Last min Ireland trip - help please !!!

Jul 19th, 2019, 12:07 PM
  #1  
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Last min Ireland trip - help please !!!

Hello Everyone

Our travel plans to Greece fell through and because my husband never gets long term time off I am planning a trip to Ireland asap, just because I don't want the time wasted. I know it will be $ but seems actually cheaper than Greece for us.

I had to book a tour due to time constraints for part of our travel -
I have 4 days before the tour starts when we arrive (although Jet-lagged)
I have 3 days after the tour ends.

I was thinking the easiest thing to do would be to go to London or Scottland 4 days before the tour
and see the rest of Ireland after the tour.

Questions 1- Do you recommend London or Scotland for before tour 3 days. (I've been to London but my son has not)
Is Scotland similar to Ireland?

Question 2 - after the tour
I plan on seeing Belfast, Dingle, Gallaway and Aran Island, Ashford Castle (Not included in tour). Would 3 days be enough or is that too much in 3 days.
Tour Includes Cliff of Moher
Glasnevin Cemetry
Waterford
King John's castle
Ring of Kerry
Blarney castle

Please let me know thanks so much. Any info you can provide into Ireland travel is very much appreciated, this is very last min and stressful




Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 01:42 PM
  #2  
 
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Describe the tour in more detail? Where does the tour start? Where does the tour end? How many days is the tour? Where are you sleeping each night?
dugi_otok is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 04:12 PM
  #3  
 
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Glasnevin cemetery is in Dublin, is that where the tour starts? Just odd that is only thing on the tour in Dublin. rome2rio.com Check out the map and distance. Belfast is around two hours north of Dublin and well worth the trip. Have you booked flights? Tell me where your are flying from and into. EDI would be nice for several days. There is a lot to see in the city. Short flight to Dublin.
Macross is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 06:33 AM
  #4  
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Dugi otok here is the tour itinerary
We will have 5 days after tour in Ireland
The tour company said in this tour Dingle, Galway, Aran Island, Ashford is not included. I don't want to miss a must-see area... since this will be our one and only trip to Ireland. we do have a 12 yo boy with us. I don't want to miss any of the must-see areas. We love to see and learn about the culture, taste the food, see farms, and iconic things to see, or interesting things to see and do.

Also what area should I stay in to see the most ... we leave/ come in Shannon Airport. Also is 5 days too much ? Should I add 1 day to London - we are coming from the states and have no international airport so it's far. Please let me know.
Also any accommodation where you think I should stay would be helpful.
they suggested Ashford but the castle itself is pretty high , is it worth it ? There's also a lodge.

Day 1Limerick & Medieval Castle Banquet

Day 2Cliffs of Moher & River Shannon Ferry

Day 3Ring of Kerry Tour & Sheepdog Trials

Day 4 Blarney Castle & Cobh Heritage Centre

Day 5Waterford Crystal & 6th Century Glendalough

Day 6Dublin Sightseeing Tour & Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Day 7Irish National Stud & Dromoland Castle Hotel

Day 8Tour Ends At Dromoland

Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 06:34 AM
  #5  
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Macross tour starts in Limerick but we dont see it, i posted itinerary above. only in Dubline one day. please lmk thank you
Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 06:34 AM
  #6  
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Day 1Limerick & Medieval Castle Banquet

Day 2Cliffs of Moher & River Shannon Ferry

Day 3Ring of Kerry Tour & Sheepdog Trials

Day 4 Blarney Castle & Cobh Heritage Centre

Day 5Waterford Crystal & 6th Century Glendalough

Day 6Dublin Sightseeing Tour & Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Day 7Irish National Stud & Dromoland Castle Hotel

Day 8Tour Ends At Dromoland

Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 02:41 PM
  #7  
 
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I would just stay in Ireland due to the time restraint. Ashford is very near Cong, they have some nice places to stay there but will you have a car or doing public transportation? I would not waste the money on a hotel at Ashford for three of you. Prices are very high. You could stay in Galway and day trip to Ashford area, visit Cong and Kylemore Abbey. Take a day trip to the Aran islands via Rossaveal ferry. Michael Faherty www.fahertytours.com does a great tour and very uncomplicated since he picks you up at Galway coach station, takes you to ferry and then drives you all over the island plus returns you back. You can get the shuttle there and pay for ferry at the ferry office in town. You can then pay for a horse and cart ride, bike or just walk. Jury's inn in Galway is nice and on the river.
Macross is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 05:31 PM
  #8  
 
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Is this your tour? Irish Heritage and Dromoland Castle

If so, for fellow Fodorites, there's a map, links to a detailed itinerary and a list of the hotel stays. If this is indeed the trip, the tour stays are 1 night Limerick, 2 nights Killarney, 1 night Waterford, 2 night Dublin, and 1 night Dromoland.

