Ireland itinerary help

Jun 1st, 2007, 05:32 PM
  #1  
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Ireland itinerary help

My wife, 2year old daughter, and myself have a 2 week trip coming up at the end of June to Ireland. The first week we will be exploring on our own and the second week we will be meeting up with my family for a week in Kinvara. NEED SOME advice on the first week. We are thinking Donegal/Sligo/Westport or RoK/Dingle/Killarney/Baera. We are of the sort that would rather see less area and get to know it than be windshield rats. Any help out there?? Especially related to traveling with a 2 year old.
vtirish is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 04:59 AM
  #2  
 
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You can read my recent trip report at www.xanga.com/urbino We started from Sligo, Athlone, Galway City, Cong and Clifden. The driving times are longer than you'd think particularly in Connemara. e.g. Clifden to Westport 1 hour; Westport to Achill Island 1 hr. We loved Connemara and could easily have spent more time around Westport. Lovely beach for your 2 year old at Keell on Achill Island.
bellini is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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Both are very nice. My only experience with a 2 year old is being one and that was 46 years ago. I may not be much help there.

Tourist season is ramping up by the end of June. The SW will probably be quite a bit more crowded than the NW. That could be good or bad depending on your vantage point. The SW is less remote feeling and probably has more services available more frequently if that would be an issue with a two year old. The scenery is stunning, but different in both locations.

Bill
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Jun 4th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Hello. With a 2-year-old I would spend several nights in either Westport or Dingle town. Both towns have a lot to do, and by staying within walking distance of town you can always pop back to your room for a nap if the 2-year-old needs a break.

If possible, try to avoid Friday and Saturday nights in Westport or Dingle as those will be noisier and more crowded.

In Westport the Boulevard Guesthouse has a wonderful location. We got a good night's sleep there as even though it's on the street, there aren't any pubs right near there so it is quiet outside at night. Yet just around the corner are fun restaurants, shops, pubs, etc. Plus you can go for a drive into the countryside...Achill island is a wonderful drive...there's a beautiful beach there. Breakfast is included at The Boulevard Guesthouse and prices are good. You MUST phone ahead the day you are arriving so let them know about when you'll be arriving. They have a small staff and must be sure that someone will be on hand to greet you. Westport is a fun mid-sized town, a great walking town.

Dingle town is another town that is just the right size for walking. We enjoyed Heaton's Guesthouse, and were able to walk into town. They are a little pricier but I felt it was worth the price...your breakfast is included, and you get an entire menu to choose between things like gourmet home-made panckaes, fresh fish, etc...amazing breakfast feast. Friendly people.

I recommend you DON'T try to do the Ring of Kerry, Ring of Dingle, and the Beara...just choose one. One per trip is fine. We chose the Ring of Dingle and were delighted. Maybe next time we will do either Beara or the Ring of Kerry.

Enjoy! Slow down to a 2-year-old's pace. She won't be 2 forever. Enjoy your naps while you can!
Melissa5 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 10:37 AM
  #5  
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Thank you so much wojazz3 and Melissa5 for the useful information. I have a follow up question or two. Before reading your posts, my wife and I hatched the idea last night of visiting Dingle and the Connemara area only - glad you agree that skipping RoK is a good idea.

Anyway, here would be a plan: Arrive Shannon Monday morning and drive to Dingle. Stay there Mon night and Tues night then depart Wed to head North towards Connemara; stay somewhere in between Wed night; Complete trip to Connemara (Clifden or Westport) and stay Thurs night and Fri night, then head to Kinvara midday to meet up with our family on Saturday evening. Does this sound like a good decent pace plan? If so, any thoughts on where to stay Wednesday night (in between Dingle and Connemara.) Thanks again for all of your help - it is appreciated.
vtirish is offline  
Jun 5th, 2007, 05:19 PM
  #6  
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Any thoughts from anyone on the above questions?? thanks in advance.
vtirish is offline  
Jun 6th, 2007, 12:57 AM
  #7  
 
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I would wholeheartedly agree with Melissa5 - choose only one area and leave time to explore it thoroughly. Remember that the secondary roads are basically the same as those in medieval times -- except with a bit of tarmac/asphalt thrown on the top (sometimes!!). You need to enjoy and savour this experience - having one of these roads to yourself!

If you're considering something off the beaten track, your Beara idea is good. I have written a tour of Munster that includes Beara, including pictures of the infamous 'cable' car which you have to do. Please visit:
http://www.hidden-dublin.com/tours/munster_index.html

I'm a native Dubliner but working in the UK at present, so I envy you touring the Irish countryside.

Enjoy,

Peter
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