8 days in Ireland -- where to go??!!

Jul 22nd, 2017, 04:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
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8 days in Ireland -- where to go??!!

We plan to spend 8 nights in Ireland starting June 4 -- arriving into Dublin early evening (after long flights from California to London to Dublin) and will fly out of Dublin on June 12. Thinking we should spend the first full day in Dublin, then rent a car the morning of June 6 and head out -- for those 6 nights, ideally we would spend 3 nights in one place and 3 in another. I have read posts here and have a travel book, but am admittedly overwhelmed with the choices! We love beautiful scenery, walking around towns, art, and good food and drink.

Recommendations on which 2 towns to base ourselves out of would be very much appreciated, as well as recommendations on where to stay both there and in Dublin (a castle would be wonderful! Our budget is mid-range.). And then from those 2 towns what are not-to-be-missed destinations? I do know we would like to see the Cliffs of Moher. From my readings, Glendalough also sounds like a place we would really enjoy, as does Killarney National Park. The towns of Cobh and Kilkenny look really pretty... Also, is there anywhere where we should find a local tour of some kind so that we can maximize the experience?

Thanks so much!!! Happy traveling .
LoveToTravel2008 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2017, 04:44 AM
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Glad you are spending your first day in Dublin. There are many things to see and do there. Sorry you couldn't get a better flight into Dublin. I love aer lingus for direct flights from the east coast. No London stop.

Galway would be a good base so you can explore the west coast. Galway tours are excellent at cramming in as much as they do in a day. They keep a good pace so you see so much more than if you drove yourself. Time is an issue for you. I would do a Inishmore day trip if possible. Better than the cliffs of Moher, not saying don't see them also. http://www.aranislandferries.com/times_mor.php They are one of my favorite destinations in Ireland.

Maybe two nights around Cork and a night in Kilkenny. Cobh and Midleton are good stops with a drive to Ballycotton. You could see Blarney but don't kiss that dirty stone. Midleton for the real whiskey tour. I love Wicklow and the coast line there. You could stop at Glendalough on your way back to Dublin. On your way to Galway stop and see Clonmcnoise http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/mid.../clonmacnoise/
Macross is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2017, 05:08 PM
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You will get much more advice over at Trip advisor. Seems to be dead here of late.
Macross is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2017, 05:47 PM
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Curious when your flight out of Dublin is on the 12th? If I read your itinerary correctly, you do have 6 nights after you rent the car - but depending on when your flight is on the 12th it could have some impact on things.
jefe is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:20 AM
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jefe is correct. If your flight is early on the 12th make sure you are close to airport last night. You need to be to Dublin airport 3 hours early.
Macross is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 10:12 AM
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8 days isn't long and only wanting 3 bases, Dublin + 2 others limits things further. You would see more and actually cover less miles as a road trip.

You need to be more specific on what you, yourself want to see and do. Pretty looking places are not always the best bases.. What do you want to do between a day sightseeing and getting to bed?

As said Galway is a great touring base, Killarney is a great touring base.. I always say to put a night between Counties Galway and Kerry so that people have time to see a bit more of Clare than Moher.

Have you considered flying Open Jaw, into Shannon and out from Dublin, vise versa. Might make sense?

TA Forum? Dublin, Kinsale, Dingle, Doolin. might as well ask on the Rick Steves Forum or Frommers
Tony2phones is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Yes, Rick Steves forum gives excellent advice.
Macross is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 01:52 PM
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So does my 5 yr old nephew..
Tony2phones is offline  
Jul 24th, 2017, 03:40 PM
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We (DH, teen DD and me) were in Ireland last June (2016) and spent the first two nights and the last night in Dublin. We stayed at the Spencer - would definitely stay there again - and Roxford Lodge (needed somewhere with free parking) but would not stay there again - kind of a tired place.

We rented a car on our way out of Dublin - spent three nights based in Kenmare (Kenmare Bay Holiday Homes) and three nights in Galway (really awesome place in the next town over called The Twelve).

