I'm going to Ireland in July for 15 days. We arrive at 8 am on a Saturday the 9th in Dublin (we fly out of Dublin the morning of the 25th). I was planning on staying in Dublin Saturday and Sunday night. Then we're renting a car and are off to explore the country.
I'm trying to figure out our itinerary, but can't figure out how long we should set aside for each place. Normally I'd rather just explore and find places to stay as we go, thus allowing us to stay in whatever areas we want for as long as we want. But in high tourist season, that doesn't seem feasible. Can anyone give me tips as to how much we can do in the time we have? We're mostly interested in ancient or medieva sites, natural sites - cliffs, hiking, etc., and pubs - we'd like some party-esque nights, and some quiet nights of having pints in charming pubs with locals. Though we realize we'll be surrounded by tourists much of the time, we'd like to get off the beaten path as much as possible, to see the real Ireland, get to know locals, etc.
So here's a list of what I'd like to see (kind of in the order I'd imagine the itinerary to be). Things with an asterisk are must see. The rest are things I don't know if we can or should squeeze in. I don't want to be rushed, but I do want to see as much as we can. Any advice is appreciated! Can all this be done? How long should we spend in each place, do you think? Feel free to add or delete places to the list.
*Newgrange/Hill of Tara
*Trim/Roscommon/Althone (these are the areas our families our from, so we want to spend a day exploring)
Donegal or Sligo?
*Cliffs of Moher/The Burren
*Beara Penninsula (instead of the touristy Ring of Kerry)
*Killarney National park
Back to Dublin for flight out
Thanks SO much!