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Planning a trip to IRELAND in mid-October...need help with itinerary

Planning a trip to IRELAND in mid-October...need help with itinerary

May 7th, 2006, 01:55 PM
  #1  
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Planning a trip to IRELAND in mid-October...need help with itinerary

Thanks again to those who gave advice in my previous posting...My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip to Ireland in mid-October. Receiving no help from him ("anyplace is okay with me, hon") I am looking for some general advice at the moment and more specific advice the closer we get to the trip.

I was thinking about choosing four or five locations and doing day trips from there, is that more reasonable than a day here and two days there in general? I would like to focus our time maybe starting in Dublin, traveling south to the Wexford-Waterford area, then over to county Cork area, then to Killarney and that area, then up to Galway and the Arans. Does this sound doable in 10 days, and are there any places we shouldn't miss? We're happy to just meander along and go wherever the road takes us, but would definitely like some recommendations as well for B&B's and pubs along the way!
heymo is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Are you planning to return to Dublin, or would it work for you to fly open jaw and leave from Shannon?
TimS is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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With ten days, into Dublin and out of Shannon (or, the opposite)is a near MUST. You will therwise WASTE the better part of one day, just RETURNING to Dublin for your flight home.
Even with that concession, you'll be hard pressed to cover that much terrain if you insist on "nesting" for 3-4 days in each area.
My recommendation is to either 'scale back' on the areas you plan to see, or stay no more than two days in each location.
Dublin + Kilkenny + Cork/Kinsale + Killarney + Galway = 5 locations @ 2 nights = 10 days AND that doesn't allow you to spend the night close to the airport (unless you reverse the order and enter at Shannon, to depart from Dublin.
In my opinion, you would need two full weeks to cover your proposed route at the pace you say you want. Dropping Galway, or changing locations to 1 or 2 nights per MIGHT allow you to see everything on your list.

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
May 7th, 2006, 05:56 PM
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Heymo -
You should definitely consider flying into Dublin and out of Shannon.

I'd cut back on the number of places you're going to and try to find 2 small towns to stay in. After 2 days in Dublin you could go to County Cork for 2 days, Kenmare for 3 days (not Killarny, too big and touristy) and then onto Galway for your last few days. I'm not wild about Galway but you can get to the Aran Island from there.

Or, skip Galway and just go to SW Ireland - you'll want to soak up the great Irish atmosphere and a week in SW Ireland enables you to wander the stunning peninsulas and check out the pubs.

I'd skip the Wexford-Waterford area, you just don't have the time.
rosetravels is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 03:04 AM
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Wow, thanks for the hints. I must say I am a little surprised, though. We have friends who honeymooned there last year, and did a similar route in a week. They REALLY must have hustled! I will take a look at the areas you suggested, and definitely flying into one airport and out of the other. Is there a general preference to start from, Shannon or Dublin? I might be able to convince my husband into two weeks, though it took me awhile to get him to agree to 10 days...
heymo is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 03:33 AM
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I posted this on your other message too! But just incase you miss it, i reposted here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Heymo, Do you want to see City or Rural when you visit, you must first decide that? . Secondly I would drop
Wexford and rather spend my time Donegal, but that means going up the north west of the country, which is a long drive for just one night, so maybe plan two nights there. If you plan to fly into Dublin, then spend a night or two here, then move on to Cork,Kerry Galway, and if you want to Donegal. West Cork is very beautiful, Connemara is nice ( but not my favourite place) Killarney is really lovely, but can be quiet touristy. Finally as I mentioned Donegal is rugged and quite beautiful, have a think about it and try to decide where you most want to see, then maybe come back and I will help you out with your plans if you wish. By mid October the days are getting short, so plan well!

