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an overwhelming itinerary--where to tweak?

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Mar 16th, 2013, 10:49 PM
  #1
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an overwhelming itinerary--where to tweak?

We are spending 34 days in Ireland this summer. I like a very well organized itinerary, always being aware that, as we travel, it's more like a menu from which we make selections. Weather, local events, and our mood can change things on the fly. This itinerary only came to 32 days, so I have some room room to stretch things out if I've over-filled days or add anything I've missed.

We love history, learning what made a particular spot different, nature, hiking, Irish music. Not much into shopping or wandering aimlessly to absorb the vibe of a place.

Days 1-4 Dublin
Day 5: James Joyce Museum, Powerscourt, Russborough House; stay in Kildare
Day 6: Irish National Stud, Glendalough, stay in Wexford 2 nights
Day 7: Wexford
Day 8: Dunbrody Famine Ship, Kennedy Homestead, to Waterford; stay 2 nights
Day 9: Waterford
Day 10: Jerpoint Abbey & Kilkenny; stay in Kilkenny
Day 11: Rock of Cashel, Swiss Cottage in Cahir, Lismore Castle or Heritage Center; stay in Lismore
Day 12: Jameson Experience, Cobh Heritage Center, Cork; stay in Cork
Day 13: Kinsale; stay there
Day 14: Bantry House, Garish Island, Kenmare; stay there 2 nights
Day 15: Killarney National Park & Muckross House, Gap of Dunloe
Day 16: Ring of Kerry; stay in Portmagee
Day 17: Skellig Michael, Kerry the Kingdon in Tralee; stay in Dingle 3 nights
Day 18: Dingle Peninsula Loop, Great Blasket Centre
Day 19: Dingle Town and area, possible boat to Blasket Islands
Day 20: Knappogue Castle, Ennis; stay there
Day 21: Cliffs of Moher & the Burren; stay in Galway 3 nights
Day 22: Galway
Day 23: Aran Island
Day 24: Connemara National Park, Cong, Kylemore Abbey; stay in Westport
Day 25: Westport, Museum of Country Life, Strokestown Famine Museum; stay in Sligo and have a seaweed bath if there's time
Day 26: Sligo, Belleek Pottery, Ulster American Folk Park; stay in Derry 3 nights
Day 27: Derry
Day 28: Grianan Aileagh, Glenveagh Castle & National Park, Dunfanaghy Workhouse
Day 29: Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Bushmills Distillery; stay in Portrush
Day 30: Antrim Coast, Glenarriff Park, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum; stay in Belfast 2 nights
Day 31: Belfast
Day 32: Newgrange, Hill of Tara, Trim Castle

Thanks for you help!
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Mar 17th, 2013, 03:28 AM
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Just typing as I go down the list so might be muddled.

If you are staying in Cork there is little need to move to Kinsale for a night. on my list as a nice place to visit but not to stay.

I would have 2 nights Galway then Clifden 2 nights before Westport.

Derry 1 or 2 nights not 3 so move a night(s) back between there and Westport see a bit of Donegal.

Otherwise looks fine.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 03:50 AM
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I enjoyed an overnight in Kinsale--great seafood restaurants.

I wouldn't want to move around as much as you are but that's up to you. For example, the two nights in Kenmare and three in Dingle, for me it would be easier to stay in one place and see everything you have listed.

I would also leave the 3 nights in Galway as is.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 04:36 AM
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I counted about 14+ changes of lodging. For a summer trip in Ireland that is one insane itinerary. For me, there is no way switching lodging so frequently on top of a daily loaded sightseeing itinerary for an extended period in the Summer in Ireland makes for an enjoyable vacation. I would pick at most 5-6 anchor home bases from where to do some sightseeing. I would suggest to merge Kenmare-Kerry-Kilkenny.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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viajero, it was a toss up between moving s many times or having extra driving as we back tracked to see places we had driven by on our way to lodging some place for several nights. I'm still not convinced which is best. Kilkenny doesn't seem anywhere near Kenmare--did you mean someplace else? The reason that we're moving from Kenmare to Portmagee is to be able to get a boat to Skellig Michael--depending on the weather, of course.

cathinjoetown, it seems to be a 90 minute drive from Kenmare to Dingle Town--I don't think I want to add 3 hours driving twice, once to see the Dingle Peninsula and once to see Dingle Town itself. It's entirely possible that I'm missing something.

Tony, since it seems that Cork & Kinsale are only 30 minutes apart, it looks like it would be very doable to see Kinsale from Cork--that's a reasonable amount of backtracking to avoid moving to a different hotel.

Tony, my thoughts (which could be wrong) for spending three nights in Galway: arrive one evening, tour Galway the next day and spend the night, take a boat to Inishmore for the day and sleep in Galway, then head out towards Connemara the next morning.

I had thought to see the Donegal area from Derry to avoid another hotel, but that may not be the best way.

Thanks to everyone.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Driving from Galway to Westport is driving through the Connemara an area 3x the size of Dingle which you have allotted 3 days. Galway itself is a good touring base, decent shopping day and good evening entertainment but day of arrival fine Inis Mor trip fine, spare day?

http://goo.gl/maps/iSQcB has some points of interest

http://ireland.activeboard.com/t5005...-galway-route/ covers the drive from Galway to Leenane

http://www.thinplace.net/ covers the route from Leenane to Westport. and Achill Island/North Mayo doesn't get a look in?

