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soozireland Feb 25th, 2013 10:13 AM

16 nights Ireland by bus/train
My husband and I arrive in Dublin Sept 1 and fly home from Shannon Sept 17th. My husband drives for a living so while on vacation would prefer not to drive...just sight see and relax.
I have been to Ireland 5 times (cuz I love it so much!!) and have used public transportation. This is my husbands first trip.
First of one 'Jet Lagged day' in Dublin worth the visit as next morning would bus to Galway. We will be arriving from Cananda at 7:25 am so will be tired....cant sleep on the plane. We arent big museum people and some are closed on Sundays.
ROUGH plan so far is

2 nights Galway (one day for Burren bus tour

1-2 nights Inishmore (is 2 nights too many ?
How far ahead would you book rooms on the island...If we get to Ireland and the weather is cold/windy/rainy those days it worth the trip to Inishmore.?

3 nights Killarney for National Park...we love to walk and do Deros tour through lakes and the Gap

5 nights in Dingle which we have already booked.(Sept 10-15) Lots to do there. We want to walk the great Blasket Island and there is a trad festival on while we are there

1-2 nights at either or Adare/Ennis before we fly home from Shannon

This leaves us 2-3 nights left. I wonder about staying an extra night or 2 in Clare...possibly Doolin or Kinvara before arriving in Killarney

We could instead go from dublin to kilkenny to kinsale then on to Killarney by way of Cork
instead of Galway area but cant do both.....and I am drawn to Inishmore...have been to Inisheer only.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I want to show my husband so much but cant see it all. Counting the days!!!

thanks everyone

SeeDee Feb 25th, 2013 01:50 PM

With your booking made for Dingle, this leaves it as your final major stop before your return so all other places to visit will have to fall into some logical sequence.
Starting in Galway, a southern loop would appear the way to go but Dingle would fall in the middle rather than the end of this itinerary.
My suggestion would be to stick with your plan to start with Galway/Inishmore; Dun Aonghus fort in itself is worth the effort. From there, I would travel by Bus Eireann to Cork city and spend a day or two exploring Cork itself (don't miss the English Market), Cobh or Kinsale.
Careful study of the Bus Eireann timetable might yield some options of making it to Killarney, taking in some of the interesting towns of west Cork and south Kerry en route.

beccafly Mar 1st, 2013 06:42 AM

To be honest, I think Inishmore is a little overrated, yes, it's beautiful but if you've been to Inisheer before it's very similar. There's not as many places to stay on the island anymore either as far as I know. I would pick Kinsale a hundred times over the west, the weather's usually nicer and there's so much to do and see, great places to eat and drink and the whole area is just stunning. Cork city is great too, lovely vibe to the place, nice people, definitely worth a day or two. And all that's coming from a Dubliner!

catherinehaas Mar 1st, 2013 07:38 AM

I personally LOVE Donegal. It is much more north but that keeps the tourists from overwhelming this absolutely lovely town. I have always driven, so I am not sure of the timetable for any public transportation this far to the north.

Tourism_Ireland Mar 6th, 2013 07:25 AM

If the weather keeps like last year, you will consider yourself lucky to be in Ireland in September! We had some of the loveliest days ever, weatherwise.
If you decide to spend 2 nights in the “big”Aran Island, I would suggest that, once you are there you could “kill two birds with a stone” and go see the middle and little ones. Inishmore is one of the most prehistoric sites in Europe and Unesco World Heritage. Plenty of sightseeing here and there is nothing more relaxing than a walk on a blue-flag beach, the scenery is magical. It's not only about heritage, you will find nightlife as well in Inishmore. And since you prefer to avoid driving, you have lots of ways to get around: walk, bike, taxi, pony & cart and bus tours. I would suggest you to book your accommodation well in advance as September may be busy. Also, while you are in Galway you could take a day tour to the region of Connemara and enjoy the wild landscapes typical of that area. As for Killarney, a buzzing tourist town, I would recommend you a tour of the National Park with a jaunting car, one of the best ways to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the park. If you want to add Kilkenny to your itinerary (which I would recommend), you could go straight there from Dublin, it's just an hour and a half by train. Kilkenny is a lovely little town, famous for its hurling team and its medieval charm. St. Canice's Cathedral and the Round Tower, Kilkenny Castle and the Black Abbey are some of the highlights.
If you spend one night in Kilkenny you could stay one less in Killarney. If you like beer, you may find the Smithwick's Brewery interesting.

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