And to review, I think you are flying into Shannon and then have 3 more days, but I'm unsure of that, before you have to meet up with the group in Limerick or at the airport. Your last night of the tour is at Dromoland, and the tour company transfers you to Shannon Airport. And then you have 5 days before you fly home. But I'm unsure of how the five days is being counted.

So if this is indeed your tour, Lily, it might be helpful for us to label your days. Here's a suggestion that you can edit:
Arrival Day
On Own Day
On Own Day
Etc (I'm unsure of # of days)
Tour Day 1--Meet up with tour at Shannon or Limerick
Tour Day 2--Cliffs of Moher; Travel on to Killarney
Tour Day 3--Ring of Kerry
Tour Day 4--Blarney Castle & Cobh Heritage Centre;
Tour Day 5--Waterford Crystal, Wicklow Mountains/Glendalough
Tour Day 6--Dublin Tour
Tour Day 7--Travel to Dromoland Castle
Tour Day 8--Leave group at Shannon Airport
On Own Day
On Own Day
On Own Day
etc (I'm unsure of # days)
Fly Home Day

I'll try to formulate some answers after we get this schedule down, if that makes sense.

Macross's suggestion of using Michael Faherty before the trip to make the most of Aran Islands seems a match for how I think you may want to be traveling. I also agree with her to stay within the ISLE of Ireland. You don't need to be adding Scotland (no, Scotland is different from Ireland) or England to the mix. If you want a touch of the United Kingdom, cross the border north and visit Belfast! They'll welcome you.

I look forward to the schedule! Planning is half the fun.
AZ
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Jul 24th, 2019, 06:31 PM
  #9  
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Macross --- Thank you sooo much.

i was hoping to rent a car, although my husband is scared. It's sooooo last minute I'm in total panic though.

So don't stay in Ashford castle ? it's not an amazing once in a lifetime experience?
If I take a trip from Galway how far is it and how long should I plan on staying there?

TY for the Aran island tour info - is that worth it? So once on Aran we can take a bus or a carriage? I am injured now so I can't walk a lot.

We have 5 days after tour ends --- if tour is in Dublin 1 full day - should I focus on Galway, and Dingle for the 5 days? what would you do ? I need to know where to stay and how long. I was thinking I'd like to see Dingle, Galway, Aran Islands, Ashford (if worth it) and we fly out of shannon (anything in Shannon to see)?
I found out Belfast and the island near it where that dolphin swims with the boats is way up North and mabye too far for 5 days? I was excited to see giant's causway but again way up north... right ? Even though this will be our first and last trip to Ireland (too $$ for us to go back to the same place), It's better to stay West correct?
please tell me how to plan it?
Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2019, 07:27 PM
  #10  
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Alessandra Zoe --- YESSS that's the tour. and I'm totally stressed out because I don't have anything booked or planned. for Pre tour in London and Post tour in Ireland. On top of it all , I am having a medical issue on top of being injured. BUT i'm not giving up yet... I may still be able to pull this off. With all my Fodorites help.

Ok - My dilema is mostly where do I stay and what do I do after tour. My son loves farms, cooking old kind of life, culture, food markets etc. and Music.

Yes flying in/ out of Shannon from London (4 days). and after Ireland tour above, we will have 5 days to see the rest of Ireland. So On our Own days are 5 days after the tour only in Ireland - last night we have to stay in Shannon (close to airport) for sure because our flight is at 7 am.
I know we want to see Galway,
Dingle seems popular.

My son wants to go up North for the boat that sees the dolphin and an amusement park ... I wanted to see Giant's causeway , but It seems too far and the West seems to have more things to do ? BUT I have no idea.

So I need an itinerary for the 5 days Post Tour .... should we stay in Dingle, stay in Galway, go to Dublin go up North skip something West... I'm confused and overwhelmed.
Remember this is our One time trip - would like to see the best things or most memorable iconic Ireland.

Any accommodation suggestions are also helpful. Thanks sooo much. I literally have a day to finalize this
Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 04:12 AM
  #11  
 
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I was hoping you'd post back earlier, Lily. I have to depart on a plane, and I'll not be able to help within your time needs.

It seems as though you and your son want to see the North Coast. There's a way to do it--but it would involve renting a car. Check out this link for an overview: https://www.ireland.com/en-us/articl...coastal-route/

Day 1 You could leave straight from Dromoland or Shannon and drive to Belfast. That would be around four hours. Stay overnight in Belfast, and on...
Day 2 Go see Titantic Belfast the next morning at first admission. Then drive up to the Coastal Causeway--you could stay in Portrush, Portstewart, Bushmills, or Ballycastle. Once you hit the coast, you'll find the beauty.
Day 3 Do some of the sights in this area: Giant's Causeway; Carrick-A-Rope Bridge, etc. Ride the Ferris wheel, etc in Portrush.
Day 4 Do some more of the coast or start driving back. The drive will take you around six hours, but if you have a Day 5 (I'm still unsure), then you can break that up by stopping in Cong etc.

