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Two weeks - how much can I see?

Chicago
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Two weeks - how much can I see?

Hi all,

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.

Dublin

*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?

Galway/Connemara

*Cliffs of Moher/The Burren

Aran Islands?

*Dingle Penninsula

*Beara Penninsula (instead of the touristy Ring of Kerry)

*Killarney National park

*Kilkenny

Back to Dublin for flight out

Thanks SO much!

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for County Galway
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1. Re: Two weeks - how much can I see?

Hi

Firstly your 'route' seems about in the right order - we'll chip in with some links for the NW and West bits...

There's some discussion about Co. Roscommon here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g315887-i9660-k346…

Considering the rest of the route (and the time available) we'd advise that you probably skip on heading too far into Co. Donegal but if you spent a couple of nights in Sligo then you could at least access some of the southern parts of that county such as the tremendous sea cliffs at Slieve League (three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher and way less busy) as well as take in the best of Co. Sligo where your "ancient or medieval sites, natural sites - cliffs, hiking, etc." will be well satisfied in extremis. Have a look at the Top Questions on the Sligo forum here as a starting point:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g186635-i1128-Slig…

To save on a lot of accommodation changes the following can all easily be accessed on self-drive day-trips from Galway:

Galway/Connemara

*Cliffs of Moher/The Burren

Aran Islands?

It's easy to do a day (or two day) drive around Connemara, for example, from Galway - there's some hints and tips in this thread here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186609-i429-k3456…

:-)

Ireland
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2. Re: Two weeks - how much can I see?

Hi Moxie

I'm presuming you will explore Dublin on the Saturday/Sunday and coming down my way to Newgrange on the Monday morning. Presuming again that you may be collecting your rental car at the Airport? Here's what I would do if thats the case

Pick the car up early and stop for breakfast at the Good Food Parlour in Swords http://www.gourmetfoodparlour.com/swords.htm Opens at 8.00am and their full Irish breakfast is fab (so is their Snickers Cake, get a slice takeaway ;-) You have an easy drive down the M1 motorway for Bru Na Boinne (Newgrange) Whilst you are in the area why not continue to Monasterboice and see the High Crosses. I posted a thread a few days ago about the threat to these beautiful monuments tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-g186623-i3091-k3486… You could then visit Mellifont Abbey heritageireland.ie/en/… continue over to Slane, visit the Hill of Slane heritageireland.ie/en/… on to Hill of Tara

Why not stay in Trim that night, visit the castle following morning and you would have an easy 2 hours (maximum trip to Roscommon/Athlone)

Will leave the other areas to those more in the know

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for County Galway
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3. Re: Two weeks - how much can I see?

Here's a current thread about visiting the Burren and COM from Galway in a day:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186609-i429-k3496…

*

Chicago
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4. Re: Two weeks - how much can I see?

Thanks for the replies!

Ragoora - I figured Donegal was too ambitious. But staying in Sligo for a couple nights would be a nice compromise, and would allow us to at least see a bit of the area. Thanks for the suggestion. I do think we'll stay in Galway for two nights, and can explore Connemara and The Burren from there. But we might want to stay in a smaller area for exploring one other night - perhaps Doolin for exploring the Cliff's of Moher and one of the Aran Islands? Does that sound feasible?

Little Pumpkin - yes, your description of our Monday to Newgrange, Hill of Tara, etc. is correct. I was tossing around the idea of taking a tour to those places on Sunday (because I'm nervous about the tours being sold out at Newgrange), but I'd much rather explore the area myself on Monday. I did see your post about the high crosses at Monasterboice, so if it's doable to see those, I would certainly like to.

Anyone else with suggestions? I've seen a lot of posts by people who wish they had allotted more time for Dingle - I was planning on two nights. Is that enough to spend in Dingle?I was thinking spending one day and staying one night at the Baera Penninsula - is that enough time, or will that be rushed? What about Killarney National Park? Is one day enough to set aside for that area?

Again, thanks for the input!

Ventry, Ireland
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for Dingle Peninsula
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5. Re: Two weeks - how much can I see?

Two nights is good for Dingle. Relax and get your bearings on your first evening. Take a leisurely drive on the Slea Head route the next day and get back to town for an early dinner and enjoy some of the pubs

You could opt for a boat trip to the Blasket Islands from Dunquin (on the Slea Head route) or from Dingle.

www.dodingle.com is a good site to plan your trip.

You could do Beara in a day (I've done it and returned to Dingle), but I would suggest you overnight in Kenmare. The route from Dingle to Beara is beautiful and you will pass through part of the Killarney National Park on the way. July is a busy month, so you are wise to opt for Beara over the Ring Of Kerry. Consider driving the Healy Pass on Beara, it' is spectacular

6. Re: Two weeks - how much can I see?

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