If you were going to Ireland...

Mar 6th, 2007, 12:52 PM
  #1  
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If you were going to Ireland...

If you were going to Ireland for 3 weeks and did not plan Dublin and North Ireland, what are the sights not to be missed. Also what 3 or 4 bases would you chose to operate from to see these sights ?
Halbaby is offline  
Mar 6th, 2007, 12:54 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I would not miss the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Galway and the Aran Islands. Galway could serve a base to explore the west coast and Killarney for the southwest coast.
mkf99 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 01:07 AM
  #3  
 
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Is this a first visit? It really makes a difference. As I am continually telling my type 'A' self, I shall return, I shall return.

On our first visit, there were some places where we only hit the highlights and are heading back for more, and other places that we could not fit in that are on this go-round! Now that the 2nd itinerary is done, I STILL have more and a 3rd visit is planned!

We also are not much of the "spokes on a wheel" type and usually tend to do a couple of 1 nighters, alot of 2 nights and a three nighter here and there, so I may not be the best to help- which is why I did not answer your first post, not for lack of interest, but for lack of knowledge for settling in 4 or 5 places for that many days in a row!

This is MY ideal and by no means ideal for anyone else:
WICKLOW-2 nights
KILKENNY-2 nights (Kelly and Jerpoint)
CASHEL- 3 nights (Cashel, Hore Abbey, Bru Boru etc., Cahir)
KENMARE- 4 nights (allowing for Ring of Kerry, Beara, Killarney Nat'l Park)
DINGLE-2 nights (slea head drive, Dingle town itself)
DOOLIN- 1 night (Cliffs of Moher en route and pub night)
OUGHTERARD-3 nights (arrival day- see Galway,one day to Aran, one day to Connemara)
WESTPORT- 3 nights (or maybe somewhere between Sligo and Donegal so that you could head either way for a drive about)

So, there it is, my list!

Dawn

12perfectdays is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 06:56 PM
  #4  
 
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Donegal coast
Connemara, Galway
Ring of Kerry is nice, but can be packed with tour buses,
Killarney
Dingle Penisula
Cliff of Moher
Cork particularly Cobh if you have Irish roots you will want to visit the heritage museum,
Kilkenny town & castle
Wicklow - Glendalough
meath1 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 07:07 PM
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Connemara!

Galway city only needs about 5 hours, so don't base yourself there.

Base yourself in or around Clifden or Roundstone. Stay at least 5 days in the area.

From there you can do a day trip to Westport (gorgeous drive, nice little town, but I would not stay there).
OReilly is offline  
Mar 7th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Why isn't anyone mentioning that you must kiss the Blarney Stone? Females should wear pants, because the old men who held us at the waist (in 1976)while we leaned backward to kiss the stone enjoyed assisting females in skirts! A picture was taken of us to prove that we really kissed it! Hey, why not, it's an age-old tradition!
dtwtraveller is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 06:10 AM
  #7  
 
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#1 Dingle-Slea Head...great town for pubs,music, dining, shopping, boat to see funghi, horseback riding


#2-Kenmare-great base to do ROK (the section between Kenmare and Killarney past ladie's view/thru Killarney National Park is favorite part),Gap Dunloe, Muckross House, Ross Castle, Beara Peninsula/Healy Pass, Garnish Island...also great town for pubs, music, dining, shopping, exploring...bonus- stone circle

#3-Westport-fun pubs, music, dining, pretty town...daytrips to Croagh Patrick, Doo Lough Valley, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Cong, Knock, explore coast/Mayo

#4-Donegal-favorite B&B Castle Murray House on St. John's Point, Glencolumbcille, coast, Glenveagh park/castle...our favorite daytrip was to Northern Ireland(tour of Derry wall/Bogside murals, Dunluce Castle, Giant's Causeway)

#5-Doolin-great B&B's, pubs, music, pub grub, Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Black Head, coastal drives, Bunratty, OK quick stops at Dunguaire Castle and Thor Ballylee


other top sights would include Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, Jerpoint Abbey, Glendalough, Newgrange/Knowth, Hill of Tara, Clonmacnoise
chip is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 07:56 AM
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By your statement of not Dublin or North Ireland, I will assume that you are flying in and out of Shannon. With 3 weeks to tour Ireland, you would probably enjoy a mixture of Self-catering and B&Bs.

I would suggest one week self catering along West Coast of Kerry, 2 nights in Dingle, one week self-catering in the Burren area, 3 nights in Westport, 1 night on Inis Mor, and the Final night near to Shannon airport in either Bunratty or Ennis.

For Self Catering in Co. Kerry, I would recommend Courtyard Irish Holiday Homes, http://www.countykerryholidays.com/. For Self-Catering in the Burren, I would recommend The Burren Way, http://www.burren-way.com/.

If you do Westport, which is much more appealing than Galway during high season, Achill island is a must. Whilst in the Southwest, make time for Skellig Michael, http://indigo.ie/~lavelles/lavelles.html, the Gap of Dunloe, Rock of Cashel and Killarney National Park. I fell in love with the Ring of Beara, as it was less travelled than the Ring of Kerry.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your adventure!

Slan Agus Beannacht,

Bit Devine
Cowboy Craic
CowboyCraic is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 02:33 PM
  #9  
 
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Er, kissing the Blarney Stone is an age old tourist trap. Blarney Castle is not even close to one of the better castle in Ireland, there are much better grounds and gardens, toursim has increased about 20x since 1976 and I was told by the old guy grabbing the ladies ankles that the line can go all the way to the entry gate in the summer months. The stairs climbing up are steep, narrow and uneven (as they were designed to be) and thus would be quite difficult for people with mobility problems. I can't imagine the desire to kiss that dirty old rock. We finally actually made the climb up this year (it was February and not a bus in sight) and it was an only moderatley interesting castle. It has benefitted though from some remarkable marketing.

Not sure when you are traveling but I will guess shoulder or tourist season. I liked both Dawn and Chips suggestions a lot. I would add Ennis to them, but you need to park and get out to enjoy the city center. You will have no idea what the city is like if you just drive through. You can find some great trad music there. After spending a few days there, I would always pick it over Bunratty for a final night or two.

With Ennis in mind, it should be noted that there are lots of other towns besides Kilkenny, Kinsale, Killarney?Kenmare, and Dingle & Doolin. All of these are fine places (although I'd almost always choose Kenmare over Killarey). I've seen people make plans because they just had to get to Kinsale when really, there are quite a few other towns that are just as interesting with similar characteristics. There are loads of little villagesw withlots of character ... Baltimore, Clonakilty, Bantry, the now becoming more popular Westport, Ennis again and I'm just learning about them. That said, I'm not sure I've ever heard a better seesion than the one I heard at the Small Bridge in Dingle (supporting the locals by using that name).

The Aran Islands really are quite special and if you have the time, it would be nice to get out there, preferably on a week night and stay the night.

The Cliffs of Moher are lovely but they are no longer what they once were. They changes were probably entirely necessary and they are tasteful for the most part but it has certainly lost something.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2007, 03:37 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Just wanted to pop in and add this thread from Halbaby. I do believe the itinerary is complete now as the other thread seems to be a thank you for the advice from here.

http://fodors.com/forums_reg/threads...=Halbaby&fid=2

Dawn
12perfectdays is offline  
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