Honeymoon in Ireland

Old Aug 31st, 2004, 12:42 PM
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Honeymoon in Ireland

Hi - I'm trying to plan my honeymoon to Ireland for mid July 2005. My research so far has led me to the tentative itinerary, but I'd love advice on what routes to take (should I switch things around?), places to stay and whether some places deserve more/less time. We will be driving on our own and plan to stay for 8 nights. Should we book all of our places in advance since this is the peak season?

Arrive in Shannon
Ennis for 1 night - see Cliffs of Mohor
Galway for 2 nights - Salthill area or Galway City? Visit Connemara and Aran Islands
Dingle Peninsula/Dingle Town for 2 nights (perhaps split between both locations and stay at the Shores one night and in the Town the other)
Kenmare for 1 night (The Lodge?)
Kinsale for 1 night
Last night in castle - perhaps Dromoland or Adare Manor
Fly out of Shannon

Thanks for your help!
cinyo77 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2004, 03:22 PM
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Cindy, You must drive through Ennis on your way to the Cliffs of Moher. Instead of backtracking to Ennis for an overnight you could spend your first night along the west coast somewhere overlooking the ocean. Or you could proceed to Galway for your first night. That would give you an extra night to add somewhere.

In Dingle I would rather spend two nights in one place rather than moving on again. Choose either Castlegregory or Dingle Town. If you want a real honeymoon splurge you can't do any better than Emlagh House in Dingle Town. Get a room with a private patio overlooking Dingle Bay.

I would add another day to Kenmare. The Lodge is a great place to stay but no views. Sallyport House is very romantic in a truly lovely setting.

I don't know that I would bother with Kinsale for just one night. Add it to Kenmare.

IrishEyes is offline  
Old Sep 1st, 2004, 07:40 AM
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Thanks, Irish Eyes. I will look into your recommendations. Do you think it would be better to arrive in Shannon and head straight to Galway, stay there a couple nights and then go to Burren and the Cliffs? Where would be a good place to stay if we wanted to see the Cliffs, stay the night and then take the ferry over towards Dingle? Would Ennis be a good location then?
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 07:47 AM
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Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. In addition to this forum, I suggest you post your questions on www.irelandexpert.com

Pat has written several books on Ireland and under the "Q & A' section you can ask her advise and she generally replies within 24 hours. Also look at her "favorites". We have stayed at many of her recommended lodging establishments and her recommendations are right on! She truly is the "Ireland Expert"! Also, I just purchased her new book and it is very good.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 09:13 AM
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Last October my then fiance (now husband)flew into Shannon (and out Dublin) and drove straight to Galway. We highly recommend this because it's about a 3-hour drive but you are in no rush. Galway is divine, vibrant and beautiful. I suggest check in, bathe, nap then take a walk along the water and then into town for dinner and some pints. The next morning take a drive to the Cliffs and go on from there.

We loved Ireland.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 09:15 AM
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Cindy: Yes, for July you should have all your reservations before you leave.

If you're going to the Cliffs of Moher, why come back to Ennis for the night?? You could see Lahinch, the Cliffs, Burren and Doolin and maybe spend the night in Doolin. That would shorten your journey for the second day (to Galway). Salthill is actually in Galway, about 1km from Claddagh. There are city buses that go from Salthill to Eyre Sq. (AKA John F. Kennedy Sq.).

I assume you'll be taking the Killimer - Tarbert ferry across to Kerry. On your way down the coast (in west Clare) you'll go by Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point where Wilie Clancy's Irish stepdancing competitions and classes will be in full swing (centered at the Armada Hotel). Your route will take you very close to Dromoland Castle.

When you get to Tarbert, you might consider making a counter-clockwise loop (i.e., to Tralee, then to Dingle before Kenmare & Kinsale. Then you can head north to Adare, bypass Limerick City and Shannon airport and on to Ennis for your final night (which you should spend at Cruise's Restaurant & Pub, on Abbey St. between the Queen's Hotel and the ruins of the Friary.

You could stay at Dromoland Castle on your way south from Galway to Dingle.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for everyone's advice! Bette - thanks for pointing me towards Ireland Expert. Based on your recommendations we're going to switch things up a bit. Let me know what you think:

Arrive in Shannon and head straight to Galway
Stay in Galway for 2 nights
Stay in Doolin for one night (or should we just stay in Galway for 3 nights instead?)
Stay in Dingle Town for 2 nights (Greenmount House??? Has anyone stayed there? Or maybe we'll splurge here on Emlagh House)
Next two nights - I was planning on Kenmare, but my fiance has heard that Killarney is very fun - I'm a bit skeptical from things I've seen on this board - any incite on these 2 locations would be great
Last night - stay in Ennis rather than a castle - too expensive!!!

Thanks again!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 08:16 AM
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We were in Killarney in May and loved it. I was skeptical also as everything I read went on about how touristy and crass it is. It is a very beautiful area with much to see and do. In fact, although we visited Kenmare and it is a beautiful little town, the drive from Killarney to Kenmare is quite long and I might choose to skip Kenmare and stay in Killarney. I was somewhat disappointed in Kinsale. It was not as beautiful as I expected and the food prices were really ridiculous. I much preferred Galway and Dingle. You will have a great time!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 10:06 PM
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Cindy, There is nothing wrong with Killarney. It is a rather unremarkable town but the surrounding areas (Ireland's highest mountains, Killarney National Park, Muckross Estate, etc.) make it a tourist magnet. In fact tourism in Ireland began in Killarney about 250 years ago. Since so many tourists flock to Killarney, there are lots of B&Bs, hotels, and guest houses which spread out from the town along most of the roads. For some reason tourists visiting Ireland don't like to stay where other tourists are staying. I guess they don't like to admit that they are tourists too. If you choose carefully and decide to stay a bit outside town you can find peace and quiet and extremely nice places to stay. That is what I would do in July.

Kenmare is a very small town set on a river estuary. Like Killarney it is in scenic surroundings. Kenmare has many good restaurants and is a more serene place to stay. It is a quick walk into Kenmare from The Lodge and Sallyport. So it all depends on what you are looking for.

If it is a weekend in July I would opt for Kenmare. Otherwise, toss a coin.

I am not particularly enamored of Ennis. It is a rather workaday town with a bad traffic problem. I would stay in Bunratty on my last night. Since you will not be staying in a castle hotel you can at least visit Bunratty Castle and perhaps have a medieval banquet there on your last night.

Fodors forum is wonderful. There are others out there dedicated to Ireland only. Do a Google and input words like "ireland travel bulletin boards" or "ireland travel forums" or combos like that. You might find others that may be of great help.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 05:38 AM
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Suggest staying in Galway 2 nights followed by 1 night in Doolin. Allows you to reduce driving and provides a 'different' experience.

Greenmount House is on a hill overlooking Dingle. Rooms have a balcony overlooking the area to the West. The proprieters are super and helpful. If you chose to walk into Dingle it is a two block walk. I rarely recommend accommodations, but Greenmount House is worth recommending.

Your original thought to stay at Dromoland Castle is a perfect way to end a honeymoon. It is the finest accommodation in Ireland. Even though expensive, it is memorable and worth every penny. If you decide not to stay at Dromoland consider an accommodation near Bunratty.

Have a great honeymoon.
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