Ireland Itinerary Questions

Dec 5th, 2005, 11:58 AM
  #21  
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Thank you all for your kind responses, and allisonm I didn't mean to leave you out in a thank you earlier. When I responded to Budman I somehow missed your post, so thank you!

Now I'm very confused! There is just simply too much to do! I am going to take everyone's advice. Now the new itinerary is:

Drive to Kilkenny for 1 night, Dingle for 3 nights (too much time? Should we break this up and do a night in Kenmare of Killarney?), Galway for 2 nights and Dublin for 2 nights.

Does this itinerary look better? Any suggestions on changes?

We will probably do as suggested and drop the car off somewhere outside of Dublin and train into town. After a disasterous drive in London a few years ago my husband avoids driving in most European cities at all costs...I think it scared him for life!

I really can't thank you all enough for your help. It's been invaluable in planning this trip.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 12:09 PM
  #22  
 
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Personally, I would deduct a day from Dingle and add a day to Dublin. There are many excellent walking tours of Dublin and lots of entertainment in the Temple Bar area.
Edward2005 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 01:27 PM
  #23  
 
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Kenmare is a lovely little Irish town. Killarney is very "touristy." I'd rather sleep in Kenmare myself. If I were you, I'd drive from Kilkenny to Kenmare, spend the night, and drive to Dingle via Killarney the next day. Bonus: The drive from Kenmare to Killarney is beautiful.
TimS is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 01:37 PM
  #24  
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Tim, I was hoping someone would advise me on staying in Kenmare because from what I've seen and read it sounds charming and I would love to stay there. I think I am going to take a night off of Dingle and add it to Kenmare. I hate to do 2 one-nighters in a row but I think, or at least hope, that Kenmare is worth it!

Edward, thank you for the advice. Although we considered staying an extra night in Dublin, we decided that two should be fine for this trip. We just got back from a trip to Paris where we spent the whole time in the city, so for this trip we both prefer to see more countryside and less city.

Thanks again everyone!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 01:43 PM
  #25  
 
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One more note: If you drop your car at the Dublin airport, you can take a bus to the heart of the city. The three-day Rambler pass (E10.00) includes the Airlink bus to and from the airport as well as unlimited rides on the city bus system. A regular city bus ticket from the airport to the city costs E1.75 (exact change required).
TimS is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 02:00 PM
  #26  
 
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Here's another vote for Kenmare -- we spent three nights there in Oct.'04, and drove the Beara Peninsula among other things. It's a wonderful town, and easy to walk about, too.

Enjoy, and have a grand trip. Ireland is magical! (And don't worry about too many questions--many of us have been in your shoes prior to our first trip to Ireland!).

Cheers,
Sue
suelh is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 02:44 PM
  #27  
 
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If you're looking for a B&B in Kenmare, I recommend the Waters Edge B&B. It's on a forest hillside a mile south of town overlooking the estuary. Beautiful setting, lovely rooms, gracious host, and excellent breakfast choices which you select the night before. The price is certainly right (double with bath for E52-58). No smoking. Cash only. Phone: 064/41707. E-mail: [email protected].
TimS is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 03:01 PM
  #28  
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You guys are lifesavers (I'm assuming I'm allowed to be overly dramatic about travel since this is a travel board !

Thank you so much for the B&B rec. I've been researching them all day and there are tons to choose from, so getting personal recs are always welcome!

And Sue, thank you! I think all of my other Europe trip itineraries have been easier than planning this one! For some reason this is harder than I thought it would be, I guess because I didn't realize how much Ireland truly has to offer until I booked the tickets and started doing my research.

Thanks again everyone!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 04:19 PM
  #29  
CU
 
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As you can see Ireland is the land of many charms and all here have their own special memory of their trip.
Could I commend www.cietours.ie/home and click on Ireland tours.
While you will not be taking an organised tour(and then again you may) you will see how the experts plan a number of sight seeing tours in Ireland.
I read with interest the advice that some were giving about driving in Dublin. I fully commend this advice. If you are staying in the city there is no need of a car as the public transport system is good. I would commend the hop on hop off bus to get a good overall view of the city. Then when you are ready to proceed down the country take the train to an outside town and hire your car. Then when you return you can go back to the town and after check in take the train back into the city.
Hope all is well in Chicago Have been there many times around Arlington. Heard the Wilton shopping mall is growing by the year. Must go back to check.
Enjoy your holiday.
CU is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 08:00 PM
  #30  
 
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Hi tcreath. We sure are enjoying all of these Ireland threads as we plan our own adventure next summer. We did a similar route as you are proposing on our first trip to the Emerald Isle - Dublin, Waterford, Dingle, Doolin, Ballyvaughan and back to Dublin. Some thoughts....

Ideally, fly in/out of Shannon and just do the west coast for an 8 night visit, leaving Dublin for another time. No way would I ever again drive back to Dublin. But I understand that may not be an option for you.

Dublin is OK, but IMO it's not a must-see. And since you are looking for less city and more country on this trip, I would spend less time there and more time on the west coast.

