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Suggestions for 7 day driving trip through Ireland

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Suggestions for 7 day driving trip through Ireland

Old Apr 30th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Suggestions for 7 day driving trip through Ireland

Hello,
My husband and I are taking a driving trip through Ireland in early-mid June. We will be in Ireland for 8 full days, arriving in Shannon, and really want to take the first day easy since we'll likely be tired. We have a tentative itinerary that covers the west side of the country, but we just can't decide if we should try to go to Dublin.

Should we modify our itinerary to fit in a quick trip to Dublin? Here's our itinerary without Dublin to give an idea of our interests:

Day 1 - Arrive in Shannon - light sightseeing, Bunratty

Day 2 - Galway

Day 3 - Connemara/County Mayo

Day 4 - Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Aran Islands

Day 5 - Dingle Peninsula

Day 6 - Ring of Kerry

Day 7 - Cork, Kinsale, Cobh

Day 8 - Rock of Cashel, Limerick, Adare - back to stay near Shannon Airport

Thanks in advance for help!
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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YIKES! That is a lot of windshield time! It is somehwat doable, but why???Ireland isn't going anywhere, so why you want to touch & go all over? From day 4 on, it seems a run for your life type itinerary! By the way, your route is all over the Southwest, not only west.

I would limit the 8-day exploration to Limerick, Kerry, and Cork counties. That includes Cashel, Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, Cork, Kinsale, Cobh. If Bunratty and Adare are must, go ahead and explore on your day in (Bunratty) and on your way out (Adare).
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I did realize that this itinerary may be a little aggressive, but there is so much we want to see and we can't decide what to cut out!

I appreciate your suggestion to limit our travels to Limerick, Kerry, and Cork counties. Definitely worth considering.

I'm definitely open to feedback from anyone else as well.
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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akearns,

Or you could tour the Burren ( with cliffs) and go up and spend all of your time in county Galway which would include beautiful Connemara. Even go all the way up to Westport, county Mayo. I'd go either North or South of Shannon airport only and save Dublin for another trip. The beauties of Ireland are it's people and lovely scenery. You won't get a true taste if you are in your car all the time.

I hope you have a wonderful trip. Joan
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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To describe the itinerary as a little aggressive is understating it; it's too much for a week unless you love driving and don't like doing other things.

I think Joan has it about right. Go north of the Shannon or south of it. Either is good. Connemara and Mayo are less crowded than Kerry, which you might consider an advantage,
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 11:16 AM
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You will find less crowds if you do a Northern loop:

Day 1 -Arrive Shannon, drive coastal road North to Galway, stopping at the Cliffs of Moher, lunch in Doolin or Ballyvaughan, a drive through the Burren and then into Galway for two nights

On a Full Day in Galway, you can explore Galway on a Hop on/off Bus tour, visit Coole Park or take a side trip to Athenry, a heritage town about 25km east of Galway.

Day 3 - Head to Rossaveal and catch the Ferry to Inis Mor (Overnight)

Day 4 - Head through the Connemara to Westport Lodging for 3 nights

With two days in Westport, you will have time to explore the town itself, visit achill island and experience part of Co. Mayo.

Day 7 - Head towards Ennis -Two nights lodging
Whilst in Ennis , you can experience the Loop Head drive, Explore teh town of Ennis and enjoy a parting night Banquet at Bunratty.

If South is a must then you would be best to try something such as:

Day 1 arrive Shannon and head for Dingle Two Nights lodging

Day 3 Head for Killarney, two nights lodging

Day 5 - Head for Cork - Two nights lodging

Day 7 Head for Cashel - Overnight

Day 8 Head to Bunratty or Ennis

The main thing to remember is that driving in Ireland is vastly different from the states. Expect to Average 30-35 MPH. You will encounter tour buses, lorries (large trucks), livestock, bicyclists, pedestrians, as well as other surprises. If you keep your trip condensed to a particular area, you will have a far more relaxed time and create fabulous memories. Don't fret when you get lost, as that is the faeries leading you to something better or at least different from what you were expecting!

Stopping for at least two nights in each place allows you to absorb the essence of Ireland.

Slan Beo (Take Care),

Bit Devine
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Old May 1st, 2007, 04:35 AM
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I'm certainly glad I came across this forum before I tried to execute an unreasonable itinerary. We haven't been to Ireland before (as you can probably tell) and have definitely misjudged how much we can do in a day. We do want to enjoy the essence of Ireland, so we are going to revise our itinerary to go either north or south of Shannon. We haven't decided yet, but if you have some input for first-time travellers who want to get a good taste of Ireland, please share!

Thanks all for your input!
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Old May 1st, 2007, 06:11 AM
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Tell us more. Do you want scenery, history, people encounters, fine dining, walking? Are you bursting with energy, or do you want an easygoing pace?
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Old May 1st, 2007, 06:23 AM
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We like to be on-the-go but we also want to take time to slow down experience Ireland culture. We would enjoy seeing scenery and just exploring during the day, and having a pint or two and mingling in a pub in the evenings. We aren't really into fine dining or anything like that. Just a casual tour at our own pace.

We don't have any expectations for our trip except to enjoy our time in Ireland and get a small sampling of the country that we'll likely visit again in the future.

I hope that helps.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 06:54 AM
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If you want the finest scenery, take the southern route; I think it has a small edge over the northern one.

If you want a better prospect of wildlife encounters (meeting Irish people in pubs rather than other migratory creatures) take the northern route.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 07:11 AM
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We took a walking tour of part of the Burren with this guide here - it cost €10 per head for a 90 nminute walk and was well worth it. It's a part of the Burren that's a bit off the beaten track but the scenery is gorgeous and John (the guide) was very interesting and knowledgeable.
www.burrenwalks.com
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Old May 1st, 2007, 02:28 PM
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June is a great month to tour Ireland. We went in June on both of our trips...comfortable weather, lots of daylight time, crowds not bad.

I think the best of the south would include:
1-Doolin-cliffs of moher, pubs
next day drive coast to Killmer/Tarber ferry across the Shannon to Dingle.
2-Dingle-slea head drive, pubs
2-Kenmare-Ross Castle and/or Muckross House then thru Killarney National Park past ladies' view and moll's gap to Kenmare. 2nd day Beara Penisula/Healy Pass (could also include trip out to Garnish Island)
2-Kinsale-enjoy coastal route with lots of options. 2nd day Charles Fort/Cobh/Midleton Distillery/or more of coast
(optionplit 1 night Kinsale and 1 night Cashel...gives you time to see Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage on way to Cashel and more time at Rock of Cashel. Also Bru Boru Center has a good show in the summer. This option would also give more time the last day in Bunratty to tour park/castle or explore Burren).
1-last night Bunratty-puts you close to Shannon-could do one of their dinner/shows at Bunratty or pubs. Also good end of trip shopping at the Woolen Mills.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 02:41 PM
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akearns,

You can't go wrong either way. I liked what Padraig wrote. Have a great trip.

Joan
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Old May 1st, 2007, 02:52 PM
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chatham wrote "I liked what Padraig wrote."

Of course you did: I was endorsing what you had said!
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Old May 1st, 2007, 04:21 PM
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Now, Padraig, that's not why I liked what you wrote. My son has been with me when we did 3 weeks in Connemara area and Burren and he was with me when we did two and half weeks Burren, Dingle, and Kenmare. I sent your post about the creatures you might meet in the north and he too got a great kick out of it. I was lucky in the south as we went in April.

I hope we don't have you too confused, akearns.

Joan
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