Ireland - 17 Day Itinerary Help

Old Jan 29th, 2018, 03:11 PM
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Ireland - 17 Day Itinerary Help

Hi All:

First I want to start by saying THANK YOU! The information you all provide has helped me plan many trips with great success, and I have never even had to post a question! On this trip I am struggling though, so I come seeking your wisdom Between multiple guidebooks, multiple forums, Rick Steve's love of Dingle, so many cities and beautiful sights I am struggling to pin down an itinerary that is both realistic and bucket list worthy and am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.

So by way of background: I am 35 year old solo female traveler. This is not my first solo trip, nor my first long road trip, but definitely my first time driving on the left. I enjoy exploring unique towns, good food with great people, museums, relics, scenery, nature, music, and history. Based on all this I started pinning sights and towns of interest to my map, and I came up with a rough itinerary.

8/19 Day 0 - FLL to DUB (via Dulles) (Travel Day)
8/20 Day 1 - Arrive in Dublin @ 10 AM
8/21 Day 2 - Dublin
8/22 Day 3 - Pick up rental Car. Dublin to Cork via Kilkenny & Cashel (Travel Day)
8/23 Day 4 - Cork
8/24 Day 5 - Cork to Killarny. Drive the Ring of Kerry.
8/25 Day 6 - Killarny to Dingle. Morning in Killarny National Park afternoon drive to Dingle.
8/26 Day 7 - Dingle
8/27 Day 8 - Dingle to Galway via ferry and Cliff of Moher
8/28 Day 9 - Galway
8/29 Day 10 - Galway to Sligo
8/30 Day 11 - Sligo
8/31 Day 12 - Sligo to Londonderry (Travel Day)
9/1 Day 13 - Londonderry
9/2 Day 14 - Londonderry to Belfast
9/3 Day 15 - Belfast
9/4 Day 16 - Open ?
9/5 Day 17 - Belfast to Dublin (by 10 am) to FLL (Flight leaves at 1 PM) (Travel Day)

I am open to any and all suggestions! Nothing above is set in stone, other than the flight because I got a great deal I think .
Other than general advice on the above, I do have a few specific questions:
Day 3 - Do I need to break this up with a night in Kilkenny?
Day 5 - Would it make more sense to drive Cork to Kenmare to enjoy the coastal drive and pick up the Ring of Kerry from there? The whole driving clockwise thing has me concerned about completing the ring and making a u-turn back from Kenmare to Killarny.
Day 11/12 - I added Sligo to break up the drive to Londonderry, but I don't know if it warrants the 2nd day. Of interest in this area is Slieve League, for which I might be better of staying Donegal instead of Sligo and either leaving the 2nd day in Donegal or adding it to Cork or Galway instead?
Day 16 - I would use this for a night in Kilkenny if needed or add it to Galway or Cork, since I have the most interest in exploring those cities.
Other than Airbnb, how do I find true B&B's? The only sight I have found is www.bandbireland.com?
Lastly, are there any local festivals, events, etc. that might be going on during this time frame that I might consider enjoying while I am there?

Sorry for being long winded and thank you in advance!
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 04:40 PM
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Sorry, I don't know how to edit my original post.

I gave Day 11/12 some additional thought and one possibility would be leaving Sligo/Slieve League for another trip. I could then add 1 day to Cork and 1 day to Galway slowing down the pace of the trip and drive straight from Galway to Londonderry on Day 12.
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 04:56 PM
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I'm leaving for dinner out so just one quick question/comment:

>>8/22 Day 3 - Pick up rental Car. Dublin to Cork via Kilkenny & Cashel (Travel Day)
8/23 Day 4 - Cork
8/24 Day 5 - Cork to Killarny.<<

Do you actually mean Cork (the city) or just the general County Cork area? I personally wouldn't stay in Cork but someplace like Clonakilty or Kinsale
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 12:00 PM
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I stayed in Cork and really enjoyed it - lots of 'singing pubs' at night and a vibrant city. Cork to me is also a beautiful old city - well worth a day there itself.

Hit Blarney Castle on way out of Cork to buss the Blarney stone!
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 04:49 PM
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@janisj - I had to look back at my notes to make sure, but I am referring to Cork City. From what I have read the City has a good food scene, which is what attracted me to Cork City. Would I be better of staying in Kinsale and doing a day trip to explore Cork City?