Loved Kinsale. Great harbor with boats going in/out and a festive atmosphere. A bit more upscale than anything you'll find in the southwest. Excellent restaurants, they even had a wine bar which seemed out of place in the land of Guinness.

Dingle has been discovered - but it's popular for a good reason. I would suggest 2 nights as it's quite a drive over Conor Pass, plus you'll want to take the drive around Slea Head.

Doolin is a fun little town, but with your schedule I would just give it 1 night unless you want to visit the Aran Islands.

The Cliffs of Moher are spectacular - if the weather is OK it's a great place to have a picnic lunch. Lahinch is not far away and it's a fun town as well. And if you're a golf nut like me, it's got a top 100 course designed by Old Tom Morris that rivals the best anywhere for a unique experience. The dunes along the coast really make for some interesting links golf.

If you do continue north toward Ballyvaughan and Galway, don't miss The Burren. It's a pretty cool pile of rocks

You are wise to be concerned about how long it takes to do things. Your drive times will definitely be longer than you are use to in the states.

I'm curious about the impact of St. Patrick's day on your travels. So I'll ask our Irish experts out there - what is the impact of St. Patrick's day on the traveler? CU mentions Dublin being popular at that time, but do you really need reservations in March for travels on the west coast? I think of Ireland as the ideal place to NOT have reservations, as it seems like anyone with a spare room has converted their home into a B & B.
39Steps is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #31  
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Thank you for the recent responses!

CU, unfortunately our tickets for ORD/DUB are already booked. Actually we are not from Chicago, although we do drive up to visit quite often. We will be coming from St. Louis and will be flying to Chicago. We chose the flight to Dublin because there wouldn't be another layover. If we had chosed to fly to Shannon, we would have had a layover in Boston both directions.

I honestly didn't even think about St. Patrick's day when I purchased the tickets. We are actually leaving on St. Patrick's day, arriving in Dublin the day after. I'm wondering if we should go ahead and book accomodations now because of this?

Thank you again for all your imput!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 06:39 AM
  #32  
 
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Yes I would definitely advise making reservations for the West of Ireland for Patricks day, becasue if its weekend then many Dubliners go to the West of Ireland for the weekend. Infact I would recommend that you reserve any hotel in Ireland for Patricks Day as we get a lot of visitors for that time.
lucielou is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 04:30 PM
  #33  
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7 to 8 american bands will be in Dublin during that period alone not to mention bands from other parts of the world and they then hit for Limerick for the annual band competition so rooms will be a primium.
It would be no harm to have a look at what is available. www.bedandbreakfastireland.net
The trouble with arriving in Ireland the day after St. Patrick's Day is that we will all have a hangover and we will not be capable of giving you the cead mila failte. I'll drink to that!!!
CU is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 12:52 PM
  #34  
 
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One thing to keep in mind on any vacation to an exotic locale -- you can't see it all in a week's trip!!! Plan as if you are just seeing a certain section. Plan as if you will be going back next year. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy hopping around and around

GreenDragon is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #35  
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Thanks everyone!

To clarify, we will be arriving in Dublin the day after St. Patrick's day but we will immediately head for the country. We won't actually be in Dublin until the 24th and 25th, leaving on the 26th.

That being said, hotels in Dublin seemed to be very pricey and, after reading a recent post regarding noise level, we are considering staying in Dun Laoghaire and using the DART to get into the city. Would anyone advise against this?

Thanks!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:19 PM
  #36  
 
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thanx lucieloo...I noticed a separate thread has been started on the St. Patrick's Day issue as well.
39Steps is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:25 PM
  #37  
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CU, thank you for the link! I have been searching for B&B's for two days and didn't even know about this site! I've already requested reservations from several B&B's but haven't heard back yet. I'll check this site out for back-up plans!

Thanks!
Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 05:32 PM
  #38  
 
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Tracy, we like Dun Laoghaire a lot. (My DH lived there for several months many years ago when his father was on sabbatical.) We stayed in Windsor Lodge and took the DART into Dublin. The Pier is nice for a stroll, and we enjoyed the couple of pubs we hit. We also had our first experience with O'Briens' skinny little sandwiches in DL.

Once we happened to arrive in Dublin the morning following St Patrick's Day, and there was still a bit of celebrating going on. I was "mooned" by the passenger in van that drove past us at about 8am. Woke me right up from that jetlag!
allisonm is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:49 PM
  #39  
 
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A really nice and not too expensive place to stay in Dublin is Bewleys Hotel in the Ballsbridge area. The city center bus from the airport stops there also.
Definitly do the Dingle Peninsula. It is a beautiful area. A really nice place to stay in Dingle is the Milltown Guest House. Their rooms are beautiful and the breakfast is above average. The Slea Head drive is outstanding and their are many ruins along the way. Try not to rush your trip too much or you will not have time to absorb any of the aura of Ireland. Sounds silly, but true.
hummingbird51 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 08:57 PM
  #40  
 
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Another thing about Bewleys' is that if you do have a rental car in Dublin, they have secure parking and it is easy to head south from there. Doolin is very small, but if you do go there check the pubs, they have great irish/celtic music there.
hummingbird51 is offline  
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