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Ireland experts, et al.: Please comment on tentative Ireland itinerary:)

Ireland experts, et al.: Please comment on tentative Ireland itinerary:)

Old Jul 15th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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Ireland experts, et al.: Please comment on tentative Ireland itinerary:)

OK, so my type A personality has kicked in and I need some feedback on the following itinerary.

Day 1 (Sat) Dep Boston
Day 2 (Sun) Arr Shannon; get car; Cliffs of Moher; spend night in Doolin
Day 3 (Mon) Aran Islands; spend night in Doolin
Day 4 (Tues) Drive to Dingle Peninsula and explore; spend night somewhere on peninsula
Day 5 (Wed) Continue to explore peninsula; drive to Killarney
Days 6, 7, 8 (wedding day!), 9 (Thurs-Sun) Don't want to plan too much b/c I will have to help my friend with wedding stuff, and Sunday we will definitely need to recover! I am hoping that we will have some time to visit the national park at least and some other surrounding sites!
Day 10 (Mon) Drive to Kenmare and explore Beara Peninsula, Sneem; stay in Kenmare
Day 11 (Tues)-Day 15 (Sat) ?????????????????
Since the first part of our trip focuses a lot on the sea, we would like to venture inland on our way to Dublin. We would like to see rolling hills, sheep, ruins, castles, and quaint towns. Any suggestions?
Day 16 (Sun) Drive to Dublin
Day 17 (Mon) Dublin
Day 18 (Tues) Dublin
Day 19 (Wed) Fly home to Boston from Dublin

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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ttt

Anyone?
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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<<Type "A" personality people are characterized by competitiveness, perfectionism, and a SENSE OF URGENCY.>>

Sorry, I couldn't resist! Especially after your ttt message...

Your itinerary looks fine to me. I am no fan of staying in Doolin but YMMV and plenty of others on this board love the place. To each his own, I suppose.

As for seeing rolling hills, sheep and quaint towns, if you drive through County Cork on your way to Dublin then you should be able to see all those from the road. (Actually, a good bit of rural Ireland is rolling hills, plenty of sheep and quaint townships.) Ruins and castles are bit harder to spot just by driving so you may want to plan a few stops along the way.

Personally I'd go for seeing the Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle (both very close to each other) and maybe staying the night in one or the other town. Then head for Kilkenny Castle on your way to Dublin the next day. I like to go the long way to Dublin from Kilkenny and drive through Wicklow. Visiting Avoca, Glendalough and perhaps even Powerscourt. You could spend a day outside of Dublin, too, and visit Newgrange and Knowth, the Hill of Tara and Trim Castle - all are well worth seeing, IMHO.

These ideas are probably about 3 days worth of stuff to do so the other 2 you have free you can backtrack to Killarney and visit the stuff you didn't have time to do when the wedding was going on. (Just stay in Kenmare while doing it.) Alternatively, you could backtrack as far as Dingle and spend an extra day or two there checking things out. (I'd go for Dingle if it were me...)

Hope this helps a bit and, don't worry, we just need to get up, log on and think about what we want to say before answering you! Hee!

Cheers,

Wendy

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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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I would definitely add Glendalough. It's close to Dublin, in the Wicklow Mountains, and is just breathtaking--amazing ruins of monasteries and churches (including an incredible round tower), beautiful pathways, waterfalls, lakes, the whole thing. We spent a full day and night there and just fell in love with the beauty and serenity of the place.

Kilkenny is also worth checking out--it has a neat castle and cathedral and wonderfully preserved medieval houses. Lots of good pubs, too.
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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And I second Wendy's suggestion for the Rock of Cashel. It's amazing!
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 10:18 AM
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West Cork is beautiful, and has some great scenery. You could go via Cork City, or Kinsale, then head north to Cashel. If you're in the area, don't miss the lighthouse at Mizen Head~breathtaking!

There's a priory ruin at the foot of the Rock, but there's also a really cool ruin, called Athassel, a few miles east of Cashel. VEry isolated, very dramatic. I loved it!

Then maybe Kilkenny, and Glendalough? With five days you could do this comfortably. The rest of your itinerary looks good, but I would highly recommend the Gap of Dunloe near Killarney.
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the help, everyone! Waffle, I love your sense of humor!

