First seniors visit to Ireland

Old Jan 16th, 2016, 07:57 AM
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First seniors visit to Ireland

4 seniors (1 mid 70, 3 mid 60es)making 1st (and probably only trip) to Ireland. Arriving in Dublin (from Canada) on Sept 14 leaving from Dublin on 29th. One couple ancestry Northern Ireland other Republic. Considering chauffeur driven, we do not want to drive ourselves., would mean 1 would not be able to enjoy Guinness. Are trains,local buses(not tour, except in Dublin/Belfast) an alternative?
Places that we want to see, Galway, Mohan cliffs, maybe Doolin,Kinsale, a couple of castles, a goal, museum.
Any feed back on good chauffeur driven tour companies and points of interest would be appreciated.
pegtheleg is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2016, 08:53 AM
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IMHO you really need a car to get around easily. Trains are limited and many trips seem to take you back through Dublin. Did not try to use buses - but can't imagine they are efficient for tourists except for day tours.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 09:43 AM
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They do golf tours in a mini bus so will do whatever tour you want.

I do public transportation in Ireland all the time. You can fly into Dublin, take a bus to Belfast and visit the city via a black cab tour. Do Mccombs bus tours of the coast.
Dublin has so many great day tours that you can find on trip advisor.
You can take the go bus to Galway from the Dublin airport of city center. A little over two hours. Base yourself close to the bus staion in Galway. There are some great day tours from there.

Kinsale is down by Cork but you can take a train to Cork, stay over for a couple of nights seeing Cobh also. ,

Midleton is where they make Redbreast, Jameson, Tullamore and Power's. Great place to visit while in that area.

We are the same way, no one wants to not drink...
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 09:48 AM
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Have a look at:

They are not a full tour, you do meals and lodging of your choice, so may be just what you need if they go to the places you want.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 09:48 AM
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I disagree with Nytraveler on this one. We had a hired driver for part of our trip in 2011. All the driving would have been left to me and I didn't want to miss out on anything. You won't need a driver for Dublin or the Touristy part of Galway. There is a bus that runs from Galway to the ferry for Inishmor. We only had a driver for 5 of our 10 days. We had booked our tour thru Tenon Tours. They handled all the hotel, drivers, and transfers. We made our own flight arrangements. I believe they contracted out the drivers from this company - Tom was our driver and I had the best time of my life. I sat up front with Tom and we gabbed all day long. He also had many useful tips for places to stop and see and to dine. He picked us up in Galway and took us to the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Killarney, Waterford, Kilkenny, and back to our hotel in Dublin. Twice he even had his daughter Amy make arrangements for visits ahead of time. I thought the cost of a driver was quite reasonable and definitely took the stress off me.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 09:50 AM
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Here is a website that may be helpful to you in your planning.

So you have 15 total days for your trip, however, day 1 and last day will be your travel days so not days when you can do much sightseeing. Where will you be staying and how long will you spend in each place? Our first trip to Ireland we had 10 days and we thought that was more than enough time to do the things we wanted to. NOT! We actually had 8 days with 2 of the 10 days for travel.
We only visited the west of Ireland as that is where our family came from. We spent 5 days in Galway city for a couple of reasons, we loved that area and it was easy going from place to place. We did not drive and used the busses and a day tour out of Galway city to Connemara area. We spent a couple of days in Killarney and loved that area. We hired a taxi to drive us from Killarney to Galway city where we stayed at the Park House Hotel. Absolutely loved our stay there! Top notch hotel. If you prefer the experience of staying in B&B's then you can also do that.

We took the ferry out to the Aran Islands from Galway via the city bus and then the ferry out to the islands. A long day but enjoyable.

So you need to sit down with your friends and plan an itinerary for where you want to visit, how many days, getting to your next destination, etc. I would suggest that you try and spend several days in Dublin, Galway, etc. or wherever you want.

The distances between places are much longer than you think and getting from place to place will result in time traveled vs sightseeing in an town/city. We visited Dublin and Belfast on a cruise so saw those areas also (on another visit, not the above-referenced one).

Hiring a chauffeur will be expensive but if you are splitting 4 ways may not be a bad option. We used local taxis to get to some places and found that worked well for us (there were 5 of us). We had the hotel book the taxis for us also. Taxi drivers are quite entertaining and love to be storytellers.

Here is a tour company in Galway where you could take a day tour to Connemara region. We did this tour and loved every minute of it. A long but wonderful day. Not rushed at all and plenty of time to see the sights. Our visit to Kylemore Abbey was wonderful, beautiful scenery. Pickup available at hotels in Galway or meet at the Galway Coach Station. Very reasonable price for an all day tour (E20. seniors).

Here is the hotel we stayed at in Galway:

There are lots of super B&B's as well. We wanted to stay in a hotel vs a B&B. Just our preference....

You could spend 5 days in Dublin, 5 in Galway and 5 somewhere else or stay in Dublin/Galway and day trip. If you wanted to visit Belfast there is a train from Dublin to Belfast. It is about a 2.5 hr. trip but I would suggest an overnight there or even a couple of days. There is much to see there. The new Titanic exhibit is now open.

We loved Belfast, the scenery was spectacular on our way to see the Giants Causeway. There are many other things to see in Belfast. We took a tour through the areas of "The Troubles" on our way to Giants Causeway. Seeing this was an experience I won't forget - very moving to see what actually went on there.
(day tour from Dublin to Belfast)

You will probably get other ideas but this will give you some ideas as to how and what you can do while there. Ireland is my all-time favorite place to visit.

Have fun planning! Your biggest challenge will be planning your transportation if you do not want to drive. Ireland has a great bus system and it's easy to use. Drivers are very helpful as well.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 09:50 AM
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sorry, my two links became one.

If you did the hop on hop off bus in Dublin it will take you to Guinness, take you to Jameson, National Museum of Ireland/Collins Barracks, free by the way and many other points of interest. Just helps first timers to get the lay of the land. They have the luas tram and a great bus system.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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15 days should tick your box's.
Bus's trains and local tours or Taxi's would do for your list however if the couples want to explore the areas of their ancestry it could complicate things a little. (any research is best done before arrival)

I would suggest heading North by getting the Bus to Belfast on arrival at Dublin Airport. Spend the first 2 or 3 days in the North depending on where you want to see what you want to do.

After the North drop back to the Airport and get the Express bus to Galway for 2 or 3 days again depending on what you want to do where you want to see.

There are good local tours from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher and Burren region.

Not sure how/why Doolin and Kinsale are on your list? But with 3 days up north 3 days Galway including a day travel between the two and saving 3 days for Dublin you have about 6 days left to play with.

Private drivers "start" at about €400 per 8 hour day plus expenses

There are lots of Castles, Museums and a few Gaols around the Island and whilst I would spend a couple of hours on the phone just starting to construct a 2 week plan for folk the first stage is always for a group to check out a few good guide books and narrow down just where they do want to see. Along with not driving I would guess that you want a minimum of 2 or 3 days in a fixed base which cancels out any of my road trip solutions.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 01:47 PM
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You should consider taking a look at They provide excellent tours and can customise your tour to include what you want and where you want to go. They are a local Irish company, which in my opinion is the way to go as the driver guide knows the country like the back of his hand and takes you to places that you would not have even heard of. We stayed at small and very quaint towns in the evenings with plenty time to mix it with the locals and have a guinness!!!
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 03:51 PM
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