Long Irish Trip In February

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Jan 17th, 2008, 08:55 AM
  #1
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Long Irish Trip In February

Hello! I know it may sounds a very general plan, but I want to come in Ireland middle February and travel around for about 3 or 4 weeks. I was working/living for some months in Belfast and Cork, but never had the chance to do some trips around.I want to focus mainly in the South and South West part of the country, maybe adding a few days elsewhere if time and money permit it... I am 26 years old greek female, have good knowledge of English,I'm quite independant, and have travel alone before,although not for so long.
My first question is: Is such a trip doable on a budget of about 2300 euros (flights paid, but nothing else)? I am not so much into hostels, I prefer B&B/Guesthouses,although I could stay in hostels a couple of times. I love irish pubs and Guinness, but not my priority,as I may have to keep money to be spent elsewhere instead of drinks...If necessary,I'll manage with food from supermarkets/SPARS'sandwiches etc... I'll use public transport. I like ancient ruins,scenery,occasionaly museums,really love walking in national parks etc...
Second question: Do I need to prebook accomondation? I prefer to have a somehow relaxed itinerary,so deciding on the spot if extend my stay in a place,or move soon to the next one...Would guesthouses/B&B be open that time of year? What about smaller towns and villages, in case I decide to visit any of them?
Third question: I guess I'll use mostly bus. How handy are the routes for that time of the year,and how expensive? If I want to visit Cliff of Moher,Aran island etc,would that be possible?
Fourth question: I'll land either to Belfast,either to Dublin or Cork. I am thinking not to spend long in these places,maybe 2-3 days,so mainly my trip starts to Cork. I think I'll move slowly to the west, with an itenerary not fixed yet.Definately I want to do Kerry and Dingle, spending some time in Killarney and possibly end the main part of my trip in Galway. In case I have some extra time and money,what to do next?
I know that may sound very general, but I'd really like to have your opinions and suggestions...

mariha2912 is offline  
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Jan 17th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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This site will give you info on public transportation: http://www.cie.ie/home/

You should look into getting a bus/rail pass. http://www.buseireann.ie/site/your_j...vel_passes.asp

That is a start.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Yes, many B&B's shut down until April but you shouldn't have any trouble finding accomodations in February. It's definitely not what you would call 'Tourist' season.
Beware the weather! North Atlantic storm tracks tend to make the weather miserable in the West and Southwest around that time of year. Watch weather reports and structure your itinerary accordingly.

One trip I spent my time in Kerry & Limerick: It was windy & rainy. People on my flight back to the U.S. who had stayed in the East had much better weather.

As for your budget of 2300 Euro: I haven't been back to Ireland since 2006. Then, it would have been enough for about 4-weeks. Now, I don't know.

You should be able to buy an Irish Rover BusPass for BusEireann but: BusEireann will not take you to the Burren or Ceide Fields or other out of the way destinations. You may be able to find tours from cities like Galway and Cork, but not likely in February.

I hitch-hike to 'off the beaten path' places; but I'm am old man with a walking stick. I don't think I would recommend that to a 26-year old female.

Cities I recommend: Ennis (County Clare), Ballina (County Mayo) and Galway.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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I have been hesitating about this post, mainly on the matter of budget because I'm not too sure about how it might work. We're talking of about €100 a day. The biggest single cost is likely to be accommodation, and you face the vexation of paying the higher cost of using single rooms. You could easily find B&B runs to €50 a night, and that would severely dent your budget. Perhaps you should consider hostels, some of which have single rooms, if you prefer privacy.

One bargain you should seek is the Heritage Card. One fee gets you admission to a large number of sites. See http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/Info/HeritageCards/

Public transport can add up to quite an expense if you move around a lot (follow the links IrishEyes gave you, and check it out). I suggest that you pick a small number of key locations and work out of them. You're not going to see all of Ireland anyway, so concentrate on workable samples.

NEDSIRELAND is right about the weather. Chances are it will be cold and blustery. Daylight hours will be short. Plan to finish scenic tourism by about 4.30 p.m. For that reason, I suggest that you base yourself in towns or cities that are good places to spend an evening. Galway is good; it's a university city, so it is lively. Cork is not high on most visitors' lists, but it too has the buzz of a university city, so you might enjoy it (it can get a bit rowdy on Saturday nights, though). Limerick is also a university city, and is in your target region, but I am one (of many) who has no great enthusiasm for the place.

Obviously you know something about Ireland already, so you know that it is not a bad country in which to travel on your own because we Irish are very interested in people (call us curious or inquisitive, if you like) and you will get into lots of casual conversations. I trust that at your age and with the experience of life you indicate, you will have a good sense of what people and places to avoid.

In some places (e.g Dingle) if the weather is suitable, it might be worth hiring a bike for a day or two. I suppose that if you love walking, you are fit enough to cycle on hilly roads!
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Jan 17th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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We were there in April one year; found B&B to be our preference; some pubs have rooms. Public transport is generally pretty good, economical with passes. We only had 2 days; drove from Dublin to Waterford & back - Kilkenny's Design Centre (traditional crafts of all sorts, nice restaurant), Kilkenny Castle just across the street; Avoca, home of Avoca Handweavers, close to beach.
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Jan 18th, 2008, 04:14 AM
  #6
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Thank you very much for the replies and tips! I wish I could visit a bit later,on a warmer weather eg May (although you never know with weather in Ireland), but I work in hotel industry in Greece, so middle April till end of October there is working no stop for me... I was a bit worried about the fact that single rooms are not much cheaper than twins in Ireland, but I think with some research I may be lucky to find somehow reasonable rates...I am not completely out of hostels,I've see nice reports about some of them,but I prefer some privacy. Yes,I was thinking to base my self mostly in larger towns, and do some day trips to the surrounding areas,and I have to look for some organised tours too. I'll check carefully about heritage and bus passes,may save some money. I am sure I'll meet a lot of very interesting people,I love Ireland for its wellcoming atmosphere! I think I 'll come back to the forum with some new questions after I have a more fixed itenerary...
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