No that's just me being picky. I have a total mental block as to why Dingle is the centre of the universe for Irish tourism when more scenic and unspoiled places are ignored.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 08:17 AM
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Actually, we've only allotted two days (but three nights) to Dingle--one for the town and one for the sights along the Peninsula drive.

Adding more time in the Connemara area is part of how I intend to tweak my itinerary.

Thanks.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Just curious. Are you planning to book your accommodations in advance or hope to find something when you get there? If you book in advance will it limit your flexibility?
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:16 AM
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You might notice that I have not put that answer on the other forum as Dingle has an almost Disciple following over there

I have just been looking for links to Glenteenassig forest Park by Castlegregory on the Northern Shore (Tralee Bay) but as I can't find any of significance I will just say it might be worth a look and a gentle stroll if you get fed up with Dingle Town. (But don't tell anyone! Shhh)
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Mar 17th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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I'll keep your secret!
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Mar 17th, 2013, 12:12 PM
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There's more to Cork than the distillery, interesting though that tour is. The city is worth two nights just to find pub music alone. One hint: At the end of the Jameson tour, be quick to volunteer for the Scotch comparison tasting, which has only limited space.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Being on the move like that for more than a month would make me crazy. If it was a 2 week trip then I could see a few one nighters and the rest 2 or 3-night stops. But for 34 days?

I've taken even longer trips to the UK and Ireland. But I usually have a couple (or more if it is a 6-ish week trip) of 5 to 7 night stays in rental cottages in good touring areas, w/ lots of one and two night stands in between.

If I've counted right you are staying in 19 different towns. That is just a LOT IMO.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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Janis, the problem is that if we try to base ourselves in a location and tour a bunch of sights from there, we end up spending way too much time driving to each place and back to our home base every evening. For example, someone suggested that I stay in Kenmare to visit Dingle--that would involve three hours of driving round trip. No thanks!

I'm open to more reasonable suggestions of how to see everything we want without moving so much--I can't figure it out on my own.

sdtravels, I'll book lodging in advance. Yes, that limits my flexibility--but it works better for me that spending energy on a vacation worrying about where I'll lay my head each night or spending time trying to find a place and settling for something inconveniently located, without the facilities we want, and/or overpriced.

Southam, I've changed my itinerary to add one more night in Cork and eliminate the night in Kihsale.

Thanks for the input--I give every suggestion consideration.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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>>if we try to base ourselves in a location and tour a bunch of sights from there, we end up spending way too much time driving to each place and back to our home base every evening. For example, someone suggested that I stay in Kenmare to visit Dingle--that would involve three hours of driving round trip. No thanks!<<

Maybe because I've traveled that way so many times, that isn't how I see things. I'd rather drive around and 'come home' to some place a bit familiar each evening for a few days. A chance to really get to know an area, meet the same folks in the village pub and share what 'adventures' we stumbled in to over a Guinness or whiskey, shop in the local green grocer, not having to pack so often, heck even being able to do laundry and have it actually dry.

There is plenty of opportunity to hop around too - some areas are better suited to short stopovers but many are well worth devoting more time to.

Your trip sounds great - but having taken a LOT of car trips in the British Isles, I personally like to stop a while in fewer places. Like I said - for a shorter trip all that packing and moving wouldn't wear on me at all really. But nearly 5 weeks of constant moving would make me bat s#*t crazy
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Mar 17th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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So Janis, give me some specific suggestions as to how to make that work. I like the concept--it's the implementation that's the struggle.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Just dashing out (St Patrick's Day party) but just off the top of my head to get you thinking . . .

A well placed cottage near Killarney would be w/i reasonable touring times of the National Park, the RoK, Dingle, Beara, Bantry/Skibberean, even Cobh, and more
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Mar 17th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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We do love to settle in to a place and feel at home. When we went to the Netherlands and Belgium, we spent over a week in Amsterdam, with day trips via train to Hoorn, Utrecht, and the Hague, then a week+ in Brussels with day trips to Ghent, Bruges, and Waterloo.

In Ireland, it seems like places are just too far apart to make that work. I can see visiting Tralee, the National Park, and Kenmare from Killarney, as they're less than 30 minutes away. But to drive to/from Cabh, Beara, or Skibbereen in one day would involve three hours in the car, and I'm not willing to do that. Moving to another hotel seem less grueling than that.

I'm still trying to adjust the itinerary to have fewer one night stays. Even when there's only one day's worth of stuff to see/do, I try to arrive one evening, sightsee the next day, stay over night, and head on in the morning.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 10:44 PM
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We spent several weeks one summer in Ireland. My biggest regret is we moved around at all. Bottom line, so much of it was the same and it all ran together. What makes Ireland, Ireland are the Irish people.

We have been back several times and we always settle in to one small village in west cork, Courtmacsherry. We experience Irish life from this great little microcosm of rocky coasts, cliffs ( the second highest in Ireland). It is heaven.

Bottom line: your trip, your money, your decision.... But you may want to consider carving a week into a town. By day we have gone to Bantry and Kinsale and Sheepshead.

Just an alternative thought.
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