@PalenQ - Thanks for the recommendation, I'll add Blarney Castle to my list.
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Old Jan 31st, 2018, 08:16 AM
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My DH loves Cork! We have had some good food and pub fun there. Be sure you visit the English Market! Buy a little fruit tart and wander around. Every time we visit the Market we wish we were self-catering so we could buy lots of stuff and go home and cook it.

Kinsale is a lovely harbor town but may be a little over-hyped, IMHO.

We we will be staying in Conakilty for 3 nights in April and are so ready to be there!
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 01:00 AM
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Thanks Everyone! So I will probably stay in Cork, and if time allows take a lunch trip to Kinsale or stop by on my way out of Cork.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 04:06 AM
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We took the bus to Kinsale last time in Cork. I love Cobh, a short train trip from Cork. We walked around and had lunch in Kinsale. Cork's English market is wonderful. Great churches to visit and a very lively nightlife. Some great beer made there and check out O'Conaill chocolate that is made in Cork. Buy as gifts and enough to eat for yourself because it is hard to find anywhere else. It is the best.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2018, 09:20 AM
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Before bussing the Blarney stone bring a rag with antiseptic on it perhaps - local lore has it that at night local miscreants go up and relieve tjhemselves on it!
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 05:22 AM
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Yikes! I’ll be sure to take some bleach

Any thoughts on whether Galway to Derry needs to broken up with a night in Sligo?

Last edited by gypsy_soul; Feb 4th, 2018 at 05:23 AM. Reason: ;)
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 12:45 PM
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The drive from Galway to Derry is about 180 miles and should take about 5 hours plus any stops you make (lunch, photos, potty breaks). So if you only included Sligo as a stopping point and not a destination, I would say you can drop it and add the nights elsewhere. How about another night in Galway?
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 01:34 PM
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Was just kidding about the bleach - I believe attendants may do that before each buss? but an antiseptic wipe may be nice.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 07:35 AM
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@PalenQ Good to know.

@allisonm Yes! Galway is exactly what I was thinking. I read somewhere that the oyster festival in Galway is around that time, so maybe I'll luck out and get to partake.

So after so hemming and hawing, I think I am comfortable with this:

8/19 Day 0 - FLL to DUB (Travel Day)
8/20 Day 1 - Arrive in Dublin @ 10 AM
8/21 Day 2 - Dublin
8/22 Day 3 - Dublin to Cork via Kilkenny & Cashel (Travel Day, Pick up rental car)
8/23 Day 4 - Cork
8/24 Day 5 - Cork
8/25 Day 6 - Cork to Killarny. Drive the Ring of Kerry.
8/26 Day 7 - Killarny to Dingle. Morning in Killarny National Park afternoon drive around Dingle Peninsula.
8/27 Day 8 - Dingle
8/28 Day 9 - Dingle to Galway via ferry and Cliffs of Moher
8/29 Day 10 Galway
8/30 Day 11 Galway
8/31 Day 12 - Galway to Londonderry (Travel Day)
9/1 Day 13 - Londonderry
9/2 Day 14 - Londonderry to Belfast
9/3 Day 15 - Belfast
9/4 Day 16 Belfast to Dublin
9/5 Day 17 Dublin to FLL (Flight leaves at 1 PM) (Travel Day)
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 10:52 AM
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Thank you!!

I just got back from my trip last week, and I have to tell you all I had the most amazing time!!! I loved every minute of it and cant wait to go back. A big thank you to all of you for your help making the trip a success.
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for coming back! What were your favorite places? What do you think you might have done differently if you had known what you know now? How was your weather?
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 01:52 PM
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My favorite place was the Dingle Peninsula as a whole, and I loved Slea Head drive more than the Ring of Kerry. My favorite City was Galway. I fell in love with it, and the people were so amazing. Im ready to pack my bags and move!

The weather was cool for me (Florida girl) in the mid 50s to low 60s. Mostly sunny or overcast, only had light rain 1 day and heavy rain 1 day. Overall, very nice

If I could have done something differently, I would not have prebooked accommodations. There where so many BnBs along the way, that it would have been easy to find places to stay. I travel solo, and while Im used to driving long distances those are hard, tiring roads. There were a few time that I wished I could have stopped driving sooner or spent more time exploring a particular area, and other places where I wouldnt have stayed at all. For my first time to Ireland, it made me feel better to have the accommodations prebooked. Next time Ill take a different approach.

Either way, I had a fantastic time!

Last edited by gypsy_soul; Sep 10th, 2018 at 01:54 PM.
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