check out the website for the bus (www.buseireann.ie) and train (www.irishrail.ie) to get a feel for the easily accessible cities and towns. From central hubs like Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Limerick, and Galway - you can use local transport, private hire taxi services, or guided coach tours to get anywhere you're hoping to go. If you find that during your visit you'd prefer to have a car, you can always hire one once you arrive and get a feel for the place, as you will have plenty of time to explore. I would suggest if you're looking for ultimate flexibility to consider the unlimited travel passes explained in detail on the Irish Rail and Bus Eireann websites.

For Medieval Cities, littlejane's suggestions of Carlingford and Kilkenny are great options for day trips from Dublin. For Kilkenny in particular, I would suggest an overnight or two as the pubs really come to life in the evening with some of the best music on the island. From Kilkenny you can continue by train to Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland! From Waterford you can take the bus east to Wexford or south to coastal towns of Waterford and Cork. With public transportation you can continue in this way, going where Ireland takes you.

With 16 days you will have an opportunity to see quite a bit. If you're hoping to stay 5 days or so around 3 bases, Tony2Phones suggestion of Dublin, Killarney, and Galway would certainly fit the bill. I would suggest adding a 4th base in Cork to finish our your visit as well.

From Dublin you could explore the coastal fishing villages nearby on the Dart, taking guided coach tours to Newgrange Burial Tomb and Wicklow Mountains National Park, and take public transportation to access nearby cities such as Belfast to the North (2 hours), Galway to the west (2 hours), and Kilkenny to the south (1.5 hours).

Galway is a university town with great character and charm. For great food check out the Asian Teahouse, McSwiggan's Restaurant, and the famous fish and chips at McDonagh's. From Galway the day trips include a visit to Connemara National Park, Burren Mountains National Park, and the Aran Islands accessible by Ferry from Rossaveal or Doolin. This would be well worth 3-4 nights.

Killarney town is a very popular destination, well situated nearby to Killarney National park and the Ring of Kerry. I would say if you spend 3 nights here, you could also make time for Cork, which is accessible by bus.

Cork City is full of hidden gems, is extremely manageable by foot, and within easy reach of some fantastic attractions. 20 minutes by local bus service is Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone and some of the most beautiful grounds - particularly well coloured in Autumn. You can also access Kinsale, Ireland's food capital, within 30 minutes by bus or the Cobh Heritage town and Fota Island Resort within 15 minutes by train.