We went to Inishmore, Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park and drove most of the Beara peninsula instead of the Ring of Kerry. The EPIC Irish immigration museum in Dublin was pretty interesting.

We seemed to spend a lot of time in the car - and I felt a little rushed. We had to pick and choose what to do/see since obviously you can't do everything in a short visit. Maybe pick one spot to base yourself since you have 5 nights if you spend the last one in Dublin?
iowamom is offline  
Jul 31st, 2017, 10:36 AM
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Just got back from Ireland (finishing posting my Trip Report now). We really enjoyed all of our stops in Kilkenny, Killarney, and Doolin. I understand the negativity about Doolin, but we (family with kids) absolutely loved it. The Daly House B&B was excellent, the little town was cute, and the convenience to the Cliffs and Islands was unbeatable. A co-worker of mine was there at the same time, and they also enjoyed their stays in Kilkenny, Kinsale, and Dingle.
paulg is offline  
Jul 31st, 2017, 10:41 AM
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No mention of Dingle Peninsula - well I loved driving around it - in a leisurely day - https://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/attr...n-sleibhe.html.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 31st, 2017, 11:49 AM
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Tony2phones has been my guide to Ireland for eons. What he says has always rung true for our four trips there.

And so, this statement: "8 days isn't long" speaks volumes.

I am going to shorten his advice: Decide what you want out of Ireland. Then fine tune it to a SMALL geographic area. Road trips in Ireland take 3x as much time as those in US or Canada.

I have no problem with your desire to see the Cliffs of Moher. But if that is your goal, then I think you need to go there pretty darn soon after a rest in Dublin and really "work" that west area.

I loved staying in Doolin--but then I'm into trad music. I loved the Aran Islands, adored Galway, and our time in Connemara and Clifton is treasured.

Right there, that's eight days--and we landed in Shannon, not Dublin.

Later on, we did Kenmare, the Beara Peninsula, Cork, etc on a totally extra trip. That was another eight days.

On our last trip, we spent a week in Dublin, with a daytrip to Killarney. Not quite 8 days, but we had bars in mind for THAT week.

I hope you get my drift.

No matter where you choose to center yourselves in Ireland, I feel convinced you will love it. And you SHALL return.

Happy planning,
AlessandraZoe is online now  
Jul 31st, 2017, 01:12 PM
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I think AZ's last statement is sums it up (regardless you will love it). Pick the couple places that look most interesting to you and make the most of those places. 8 nights is never enough, but neither is 14 and neither is 21 and neither is 28. We had 9 nights split up between 4 spots (Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney, Doolin) and had an absolute blast and didn't feel rushed. But I know that everyone is different and some might feel rushed in only two locations. Could it have been different and "better" or "worse" (all subjective) ... of course.

I could easily see you doing Killarney and Galway/Ennis and seeing a ton of awesome stuff in the SW and W. This would be similar to iowamom's trip. The roads between all of those places and Dublin are quite good.
paulg is offline  
Aug 1st, 2017, 02:12 AM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence AZ just got back from a short holiday to a 2 day suspension and hard words from another well known forum so I must have my bad points.

Not sure what has happened to LTT2008 its always more helpful to fine tune advice when there is a little feedback from the one who is actually asking the question to start with.
Tony2phones is offline  
Aug 1st, 2017, 03:25 AM
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Tony, you give good advice here and at TA. Did you follow Reek Sunday news? I climbed that mountain on a clear sunny day. Conditions were horrible Sunday. 13 rescued. One poor guy had a heart attack climbing.
I would tell everyone to at least climb Crough Patrick to the statue. Westport is a great place to explore north of Galway.
Macross is offline  
Aug 1st, 2017, 04:25 AM
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News I has was 2,200 walked and 10 people required rescue/airlift. I was over the UK but I wouldn't even think about the Reek these days. I really want to walk the Gobbins but I know I'd be a burden on a guided walk over that distance.
Tony2phones is offline  

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