lucielou is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 04:21 AM
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As a general rule, Shannon is an easier airport to exit -- much more 'Tourist Friendly' to first time drivers than Dublin, in that respect. Other than that, it doesn't really matter.
Your first day you will be dealing with some variety of jet lag, so you won't want to schedule too heavy agenda.
The routing you have would work fine if you change locations every night. 'Nesting' invariably involves a lot of "back and forth", covering a lot of the same areas, as you keep returning to the same spot for the night.
What youneed to decide, is if you want to liesurely experience one or two parts of Ireland, or do a 'sample it all' tour. I've done both and they each have their own strengths, weaknesses AND charms.
Bob
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May 8th, 2006, 06:23 AM
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Ah, there's the rub...do we take our time and just explore a few areas, or do we do the "Ireland on Amphetamines" tour! I guess my biggest concern is my husband's apathy, part of me is afraid I won't get back so I should see as much as possible! Then again, I'm hoping once we're there he'll fall in love with the place and want to go back. It happened that way with Paris...
I guess I want to see both rural and city life. Mostly rural, I would think. We usually are the "Let's see the whole country in a week" kind of people, this will a be MAJOR change of pace for us.

So, with 10 days, coming into Dublin and out of Shannon, what would you ABSOLUTELY do that would insure my husband will want to return? ha ha ha
heymo is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Ireland appeals to different people, for different reasons. I never had any overwhelming desire to go there, as I doubt there is a single drop of Irish blood in my ancestry. My wife, on the other hand is enamored by HER Irishness. Both her father's Mother AND Father were born there and even though her father had never been, she always wanted to go there. On the occassion of her 49th birthday, she gave me an ultimatum -- she wanted to visit Ireland before she turned 50. Details weren't her thing (kinda like your husband, in that respect, I guess), so it was all up to me.
Six months later (April of 1999), we landed in Shannon. My wife, her father, her brother, her sister and her partner and myself. I had done all the planning, all the research and I did all of the driving. We spent three days reconnecting with relatives and 5 more, just playing tourist.
We took my father and law and his wife back,in June of 2000, brother-in-law and his wife and sister-in-law and her partner back in Feb of 2002, our daughter and son-in-law in June 0f 2004 and a different BIL and his wife (and a cousin)joined us in June of 2005. Yes, they ALL enjoyed themselves and yes, they all want to go back again -- "SOMEDAY".

But WE go back EVERY year. AND, every year, it is ME that insists that we go (Not that my wife needs too much convincing). Ireland has become MY obscession.

Why? Hard to say. I am a bit of a history buff and Lord Knows, Ireland has more than its share of that -- structures like Newgrange, the Great stone Circle at Lough Gur and Carrowmore and Carrowkeel, that are as old (or older) than the Great Pyramids; Castles, ruined and restored; not to mention a literary and musical legacy that rivals all others.

So --- What INTERESTS your husband? Chances are, they have THAT (whatever IT is)in Ireland.

You just have to make sure he gets to see it.

Bob
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May 8th, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Thanks, Bob, for sharing your perspective. My husband's an engineer, and like you has no Irish blood whatsoever in him. He travels to Europe frequently for work, but it's mostly Italy and southern France. Until then he never had much interest in Europe at all. Now he loves Italy, and we spent 5 days in Paris this March and he was dead set against going. In the time we were there (which really was 4 1/2 days, with flights and all) we saw almost every major sight in Paris with the exception of Sacre Cour, including Versaille! That was one of those trips where I thought it was going to be my one shot at it and wanted to see everything. All for nothing, because he LOVED it! I have a feeling it will be the same with Ireland, but right now it's a matter of trying to get him excited about it. He's more pumped about our trip to Hawaii next February than this one...

He IS a beer lover, and I think that will be one way I can get him going. When we were in Paris he discovered Beamish, and I know they have a factory in Cork. And of course the Guinness (SP?) factory. other than that, he just looks at the pictures in the book and says if we see stuff like this it will be okay...(can I strangle him now?)

I know my focus is more on the "off the beaten path" locations, and I am looking forward to evenings sitting in a pub listening to stories and music. The Arans are the one place I really want to especially see...can't really explain why. Maybe because it's more like the Ireland of old, maybe it just the remote location ...but I am guess I feeling overwhelmed. I am the one who usually makes all the plans for our trips, and usually I enjoy every minute of the planning. Maybe I'm stressing myself out too much and need to just relax!
heymo is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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I'm only being a little facetious when I say that just setting foot in Ireland will probably be enough to make your husband want to return. My wife and I and our adult daughter were in Ireland for six days last May, mostly because our daughter wanted to include a few days there in addition to our time in London and France. We fell in love and now all three of us can't wait to go back!

