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itinerary for 2 wks in Ireland -What do you think?

itinerary for 2 wks in Ireland -What do you think?

Aug 13th, 2006, 03:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26
itinerary for 2 wks in Ireland -What do you think?

I'm new at this so will welcome help, even on threads. This is our first time in Ireland/Europe and we are older travelors. This will be our only trip to Ireland. We are planning a drive vacation from Shannon in September. This is our proposed itinerary.
Day 1 Drive to Doolin stay there
Day 2 See Burren, Cliffs of Mohr stay Doolin
Day 3 Drive to Connemara or just Galway(do bus tour) stay in Clifden or Galway
Day 4 Drive to Tralee stay there
Day 5 Dingle Peninsula stay Tralee
Day 6 Drive to Killarney Nat'l Park stay Kenmare
Day 7 Drive Killarney and area stay Kenmare
Day 8 Drive Mizen Head stay somewhere in area (Skibbereen?)
Day 9 See rest of SW coastline stay Kinsale
Day 10 See W Cork, S coastline stay Yougal
Day 11 Allow for catch up from possible extended stay in previous places
Day 12 Drive Kilkenny, Tipperary stay Limerick
Day 13 ??? see Knappague show stay Ennis
Day 14 ??? see Bunratty stay Ennis
Day 15 fly home
We want the ability to wander so the itinerary may change due to that. What do you think? thanks!
readyforadven is offline  
Aug 13th, 2006, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 47
While staying in Galway, I took a day trip (bus tour) of Connemara and it was very nice. Driving gives you more flexibility, but if you want a break from it, the tour was good. This is one company, but I think there are at least 2: http://www.healytours.ie/

If you are going to go to Kenmare after the Dingle Peninsula, there does not seem to be a good reason to go back to Tralee (stay in Dingle) -- maybe someone else will recommend a route from the south of Dingle to Killarney ... via Castlemaine?

Many people recommend The Beara Peninsula over the Ring of Kerry, but I won't know until my October trip ;-)

You are staying in Youghal and then driving to Kilkenny and Tipperary and staying in Limerick? I don't know what your objective is. I have a days worth of things I would like to see between/around Carrick on Suir and Kilkenny, but I would stay overnight there. What do you plan to see in Tipperary and Limerick? You will be near Cashel and Cahir, but how much sightseeing can you do if you have a long driving day planned?

I have been to both the Knappogue and Bunratty Banquets (hey, it happens) and I much preferred the Bunratty. Also, although I enjoyed my stay in Ennis, there are many nice B&Bs around Bunratty, too, and it is an easier drive to Shannon -- so if you end up pressed for time at the end of your trip, maybe you just want to stay in Bunratty the night before you leave.

Keep working on your plan -- it can be flexible. You will have a wonderful time! --Marsha
shashie is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
Hi ready:

This is a good 1st attempt at the itinerary. Here are just a few tips. You have a pretty full itinerary but it is certainly doable. Some may tell you to slow down but I know you are looking to this as your only trip to Ireland, and you want to make the most of it.

Perhaps do your 1st night in Galway and do your Connemara trip on day two. If you were stay in Clifden, the drive to Tralee would be a bit of a haul. If you want something non city like but a nice little town to stay in, try Oughterard. Lots of B&Bs on Lough Corrib. Not a long drive to Galway, though there are a few good pubs in town.

I would spend the 1st two nights in the Galway area, and only one night in Doolin. Doolin is a good jumping off point for a lot of things but some people hate the place because it tends to get a lot of tourists and the pubs can be pretty crowded at night. You will be there in shoulder season, so you can expect pretty good size crowds. The town of Doolin itself has very little to offer outside it's three music pubs.

From Doolin, take the ferry at Killimer over the Shannon towards Tralee. I find Tralee to be a rather dull industrial town. Drive an extra twenty minutes to The Shores B&B (if Annette still has rooms available) and stay at one of the nicest B&Bs in Ireland (the nicest in my travels, easily). The view is out to the longest beach in Ireland and Brandon Pt). You will be very well taken care of and take the option of having dinner at The Shores. It's a great experience. I'm up to about 60 B&Bs and this ranks No 1. Much much better choice than Tralee.

(huge break since I started writing this)

Kenmare will be nice. From there you can see Beara and the RoK. Just a short drive up the Beara Peninsula (north coast) is a tiny road to Glen Inchaquin and the Inchaquin falls. There are some beautiful short walks and if there has been much rainfall, the walks falls are spectacular.

The last part of the trip gets a little more confusing. I'm not sure I would move from Skib to Kinsale, to Youghal in three successive nights. I also wouldn't spend three nights between Limerick and Ennis and in fact, I wouldn't stay in Limerick at all. Ennis is just up the road, no more than 30 minutes or so and not worth packing up and leaving.

