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Travel help for two couples visiting Ireland.

Travel help for two couples visiting Ireland.

Jun 29th, 2009, 09:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Travel help for two couples visiting Ireland.

My wife, another couple, and I have a flight booked to Ireland from the US in late September and will be there for 7 nights. We are renting a car and excited to see the beauty that Ireland has to offer.
I've been to Ireland before but only for 3 nights in Galway during St. Patrick's day in 2007 and it was absolutely amazing.
I would love some help planning the trip since none of us really know what or where to go or do. I do know we start and end our trip in Dublin.. unfortunately we couldn't start or end our trip on the west side of Ireland.
I was thinking of driving south/southwest from Dublin and then making our way north to Galway before heading back to Dublin in time for our flight. I have a very make-shift itinerary that I will share and I look forward to any advice on what to do in each city or any changes to the itinerary.

Day 1 - Arrive in Dublin, spend day and night in Dublin (try to recover from jet lag)
Day 2 - Early drive to Kilkenny (lunch, guinness, attraction) then drive and spend night in Cork??
Day 3 - Drive to Kilarney or straight to Dingle?? not sure.
Day 4 - Day in Dingle or head over to Cliffs of Moher and then night in Doolin..?..?
Day 5 - Day in Doolin and head to Galway for the night.
Day 6 - Spend day and night in and around Galway (i loved Galway)
Day 7 - Early drive from Galway to Dublin stopping in some ?old town? for some awesome lunch and then spending the evening in Dublin gathering our thoughts before our flight in the morning.

GatorJuan is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,108
Not sure what interests you so hard to advise. Have you checked out guide books to see what you might like? Have you checked out how much time you will spend driving on your itinerary? Looks like quite a bit to me (think average 35 mph). I like driving but found that 100 miles a day was just about right, 150 doable if interspersed with less strenuous day. However, I assume that you will have at least two drivers, if not four so that will make it a bit easier, but you do want time to stop and savor.

That said, I might make an itinererary such as the following:
Day 2 leave Dublin and drive to Kilkenny for the night. Along the way stop and visit Powerscourt and/or Glendalough.
Powerscourt has magnificent gardens and a wilder section with Ireland's highest waterfall (at 471 feet don't expect Niagra, but a scenic stipping place). Glendalough is the site of an ancient monastery on a lake. Even in misty weather (14 of my 15 visits there have been misty) it is a lovely spot. Good visitor center with sets the monastery in its historical era and explains the geology of the land. Kilkenny itself has a castle with a lovely garden.

Day 3 head to Dingle. Perhaps a stop at Cashel to visit the rock.

Day4 spend the day exploring the Dingle peninsula--beehive huts, Gallarus oratory, Blsket Center, great scenery.

Day 5 head to Galway via Shannon ferry, stopping at Cliffs and night in Galway.

Day 6&7 as per your itinerary.

Or noting that you loved Galway, you could do 2 nights in dublin--lots to see and do. Take Hop-on-hop-off bus tour of city to get oriented and stop for a visit or two. Day 2 go back and visit things you saw the day before.

Day3, well rested, pick up car and head right to Galway for nights 3-6. There is so much to see in the area you could easily spend weeks there.
While in Galway it is not a far drive down to the Cliffs of Moher. That day also take in the Burren, maybe Ailwee Caves, and other sites of Clare.
Drive out to Rosseveal and take the ferry to the Aran Isalnds for a day. (Or fly from the nearby airport, 10 minute flight).

Drive out through County Galway to the Connemara National Park or do a circle through Clifden. Lots of wonderful vistas, some castles, interesting little museums, etc. Clifden has good eating possibilities for lunch. My favorite on this trip is Lenane at the head of a fjord. Small town with craft shops and demonstrations and some cafes for lunch. (By the way I am not a "foodie" so can only say that food is tasty and ready when I am hungry, not how many stars).

Day 7 back to Dublin.

Just some ideas that would let you see lots without strenuous driving very day. There are others on this forum who are more knowledgeable than I and who have other ideas.
irishface is offline  
Jun 30th, 2009, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
Your proposed itinerary has you spending a big chunk of almost every day in the car. irishface has some good thoughts - I wrote a whole post and then realized I was essentially duplicating hers! She is absolutely correct that you can usually only expect to average 35mph. It doesn't sound as though you're particularly interested in anything in Killarney, so I would skip it and go straight to Dingle, after stopping in Kilkenny if you like (I haven't been there, so can't comment). Even easier would be the Dublin/Galway areas itinerary. I hate to suggest anyone miss Dingle, but with seven days and since you're locked into starting and ending in Dublin, it will be hard to see more than one other location.

Absolutely second the recommendation for Glendalough, if you choose to spend a bit more time in Dublin.
jent103 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 416
Exploring the Dingle peninsula was a highlight for me, and imho deserves a day on its own (so, two nights), as irishface suggested. You get a combination of gorgeous rolling green countryside inland, dramatic cliffs on the Slea Head Drive, fascinating history, and pleasant (though heavily touristed) small town-ness.

In Dingle, I highly recommend taking the Sciurd Archaeological Tour as described in Rick Steves' guidebook & website; they take you out into that gorgeous countryside to look at the beehive huts & etc.
tahl is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 08:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
I hope my Trip Report which I am writing everyday this week plus photos will be able to give you something of value.
I am posting our trip to Galway very shortly but probably will be totally different to your take on the city!
Trip Report posted as: An Irish Experience - (May 2009)
tod is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 09:04 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for the advice and information... we really appreciate it.
GatorJuan is offline  
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