Since you want a bit more rural than city, I suggest you start in Shannon and end in Dublin. That way after you've seen a bit of the country, you can adjust your time in Dublin either up or down as you wish.

There are many good itineraries from which to choose, but I'll put in a plug to concentrate on the Southwest. You could spend a couple of nights in Kenmare, using it as a base to drive the Beara Peninsula and/or the Ring of Kerry. (The Beara Peninsula is more remote and doesn't suffer from tour buses as does the Ring.) Drive from Kenmare to Dingle via Killarney (very pretty between Kenmare and Killarney along the edge of the national park). Spend at least two nights in Dingle and explore Slea Head and as much of the rest of the Dingle Peninsula as time allows (spectacular!). Sit in on traditional music sessions in a pub or two. Travel north via the Killimer-Tarbert Ferry across the Shannon River. Either go inland to Ennis for the night or go along the coast toward the Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, and Galway. Drive through the Burren. Take a trip to the Aran Islands. See a bit of Connemara if you have time. Drive to Dublin.

Take time to get out and walk whenever the mood strikes you--and it will strike often. Expect to average 35mph on major roads and less on secondary roads.

Be sure you have a detailed map for driving. I recommend the Michelin Ireland map available at amazon.com. Get it now to use for planning.
TimS is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Great ideas, Tim! I've already purchased the Michelin map! It looks like flying from Detroit to Ireland, it's better to do as you said, fly into Shannon and out of Dublin. Otherwise you have to fly to Dublin first anyway, then back to Shannon...I've already prepared myself for a LOT of walking, based mostly on other posts here. No problem there...So you would not spend any time in the southeast? I know the one thing my husband was looking forward to is touring the Beamish brewery (at least I HOPE there's a tour... otherwise he'll be really disappointed.)
heymo is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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I didn't comment on the southeast because I haven't been there. From what I've read in my guidebooks, there is plenty to see in that area. In small town and rural Ireland, you have the delightful dilemma of running out of time before you run out of wonderful sights.
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May 8th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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And what a wonderful dilemma that would be! I think I am going to go back over my books and narrow the field, using your suggestions as a guide. Thanks for your input!
heymo is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Dunno about the Beamish tour, but Jameson whiskey is based in Midelton and I know that they do tours. Personally, I'm more of a Smithwicks (pronounced SMIT-ICKS), or as I like to call it -- Guiness Lite.

While I would be hard-pressed to say that there is anyplace in Ireland that is missable, my personal favourites are Counties Cork and Kerry. There is SO MUCH to see and do, that it is difficult to find the time to visit other areas. I've been as far north as Ballyshannon, in Sligo and I've visited Dublin three times now, but there is STILL so much that I either haven't yet seen (or haven't seen enough of).
Welcome to the Great Irish Delemna -- making the difficult choices between what to see and what to skip ...

Bob

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
May 8th, 2006, 10:24 AM
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Thanks, Bob. I'm seeing that more and more as the issue. I'm starting to think I should let him have his choice this year and save Irealnd for next year when I can guilt him into submission!
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May 9th, 2006, 06:08 AM
  #17  
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topping...
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May 9th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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My husband and I chose to fly into Shannon and out of Dublin, and it worked out perfectly for a few reasons:

- Flights back to the US tend to be very early morning, and we would have had to spend our last night close to the Shannon airport. That area was not in our initial plan, and as we only had a week, we didn't want to sacrifice a precious night in any other towns.

-We were badly in need of a vacation by the time our trip came along. Because we live in NYC, spending our first days in the Southwest allowed us to really RELAX, and then actually have some energy to sightsee, tour, etc. during our few days in Dublin.

It sounds like you have a great plan overall, and you'll have a fabulous time. I would highly recommend you consider Kenmare instead of Killarney, and Kinsale in County Cork.
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