Advice for Initial Ireland Itinerary

Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Advice for Initial Ireland Itinerary

Please note that this was initially posted several hours ago without Ireland in the title of the post. I decided to repost after that was pointed out to me.

I'm travelling to Ireland with a friend in April next year. We are trying to set up an itinerary before booking accomodations. At this stage, we're open to everything. Although some potential activities are listed, we do realize we may have to pare down in some places or add things in other places. We will be meeting some friends in Kilkenny on April 19th, which is why we're going from Dublin to Galway rather from Dublin to Kilkenny. I would particularly like advice whether its worth it to spend a night in Dingle, or should we spend 3 nights in Killarney/Kenmare rather than 2. I would also appreicate advice on whether we should base ourselves in Killarney or Kenmare. Here's our potential itinerary:


Day 0 (Apr. 12) - Leave NYC

Day 1(Apr. 13) - Arrive Dublin (am)- night in Dublin

Day 2 (Apr. 14) - From Dublin to Galway - night in Galway

Day 3 (Apr. 15) - Galway - night in Galway
-Connemara (possibly do tour?)

Day 4 (Apr. 16) - From Galway to Dingle - night in Dingle
-On the way, Burren, Cliffs of Moher
-Take ferry from Killiner to Tarbert

Day 5 (Apr. 17) From Dingle to Killarney/Kenmare - night in Killarney/Kenmare
-Explore Dingle
-Ring of Kerry (?)

Day 6 (Apr. 18) Killarney/Kenmare - night in Killarney/Kenmare
-Skelligs Islands (Valentia Heritage Center) (?)
-Gap of Dunloe
-Beara Peninsula (?)
-Blarney (?)

Day 7 (Apr. 19) From Killarney/Kenmare to Kilkenny - night in Kilkenny
- Adare (maybe meet up with friends there) (?)
- Rock of Cashel (?)

Day 8 (Apr. 20) Kilkenny - night in Kilkenny
- Waterford (?)

Day 9 (Apr. 21) From Kilkenny to Dublin - night in Dublin
- Glendalough (?)
- Powerscourt Garden (?)
-Wicklow (?)

Day 10 (Apr. 22) Leave Dublin (pm)

Thanks.


emmas is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 12:20 PM
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I'll just speak to the parts I'm familiar with, which won't cover your whole itinerary but will bump your thread up. Your driving on day 4 will take almost the whole day; you probably won't see much of Dingle besides the town that night. I would spend that night in Dingle and drive the Slea Head loop the next day. The Ring of Kerry is a full-day event, and most people on here, at least, seem to prefer Slea Head (which is why I didn't do both). You'll see a very pretty part of the ROK between Killarney and Kenmare anyway. Dingle was my favorite place and I could have spent more time on that peninsula, but if you want to move on, do at least give it one overnight.

That puts you arriving in Killarney or Kenmare late afternoon/evening after doing the Slea Head loop. Then your day 6 is waaaay too much (if you were expecting to do all of that). We hiked the Gap of Dunloe, which took most of the day; our tour left around 10 and got back to Killarney around 4:00 or so. (I very much enjoyed the tour - they drop you off in one place, pick you up in another and provide a boat ride across the three lakes to Ross Castle.) I wouldn't really try to do much else if you choose to do the Gap. Any of the activities you mentioned are close to full-day excursions, I think.

As far as whether to stay in Killarney or Kenmare: I've only been once and stayed in Killarney, which is touristy without too much in the town itself. We spent a little time in Kenmare, and based on my impressions I would probably stay there. However, a lot of the tours leave from Killarney, so that's something to consider. It took us about 45 minutes to an hour to drive between the two.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 03:16 PM
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jent103 - Thanks for the response and advice. Yes, we do want to spend the night in Dingle. We thought it would take most of day 4 to get to Dingle. Yes, we would like to do the Slea Head Loop also. Not sure how much we can get done there in about a day, but we may have to devote most of day 5 to Dingle.

I also understand that the ROK takes most of a day. I'm not sure if we will have time to do most of it. We'll have to think on that more.

