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Ireland Itinerary

Edmonton, Canada
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Ireland Itinerary

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland during July. We have leeway time and can add / shorten locations as needed. We enjoy a variety of things such as seeing nature, doing hikes off of the beaten path, seeing forts / castles / museums, learning about the culture / history of an area, to doing the full on tourist trap; as long as there is variety, then we're good.

I would appreciate any comments on the itinerary I have so far. Also, I need help with some planning (Day 6 - 8). Let me know if I need to modify it in any place (for example, more days in one location or the drive from one place to another would be too much.) Am I missing any significant key places by not going to the east side of Ireland?

And one more question: Would it be advisable to book accomodations before coming or would I find inexpensive (about $75CAN / 50Euros) B&B's / hotels along the way? (The dilemma of not being able to find an expensive yet good place to sleep vs. the 'stuck to a schedule because you've got to be somewhere tonight.')

Day 0 ;) fly into Dublin

Day 1 & 2 Dublin

Day 3 Dublin to Belfast (via train)

Day 4 Belfast

Day 4 Giant’s Causeway (pick up rental car, day trip)

Day 5 Belfast to Sligo (or should I stay up north and drive from there?)

Day 6 Sligo to (Help?) see Cliffs of Mohr

Day 7 (Now What?)

Day 8 (Where does my day start?) To Dingle

Day 9 Dingle Loop (stay in Dingle)

Day 10 Ring of Kerry (to Kenmare)

Day 11 Kenmare to Cork

Day 12 flying out

Thank-you in advance for your help.

england
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1. Re: Ireland Itinerary

First thought is that you will find it expensive, if possible at all, to pick up a rental car in Northern Ireland and leave it hundreds of miles away in a different country.

Dublin
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2. Re: Ireland Itinerary

It is possible to rent in Belfast and return in Cork but the repatriation cost for car from Cork to Belfast could be very costly as suggested by fuchsiagirl. It would be easier to rent in Dublin on Day 3 on the way to Belfast. Picking up a car at Dublin Airport would be simple if you choose this option as the airport is on the M1 (main route from Dublin to Belfast).

Also, no need to head back to Belfast from the Giants Causeway - head west to Derry and Donegal (great scenery) before heading south through Sligo to the Cliffs of Moher.

Try to keep your daily driving to max. 3-4 hours. See www2.aaireland.ie/routes_beta for indications of mileage and driving times involved.

North Coast, N...
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for Northern Ireland
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3. Re: Ireland Itinerary

Agree wholeheartedly with the posters above - hiring your car at Dublin airport makes a lot of sense and on the Belfast side of Dublin so you're straight onto a motorway.

Just note you've two day 4's in there.

I absolutely second Domnall's advice - Donegal is a great county and I would consider overnighting on day 5 (the Giant's Causeway day) in Derry (the official Causeway Coastal Route takes you from Belfast to Derry) and then taking the next day to explore Donegal. Ideally I would do one day in the northern part of Donegal and one in the southern part but that adds more time into your itinerary.

Finally as to your question re accommodation - July is peak season due to school holidays so unfortunately I would not advise "winging it" at that time.

Just note in Northern Ireland we have the Twelfth of July parades and associated holidays on 12th & 13th July so unless you are going to the parade, you might want to avoid Belfast at least on 12th as traffic will be a nightmare and some shops, attractions etc will have restricted opening.

For Belfast, have a look in case the Premier Inns have any good deals on as you are staying 2 nights there and I have got rooms for as little as £29 per room per night in the very good Cathedral Quarter one. Aside from that, remember carparking in cities can be expensive if there is no free carparking in your accommodation so factor that in when comparing costs.

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Ireland Itinerary

Thanks for all of your advice - I love the tripadvisor community!

I looked at the car rental and from making the simple change of picking up in Dublin rather than Belfast, (and even having the car for the extra days) is a saving of about £150. This was great advice; thanks.

Oh, good eye on seeing two Day 4's...nothing like making the most out of my trip! Everything after the first day 4 should be moved up one, which may automatically plan my Day 7 for me. (Or perhaps I'll need to add another day anyway touring around Donegal.)

Also, thank-you, Domhnall for the link for driving times / distances. That will be a big help in determining my stops. (Driving times in Canada is much different than in other parts of the world.)

You have settled my mind, ponaire, with making sure I plan my hotels / B&B's. I will check into the information you provided me and will have to do a lot more research on determining my stops and finding accomodations.

One last thing, it was mentioned that two days exploring Donegal county might be good, but is there any other location that could use an extra day? (Aside from every location could use an extra day or two.) ;)

Cavan
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for County Cavan
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5. Re: Ireland Itinerary

Just one piece of extra advice, you will not need a car in Dublin, so best to pick it up from airport on Day 3 when travelling north.

Slieve League cliffs in Co. Donegal are better than the Cliffs of Moher.

Edited: 11 April 2012, 12:49
Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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6. Re: Ireland Itinerary

These might help with your interests:

History/Culture:

http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/

www.heritageireland.ie/en/Info/HeritageCards/

www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/index.htm

Nature:

http://www.noticenature.ie/

http://www.irishwildflowers.ie/

http://www.wildflowersofireland.net/

http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/

Marine Wildlife:

http://www.dolphinwatch.ie/

http://www.iwdg.ie/

National Parks and Wildlife Service:

http://www.npws.ie/

Saginaw, Michigan
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for Western Ireland
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7. Re: Ireland Itinerary

This series of articles, Seaside Secrets, on coastal Ireland might provide some ideas:

The Northwest: Donegal and Sligo:

http://tinyurl.com/7jvku2f

Food and Traditional Music Trail in Donegal:

http://donegalgoodfoodtaverns.com/

Galway and Mayo:

independent.ie/travel/inside-ireland/seaside…

Clare:

independent.ie/travel/inside-ireland/seaside…

The Southwest: Kerry and Cork:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k46624…

Shannon Heritage:

Clare, Limerick and South Galway:

http://www.shannonheritage.com/

http://www.shannonheritage.com/Specialoffers/

Edited: 11 April 2012, 14:10
Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: Ireland Itinerary

Thank-you, Uasal for the links on all of the variety of things. My husband and I love seeing UNESCO sites around the world and the heritage site is right up our alley. And some of the nature ones look interesting too. We've been whale watching before but never on a dolphin watching trip. Could be fun. And it's set; another day in Donegal especially with all of those taverns. (A whole different type of fun.)

I'm now going to spend some time looking at all of this information and start a new post if I have any other questions. Thanks everyone for your help and advice.

Cavan
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for County Cavan
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9. Re: Ireland Itinerary

Marble Arch Caves and Geopark are UNESCO recognised, one of Europes fiest showcaves allowing visitors to explore the natural underground world by boat and on foot.: www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com

While in the Co. Fermanagh area we also recommend the boat tours of the magnificent Lough Erne and visit the monastic Devenish Island with its ancient abbey and round tower: www.ernetoursltd.com

Edited: 12 April 2012, 11:21
10. Re: Ireland Itinerary

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