This is what I would do based on the areas that you want to see. I sometimes like the idea of heading someplace and doing a 1 nighter in between two destinations. Skibbereen is not a bad choice, Clonankilty has more music pubs, but for a change of pace and a night away from it all, consider staying in Crookhaven or Goleen. I like Crookhaven for O'Sullivan's pub, (fabulous out of the way fishing village and pub) and dinner at the Crookhaven Inn. Say hi to Rose at O'Sullivan's. That's day 9.

Spend 10-11 in Kinsale and do day trips. I find the Cork coast more dramatic than the Waterford coast, though Ardmore is a neat little town. Still, you can't see everything.

On the way from Mizen to Kinsale there are lots of nice small towns and some history like the Drombeg stone circle. From Kinsale, you could day trip by taking the ferry to Cobh which has a rich maritime history. Or you might want to see something that you could have missed on the Cork coast. If you want to go to Youghal (pronounced Yawl), you could, but I think you could get a full day in and around Kinsale and Cobh.

Make the day 12 overnight in Cahir from which you can see Cahir Castle, Rock of Cashel and perhaps the Swiss Cottage in Cahir.

Spend your last two nights in Ennis or Bunratty. As an option to both Knappogue and Bunratty Castle, if you stayed in Oranmore on your first two nights of the trip, you could do a banquet at Dunguaire, which I find is much more intimate than Bunratty. I've never done Knappogue.

Long and drawn out, but I hope this helps. Again, you could slow down some, but I really think your plans are realistic and will give you the opportunity to spend time in a everything from a nice City (Galway) to a tiny fishing village (Crookhaven) and see some spectacular scenery in between.

wojazz3 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Oh, BTW, here are some links to my travel journals from my longer trips to Ireland:




wojazz3 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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readyforadven, my first itinerary for Ireland started out like yours only longer. Eventually I realized I was still missing half of Ireland so I sped it up and spent just 3 hours in each county so I could see the whole country. Just kidding! Actually I painfully let go of half of the places on my original itinerary and settled on just enough wonderful stops so that I could thoroughly enjoy 3 nights per stop and really see not only the "must-see" sites at each stop, but also have time for unplanned adventures, such as an interesting chocolate shop my daughters and I happened upon in Westport, County Mayo, where we met a fascinating Irish lady and had a nice long chat with her while eating chocolates and sipping capuccino.

Also, since we had 3 nights per stop at most places, when we got a fascinating conversation going at breakfast with our Irish host or hostess at our b&bs, we felt free to enjoy it at length, instead of having to rush out the door...since we had plenty of time at each stop.

I recommend 2 or 3 nights per stop. You will see more in that particular area that way. You will also spend less time packing, unpacking, loading up the car, checking your room for left items, etc.

Because we stay in fewer spots as our "base", I put a lot of research into narrowing those choices down to the most fascinating spots with lots to offer us. It works every time. I also put a lot more time into researching which b&b or hotel to stay in, since we will be spending 3 nights there.

Enjoy your trip!

Melissa5 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26
Thanks so much for all the comments. I am reworking the itinerary because I thought the suggestion about staying in Galway the first 1/2 nights made sense in light of the ferry to Dingle that I wasn't aware of. That will make the trip easier in terms of driving. The question I have for changing the itinerary at this point is where we could stay in Galway because we are thinking of taking the bus tour the second day to Connemara. The tours leave near the rail station I believe. Anyway we would need to stay close to the centre to meet the time frames for a tour. Is there a B/B close to the centre or hotels only? I will probably have more questions but will sort through this for the time being.
readyforadven is offline  
Aug 17th, 2006, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 47
There are B&Bs close enough to walk. In 2003 we stayed at Ardawn House on College Road - the room was nice and the breakfast was really wonderful (http://www.galway.net/pages/ardawn-house/). We did walk to meet the tour bus for Connemara, but I will say we passed many B&Bs that were closer. In 2001 we stayed in Salthill and I think the tour for Burren/Cliffs of Moher sent a shuttle to pick us up.

When you contact a B&B owner, ask them about how you would get the tour -- they are accustomed to helping their guests and usually have brochures available.
shashie is offline  
Aug 18th, 2006, 12:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 730
To Ready.....We too are 'older' travelers. You have done lots of research and that's a good start. It is a good itinerary if you want to visit the maxium number of sites in two weeks. My take, however, is that to get the greatest travel experience, especially as this is your first trip, you are going to be spending too much time moving from place to place and packing and repacking. To experience Ireland you will need time to stroll the towns, visit with the locals, and listen to their music. Each evening spent in Ireland is an opportunity to do these things. I fear that you are going to be too tired.

I would urge you to pick six places to stay and to do day trips from those. Keep in mind that driving on the 'wrong' side will, in itself, be a daily challenge.
GBC is offline  

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