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1st trip to Ireland Itinerary help/suggestions

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Feb 15th, 2016, 06:26 PM
  #1
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1st trip to Ireland Itinerary help/suggestions

Hello, my husband and I (who are in our 50's), are planning a trip to Ireland in September. We would like a good mix in our holiday, with some 'must see' tourist places, to some 'off the beaten track places', more smaller towns than the bigger ones, would like to stay mostly at B&B's, with perhaps a one night splurge (not too much of a splurge tho.... ) at a castle. Is it recommended to see the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry and the Cliffs of Moher? From what I've been reading, I'm getting a feeling that the Dingle Peninsula is one that is preferred?

Here is my 1st attempt at a route.....I seem to have a bit of extra time and I'm not sure what to do with it.

Any suggestions and/or comments would be greatly appreciated as I feel I'm already feeling overwhelmed! (but excited)

Saturday, Sept 10th - arrive in Dublin (from Ontario, Canada) at 10:40 am - stay in Dublin
Sunday, Sept 11th - stay in Dublin
Monday, Sept 12th - would like to see the Rock of Cashel, so, stay in that area - would like some recommended suggestions. I was wondering if driving through Glendalough and area on the way is feasible?
Tuesday, Sept 13th - Drive to Cork, either stay there or in Kinsale?
Wednesday, Sept 14th - Stay another night in the Cork area
Thursday, Sept 15th - Drive and stay in either Kenmare or Dingle?
Friday, Sept 16th - Stay another night in the same area
Saturday, Sept 17th - Drive to Ennis and stay 1 night
Sunday, Sept 18th - Drive to Galway
Monday, Sept 19th - Stay another night in Galway
Tuesday, Sept 20th - ?
Wednesday, Sept 21st - Drive (or perhaps take the train if possible) back to Dublin
Thursday, Sept 22nd - leave for home, 12:10

We are definately open to ANY suggestions, for instance, if one feels we should stay in a different town over another. Alter the route in any way that's more beneficial. Where should we throw that extra day?

We appreciate your time and input, thank you ever so much.......

Judy
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Feb 15th, 2016, 07:32 PM
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The first thing I would look at is not staying in Dublin twice. Think about how much time you can save by eliminating a one full cycle of traveling to hotel, check-in, unpack, pack, travel from hotel. Many people think because of long flight, they would be too tired to travel. But think about this: you are arriving at 10:40am. If you head to hotel, say at noon, you might not be able to check-in, so you have to walk around anyway. If you travel straight to, for example Galway, a 3 hour bus right straight from the Dublin airport, you hotel would be ready and you have eliminated on long segment of your trip while avoiding one trip into/out of Dublin all together. Rent a car in Galway later during your stay to continue your trip. This way, you don't have to drive car right after your arrival, but still allows you to start your trip from elsewhere to aggregate all you stay in Dublin at the end of the trip.
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Feb 15th, 2016, 07:41 PM
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I'm doing Ireland in May-June and have put together this itinerary, similar in some ways to yours. I'll have a hire car except for my final couple of days in Dublin.
Dublin, near airport (1 night)
Cashel (1)
Kinsale, near Cork (1)
Kenmare, near Killarney (2)
Dingle (2)
Galway (2)
Clifden (1)
Killybegs (1)
Annagry (1)
Portstewart (1)
Belfast (1)
Dublin (2)
Don't know whether it will work yet. Ask me in July!
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Feb 15th, 2016, 08:24 PM
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Thank you for your suggestion Greg, we'll give that some consideration .
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Feb 15th, 2016, 08:27 PM
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Good luck with your trip Maharg! You're right, very similar exempt we're not going north. Enjoy!
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Feb 15th, 2016, 08:29 PM
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ugh.... 'except' whoops ��
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Feb 16th, 2016, 04:33 AM
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More often that not, when people post a proposed Ireland itinerary, I perceive a need for pruning. Not this time - well done for not being wildly over-ambitious.

The Rock of Cashel is worth seeing, but does not take a great deal of time for those without a specialist interest. My suggestion is that you leave Dublin as early as you can on Monday, and head directly for Glendalough, in the hope of experiencing it before the hordes arrive about mid-morning. Thence to Kilkenny, planning to arrive mid-afternoon so that you can see the castle and the cathedral, and some of the other nice things around the town.

Tuesday, onwards towards Cork via Cashel (allow an hour for your stop). Personally, I'd choose to stay in Cork, but that preference is mediated by a lifetime living in Ireland. Many visitors would find Kinsale a more charming location.

I much prefer Dingle to any other town in Kerry, with Kenmare second. In spite of the volume of tourism, I find that you can still experience authenticity there. If you decide on Dingle, you are spoilt for choice of scenic routes to get there from Cork or Kinsale. My preference would be to follow the coastal route to Kenmare, then take the road to Killarney, which I think is one of the most scenic in Ireland, before heading on to Tralee and Dingle.