No matter where you decide to stay, you'll have access to great atmosphere, beautiful scenery and unbeatable craic, so enjoy! Best wishes for your upcoming visit!
Tourism_Ireland is offline  
Nov 10th, 2012, 04:14 AM
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Hi reutiz, if you're hoping for a relaxing holiday with Medieval cities and beautiful surroundings - your 16 days in Ireland will be well spent. Autumn is a great time of year for Ireland as the weather is generally crisp and comfortable, the summer crowds have slowed, and there are festivals aplenty! Of particular interest check out the Galway Oyster Festival in September, Cork's Folk and Jazz Festivals (the first and last weeks in October respectively), and the Kinsale Gourmet Food Festival in October. In terms of using public transportation, you may like to check out the website for the bus (www.buseireann.ie) and train (www.irishrail.ie) to get a feel for the easily accessible cities and towns. From central hubs like Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Limerick, and Galway - you can use local transport, private hire taxi services, or guided coach tours to get anywhere you're hoping to go. If you find that during your visit you'd prefer to have a car, you can always hire one once you arrive and get a feel for the place, as you will have plenty of time to explore. I would suggest if you're looking for ultimate flexibility to consider the unlimited travel passes explained in detail on the Irish Rail and Bus Eireann websites. For Medieval Cities, littlejane's suggestions of Carlingford and Kilkenny are great options for day trips from Dublin. For Kilkenny in particular, I would suggest an overnight or two as the pubs really come to life in the evening with some of the best music on the island. From Kilkenny you can continue by train to Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland! From Waterford you can take the bus east to Wexford or south to coastal towns of Waterford and Cork. With public transportation you can continue in this way, going where Ireland takes you. With 16 days you will have an opportunity to see quite a bit. If you're hoping to stay 5 days or so around 3 bases, Tony2Phones suggestion of Dublin, Killarney, and Galway would certainly fit the bill. I would suggest adding a 4th base in Cork to finish our your visit as well. From Dublin you could explore the coastal fishing villages nearby on the Dart, taking guided coach tours to Newgrange Burial Tomb and Wicklow Mountains National Park, and take public transportation to access nearby cities such as Belfast to the North (2 hours), Galway to the west (2 hours), and Kilkenny to the south (1.5 hours). Galway is a university town with great character and charm. For great food check out the Asian Teahouse, McSwiggan's Restaurant, and the famous fish and chips at McDonagh's. From Galway the day trips include a visit to Connemara National Park, Burren Mountains National Park, and the Aran Islands accessible by Ferry from Rossaveal or Doolin. This would be well worth 3-4 nights. Killarney town is a very popular destination, well situated nearby to Killarney National park and the Ring of Kerry. I would say if you spend 3 nights here, you could also make time for Cork, which is accessible by bus. Cork City is full of hidden gems, is extremely manageable by foot, and within easy reach of some fantastic attractions. 20 minutes by local bus service is Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone and some of the most beautiful grounds - particularly well coloured in Autumn. You can also access Kinsale, Ireland's food capital, within 30 minutes by bus or the Cobh Heritage town and Fota Island Resort within 15 minutes by train. No matter where you decide to stay, you'll have access to great atmosphere, beautiful scenery and unbeatable craic, so enjoy! Best wishes for your upcoming visit!
Tourism_Ireland is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 03:01 AM
  #13  
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Thanks Tourism_Ireland for the information. Now I have to check on how to arrive to Ireland as from Malta the flights are not too cheap.
reutiz is offline  
Nov 17th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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I'd love to see a trip report after you return from your trip. I'm an American, but I've driven in the UK and in Ireland a couple of times with little difficulty, except that we lost 3 hubcaps driving on those narrow, shrub-lined backroads in Ireland.

I'd like to know how a trip on public transportation would turn out. There are still areas I'd like to see in both the UK and Ireland, but I'm 76, and I don't know how long I'll want to drive on the "wrong" side of the road.
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Nov 17th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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To really enjoy Ireland, I strongly suggest renting a car for your trip. Much of the charm of ireland is in the smaller towns and beautiful scenery. I think you will really be missing out on alot if you only use public transportation there.
kelbo is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 04:54 AM
  #16  
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Ok lets say I rent a car..and do Killarney and Galway and Dublin as a base...are there things not too far that I can go with the car from Killarney and Galway? I will do Dublin using public transport.
reutiz is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 08:14 AM
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Killarney and Galway are main tourist touring hubs. There are several tours operating out of these base towns. You could easily do without a car using these bases unless you want to explore the non tourist areas. Don't feel the essential of a car unless you want to get off the tourist track, Yes having a car gives you more freedom and access to places the bus's don't go but tourist Ireland is accessible without a car.

I said you need a car for the area's north/west from Galway, counties Galway (northweast/east), Mayo. Sligo, Donegal and others need a Car, Galway(southwest), Clare Limerick (mostly) Kerry and Cork (not the wonderful west Cork) are well served by transport and tours.
Tony2phones is offline  
Nov 29th, 2012, 08:17 AM
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We fly Ryanair to Malta, not fancy but cheap enough on a global scale. I know you have said not the North but have you checked the prices for flying Malta=Belfast where you can get a bus to/from Dublin?
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Nov 29th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Not wishing to monopolise This is the ONLY forum without an EDIT button (come on get your act sorted)

I notice you are asking about the UK Lake district..You really should consider Connemara, Mayo/Sligo and Donegal if that's your scenic requirement.
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Nov 29th, 2012, 08:37 AM
  #20  
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Well from Galway and Dublin I found some tour companies, but I'm finding it a bit difficult to find a good Tour Company either from Killarney or Cork.
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