ireland tour

Feb 17th, 2006, 01:33 PM
  #1  
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ireland tour

we're planning an ireland tour on May for about 10 days.
Arriving at Dublin should we stay there for 2 days and start our trip then, or just leave Dublin for another visit? Is it worth coming back to visit? I'm more countryside than cities!!!!
Is there something we should not miss? I thought of starting at he Giants causeway then heading south through Donegal, Conemara, Kerry and back to Dublin.
Would it be better to stay for some days at the same place and visit the area (if yes, where? ), or just move around.
Should I make reservations for the B&Bs or is it not necessary in May?
Thanks for your help
rosinette is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 04:05 PM
  #2  
 
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We toured Ireland for 5 weeks last September. With 10 days I'd probably spend at least one day (two nights equal one full day) in Dublin, Belfast, and Killarney for cities; but, if scenery and history are more your bent, then the coastal drive in northwest Ireland and around the peninsula areas to the south, would be my pick. B&B's are plentiful, but pre-booking saves time that could be better spent on the sites. The Wicklow mountains are lovely, as is the whole of the island. No matter what you choose to see or do, it will be so great, that you'll want to return.
SmartOne is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 09:12 PM
  #3  
 
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With only ten days you may want to consider doing either the northern part of the island or the southern part. The urge to see it all can be a stretch.

Personally, I think that Co. Antrim and the Giant's Causeway are well worth seeing. There is much more to see in Northern Ireland than that if you like gardens, scenery, historical sightseeing, lakes, museums, etc. You should get a book about Ireland and then make your choices after doing some research.

There is a bank holiday at the beginning of May and reservations are usually recommended then.
IrishEyes is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 04:39 AM
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I think ten days is not enough time for both the north and the south. Expect to average around 40 mph on national roads and less on secondary roads (like coastal roads). You need time for impromptu walks when you come across an especially appealing area.

If you focus on the north, fly in and out of Dublin. If you focus on the west/southwest, fly open jaw into Dublin and out of Shannon to avoid crossing the country twice. Assuming you will arrive in Dublin in the morning, you could fight jet lag by doing a bus and/or walking tour of the center area, visit a pub for traditional music, and go to bed early in order to be well rested for driving the next day. Even though you're a countryside person, I think your brief taste of Dublin will make you want to return for more.

Yes, picking bases for two days each is a good idea. It's more relaxing to sleep in the same bed and not have to pack up each morning. For the west/southwest I recommend Galway, Ballyvaughan, Dingle, Kenmare, and Kinsale. If you fly out of Shannon, Ennis is a good place to spend your last night.

You need a detailed map for driving. I recommend the Michelin Ireland map. Buy it now from amazon.com and use it for your planning. Buy a good guidebook or two. My favorite is Lonely Planet.

Warning! Ireland will enchant you. You will certainly want to return again and again!
TimS is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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" think ten days is not enough time for both the north and the south. Expect to average around 40 mph on national roads and less on secondary roads (like coastal roads).

Try 30 mph. And the driving is so arduous that 3 hours a day should be your limit. It's really hell driving in Ireland.
lmhornet is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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Okay, 40 mph may be a bit optimistic, especially since there are many towns to pass through, roundabouts to negotiate, and road signs that are "too few and too late." And, inevitably, one can expect to get lost a few times (thus the need for detailed maps). However, I enjoyed driving in Ireland, didn't find it strenuous, and thought getting lost was part of the adventure. One key factor is having someone beside you to act as navigator so you can concentrate on the road. And it helped that shifting gears is second nature to me and doing it with my left hand was not a problem. Still, I was glad that my first day on the road began at the airport in Cork where traffic was light. And I would never attempt to drive in Dublin.
TimS is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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One more suggestion (for now): Do a serach on "Ireland" on this board. You will find dozens of threads with hundreds of notes, a large share of them centering on driving in Ireland.
TimS is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 04:23 AM
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"And, inevitably, one can expect to get lost a few times (thus the need for detailed maps). However, I enjoyed driving in Ireland, didn't find it strenuous, and thought getting lost was part of the adventure"

Getting lost is not the problem. In fact, Ireland has relatively good road signs for a European country. The real problems are:

1. Driving on the left side of the road. At every intersection you look the wrong way and experience major disorientation at those idiotic roundabouts. Lose concentration for even a moment and you drift naturally back to the right side of the road and into danger. You don't overcome a lifetime of driving habits in a few days. Near misses are inevtiable and accidents highly possible.

2. Here is the biggy: driving on roads that are 1 and half lanes wide. Even major roads in Ireland are smaller than country lanes in the US. That means that everytime you meet an on coming car you have to move over just enough to miss him while not going off the road and into a stone wall. The stress of this hour after hour is enormous.

3. You have all this happening while and having to shift a standard transimission - with you left hand. If you are not highly familiar with uasing a standard, this is a major task.

lmhornet is offline  
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