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daveesl Apr 15th, 2008 01:55 PM

Help on Southern Ireland
Well, Father-in-Law passed away last week and we've decided to take my Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law to Ireland for a week or so this summer. MIL has always wanted to go, has never traveled outside of the U.S.. She intends to look up her family. SIL has also never left the U.S. and gets envious of our travels.

So, since I know absolutely nothing about the Emerald Isle, but have heard wonderful things about it, would love some ideas from my fellow Fodorites.

I'll rent a car and drive. We don't mind driving a fair amount. I've found some great cottages to rent all over, at some fantastic prices.

Interests are history, culture, scenery, food, etc.

Love to hear some ideas and comments. Thanks in advance...


daveesl Apr 16th, 2008 03:51 AM


bmw732002 Apr 16th, 2008 04:28 AM


Well your question is pretty general.

I, of course, suggest you read all the Ireland posts that others have left to get a good feel about Ireland.

I will give you my experience with my ONE trip to Ireland.

I had taken my elderly in-laws on this trip.

I had wanted to tour the west coast and down to Dingle. I had wanted to do the "B&B" experience that Ireland is know for.....but I worried about the In-Laws moving around every other day!

Renting a home is good idea! The elderly inlaws had a "BASE". They new what the accomodations would be EVERY night! They could stay Home if they were tired, they could cook thier own food, etc, etc.

I found a house to rent 'on-line' Price was good and the website looked professional. Yes, I was taking a chance......but it turned out wonderful.

We started out from Shannon. Rented a van-type car, automatic, for the 4 of us.
Driving the roads in Ireland is a bit of a challenge. The roads are narrow, the tourist areas have the fun factor of Tour Busses sharing the road! Distances are longer than they look on the map because you need to go slowwwwwwww!!

Pick a House in an area that peaks your interest! It is too hard to see all of Ireland when you have a Base Home. Just too much driving out and back!

Come back an update this post when you have narrowed down where you think you would like to go! Then the Ireland Experts can "fine tune" your vacation for you!

But you are right...Ireland is Wonderful!

kelliebellie Apr 16th, 2008 05:56 AM

Ireland is definitely a pack light and move your base every night or two sort of place. There is a lot of driving if you want to "see it all". When planning your drive, use 35 miles per hour as your average speed. It will keep your plans realistically based.

We loved Adare. Neat castle ruins and beautiful restored manor. You can go there and have tea and look about the grounds:

Momof3sons Apr 16th, 2008 06:02 AM

Some of our favorite sights in our brief trip to the SW of Ireland included the Slea Head Drive on the Dingle peninsula and all of the sights like the forts, bee hive huts,Gallarus Oratory, Staigue Fort on the southern side of the Ring of Kerry Drive (the southern side of the ROK had some beautiful scenery, but if we could only do one - we would choose the Slea Head Drive). The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking and the Burren is fascinating landscape.

gruezi Apr 16th, 2008 06:13 AM

dear dave,

Have only been once for 2 weeks. It is a beautiful and friendly country.

My 2 cents: I know you said you don't mind driving, but driving in Ireland, as already mentioned here, is slow and tedious esp. if you have rain (which is pretty much a guarantee in summer).

Don't take on too much or try to fit too much in. I like the idea of expecting to cover 35 miles per hour. That sounds about right.

Have a lovely trip and condolences on your loss.


daveesl Apr 16th, 2008 03:28 PM

Thanks to everyone, so far. Yeah, we will probably focus more in the southern region of southern Ireland. I've done a fair amount of driving in Scotland and lived in the mountains of Colorado, so I'm used to small, twisty, slow driving roads. Plus, I want this to be relaxing for MIL and SIL.

Anyone have favorite towns or places?

Also, is there a problem using a mobility scooter? While MIL can walk, the scooter is much easier on all. It is a foldable unit, so it travels easily.

Thanks again and keep the ideas coming.


kelliebellie Apr 17th, 2008 07:36 AM

Be sure to bring a handicap permit with you that dangles from the rear view mirror. They are internationally recognized and made life much easier for us with my husband's broken foot in France.

Nuttela Apr 17th, 2008 09:15 AM

I am not sure about the mobility but we enjoyed our travels in Killarney. We thought it was a good place to sit back and relax and enjoy nature at its fullest. That being said it was a lot of hiking and walking so I am not sure how that would work for you.

If you click on my name I have a trip report from when I was there last year. We started in Ennis and ended in Dublin with base cities in Ennis, Killarney, Kilkenny, and Dublin. We did a lot of day trips.

Ireland is a great place to just enjoy life and the scenes around you. I am sure you all will have a great time.

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