Kate, I am hoping that we will be able to see the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney. I am not sure what pre-wedding events will be taking place (besided the usual rehearsal dinner on Friday night) so we may very well have time to do some sightseeing while there. We will be arriving Wed afternoon, so perhaps Thursday and Friday we will have time to go to the park and the Gap.

Thanks for the suggestion of Glendalough. My husband has actually been there; he went years ago as part of a long weekend to Dublin when he was studying abroad at Oxford. Of course he will enjoy it much more with me

Waffle, why don't you like Doolin? Is there a better town in the area to stay in? I chose Doolin b/c I thought it would be a good base for the Cliffs and Aran Islands, but Fodor's mentions Lisdoonvarna as an alternative to Doolin.
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 11:13 AM
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We stayed in Doolin for two nights during our Ireland trip. It is VERY small and quiet--just two tiny connected villages--but we liked it. There are three pubs with excellent, renowned trad music. (In fact, I think it's the music that has helped put Doolin on the map, so to speak.) I still remember walking back to our hostel after a late night at one of the pubs, marveling at the complete blackness of the night--no streetlight glare, not many houses. It's a neat place, and a good base for exploring the Aran Islands, the Burren, etc.
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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Oops, just realized Athassel is west of Cashel, not east.

Doolin is a cool little town, but there really isn't much to do there, except drink inthe pub and listen to music~which can be a reason in itselft to be there. However, you might want to stay in GAlway instead. Adn if you could squeeze another day inthe area, take a day trip into Connemara.

HOwever, you have plenty of time to iron out the details. I found the my itinerary totally changed from the time I began to the finished product. For instance, would you consider landing in Dublin, and doing that bit first, then leave from Shannon? It might involve a bit of back tracking, but would give you more time in the West, like Dingle and Connemara (three days in Dublin could be a bit much!, unless you include Newgrange....
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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Not only is Doolin quite small, as mentioned by KatelP, but in the summer time especially, it is overrun with tourists and that is just not my bag. The pubs are so packed that you can't hear the music which I find annoying. So, Doolin, while I'm glad I've "been there, done that", is not a place I'd run back to anytime soon. And that goes double for the summer time. Of course I also avoid Kerry in summertime and for the same reason... Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Kinvara or even Doonbeg are another story.

(Did you know that I can't find your post when I click on the Ireland topic? Weird.)

Cheers,

Wendy
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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After leaving Kenmare, you might really enjoy a visit to Gougane Barra as you begin to head east. Then, I'd agree with the idea of getting to Cashel and Cahir. You'll have lots of great inland scenery on your way.
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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We are actually thinking of doing the trip in reverse, starting in Dublin and flying out of Shannon. It might be nice to not have to drive right after getting off of the plane. We were VERY jetlagged when we arrived in Paris on our first day . . . both of us took a "dead-to-the-world" 4 hour nap on the afternoon of the first day! We felt good after that, however.

We are definitely going to stop at Glendalough, Kilkenny, Cashel, and Cahir. Fodors says that one day/night in Kilkenny is enough. True? We were thinking of adding a couple of days at the end so that we could explore the Connemara area . . . is this worth it? We are teachers with the entire summer off, so I want to take advantage! Three weeks is a long time without our dog, but she is a happy yellow lab that will love us no matter what!
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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One night in Kilkenny is enough for me. The Connemara area is one of my favorite parts of Ireland, so, yes, spending time there is absolutely worth it!
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 01:37 PM
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Expert... always hate to answer when that word is in posts. Not an expert, but I'd agree with you about the time to recover in Dublin. I'd also agree with Fodors that a day is enough in Kilkenny. Nothing more I could say on spots already mentioned except to agree that Connemara, Beara, Dingle, Glendalough, Cahir and Cashel are outstanding. As far as a route to Killarney from the Cashel/Cahir area that's not along the sea, is to do that Athassel stop and then head through the Glen of Aherlow. A very pretty inland route along the Galty Mts. You're sure to see some sheep that way - not that you won't see plenty anyway! R663 is the main road, but there's also a really small road running parallel south of it and closer to the mountains. Not sure it even has a name or number.

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