Ireland Summer Itinerary Review Request

Old Feb 25th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Ireland Summer Itinerary Review Request

I put this topic up before but mislabeled it. (woops).
OK, I know this is a frenetic schedule, but we're frenetic travelers. I could be persuaded with the right argument to skip a town or an area to slow down the itinerary, but it would have to be a good argument. I've looked up drive times and I don't see too much trouble. Four our family, 5 hours on the road is not a huge problem as we live in the US West and have done a LOT of road trips through the vast western US.

If, however, you'd like to alter this itinerary, let's throw out the idea that to me, the holy grails of sights to see are (not in any particular order):
1. Live music/ Trad or whatever. Pub style is fine.
2. Giant's Causeway.
3. Skellig Michael.
4. Castles and/ or ancient ruins and/ or forts, etc.

Some background:
Trip will take place late July and early August
Family of four. Two boys: 16; mom; dad.
We like walking/ hiking, etc. and are generally up early in the am and to bed late at night.
We aren't partyers but like an occasionaly whisky, wine or beer (the adults).
We are not food snobs and would happily eat cheap.
We also would happily share a 'bathroom-down-the-hall' or a hostel style accommodation, but are not traveling necessarily on a shoestring either.
We will be in a rented car.
Intend to NOT rent a car for the first day or two but that's not super important.
We could make the trip a day longer or shorter.
We will be spending a handful of days in London and Paris surrounding this Irish adventure.
My questions:
Where to stay?
Are the towns I've chosen good ones?
Where to eat?
Places to stop between towns?

How about the ubiquitous question: Can you recommend "must-see's" or "don't bother's"?

Ask if there's anything else you'd like to know about us.

I've read a LOT of forums and stuff about Ireland so I'm fairly familiar with the stock answers, but would LOVE to hear the feedback on my particular plans.
Thanks in advance!

1. Fly London to Belfast/ explore Belfast

2. Rent a car, drive Belfast to Donegal via Antrim Coast Sights (Dunluce castle, Giant's Causeway, Bushmills, Carrick bridge),

3. Car rental avail in Belfast, but not in Derry (for return in Killarney)
See Slieve League cliffs/ explore Donegal area

4. Drive Donegal to Galway/ See sights on the way. [4 hrs +stops]

5. Day trip to Aran Islands/ Nighttime explore Galway

6. Drive to Dingle via Burren & Cliffs of Moher

7. Galway to Dingle: 4hrs +stops
Tues, 8/3: 11
Choice: Explore/relax around Dingle
Drive to Portmagee to go to Skellig Michael

8. Drive around Dingle Peninsula and explore

9. Drive Dingle to Killarney/ visit Muckross Castle

10. Drive Ring of Kerry counter-clockwise or relax in Killarney or visit Killarney National Park. Return cars in Killarney

11. Killarney to Dublin/ Explore Dublin

12. Explore Dublin

13. Fly Dublin to Paris
DrToonz is offline  
Old Feb 25th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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How is this different from your previous post? You received quite a few replies there. I answered your question about the skelligs in two places. In case you aren't checking back to those:

The skelligs are marvelous, but the trip is weather dependent. It took me three summer visits to hit a suitable day for the trip. It is quite a long drive from Dingle to PortMagee (I know, long drives are nothing for you!) but it would mean an early start and you could get there and find the trip cancelled.

You might find the Blaskets off Dunquin on the Dingle Peninsula a great experience. Boats go from both Dingle and Dunquin. They are also weather dependent, but at least you are close by so you could do something else with the day should rain appear. Also the trip does not take all day so you could have from midafternoon on to explore, relax, or ...

Have a great trip and keep asking, but maybe keep things on one thread per question. Thanks.

PS I hope you did not think my reply rude; I certainly did not intend it to be. Just think that it would be easier for you to keep track of info on one thread.
irishface is offline  
Old Feb 26th, 2010, 05:40 AM
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It's not different from my previous post and my replies there are helpful. I just didn't want to exclude people who may have read my title and not understood what it was. I would prefer to have just changed the title, but I could not figure out how to do that! (is it possible?). Anyway...I don't think you're rude and I do appreciate feedback about the trip AND about the use of the site. I have received your and other responses here and on other forums and I think the consensus is in agreement with you.
I think I'll leave Skellig Michael out of the itinerary this time (kind of sad about that). I do understand, however, that you just can't have everything every time!

Is there any place in your experience that has been a great experience that isn't on/ near my travel route? Nothing I've got here is 'in stone' yet, so I'm pretty flexible.

Thanks, Irishface!
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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DrToonz - Once submitted a post cannot be altered. You did the right thing by posting the same questions under a different heading. I can see your thinking on this one and you will most likely find some more replies from folks who never read "Ireland - Ring of Kerry Timeline".
I agree with you that it was slightly confusing - but I read it anyway!
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 06:12 AM
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I am assuming your numbered bullets are correlated to the day of your trip. It looks like you are driving from Galway to Dingle on day 6 and day 7? Are you stopping somewhere overnight?
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Assuming the day 6 and 7 descriptions are a bit mixed up, I think the itinerary is ambitious, but not impossible. I realize you are used to driving. But there is one major difference here - you are used to driving (I'll assume, given your location) straight, flat roads. The roads in Ireland are neither, and take more concentration and effort. Also, they aren't highways - you need to watch out for children, sheep, parked cars and evil hedgerows that jump out in front of your car at random times. It makes the drive itself more tiring. Just something to keep in mind (I grew up in Florida, and am used to driving those straight, flat roads, so I know the feeling!)

You'll just be getting a taste of each place, but that seems to be what you're looking for, so have fun!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 06:01 AM
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@Dragon: I see that they are a bit mixed up. Woops.
Thanks for the input. I'm looking into minimizing the driving a bit because of a few comments about that. I'll keep tweaking this itinerary! ~DrToonz
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Better to discover too much time on your hands than too little, I always like to err on the side of caution when calculating distances. Also, you will want to stop every 500 feet to look at things, take photos, explore side roads, etc. - if you've filled your day with driving, you haven't time for such wonders.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 04:05 PM
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I agree with the last few posts about driving. I've been in the western US and we were in Ireland fall of 08. There is absolutely no comparison.

As people have said, in Ireland you will be driving quite slow because of narrow curvy roads, sheep, possible rain or clouds, but most of all the scenery. You do not want to hurry, you'll want to stop often and get out of the car and sit and absorb, take pictures, explore a stone circle that you didn't know was there. Leave time to stop at the unexpected shop or restaurant, or take a road just because it looks cool. Please don't schedule too much, it is an amazing country.
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