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7 days in Ireland

New York
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72 posts
14 reviews
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7 days in Ireland

Hi,

This April we are excited to visit Ireland for 7 days soon after Easter. As much as I have dreamed of visiting Ireland, my knowledge of places to visit and things to do is limited. Would appreciate if anybody can suggest the no.of days to spend at Cork, Dublin, Galway, etc and must see/do things. If possible, please also suggest best car rental & BnBs in Ireland.

Would it be possible to just drive through the places and check into a BnB as we come across it( my husbands idea) or would it be better to book it beforehand and have a solid itinerary? And is there anyway we can stay at an Irish castle?

We would be travelling to Ireland after spending few days in & around London.And hope to return to New York from Dublin. We are a couple with moderate budget, say around $80 per night at a BnB, looking for a wonderful Irish experience at a relaxing pace.

Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Guernsey, United...
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1. Re: 7 days in Ireland

If you're travelling across from London, then you have the advantage of being able to fly into an airport other than Dublin or Shannon, and making your way to Dublin. You'll also not be suffering from jet lag, so will be able to hop in a car and set out straight away.

Have a look at Aer Lingus and Ryanair for flights from London airports to Cork.

What has attracted you to Cork and Galway in particular? Something you've read/seen/heard? Both are beautiful counties, with lots of gorgeous scenery and interesting historic sites, beautiful beaches/coastline and lively cities if you're looking for nightlife.

I'm very much a fan of west Cork and would happily spend a week or two in the area:

http://www.westcork.ie/

flickr.com/photos/…

http://www.baltimore.ie/

http://www.capeclearisland.com/

www.whalewatchwestcork.com/scenictours.html

http://www.skibbheritage.com/

http://www.schull.ie/

http://www.mizenhead.net

These two Peninsulas offer fabulous scenery and are great for those who enjoy walking/hiking; there are miles of trails to follow:

http://www.thesheepshead.com/

http://www.bearatourism.com/visitorinfo.html

Galway has beautiful Connemara, where the scenery is quite different compared with west Cork :

http://www.connemara.ie/

http://www.roundstone.ie/index.php

http://www.oughterardtourism.com/

http://www.connemaranationalpark.ie/

http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/

http://glengowla.goegi.com/

You could also consider a day-trip to one of the Aran Islands :

http://www.visitaranislands.ie/

http://www.aranislandsferries.com/

http://www.aerarannislands.ie/

If you're going to drive up to Galway, bear in mind that west Cork to Connemara is close to 6-hr drive, mostly along fairly narrow, rural roads. You might want to break your journey in Clare, which would give you an opportunity to visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, possibly time for the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren :

shannonheritage.com/Attractions/…

http://www.burrenbeo.com/

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19855-Burren…

flickr.com/photos/…

There are some castle hotels in Connemara that might appeal to you; you need a fairly hefty budget!

http://www.ballynahinch-castle.com/

http://www.ashford.ie/index.php

http://www.abbeyglen.ie/

It's around 3.5hr drive from Connemara to Dublin; best to leave the car at Dublin airport and take bus/aircoach into the city, as you won't want or need a car in Dublin.

Car hire :

As a first-time visitor to Ireland, please read this:

tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g186591-c138899/Ire…

And have a look at the following sites for quotes that will include all insurances, tax, location charges etc:

http://easytourireland.com/

http://www.dandooley.com/

B&b accommodation :

There are 1000s of b&bs in Ireland; have a look at these sites, and read the reviews you can find here on Tripadvisor if you search a particular location in the search box at the top of this page:

www.sawdays.co.uk/accommodation/…

http://www.townandcountry.ie/

I always research here on Tripadvisor, then contact the b&b direct via their website/email. Note that many b&bs prefer to be paid in cash; they're usually small family-run operations, and don't have the resources or funds to have credit card payment facilities, which cost a small fortune.

I think your budget may be a little on the low side: $80 is about 59euros; expect to pay between 70-80euros for two people in an en-suite room (private shower or bathroom) including breakfast - per night.

You won't have time to see/do all I've listed above; those in Cork would take a week to cover, but I wanted to give you some idea of the variety of places to explore. Beara Peninsula would take a day to drive around; a visit to Clear Island by boat from Baltimore would also involve a full day.

Hope this gets you started; and I'm sure you get many more suggestions

:-)

Arlington, Virginia
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11,651 posts
109 reviews
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2. Re: 7 days in Ireland

Excellent advice, as usual, from Sarnia. Just a few more points:

1. It sounds as if you have absolutely no idea of what you want to see in Ireland, so reading a guidebook or two should be useful. They will outline some of the things to see in various parts of the country and you may discover, for example, that you actually don't want to go to Galway, but you really want to go to Kenmare. Guidebooks are discussed as the first topic under Top Questions on the right of this page.

2. Use a map and the online AA Route Planner for Ireland to figure out driving distances and times. (Add about 20% to the times given on the AA Route Planner). A common mistake for first-time visitors to Irealand is thinking they can cover more ground in a day than is possible. Don't expect to go as far in a day in Ireland as you can in the U.S. especially when you are driving minor roads.

3. In April, you should be able to find B&Bs as you go since there are only two of you. You may not get your first or second choice of accommodations, but you'll be able to find a place to lay your head at night. The conventional wisdom is that if you are going to book-as-you-go, you should at least book your first and last night's accommodations. Also, as Sarnia suggested, do some research here on TA for possible B&Bs and then take a list with you of these B&Bs with phone numbers so you can call ahead to try to find a place to sleep once you figure out where you'll be at the end of the day. I would not want to be scrambling around after dark trying to find a B&B for the night.

Guernsey, United...
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3. Re: 7 days in Ireland

Aah : thank you longhorn74! :-)

You've made some very valid points.

Geena O - with your limited time in Ireland, you may find it better to cover a smaller area, ie choose to stay in Cork and Kerry, which lies adjacent to co. Cork, and offers such delights as Killarney National Park, Muckross House + Gardens, Gap of Dunloe, Dingle Peninsula . . . . .

Or, combine Galway with Mayo or Clare , which are neighbouring counties (fly into Knock for Mayo/Galway; Shannon for Clare/Galway).

Honestly, whichever you choose, you won't be disappointed : fabulous scenery and fascinating historic sites, pretty towns and villages in all the afore-mentioned areas.

:-)

New York
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72 posts
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4. Re: 7 days in Ireland

Wow, that was so informative thank you Sarnia G and Longhorn74!

@Sarnia, your inputs have been so helpful, I also think it would be a good idea to stay 2 days at Cork and Galway each and then wind up at Dublin. If possible, will squeeze in a day to stay at a "reasonable" castle.. :) { btw, I did find that some BnBs charge almost as much as a castle! :( }

Once, again thank U all!

If possible, please let me know a good hotel to wind up at Dublin( preferably near the Temple Bar/City area) and things to do there before we say bye to Ireland for then! :)

Whitney, Texas
Destination Expert
for Ireland
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5. Re: 7 days in Ireland

oh gosh if you are finding b&bs that cost almost as much as a castle share their names with us because you should be paying 30-35 euro per person....I don't know any castles that are that price.....

6. Re: 7 days in Ireland

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