Ireland - Northern or Western

May 25th, 2016, 07:03 PM
  #1  
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Ireland - Northern or Western

Greetings, My family is planning a trip to Ireland and we are looking for a well rounded vacation with ancient artifacts, castles, hiking, scenic overlooks, golfing etc. We plan to fly in and out of Dublin but are very undecided after that. We have it broken into three choices - North Ireland, Central / West Ireland, and the South Western area of Ireland.

For those who have traveled around all areas extensively, what are your recommendations for first time visitors? We will only have 8 full days on land and would like to have a relaxing but worthwhile pace - perhaps 4 destinations at 2 nights each....

Thanks for any insights!
ShellyA is offline  
May 26th, 2016, 12:24 AM
  #2  
 
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Finding someone who has travelled all areas extensively is a hard ask, near 60 yrs and there are still some parts I have not covered more than drive through let alone extensively.

Nowhere in Ireland has anything you are not going to find somewhere else in Ireland,
Ancient Artefacts? not sure what these are but really old remnants of Irish history can be found anywhere.
Castles there are probably more in Clare than anywhere in various states of ruin/refurbishment (100+ listed in the County)
Hikes and scenery, yep lots, everywhere.
Golf. as above everywhere.

Best advice have a look at some good independant (not RS) guide books, decide where "YOU" want to go what "YOU" want to see and do. and narrow things down from there.

If you want to be told what to do and where to go then thats easy. Examples:

Get off the plane in Dublin, get the Bus to Belfast, do a tour of the City sights.
Day 2 Game of thrones or Causeway tour.
Day 3 drop to Dublin Airport again collect a car and drive to Galway 2 nights
Day 5 from Galway to Killarney for 2 nights
Day 7 back to Dublin ready to fly out on day 9.


Get off the plane in Dublin, get the Bus to Cork
Day 3 Killarney
Day 5 Galway
Day 7 Dublin

Get off the plane in Dublin, get the Bus to Galway
Take tours
Day 3 bus to Shannon, collect a car drive to Dingle
Day 5 Killarney
Day 7 Dublin

and in between all those I and everyone else could tell you what we would do.

If it makes your planning easier decide on the Golf course. that triangulates the plan, Arrive, Play Golf, Depart. Once that is in place then the days between each of the 3 points can be covered in a bit of detail.
Tony2phones is offline  
May 26th, 2016, 12:39 AM
  #3  
 
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You could visit the North-western part of the island. The Fermanagh lakelands, the Giant's Causeway, and County Donegal, for example.
bvlenci is offline  
May 26th, 2016, 02:33 AM
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Definitely West Ireland for first timers.
kleeblatt is offline  
May 26th, 2016, 03:35 AM
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I recently bought the National Geographic Traveler Guide to Ireland. I have to say it's one of the best guides I've ever seen for helping decide where to go. It has stunning photos, but also detailed and informative descriptions. I have the Italian language version, but I'm sure it's equally good in the English version.
bvlenci is offline  
May 26th, 2016, 04:47 AM
  #6  
 
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Tony's Northern Ireland tour
Get off the plane in Dublin, get the Bus to Belfast, do a tour of the City sights. Also a Black Cab tour.
Day 2 Game of thrones or Causeway tour.
Day 3 drop to Dublin Airport again collect a car and drive to Galway 2 nights
Day 5 from Galway to Killarney for 2 nights( or skip and go see the Aran Islands)
Day 7 back to Dublin ready to fly out on day 9.


I have been all over Ireland but am loving the North most.
Galway and do a tour of one of the Aran Islands. Skip the south for another trip.
flpab is offline  
May 27th, 2016, 04:31 AM
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I'd go West or South West (or combine both) if you want to get a "traditional" feel of Ireland.
littlejane is offline  
May 27th, 2016, 07:51 AM
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That's your kind of Ireland, littlejane! Not having a go at you, because it's also mine. I have just got off the phone after booking accommodation in Connemara (yet again!).

OP, if you are arriving on a transatlantic flight, I don't want you on the road for more than a short trip - I might be on the same road, and you might be too tired to be safe.

You could get a bus from the airport to Galway, and settle in for a couple of nights there. The full day in between could be used for a tour to Inishmore (bus and ferry boat from Galway). That way, you won't need a car until day 3.

Then you can explore Connemara, and then transfer down to the south-west.
Padraig is offline  
May 27th, 2016, 04:02 PM
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Hey, it's Ireland! You can't go wrong, whichever you choose.

While I was planning one of my grandchild trips I asked what they wanted to do and see. "It's Ireland! Whatever!"
jaja is offline  
May 27th, 2016, 08:50 PM
  #10  
 
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We took a 12 day tour around the entire island last summer. I personally think Giant's Causeway and the Antrim Coast + a black cab tour in Belfast are must do's. You could do that in 2 days or less. Then I'd head west and spend your time around the Galway and Killarney area (see the Ring of Kerry or Dingle). Add Connemara (Kylemore Abbey) if you have time just to see the difference in landscape (bogs). Enjoy! Ireland is amazing.
Okie is offline  
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