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8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

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8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

I'd appreciate opinions on the following itinerary. I've tweaked it a few times based on lurking around here for awhile. I don't want us to try to do too much so that we see Ireland through the windshield, but I also don't want us to wonder if we missed anything that we could have worked into the vacation. I certainly hope we'll be back but that may not be for several years.

We're travelling as a couple, early/mid fifties. We like to see historic sights, natural beauty, take walks (not hikes) and like to end the day talking with local residents over a pint or two (or four.) We're arriving early morning flight on May 27th.

Day One, arrive at Shannon, spend first night in Ennis; this will be the last day of Fleadh Nua.

Day Two, travel to Doolin for two nights. See the Cliffs (if they cooperate) and The Burren.

Day Three, take the ferry to Aran Islands, weather depending. If not, explore the area via car. (Will we be able to go as far as Connemarra, or is that too ambitious? If we can't get to an Aran Island because of the weather, what should we plan on seeing?) We then have a second night in Doolin at the same B & B. My boyfriend is very much looking forward to hearing traditional music in the evenings so Doolin seems to be the logical choice for that reason, but I'm open to another suggestion.

Day Four: Travel from Doolin to Dingle, via the ferry over the Shannon. Stop for lunch somewhere, possibly Glin. (Any suggestions for places to see along the way for this part of the journey?) Is Connor Pass too scary heading into Dingle? Boyfriend is fearless, I'm not.

Stay two nights in Dingle at the same B & B, & on the full day drive Slea Head and explore Dingle Town.

Day Six, head to Kenmare, seeing Killarney Nat'l Park/Torc Falls on the way. We have two nights in Kenmare--on Day Seven (the full day there) we plan to drive the Beara Peninsula.

Day Eight--leave Kenmare and drive to Listowel for the second day of the June races. After the races, drive on to Bunratty for our last night, and fly home from Shannon on a late morning flight.

I'm a "planner" and my boyfriend likes to wing it, but he does appreciate that my planning and research can pay off in some nice experiences. We can both drive manual transmission and don't have a problem with driving on the left (except for the fearful part on my end.) I'm open for input and advice, and thank you in advance!

Western Ireland...
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for Dingle
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1. Re: 8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

Two nights in Doolin is two too many.The music you may/may not hear will most likely by bored for the tourist players. There are far better places to stay in Clare, that aren't swarming with tourists. The ferry is no advantage over the tunnel.

You find plenty real trad in Dingle. The Connor Pass isn't especially scary, if you take your time. It's well worth seeing if it's any way clear.

Reno, Nevada
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2. Re: 8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

Consider staying in Galway instead of Doolin. It's a fun town..yes, touristy but from Galway you can go to Aran and/or Connemara. Sounds like a fun itinerary.

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3. Re: 8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

I was wondering that about Doolin....it does have so many diehard fans that we bit. But, we can always change our plans for those two nights. (I think we want to be somewhere for 2 consecutive nights so that we don't have to pick up and move three days in a row; that's just my preference now as I sit here in my living room but I can be persuaded otherwise.)

Is Lisdoonvarna a better choice? Or Lahinch? Or someplace further south?

Saint Paul...
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4. Re: 8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

I agree with HarveyIreland about Doolin. There are many more interesting places... Galway, Clifden and Kenmare come to mind.

Your itinerary sounds too ambitious for my taste.

Everyone has their own traveling preference, and mine is more the 'thumbprint theory': if you like culture travel and don't wish to experience a country from behind the windshield, it may be for you: hunkering down at a self-catering for several days to a week (or more), and exploring the area, and really, as much as possible, living like a resident. For me, travelling this way gives a deeper experience with the culture, the land, local landmarks, etc., not to mention a less hectic and more relaxing journey.

In my years experience traveling to Ireland and the UK, Dingle Peninsula as well as the Beara, are special places.

All of Dingle, from Dingle Town to Ballydavid, and Cloghane and Brandon are very much worth seeing. Crossing Connor Pass shouldn't be missed; if you can unglue your eyes from the road for a minute, you will fall in love with the mystical Brandon Mt. just to the west of the Pass. There's a carpark atop the pass where you can get out and see both sides of the beautiful peninsula.

I don't remember enough about Lisdoonvarna to comment, but Lahinch is a little beach town, kind of touristy.

5. Re: 8 day Itinerary -- too ambitious, too lazy or just right?

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