I'd add the extra night to Galway. One possible programme is a long day to do a circuit of Connemara, and another day to visit Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands (that would be pretty much a non-driving day to compensate for the long drive around Connemara).
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Feb 16th, 2016, 05:06 AM
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We have done a two week tour of Ireland in 2014. Dingle vs Kerry is a difficult choice. Both have very interesting places. Both can be crowded. Options from Kerry would include a boat trip to Skellig Michael .. a small island with "monestary" ruins.
A bit more off the beaten track: we were very impressed by the ruggedness of Achill Island which you could combine with Sky Road around Clifden and Connemara. You'd have to consider dropping something else in favour but (at least in June) Achill and Connemara were more quiet than Cliffs of Moher (combine that with the Burren) or either of the Peninsulas. One Idea for Cliffs of Moher is to return in the evening (we were staying nearby). Most of the crowd is gone, parking lot is open and it is just nice to see the sun go down here ... also consider a boat ride to see it from the water.
Glendalough is certainly interesting ... even more unique perhaps is Knowth and Newgrange (older than the pyramids. A bit south of Dublin, maybe an hours drive from the airport. So also an option directly after arrival (we did exaclty that). A mystique start into Ireland's ancient history.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 05:10 AM
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oh, i forgot one thing.
We stayed at a castle (Ballyseede) which is very nice, picturesque, comes with it's own ghost story and has two great and friendly dogs to complete the picture. Basically as romantic as it gets. Would have been a great idea if not other folks thought that it was a great idea to and soooo romantic. I forgot how many days in the year they have events at the castle (weddings, receptions and the like ...) it was a relatively high number. So as cozy as it was, we had probably one of the worst night's sleep because it was loud well, well into the night ... just a thought - would probably not do it again and would prefer a more quiet location.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 05:18 AM
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Thank you for that Padraig.....we definitely want to see as much as we can, but without feeling like we're rushing from place to place, and leaving time for the 'unexpected'. I'm happy to hear that that schedule gives us just that! Going at that time of year, I'm hoping that we will not run into the big crowds that we would if we went in the summer months. Thanks so much for your time
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Feb 16th, 2016, 05:22 AM
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Thanks so much for your response Kirkesgaard, all very good suggestions for us to consider.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 05:34 AM
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Any rental car suggestions? We'd definitely like a place that offers to include a GPS.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 05:46 AM
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12th Killkenny after driving through Wicklow and Glendalough.

13 & 14th, Cork area? I like Cobh but its not a touring base, nor is Kinsale, both are worth a visit. Cork city works as a touring base and I have used Blarney which is a good option if you want to see the Castle, house and grounds outside tour bus hours.

15th & 16th, Killarney is the best touring base for the bulk of Kerry especially if you aim to drive the Ivaragh (Ring of Kerry) the right way, counter clockwise so you don't do a Rick Steves and meet heavy traffic head on Trucks and Tour bus's don't move out of the way for hire cars.

17th I would drive the Dingle figure of eight on the way to Ennis. But to quote a local "20+ Big tour bus's a day visit Dingle" and make Padraig Happy, spend the night in Dingle.

An Alternative might be to use Ballyseede Castle in Tralee for your splurge?

I like Ennis as a Touring base for the whole of Clare but if you stay in Dingle/Tralee on the 17th aim for Kinvara, just short of Galway seeing west Clare on the way up.

Clifden Arts week starts on the 17th so maybe have Clifden as a Connemara base for the 18th/19th.

See Galway on the 20th, Only Budget and Europcar have Galway offices so drive back to Dublin, call at Clonmacnoise, the Distilleries or Belvedere House on the way over.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 07:18 AM
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Thanks so much for your response Tony, again, all very good suggestions! I appreciate your time
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Feb 17th, 2016, 04:46 AM
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Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher......

If you had to pick 1 ?

If you had to pick 2 ?
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Feb 17th, 2016, 05:10 AM
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Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher......

Pick 1,
Beara Peninsula, always gets my vote as the best of the 3 main peninsulas.

Ring of Kerry given a full day so time to get off piste onto Valenta Island and the Skellig loop,down the Black Valley and a few other roads that never see a hire car.

Dingle peninsula provided I din't have to stay in Dingle.

~~~

Cliffs of Moher, best seen from the sea on an Inis Oirr and Cliffs combi cruise. from the top look across from Liscannor and Hag's head (see St Brigit's well there) There is a lot more to Clare than 1/2 mile of tourist Cliff. The Cliffs and Burren "geo park" alone cover twice the area of the whole Dingle peninsula.

10 or so days isn't long to see Ireland and you have to save something for next time.
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