Advice needed: Ireland on my own or tour

Jan 22nd, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Posts: 295
Sorry me again! Okay this is what i'm thinking

7-8 days for:
Dublin to Galway
Galway-Doolen-Cliffs of Mohers-Dingle (have to research this more)
Killarney-Blarney Castle-Cork
Cork-Cahir Castle-Kilkenny

Perhaps if I have an extra, I can do a day trip from Dublin to Belfast?

Is this doable?
oceania is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 01:23 PM
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You are like me. When I decide to go I just get on the net and search and read.
I find the following very useful for trips to Ireland:
Could I commend one section for your attention i.e. and you will be surprised at what you can see in a day.
CU is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 02:15 PM
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Is it doable? yes, it is recomended, No.
Dublin to Galway is a rather long and boring drive until you get around Galway where the traffic is a problem plus endless roundabouts plus you are tired and not used to driving on the Left. It is a shame you did not visit us before you booked into Dublin. I would not want to drive more than two or three hours on my first day but having said that how about Kilkenny the first night. That drive would be easier than Galway. You can make your tour counter clockwise and make the drive east from Galwlay to Dublin. Also I would skip Blarney Castle and Doolin. Again I would suggest you skip some of the bigger towns and cities and try a village or two along the coast. In any event have fun
JOHNOD is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 02:45 PM
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It may seem that you can drive from on end of Ireland to the other in a week, but you'll never be able to stop off for a pint, enjoy an intriguing and possilby politically charged convo with a local or walk along and through some ancient ruins or stay an extra night in (Doolin, my personal fave!) for some craic and fabulous live music! I'd go fewer places at a more leisurly pace. Trust me, once you're in'll be planning another trip before you get home. And, as I said...sure it's 1/4" from Galway to the Cliffs, but there isn't ONE straight road in the entire country
aerbare is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 03:04 PM
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John, I think I could spend 2 months and you still would think my itinerary was too much...haha I have cut more than 1/2 my original itinerary!!!

I wouldn't have a clue which smaller villages to visit and what I would do. And because my time is so limited, I don't think that would be the most wise decision to make as I do want to see the "touristy" parts...that's why people travel!

I actually posted my questions at another travel board and I didn't get too many responses so I went ahead booked b/c the prices kept increasing. I got a very very good deal with my airline tickets (big reason why I'm visiting in the first place)...Scotland was my original trip, I added on Ireland.

Ok so revised plan for 7-8 days (perhaps counter clockwise):
Dublin to Galway
Galway--Cliffs of Mohers-Dingle
Killarney-Blarney Castle?-Cork
Cork-Cahir Castle-Kilkenny

Any particular reason not to see Blarney Castle? It's on the way to Cork.

How much time do you recommend in each place?

I should mention that I was thinking of spending the Thu (maybe Fri) in Dublin and leave for Galaway the next day(as soon as the sunrises) - it's a 3.5 hour drive, right?

I'm just wondering if I'm not able to take the coach (or at least hire a car from Galway) with this new itinerary, what do you think?
oceania is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 03:21 PM
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I think what might help me a lot, would be for those who live or visited Ireland to tell me where they would go and what they would do if they only had 10 days in Ireland.

This will better help me research and plan my trip.

So if you all would be so kind as to tell me what your 10 day itinerary would be, I would be ever so grateful!
oceania is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 03:57 PM
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My dear oceania,

I have changed my mind, book a tour on a bus, relax and injoy yourself. You are traveling alone and driving alone can be tough. visit the cities and I am sure you will have a good time without a worry. The important thing is that you have fun and injoy Ireland. On your next trip perhaps you might wander a bit. Have fun
JOHNOD is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:03 PM
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Sorry to disappoint you John, but my change of plans with paddywagon had nothing to do with you, so just b/c you change your mind about my trip, doesn't mean I have.
oceania is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 04:20 PM
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If you want to absorb the culture and enjoy Ireland, I would spend at least 2 nights in each place I visit. I'm leaving in a week for my second trip there, and I have learned to slow down the pace and enjoy where I am. Did anyone mention that you average about 30-40 mph on the roads there? You'll get used to driving on the left in no time.

