9 Nights in Ireland

Jun 17th, 2010, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 4
9 Nights in Ireland

My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip to Ireland in the middle of September and both are first time visitors to the country. We are flying in and out of Shannon. We want to make sure to get in as many sights as we can on this trip but it is also important to keep it somewhat relaxing - I will be 7 months pregnant.

We know, we'd like to visit Galway and Dublin. I have heard wonderful things about Dingle so we'd love to spend a couple of nights there, if possible. We'd like to get in all of the touristy things - Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry. I have no idea where to start in trying to pull this itinerary together and any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
AKMR is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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We recently spent eight nights in Ireland and had an AMAZING time! We spent our first two nights in Dublin, the next four nights in Dingle, and our last two nights in Galway. We flew into Dublin and out of Shannon.

If I had it to do over again I would have flown in and out of Shannon, as you are, and spent our first six nights in Dingle, and our last two in Galway. From Dingle I would have checked out Kerry Peninsula and Killarney.

Ten days isn't a lot, so just keep in mind that you won't be able to get it all in. We skipped the Blarney Stone and the Ring of Kerry in order to spend more time in Dingle.

I posted a trip report if you're interested in reading details of our stay. I also put a link to our Dingle pictures in there, too.

Whatever you choose to do, you'll have a fantastic time. Ireland is just so beautiful. Enjoy!
Haven17 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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10 days isn't long, especially as you have to take a slow pace... but slow pace is a good thing for Ireland!

What do you like? Shopping? Scenery? Charming villages? Pub life? Historic castles? Graveyards? Tell us what your favorite things are, and we can work out how to best use your time in the Fair Isle.
GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Thank you for your replies. We would prefer to spend more time in charming villages and enjoying scenery rather than in pubs and cities. That being said, I do want to spend at least one day in Dublin.

I was thinking of the following itinerary:
Day 1: arrive in Shannon and drive to Galway. Tour Galway and stay overnight.
Day 2: Get an early start and drive to Dublin, spend the day in the city and stay overnight in Dublin.
Day 3: leave Dublin early and drive to Dunmore stopping in Kilkenny and Waterford. Spend the night in Dunmore.
Day 4: Tour around Dunmore in the morning and leave for Dingle in the afternoon. Stay overnight in Dingle.
Day 5: Dingle, Slea Head Drive. Stay overnight in Dingle
Day 6: Dingle, Conor Pass/Brandon Point. Stay overnight in Dingle
Day 7: Still in Dingle, mill around the town, enjoy not being in car. Stay overnight in Dingle.
Day 8: Leave for Galway via the Cliffs of Moher and The Burren. Stay overnight in Galway.
Day 9: Drive to Clifden and spend our last night there.
Day 10: Drive to Shannon airport.

Haven17, i checked out your pictures and they were absolutely beautiful! Looks like you had a great trip; part of the above itinerary may look familiar. Do you think i should skip Waterford and Dunmore and just drive straight to Dingle to gain an extra night?

Are there any towns that i am missing from the above itinerary that i should incorporate? Do i need more time in Galway?

AKMR is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Do check out my trip reports as well, if you like. I was wondering why you are going into Galway twice - and Dublin is so out of your way to the other places. Dublin is a lovely city, don't get me wrong - but it is a city, and not all that different from other cities in Europe. If you prefer the scenery and nature, I'd stay on the west coast.

A couple days in Galway would be fine, but you want some time to explore the surrounding areas, like Connemara, Achill Island, Aran Islands.
GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
I went to Ireland a few years back and frequently visit the UK. The best thing I ever did was buy a train pass. Especially if you don't want to drive. The trains are quite easy to use. And you can plan your trip around the train routes and find out taxi fairs from the train station to wherever you want to go. I never been to Cork but heard it is beautiful. Dublin was beautiful too but may not be the relaxing enviroment if your pregnant. Congratulations as well. I had my son last August. I can't wait till he is old enough to start traveling abroad again.
robynsara is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7
I do think you wont get a proper flavour of Ireland with the amount of travelling/driving that you are planning. It seems to me that most of your time will be spent driving or searching for parking spaces or crawling in traffic. The roads here are not up to US standards especially in the nicest "out-of-the-way" places (like Dingle) and you dont want to waste your precious 10 days being exhausted. I would agree with the other posters who suggested leaving out Dublin and sticking with the West. Maybe give yourselves another day around Clifden and do a day trip to the Aran Islands. I presume by Dunmore you mean Dunmore East near Waterford? Yes its a lovely little seaside town and would make a nice trip if you wanted to venture eastwards. Please post back and let us know how it went! And good luck with the new arrival.
molly007 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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Hi All,
Thank you so much for your feedback. Based on your comments, I think we are going to forego Dublin so that we can enjoy our time on the west coast. We arrive in Shannon around 10 AM and depending on how we feel, we may try and get in the Cliffs of Moher. I'd like to limit our driving somewhat on that first day as I am sure the jet lag will set in and i want to make sure we get our rest for the next day's drive to Dingle. Can anyone recommend a town to stay in between Shannon and Dingle? I'm thinking maybe if we found a town about two hours into the drive to Dingle that would be good distance to cover on day 1. I was initially looking at Limerick, but it doesn't seem to be very far from Shannon.
As always, your feedback is appreciated.
AKMR is offline  
Jun 24th, 2010, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 148
For your first night:


This too is not far from Shannon but would give you an easy quick destination with something to for the afternoon and help you get adjusted to time change and left side driving.

Lots of quality B&Bs, great castle and heritage park, good restaurants and convenient shopping for local goods. Easy to head off to Cliffs of Moher or Dingle well rested.

We stayed there in March and had so much we wanted to do in the area, we stayed an additional night.
lukehead is offline  
Jun 24th, 2010, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,093

We too are going to Ireland in Sept. and after much research and help from the Fodorites, above is our booked itinerary.

Now I realize that it might not match exactly what you want to do (especially the Westport part), but then again it may help. The properties we chose all came highly reccommended.

From Fodorites and friends who have been there, Dingle seems to be everyone's favorite, the place they would all return to.
TPAYT is offline  
Jun 24th, 2010, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 90
AKMR--We didn't visit Waterford or Dunmore so I don't want to say that you should skip them. I can say that we chose to skip Waterford in order to get more time in Dingle, and I'm really glad we did.

If you're visiting Waterford for the crystal, you should know that Dingle Crystal showcases the work of a man who was trained at Waterford. He's really fun to talk to, and his pieces were quite beautiful.

I definitely agree that skipping Dublin is a good idea. I wish we had flown in and out of Shannon and skipped Dublin, too!

The only reason you'd want more time in Galway would be if you want to spend time visiting the sites outside of Galway, such as Connemara and Kylemore Abbey. Galway itself is a college town, so whiel it was fun, I wouldn't visit again just for the city.

Have a wonderful trip! I cannot wait to go back to Ireland. My husband and I are already planning a trip for next summer, but this time we'll spend all of our time in Dingle.
Haven17 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2010, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 17
If you do decide to stay in Bunratty, I would recommend the Ashgrove House. My daughters and I found Sheila to be very welcoming and the accommodations were great. The B & B was easy to find... just down the road from Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. It was also an easy 10 -15 minute walk into town.

While there, we visited the Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Knappogue Castle and the Craggaunowen Project. The Folk Park was really entertaining and fun to walk around. They also offer a medieval dinner at the Castle (two seatings) complete with entertainment for about 57 euros. We heard it was a lot of fun from some others who also were staying at the Ashgrove House. We toured Knappogue Castle quickly as the closing times differed from our guidebook, and we wanted to get to the Craggaunowen Project before last admittance. There is also a dinner at Knappogue Castle.

I have to say that the Craggaunowen Project was my favorite at Bunratty. Maybe it was because of the beautiful solitude (there had been lots of school trips at Bunratty) or maybe it was the sun filtering through the trees... but whatever, it was beautiful. You walk this trail through the trees... there is a small tower house there, plus other early Celtic - style dwellings. I got lots of great pictures of my daughters and the scenery. I thought this site was well worth our time.

We had dinner that night at Durty Nellys. I know... very touristy, but the girls and I loved watching the football (soccer) game in the pub with many locals. We went in early June, so it didn't seem like there were many tourists yet. The fish and chips there were great!

Look into the family pass for 50 euros. This pass gets you into any 3 sites (King John's Castle, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Knappogue Castle, Craggaunowen Project, Killaloe, Lough Gur and Dunguaire Castle). My daughters and I used it and it was a great deal. At the very least, book your tickets on line and you will save. With the family pass though, you don't have to pick a date... it is open ended. These passes are under Shannon Heritage. Another pass we used extensively and saved a lot of money by doing so was the Heritage Pass.

Anyway, if you decide to stay at the Ashgrove House in Bunratty, tell Sheila "hi" from Tori, Ashleigh & Brooklyn. And have a great trip!

ToriML is offline  
Jun 25th, 2010, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 148
We also stayed at Ashgrove House - highly recommend!
lukehead is offline  

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