7 days in Ireland - can we do it?


Jan 27th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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7 days in Ireland - can we do it?

My buddy and I live in Boston and are planning a trip to Ireland for the first time. The nature of our work makes it difficult to take more than one week off. For example, if we depart on a Sunday, we would need to return on a Sunday. We realize the nature of the flight causes us to lose that first day to travel, too, since we land the next morning.

What we would LIKE to do is this...and this is just a very general itinerary without the details filled in. We would like to begin in dublin, then drive through the South and work our way back up to Galway before heading back east to Dublin for departure... obviously seeing the sights and taking in the country as we go. It seems to us we could do this in a week. We would not have long visits in each spot, but we also think we could keep a good pace, take a lot in, and not feel entirely rushed.

Is this realistic? Could we have an enjoyable journey from Dublin, down through areas like Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Shannon? We understand that last journey from Galway to Dublin would be more direct and departure oriented, not designed for sightseeing alone.

Please advise if you think this can be done or if we should not try it with only one week. I see so many 10 day and 14 tips that is makes me anxious about a week, even though it seems plenty of time for me.

If you have any specific itinierary suggestions, that is very helpful, too. But I mainly need to know if we are being realistic or not. We will have a rental car to use for our own transport. The only possible side-trip would be trying to see Tuam since that is where my family comes from, but it is not necessary.
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Jan 27th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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You can have a fine trip to Ireland w/ only a week But you probably can't cover as much territory as you think.

"we also think we could keep a good pace" That is VERY difficult. Roads in Ireland are narrow, slow and very scenic. In many places you mention - especially in the W and SW you will be lucky to average 35 or 40 mph.

So - my rec would be (unless you are just dying to see Dublin) to fly in/out of Shannon and stay to the W/SW parts of the country. In a week you can see quite a bit - just not as much as your original plan.
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Jan 27th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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First if you really want to see Dublin I would fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. Having said that on your tight schedule I would skip Dublin and fly in and out of Shannon. Most flights out of Boston to Shannon land very early so if you can nap on the plane you don't have to loose the first day. Get your car and the ride south through Limerick and onto Dingle on the N-21 is an easy drive. You can get there by noon, take a nap and then find a Pub (there are plenty) for food, a pint and some music. The next day a drive around the Slea Head drive is almost mandatory. You can then head south, do the ROK and end up in Kenmare for your second night or skip the ROK and head south from Killarney throught the National Park and the mountains and then onto Cork for a night or two. I wouldn't spend any time in Limerick or Waterford on your limited schedule. From Cork to Kilkenny is not a hard drive and from there you can head up to Dublin if you must or start back west towards Galway. Be warned you do not want to have to drive a car in Dublin and Cork and Galway are no prizes either. Have fun
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Jan 27th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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I agree with janisj and johnod, fly in and out of Shannon and drop Dublin altogether.

Although Dublin is a wonderful city and it's definitely worth exploring, I'd save it for another trip. If I only had a week, I'd concentrate on the west and southwest, like the previous posters suggested. When you get there, you'll be glad for the extra time to really "take in" the places you're visiting instead of just driving right through them, stressed out and bleary-eyed.

To me, the real joy of Ireland was slowing down and soaking up the atmosphere. So just take your time, even though you only have 7 days. You will love your visit, I can't wait to go back.
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Jan 29th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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Okay... the trip is booked!

We arrive in Dublin at 7:25am on Monday, March 19.
We depart from Shannon on Monday, March 26.

We are very, very excited! Both os us have had the dream of seeing Ireland for quite a few years now.

Thanks for the advice you have already given. It has been very helpful! We decided we really do want to see Dublin... at least a brief visit. We'll make the best of it as we continue to plan our route and any further advice or suggestions are VERY welcome and HIGHLY appreciated.

Thanks again for the help you have already given. I am sure more questions will rise up as we plan the details but I'll try and limit them to one or two messages so I do not become a pest. =)
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Jan 29th, 2007, 10:00 PM
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Now that you have your flight booked, you can begin to develop an itinerary. You can use the AA Ireland, www.aaireland.ie, route planner to determine distance but add an hour to their total driving time.

With 7 dasy, you will be on a tight schedule but it can be done:

Day 1 - Dublin - Kelly's Hotel might be a good fit for you. grab a hop-on/off bus tour which will allow you to catch the main sites in Dublin

Day 2 - Kilkenny - take in Glendalough enroute (2 nights lodging)
Day 3 Day trip to Waterford and Hook Lighthouse

Day 4 - Galway (3 nights lodging)
Day 5 - Day trip to Tuam
Day 6 - explore Galway
Day 7 - Bunratty from Galway, take the coastal route which will take you through the Burren, Lunch in Doolin and then to the Cliffs of Moher.

Enjoy the first of many trips you will make to Ireland!

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
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