Spend your first and last nights in Dublin.
The next five:
I would go south to Kinsale,(@ 5 hour drive) for a couple of days, seeing Cork & the Blarney Stone.
Begin driving back to the north. Maybe Kilkenney for a night and then Glendalough. Buy a Michelin map if you haven't already. You can pick your routes/towns to stay!
I would save the western side of Ireland for another trip.

There's a lot of good information on this thread!Have fun planning! Let us know what you decide.
zaneyjaney is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 06:29 PM
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If I had 10 days in Ireland, I would spend them in Northern Ireland. The villages along the coast and the Glens offer spectacular scenery, easy to drive roads, castles, the Causeway, inexpensive and plentiful B & B's, hostels, etc. Although it looks like some of the drives are short (mileage wise), narrow winding roads mean slow going. THis area has much history, small viallages easily explored, and feels totally safe (well, not always in July during certain areas during marching season). You will enjoy whatever part you decide to do!
chautauqua is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2006, 07:51 PM
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Many of us would only be too happy to comply with your latest request, but you'll need to help us out a bit..
You arrive in Dublin at noon -- from where? Or, more importantly, is it after a long, overnight flight?
What do you WANT to see and do?
You mentioned Belfast. Do you have a link, or deep interest, or are you merely tempted?
I will be arriving in Ireland on the morning of 31 March and departing on 9 April, but ...
I am flying in/out of Shannon.
This will be my 8th visit in the last seven years.
I HATE tours (even guided tours of buildings and historical sites).
I am FAR removed from 20. The "reason" for this trip is to celebrate my 35th wedding anniversary.
My wife has relatives in Co. Cork, so we tend to begin and end our visits there.
Still, I would be more than happy to offer whatever 'sage advice' as I can, BUT, answer me this, first:
What is it about Ireland that matters, to you? What is it you hope to see and/or experience? Only by knowing THAT, can any of us intelligently guide you onto the path that is best for you.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:34 AM
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Did you decide to skip the Aran Islands? I LOVED Inis Mor - spent the night there - and wouldn't miss it. Dun Aengus (wow, it's been only a few months and already I can't remember how to spell things) on Inis Mor was AMAZING.

Dingle was nice but it is quite a drive. If you do go, driving yourself, I hear that you must go through Conor Pass. (I took the bus and it didn't go that way.)

I wasn't a huge fan of Doolin.

On your way from Dublin to Galway, since you're driving yourself, consider stopping at Clonmacnoise. It's virtually impossible to get there via public transportation (belive me, I tried!), especially if you're not going June-Sept. Therefore, I would guess it wouldn't be as crowded. It sounds like it's worth the trip.

I skipped Blarney Castle, having heard it wasn't so great. Plus, as a germophobe I wasn't too excited about kissing a stone that millions of others have slobbered all over -ew!

I loved Kilkenny but only had less than 24 hours there. Would have liked more time to explore. The castle grounds are spectacular on a sunny day.

Cahir Castle, to me, wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It was under construction when I was there (maintenance) (EVERYTHING seemed to be undergoing maintenance when I was there!), so maybe there was more to see than I saw.

If you go to Cashel, see if the Bru Boru show is in season - FANTASTIC!

So much to do, so little time! good luck and have fun planning!!!
suspire is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 11:36 AM
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Thank you all. I have to admit that I know nothing of Ireland and my trip is pretty much a spur of the moment thing, so serves me right for not getting to do all that I want. Since I don’t want to do a tour, I can only see one region of Ireland in 10 days and that’s fine. I just have to decide which area and that’s probably the hardest part.

Italian Chauffer my answers to your questions:

“You arrive in Dublin at noon -- from where? Or, more importantly, is it after a long, overnight flight?”
I arrive in Dublin after a overnight flight from Toronto.

“What do you WANT to see and do?”
No clue! Actually everything…haha but that’s unrealistic

“You mentioned Belfast. Do you have a link, or deep interest, or are you merely tempted?”
No link, just general curiosity…I can’t explain it.

“What is it about Ireland that matters, to you? What is it you hope to see and/or experience?”

I didn’t realize how much there was to see in Ireland, especially for being such a small country (well compared to Canada).

