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Ireland - Itinery Help

Old Oct 26th, 2007, 03:49 AM
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Ireland - Itinery Help

My fiancee and I will be traveling to Ireland in May for our honeymoon. We are flying into Dublin and out of Shannon. We are staying 2 nights in Dublin and then will pick up a car for the rest of our trip.

Day 1&2 - Dublin
Day 3 - Drive to Cashel, spend night
Day 4 - Drive to Kenmare, stop at Blarney on way. Spend night in Kenmare.
Day 5&6 - Dingle
Day 7 - Tralee (staying in castle)
Day 8&9 - County Clare (not sure where to stay)
Day 10 & 11 - County Galway (not sure where to stay)
Day 12 - Drive to Bunratty
Day 13 - Leave Shannon in morning

Does this sound reasonable? Not sure how long it takes to get between towns but don't want to spend the entire trip driving.
Any suggestions?
keeneyld is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2007, 06:11 AM
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If you don't want to spend the whole trip driving, you're not going about this right

Best advice: Go to viamichelin.com, and enter in each of your 'travel days'. Ignore the actual times given, take the mileage, and divide it by 35mph - that will give you the driving time. Then add to it every time you want to stop - to see the scenery, to explore a castle, to lunch, to pee. Add time to let the sheep get out of your way, or the half hour behind the tractor. Each of your driving days is a LONG day.

My recommendation: pick 4 spots, and stay 3-4 days in each, doing day trips around. You can't see all of even Southern Ireland in two weeks, and trying to will result in the 'green blur' tour, a phrase I heard at www.irelandyes.com (a great resource).

I would recommend 2 days in Dublin, 3 days in the Cashel area (Kilkenny is actually a wonderful town in the area), then drive out to Kilkenny, and do 4 days there exploring day trips to Blarney, Kenmare, Dingle, Tralee, etc. Then go up to County Clare (Ennis is a nice place) for another 4 nights, again doing day trips to Galway, the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty, etc. Ennis is not a far drive from Shannon airport.

Remember that each time you root up and move, you have to pack, check out, find the new place, check in and unpack. By reducing that to four times (rather than 8 in your first plan) you've just saved LOTS of vacation time.

Also, staying put in a couple places lets you really get a good taste of each area, rather than just a glimpse of it. Try several different local pubs, find out where the locals say are the best places to eat, visit, etc.

Hope this helps! Ireland is a great place to relax and enjoy the country.
GreenDragon is offline  
Old Nov 3rd, 2007, 09:29 AM
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GreenDragon is absolutely right. I'm Irish (Dublin) and we spent a great driving holiday in Co. Cork and Kerry a couple of years ago (see link below - it will give you some ideas of time taken). However, we covered a lot less ground than you and still felt we rushed certain areas. I would skip Co. Galway and stay a little longer in any of the other locations (come back again and visit Galway!).

For your Co. Clare accommodation query, we stayed in a fantastic B&B in Glin, Co. Limerick but close or Tarbert for the car ferry to Clare:
http://www.barker-house.com/

IN the past we have stayed in Doolin, Co. Clare - just turned up and found a B&B.

I like your idea of arriving in Dublin, then getting the car after two days. Very sensible - you don't want to tackle the congested streets of Dublin while jet-lagged!

You're most welcome to ask me any questions though my site (see contacts) - I have given you our Munster driving tour index:

http://www.hidden-dublin.com/tours/munster_index.html

Happy planning,

Peter
pjdscott is offline  
Old Nov 3rd, 2007, 01:31 PM
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I like days 1-3; it does starts getting strange after that.

Day 4 is kind of a mess; you could very easily go east towards Blarney and head down to the southwern coast towards Clonalkity. Skip Cork-- don't even bother going in.

Day 5 drive your way back to Kenmare via the coastal route--really beautiful. Also, there are like a million things to do between Cashel-Kenmare (Killarney National Park & Lakes, hello...?), yet you are totally glazing over that region. You need to spend more days in Kenmare-Killarney region. I would recommend that for 1 12-13 day vacation you select a max of 4 lodgings and explore from there. I would select Dublin (2), Killarney (4), Dingle (3), Ennis (4).

Viajero2 is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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For a Honeymoon stay you'll never forget (but VERY expensive) You may consider Dromoland Castle. If you can't afford that, in May you should be able to find a B&B nearby and (Kilkee or Doonberg) have lunch at the Castle and enjoy the Castle grounds. Those are all in Co. Clare, not far from the Tarbert-Killimer ferry.

Ennis is another good stop in Clare, especially if your trip is in late May - that's when the 7-day Spring Music and dance festival Fleadh Nua takes over the town. You should probably try to reserve a room at the Temple Gate or Old Ground Hotel as early as possible (like NOW!).

Google 'Fleadh Nua' for skeds and dates.

If you have lodging in Ennis, make Galway a daytrip. It's less than an hour away. You could also 'bag' Bunratty. You can drive from Ennis to Shannon in less than 45 min.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Keeneyld. If you're going to use the ferry service ( www.shannonferries.com ) consider taking in the very beautiful Loop Head area. If you make your way from Kilrush to nearby Kilkee - within minutes you'll find yourself driving the most spectacular coastal drive. Pull over and get close!

Personal highlights are the bridges of Ross, pretty seaside villages Carrigaholt and Kilbaha, and the iconic Loop Head light house.

Just make sure you have enough petrol (gas) for a few hours drving.
(www.loopheadclare.com )

Also don't miss a chance to visit Quin abbey in Quin village nearby Shannon town/Bunratty village.

You have access to the interior every day except Tuesday free of charge - find the McNamara tomb - family that built Knappogue, Bunratty, Craggaunowen - and the abbey itself.

Another idea is to stock up on food at Kilrush - as there is a brand new Tesco going currently being built outside the village - will find it hard to source any other grocery store of this scale along Co. Clare coast - except perhaps in Ennistymon.

Finally, you will have no problem making progress to Shannon town even if you wanted to go a little further afield - Ennis is now bypassed - and by the time you come you can link right onto dual carraigeway through a series of roundabouts from main Lahinch road, bringing you right to Shannon.

Hope you have a great time!
ferdia is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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Kenmare is wonderful. It richly deserves a couple of nights if not more. Why not skip Co. Galway in favor of a more leisurely honeymoon? If you must have a castle stay look into Dromoland or Glin.
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