Ashford Castle is not the end all and be all of existence. I stayed in it on a bike tour.

Again, I can't help you refine this outline into specifics but I'm sure by my posting, someone else will come to the rescue!
Good Luck
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 10:52 AM
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Lilly, Do Northern Ireland instead of Scotland. Your son will enjoy seeing the Titanic, city hall, a black cab ride. St George's market etc. You can take the train, look at Alessandrazoe's trip reports. If you don't want to drive check out the bus or train. McCombs does great bus tours of the area from Belfast. If you can afford the Europa stay there are Premier Inn has hotels in central Belfast. You might even want to revisit Dublin since you can get anywhere easy from there. Hope your son gets to see the zoo there but the Bog men at the National Museum of Ireland would be good also. Free entry.
Macross is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 06:08 PM
  #13  
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AlessandraZoe- I tried so hard to write earlier, every time I was writing, It would freeze and not post for me. I had to keep trying. Additionally, I had an accident hurt my knee and broke my tooth so I was in and out of Dr.'s offices. I'm so sad I will not get your expertise.

What you suggested sounds so great.

However, the travel agent tells me to stay in the West and spend 2 nights in Dingle and 2 nights in Galway - last night in Shannon as we are flying out on Day 6 early Am from Shannon. So the tour ends at 9 am on day 1 - we have that full day. than 4 full additional days. So we have 5 Full Days and on Day 6 we fly home early am from Shannon.

my son and husband said they are not interested in the Titanic museum (I was surprised as they both love the books and movie),

If you were going the first time, would you go up North to see what you suggested or would you go West to see Dingle and Galway and Aran Islands. If you were flying out of Shannon and your tour ended in Limerick.

I hope you get to see this and can help me. Thank you so much.
Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 07:10 PM
  #14  
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Macross - Scottland is out of the picture. we are doing 4 days in London then coming to Ireland for the tour the travel agent tells me to stay in the West and spend 2 nights in Dingle and 2 nights in Galway. Last night in Shannon as we are flyign out on Day 6 Early Am from Shannon. So the tour ends at 9 am on Day 1 - We have that full day . then 4 full additional days, so we have 5 full days and on DAy 6 we fly home early from Shannon.

My son and husband said they are not interested in teh titanic museum (I was surprised as they both liked the book and movie).

If you were going for the first time, would you go up North to see what Allesandra suggested, or go West to see Galway and Dingle, Aran Islands if you were flying out of Shannon and your tour ended in Limerick?

We are in Dublin 1 day but they take us to a cemetery for half the day, we only have the afternoon to see Guinness and Trinity college.

Please let me know as soon as you can. thanks so much.
Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 10:56 PM
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. Is your husband willing to drive a rental car? It makes a difference in your options.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jul 26th, 2019, 06:01 AM
  #16  
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Dugi Otok - he is hesitant but i need the fastest option. and I need to know if we should do north or west asap. thank you.
Lilly2016 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2019, 09:49 AM
  #17  
 
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I would stay in the West.Buy Rick Steves Ireland book at your local bookstore or overnight from Amazon.

From Dingle to Westport with a car. Hubby would need an International Drivers license from your local AAA TODAY, This is a translation of his US state license. Reserve a car for pickup at Shannon airport.
Make a hotel reservation for 1 night in Dingle.

From Galway without a car. Take local bus/train from Limerick or Shannon airport to Galway. Make hotel reservation for 2 nights in Galway.

Don't panic. Everything is going to be OK. I will try to help you today on whatever you decide.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jul 26th, 2019, 10:52 AM
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We rented a car in Ireland in June without needing an international drivers license. We DID need to take all the extra insurance stuff.

If you rent a car, which is probably best bet, you need to allow twice as much time as you "think" (like from info from Google map, etc.) and use a paper map to go along with the GPS which you will also "need" in the car, so pay the extra for that if car isn't equipped. Get as small a car as you can to help deal with very narrow roads.

M roads are big and some require tolls; if you drive on those, you pay on-line by the next evening so no problem, just remember to do so. N roads may or may not be ok; we found many that were pretty bumpy/needing paving even if "normal" width; R roads, which you probably can't avoid, might be actually only 1 lane wide. But we would not have had the fun we had if we hadn't had a car for the Dingle/Ring of Kerry and other parts West.

Hope it all goes well. Ireland's lovely!
texasbookworm is offline  
Jul 26th, 2019, 11:03 AM
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There is no need for an IDP (International Drivers Permit -- it isn't a license). An IDP is merely a translation of your Stateside drivers license -- you don't need a translation in Ireland . . . They do speak English
janisj is offline  
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