ireland trip for 7 nights-can you help

Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:06 PM
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ireland trip for 7 nights-can you help

my husband and i are arriving into dublin on july 20th(we're staying until the 28th). we're picking up the car at the airport and we're thinking of going straight out west to the cliffs of moher and then sleeping in limerick. the next morning we would go to the rings of kerry/dingle and stay over in killarney. then the next day we'd either explore more in dingle or start going east because we're staying there for 5 nights(in wicklow county). If we do this, should our return trip be through the center of the country or more along the southeast coast? i was unable to change our flight to shannon--so we're trying to see as much as possible. would it make more sense to go right to our hotel in wicklow,when we arrive on july 20, explore the east for 2 days, then take 2 days and go to cliffs of moher/rings of kerry, while staying overnight in killarny and return back to wicklow. (do you think that's too much for 2 days???)the reminder of our trip will be in the east and we'll spend 1-1/2 -2 days in dublin (out total time there is 7 nights, 8 days). Any suggestions? thanks
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Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:21 PM
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Remember that Ireland is not a large country by USA standards. We generally choose to visit either the west side or the east to get a flavor of the place. When we traveled in the west of Ireland we stayed at registered B & Bs and took the recommendations of the hostess to plan for the next location. It worked out very well and we knew that the recommendations were going to be good because the ladies all knew each other.
If you like history you might visit Newgrange at Knowth.com north of Dublin or Glendalough in the Wicklow Mts south of Dublin.
Don't forget to visit a few Irish pubs en route ... many of them do fine lunches and if you are not too scheduled in Ireland you will still have fun.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 04:36 AM
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thanks
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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Ireland isn't large by US standards, but you shouldn't count on driving more than 35 mph on average. You can check out www.aaroadwatch.ie for driving times, but add at least 25% to those times.

If you are tough, not much affected by jet lag, and have driven on left before, you could drive straight to Limerick, check in, and presumably make a loop up to the Cliffs that afternoon. But to then try to see Dingle/ROK the next day is folly...apart from the driving time, you'll just scratch the surface.

I'd think about going directly to Wicklow -- then, if you want to venture farther afield, what about heading to Kinsale area? Good restaurants and Charles Fort are there. There's plenty of things to see along the way -- assuming you'll go to Kilkenny/Jerpoint from Wicklow, there's still Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, Blarney (mixed reviews on this one), Cork. And from there you could spend some time exploring Beara Pennisula, which some prefer to ROK or even Dingle. Less time on the road, but you'd still get feel of the coastal areas.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 07:53 AM
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hi skibumette--do you think dingle and ROk is still too much if we do it in 2 days--we'd be staying over our second night in killarny and spend about 2 days exploring dingle/rok and then head back to wicklow.and where is beara---thanks for your help
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 08:23 AM
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>>>the next morning we would go to the rings of kerry/dingle and stay over in killarney.>>> Really, WOW! A windshield tour of Ireland! Scratch that plan; is absolutely nutty. As you arrive, get the car and drive max 3 hours, which in Ireland will take you on average as far as say about 120-140 miles. There is where you will stay, you pick the direction. I would stay at Cashel. I loved and recomend Wattie's B&B http://www.wattiesbandb.ie/.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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If you mean:
Day #1: land in Dublin (jet lagged if coming from US), get rental car, drive to Limerick (AA says it's 3 hrs; figure 4 hrs), drive to Cliffs of Moher (1.25 hrs each way plus time there), collapse

Day #2: drive to Dingle town (AA says 2.25 hrs; figure 3 hrs), then either visit town/Fungie cruise or do Slea Head Drive (this can take better part of day if you hope to do more than just drive by things). Drive 1 hr+ to Killarney. LONG day without the chance to savor much of anything.

Day #3: return to Dingle?? Ring of Kerry is an all day project, unless you do just the Killarney-Kenmare portion, perhaps stopping at Muckross House -- but you need to depart the area no later than mid-afternoon...it's a 3 hr. drive to Cashel, another hour to Kilkenny, and then onward to where you're staying in Wicklow (there may be a more direct route?)

For me, the answer is: THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH.

If you're determined to see the SW, how about taking the train or flying Ryan Air directly to Kerry on day #1, pick up your rental car there and spend your 1/2 day #1 + day #2 + 1/2 day #3 EITHER in Dingle (longer drive to Wicklow) OR based in Killarney or Kenmare. Then drive to Wicklow the afternoon of day #3 and eventually on to Dublin. Many rental car companies will not charge a drop-off fee if you use airport sites.

Beara Peninsula is the peninsula east of the ROK -- looking at the map, however, it's probably a full day excursion from Cork/Kinsale.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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me again. I'm probably not being very clear-sorry. The plan is to rent the car at dublin airport, drive straight out to the Cliffs of Moher, and then head to Limerick where we will sleep. The next day head towards Killarney--and we have 2 days; we'll sleep in Killarney and are trying to figure out what to do; and doing too much obviously won't work. So would you suggest ROK or Dingle?
The on our 3rd day, start heading to the east.
Does that make more sense? Thanks.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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If you have one night in Limerick and one night in Killarney, heading to Wicklow on the afternoon of day #3, then re-visit my comments above.

