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Ireland Itinerary Review Please!

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Aug 13th, 2012, 09:33 AM
  #1
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Ireland Itinerary Review Please!

Desperately looking for help with our upcoming Ireland trip!

Here's the proposed itinerary thus far - would appreciate any and all comments. Additionally, are we close to any "can't miss" places that we've missed with this itinerary? Please note the hotels and flights are already booked so the overnight locations cannot be changed at this point.

Day 1

Arrive Dublin and travel to Kilkenny visiting the following sites along the way

Glendalough

Jerpoint Abbey

Spend night in Kilkenny

Day 2

Travel to Killarney visiting the following sites along the way

Rock of Cashel

Cahir

Blarney Castle (maybe? - or too touristy? We have no intention of kissing the stone but might want to see the castle!)

Overnight in Killarney

Day 3

Dingle Penninsula

Killarney National Park

Overnight in Killarney

Day 4

Travel to Galway and visit

Cliffs of Moeher

Connemara

Overnight in Galway

Day 5

Dunguaire Castle

Aran Islands (one island)

Overnight in Galway

Day 6 & 7

Galway to Dublin - final 2 nights in Dublin
rightwright is offline  
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Aug 13th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Day 2 I'd skip Blarney if you have no craving to kiss the stone. This is easy for me to say as I have been many a time (for many friends whom I have taken, Blarney is a must see), but I find Blarney a driving nightmare and you do have other castles on your trip.

Day 5--the Aran Islands are an all day trip. I assume you are going from Rosseveal which is a much shorter trip than from Doolin and not so weather dependent. Put Dunguaire on the day you are going to Galway. It would be back tracking from Galway.

stop at Clonmacnoise on your way to Dublin. It is a monastic on the banks of the Shannon. Lots of Celtic crosses. The oldest have been brought under cover to save weathering, but these have been replaced with replicas outside. I found the place to be hauntingly beautiful.

Day 4 Connemara is the area west of Galway so you won't see much of it on your way north from Killarney. You will see some of it on your way to Rosseveal to catch the Aran Island ferry.

the trip around the dingle Peninsula will take much of your day so you will not have time for much of Killarney Ntl Park on that day.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Dear Irishface - thank you so much! Okay - I'm now "over" Blarney, love the Clonmacnoise suggestion and am thinking of skipping Connemara as I've heard so much about Killarney National Park. It's tough to keep the days somewhat balanced and I seem to be struggling with the Galway component of the trip the most. Any other suggestions you may have would be appreciated. We love castles, abbeys, scenery, quaint towns and would like NOT to spend the entire vacation in the car!!! Safe travels!
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Aug 13th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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As per my answer elsewhere..

Point to point no problems, plan to see between points without a pilots licence and Harrier might be a different matter.

Driving to Kilkenny day one is fine taking in all the sights on the way with jet lag hanging around waiting to run you into a ditch or someone else, not good.

Day 2 long but possible

Day 3 & 4 not impossible simply implausible

5,6,7 bit of normality creeping in.

Welcome to the Forum and don't be discouraged, There will be a lot you can see and do but once you consider that you will average 30ish mph for much of your itinerary some trimming needs to be done.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 06:12 PM
  #5
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Thank you everyone! Soooo how can I improve my Killarney to Galway experience...I could cut out Connemara and I'm now hearing that the Aran Islands may not be the place to be in October (especially the voyage to/from!) HELP - my eyes are starting to roll into the back of my head! I'd somehow like to fit the Dingle Penninsula in the adventure but am flexible on the rest! Appreciate your thoughtful response ;-)
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Aug 15th, 2012, 07:06 AM
  #6
 
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I could be wrong but reading the other thread running it seems like the script from a Tour. The thing to note about some "Tours" is that they use two professional drivers, have you on the road for 10 hours and get commission from some places they take you.

I worked this route for someone a few months back.

http://goo.gl/maps/PPhU
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Aug 15th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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Your day 3 is unfortunately not possible in practice - you can't do justice to both KNP and the Peninsula in one day, even if technically you can drive to both. You'll be stopping for pictures all the time, and driving in Ireland is slower than you'd expect. I'd read a rule of thumb to plan on averaging 35mph, and that turned out to be pretty accurate for us. It took us probably four or five hours to do Rick Steves's drive of Dingle Peninsula, and we were staying in Dingle itself, so no driving from other towns. If you're locked into staying in Killarney, that's at least an extra four hours of drive time to and from Dingle.

If the change fee for your flights isn't exorbitant, I'd strongly recommend looking at flying home from Shannon. It'll save you a lot of time backtracking to Dublin. Can your hotels be changed or canceled? If not, you're locked into a LOT of driving in the first few days. *If* you can change them, ideally I would stay in or perhaps outside Dublin on your first night (noting Tony's advice about driving while jet lagged - NOT a good idea!), touring Dublin or going to Glendalough that day. Then spend a night in Kilkenny, then head straight to Dingle and stay for at least two nights (one full day), then to Galway with the Cliffs on the way. Then on your last day back to Dublin, if you can't change flights. (If you can change your flights for a reasonable fee, keep all the Dublin time at the beginning, then rent a car and head southwest.)

You might read some trip reports here to get a feel for the time the various attractions takes, as well as how people felt about them. They're the posts with the yellow book beside them, and you can search for them in the advanced search box. I always find that helpful when planning!
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