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First draft of Ireland Itinerary - Please help!

First draft of Ireland Itinerary - Please help!

Old May 14th, 2006, 05:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 22
First draft of Ireland Itinerary - Please help!

OK, after scouring books and trip reports, I've been working on an itinerary for our Ireland trip. My DH and I (early 30's) want to rent a car and do the trip at our own pace, do some local day tours, and be free to stop and explore when we see something that catches our eye.
I would appreciate any suggestions or comments - I'm not sure that I've left enough travel time between destinations, or if there is something we might be missing. Here goes:

Day 1 – Fly into Dublin, get car, hotel, maybe a bus tour for orientation, stay in Dublin
Day 2 – Dublin – Trinity College, Book of Kells, St. Patricks, Guiness Brewery, stay in Dublin
Day 3 - Rock of Cashel, Holy Cross abbey, visit Tipperary, stay in Kilkenny
Day 4 – Do Waterford factory tour, stay in Kinsale
Day 5 – Do Blarney Castle, maybe Cobh, stay in Kenmare
Day 6 – Ring of Kerry, drive up to Dingle
Day 7 – Dingle Peninsula, stay in Dingle
Day 8 – Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaure Castle, stay in Galway
Day 9 – Tour Connemara, stay in Galway
Day 10 – Drive to Portrush, stay there (do some day 11 activities if there’s time)
Day 11 – Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Dist, Rope Bridge, stay in Belfast
Day 12 – Fly out of Belfast

I would really apprecaite opinoins as to whether we're trying to do too much, or suggestions for compiling some of our 1 night stays into day trips from other stops - I'd like to avoid hopping hotels where possible. We're hoping to fly from Belfast to a second leg of our trip to Scotland - but I'm still working on that part. Thanks so much for the help!!
kriskate is offline  
Old May 16th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 15
Hi kriskate, I just got back from my first trip to Ireland, so I'm by no means any kind of expert. My post will bring you up to the top, though, where the seasoned Ireland travelers will help you out.

A few thoughts: You're trying to do too much in the time you have. We tried to fit in Waterford to Dingle in 10 days, and it really wasn't enough time. Although the south/southwest is truly amazing, I think you need to leave it for another trip. By cutting this out, you can add more time to Connemara and further north. Remember: You'll never run out of things to see or do anywhere in Ireland!

Sit down with a map (we used the Michelin map and it was great) and use 35 mph (or less, depending on the road) to figure time and see what you get. I'd recommend basing yourself in a place for 2-3 nights - we did several 1-night stays, and were relieved when we had 2 nights in the same room! Cutting from an itinerary is always hard, but I think you'll have a much more enjoyable trip if you take your time.

Hope this helps!
prairiegal is offline  
Old May 16th, 2006, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 746
First of all, do not get your car in Dublin until you are leaving Dublin...really, you won't need it or want it until you leave.....when you do leave get a cab from hotel to the airport and drive out of the airport...otherwise it will just sit (costing you money) while you are taking bus tours, walking around, etc.
I have to go now but will look over your post again tonight!
Shadow is offline  
Old May 17th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,216
Try a second, third and forth draft! Really, this is the dreaded "green blur" tour. Too much time driving in the car, not enough time to enjoy the sightseeing, packing and unpacking almost every day. Slow down = enjoy Ireland more.
IrishEyes is offline  
Old May 17th, 2006, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 36
kriskate: Went to Ireland with my family last summer and was there the summer before, too. Here's my two cents.

Skip Blarney Castle...it's really awful.

The Ring of Kerry is beautiful...try to stop in Waterville and follow the signs to Studio Pottery there. Also consider following the signs to Staigue Fort, way off the beaten path. Definitely worth the trip.

You'll love the Dingle Peninsula...it's gorgeous. Turn off and visit some of the beaches along the way (we liked Derrymore Strand). We stayed at the Beenoskee B&B in Castlegregory and had a lovely time.

Stayed at St. Jude's in Galway and enjoyed it. Loved our trip to Connemara, too. Suggest stopping at Aughnanure Castle in Oughterard (I think I have the spelling right on these!). It's not too far out of Galway on the way to Connemara.

I think others have suggested your itinerary is too packed. I agree. We considered and then didn't do Waterford, and I wish we hadn't done Blarney -- even though it's one of those things people feel like they have to do in Ireland. Maybe consider spending more time in Galway or an overnight or two in Connemara.
Have fun!
juliewo is offline  
Old May 17th, 2006, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,125
I just want to point out that its a 3 hour drive from Dublin to Kilkenny. And Cashel is another hour beyond that. So your Day3 has at least 5 hours of driving, I'm not even counting Tipperary. And you have NO time to actually see Kilkenny. And you've skipped Glendalough, which is between Dublin and Kilkenny.

so you really do need to sit down with a map and figure out the drive times. leave yourself some time to see stuff, not just drive from place to place.
china_cat is offline  
Old May 20th, 2006, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 526
I am actually a fan of the green blurr...but...suggest

Day 1 – Fly into Dublin, hotel, hop on/off bus tour for orientation,try a pub crawl tour, stay in Dublin
Day 2 – Dublin – Trinity-Book of Kells/library, St. Patricks, Guiness Brewery, (don't miss kilmainham jail)stay in Dublin
Day 3 - pick up car,holy cross (or jerpoint abbey),Rock of Cashel stay in cashel...we did enjoy glendalough and kilkenny castle...not kilkenny, would skip waterford
Day 4 – do blarney,cobh-st. colman's is beautiful (also enjoyed cahir castle which is on the way and midleton distillery-voluteer for the tasting)-stay in Kinsale (liked charle's fort and "ghost"tour)
Day 5 – do sights on drive to Kenmare
Day 6 – drive thru killarney national park/muckrooss/ross castle drive up to Dingle
Day 7 – Dingle Peninsula, stay in Dingle
Day 8 – Cliffs of Moher, drive thru burren, (Dunguaure Castle), stay outside of Galway
Day 9 – Tour Connemara, stay outside of Galway
Day 10 – Drive to Portrush, stay there (do some day 11 activities if there’s time)
Day 11 – Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Dist-skip if do midleton, Rope Bridge, stay in Belfast
Day 12 – Fly out of Belfast

25 days, and counting, until we leave for Ireland...slainte!
chip is offline  
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