I’m really not into the pub/partying scene which may be weird for someone my age but, I do plan get a taste of when I go.

I’m more interested in the culture/history aspect of each country I visit and the natural beauty. I am going to Scotland after and I will be visiting castles there so I think it’s ok if I skip the castles this time around in Ireland.

I honestly don’t know where I should go or what I should see…all the pictures I’ve seen of Ireland are just beautiful, so I’m sure any place I pick will be nice. I’m thinking it will be either Galway/Cliffs of Moher or Cork/Kerry region.

Thanks for your patience with me!
oceania is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:20 PM
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I was going back to some previous threads and I found one lady who has a very similar itinerary/schedule as mine:

Thurs: Dublin
Friday: Powerscourt, Glendalough, Wicklow
Sat: Kilkenny & Waterford, Coast drives
Sun: More coast drive - Hook to Crook, The Vee, Cahir, Cashel
Mon & Tues: Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty, The Burren, Ennis, Aran Islands
Wed & Thurs: Galway, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, fishing, Cong? Aran is the weather was bad before.
Fri: Clonmacnoise or Birr(?)
Sat: outside Dublin - see Trim? Newgrange? More Dublin?
Sun: depart

Except I depart on Saturday evening, instead of Sunday.

oceania is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 02:29 PM
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Newgrange is worth a visit. I have heard Waterford is not.

Sounds like a great trip! When do we leave?
suspire is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:07 PM
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What you have proposed is a good 'overview' for the time allotted, but with a lot of driving, but most of it IS quite scenic. Try going to:
Go to the route planning function and plug in your itinerary, one day at a time. Their estimated driving times aren't terribly accurate. A good, general purpose rule of thumb is that you will cover somewhere between 30-35 miles in an hour of driving. That allows for the 'phot op' stops, but not time out to visit sites like Glendalough or Kilkinney.
For a 20-something on a fairly tight schedule, you might want to drop Waterford, etc. and shoot to Cashel from Kilkinney. That would probably save you a day. Galway town is a very young, college town/ small city. I would think you would find it quite intriguing. The Jury's Inn Hotel is an excellent location to base in order to sample the night life on Quay Street, or there is a hostel a block or so away. The Jury's has a parking garage next to it that would be convenient to both and the Latin/Spanish Quarter (also referred to as 'Old Town')is mostly pedestrianized. There is a shuttle bus from town to the Aran Island Ferryport, AND one to the regional airport, if you chose to fly over to Inish Mor. I will post a link to the thread with the Ferry/Air details.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:13 PM
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Here's the Aran Island link:
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 09:17 AM
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Thanks sooooo much for that link, it's so helpful. I now have a better idea of what I want to do and this is the itinerary I have made for msyelf. Please let me know what you think.

Mar 30 - Arrive in Dublin, spend the rest of day exploring city, resting

Mar 31 - (rent car) Dubllin > Clonmacnois >Galway

Apr 1 - Galway

Apr 2 - Aran Island

Apr 3 - Burren & Cliff of Moher

Apr 4 - Cahir Castle/Cashel Rock > Wexford

Apr 5 - Wexford > Kilkenny

Apr 6 - Kilkenny > Glendalough > Dublin (return car)

Apr 7 - day trip to Belfast via train

Apr 8 - Spend day in Dublin until I fly out

The longest drive I have is 162 miles/ 4 hours (but it's split).

What do you think? If it's too rushed I could skip Wexford and go directly to Kilkenny. I really, really want to go to Belfast, hence the short day trip.
oceania is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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I was just looking up some car rental quotes and this seems to good to be true:

Economy 2 Door ....e.g. Nissan Micra or similar
Price in Euro: € 99.00
Rental from/to:
Friday, 31st March 2006, 09:00
Thursday, 6th April 2006, 18:00

The following are included in your car rental quotation.

* C.D.W. Collision Damage Waiver (unless declined).
* T.P.I Theft Protection Insurance
* VAT Value Added Tax
* Unlimited Mileage
* 24 Hour Breakdown cover

This would cost this much to rent a car here just for 1 weekend (2 days) w/ mileage restrictions and no breakdown covarge and excluding tax!!
oceania is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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i got that from
oceania is offline  

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