Day 6 right now are possibilities. We know we can't do it all, but are keeping them on the list until we narrow it down. Any insights on what maybe better is helpful.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 03:48 PM
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It appears all is set--I would have come into Shannon. However you do need to pare it down. Driving in Ireland is an adventure in itself, an where is your time to visit a village that"calls to you"?
Dingle over Ring of Kerry. We lived in Ireland a while--and the advice you get on this site is from people who have a bit of knowledge.
I wish I could just cut out a couple of those days and let them be "absorb" days for you!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2008, 03:53 PM
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Now I must admit I took a closer look. Do see Cliffs of Moher. You go through Adare on way to Dingle--that should be enough!
Enjoy Dingle. Then Rock of Cashel. As for the last day, why not just a day of atmosphere? I would forget Waterford also. Most of this is why we would fly in and out of Shannon and stick with the West!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 04:12 AM
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losarbolitos-Thanks for the advice. We do hope that we will relax and take in Ireland during this trip. When initially planning this trip, we didn't know much about Ireland. It was after we booked the tickets we realized it would have been simpler to arrive in Shannon. Right now we want a basic framework from which to work. I think both my friend and I will willing chuck the possible activities listed if we find that we want to do something else while there. I think the biggest thing for us right now is to figure out where we will be spending the nights and booking accomodations at those places. Other than that, we are very flexible. Yes, we want to have a list of possibilities, but we are not marrying any of them
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 06:57 AM
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Hi emmas - I'm afraid I can't be much help on which of your day 6 activities would be better; we just did the Gap on our trip due to time constraints. I would definitely recommend it (assuming the weather is good), but I know others do recommend the Beara Peninsula as well. Probably depends on how much time you want to spend in the car. Hopefully someone who's done more will chime in. My suggestion is to stay flexible - since a lot of those are outdoor activities, the weather might influence your decisions.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Since you have already booked tickets into Dublin, why not take a train from there right to Galway for your first night. Pick up a rental car there on day 2. You would have some time to wander around Galway before hitting the hay after a long day. Or if you take the Connemara tour, you could leave the car until day 3. this would give you an extra night somewhere else on your busy itinerary.

Maybe two nights in Dingle. That way you could have the day to do the Slea Head drive and stop to see all of the treasures there. Gallarus Oratory, Blasket Center, beehive huts and terrific scenery. You would even have time to explore Dingle on that day and then get an early start for Killarney the next day.

As someone else mentioned, a brief stop in Adare is sufficient. Kilkenny is a much better meeting spot.

Just a note, you are driving through the Wicklow Hills and County Wicklow on your way to Dublin via Glendalough and Powerscourt. Powerscourt Waterfall is worth a stop. It is not far from the Gardens but a car is necessary.

Except for your first night in Dublin or Galway and last night in Dublin, you can book B&B's as you go. In April it should not be a problem. You can pick up a book of listed B&B at the TI at the airport and call ahead yourself or stop in TIs along the way. Tell them your price range and must haves and they will book for you. You can also stop at B&B signs along the way. I have travelled in high season stopping as I wanted and never had problems finding a single room (or twin if traveling with a friend).

Have fun!

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Old Oct 3rd, 2008, 12:48 PM
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irishface- thanks so much for your suggestions. We definitely will consider taking the train to Galway from Dublin. How long will the train take? That definitely will save some time and driving.

Considering taking the tour of Connemara with the Galway Touring Co. (not 100% sure that's the name). Initially though it would save a day of driving, but it may be too structured for us. We do want some flexibility on what we see. Does anyone know how it is to do a self tour of Connemara? Has anyone done the tour with the Galway company?

Right now more than one night in Dingle may be difficult. However, we now realize that Day 5 will probably be devoted to Dingle and then going to Killarney for the night.

Our friends are staying at Kilkeeny and wanted to see Adare and Rock of Cashel. We thought since we're planning on going east, they can come west a bit and meet up with us before all of us go back to Kilkenny.

The plan is to drive through County of Wicklow on day 9 on the way to Dublin, but I'm unsure how long gardens and everything would take.
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