BTW, AA say Dublin airport direct to Cliffs of Moher is 4 hrs, but add at least another 1-1/4 hrs. You haven't said if you are flying trans-Atlantic -- if so, that's a VERY long drive while jet-lagged amd driving on the left. Then add 1-1/4 hrs from Cliffs to Limerick, assuming you blow past the Burren.

If you're determined to go to the West and SW (and then east to Wicklow) in 3 days, the equivalent of one of your three days will be spent in the car...that's driving direct without stops. You need to skip AT LEAST one of the Cliffs/Dingle/Kerry trio.

Most people, if they have to choose, seem to pick Dingle over ROK -- but it is further from Wicklow.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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OK--it seems like this is a little nuts. If we want to go out west, should we just go to our hotel on the east coast when we arrive for the first 2 nights, and then maybe go out west to ONE location and stay overnight--do you think that's worth it? we only have the car for 4 days. if we had to choose 1 place to go, what do you think it should be?thanks for your help.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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If I had to pick one of the 3, I'd choose Dingle and Slea Head Drive. There you get Dingle town itself, the drive and dramatic cliffs and views, and the villages of head which are in the Gaelic speaking part of Ireland.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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Only you can decide if it's worth all the driving -- and that chunk of your limited amount of time in Ireland -- to go out west. There's lots to do in Dublin/Wicklow/Kilkenny/Cashel.

Of the three western destinations, I'd skip the Cliffs: if the weather's bad you won't see much. I think Dingle trumps Kerry -- you can do it properly in two days and come away with a very special "Irish experience." Kerry has a lot to offer, but you might come away with a feeling that you left it partially unfinished
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 07:36 PM
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Totally agree with tmagyari; I'd easily pick Dingle over Killarney. As to whether it's worth all the driving, well, that depends on how much you like driving. I loved Dingle.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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PLEASE - whatever you do -- do not drive all across the country (or at all) after an overnight flight. Not only foolhardy - it is downright dangerous.

I love LOVE most parts of Ireland. Dublin - not so much. You are flying in/out of DUB and spending 2 days there -- none of which is optimal if the west coast is what you want to see in your week-long trip.

If you wanted to see the W/SW - you should fly into Shannon. Since you can't do that and are flying into Dublin, you have to deal w/ that.

"AA says 2.25 hrs; figure 3 hrs" Your first lesson is to take the AA or via Michelin timings add approx 35%. Your 2 hr 15 min drive now becomes 3 hr 30 mins -3 hr 45 mins.

"so we're trying to see as much as possible" Lesson #2 - you can't see 'as much as possible' around half of Ireland in basically 5+ days. It just isn't a country where you can move fast.

How about this idea:

Land in Dublin, immediately fly to Cork or better yet, Kerry. Stay the night and pick up a rental car there. Spend 6 days touring around and drive back to DUB the night before your flight out. IMO, you simply don't have time for a full loop drive starting and ending at Dublin.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 04:29 AM
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There was another poster a couple of months back that was determined to take her father to Dingle, but they had only two nights before they had to be in Dublin. She made it work by flying straight from Dublin to Kerry, picking up a rental car there, staying near Killorglin. They had a half day to explore the west side of the ROK as much as their jet lag permitted, then a full day in Dingle. The third day they returned the rental car and, I think, took the train to Dublin in order to see some of the countryside along the way. She made it work by limiting the number of things she tried to see and by eliminating the driving from/to Dublin.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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thanks everyone for all your ideas.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:00 AM
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since my husband was working in county kildare, i have had the pleasure of visiting in the areas around dublin a few times. being a horsewoman, i especially liked the visit to the national stud. the grounds are immacualate, the tour was very informative and also entertaining. this is three venues for the travel time of one. if you go there, the japanese gardens are in the same complex, as is st. fiachra's garden. lots of nature, animals and plain old good feelings. take the long stroll through the japanese gardens, it's an experience you will take home with you and make sure your camera is charged up! as far as dublin proper goes, the visit to the guiness storehouse was fun and if you like shopping, grafton street and henry street are good. the temple bar area is like the bohemian part of town. all of dublin is flavored with music and literary genius. i urge you to go to the tourist centers wherever you go to take advantage of informative pamphlets that often have useful coupons as well. happy travels!
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:17 AM
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You don't have to backtrack thru Limerick: take a Killimer - Tarbert ferry across the Shannon Estuary and then head for Tralee and points west.

North of the Shannon estuary you might consider staying at Dromoland Castle (I have read on these boards that they offer some really good 'specials because of the Economic downturn) or at Doonberg
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Dromoland has a good 3-night special of E640/room/3 nights(only certain dates available) but the single night rate is still E442/room/night!!!
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