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Itinerary for a family with 11 and 13 year old girls

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Itinerary for a family with 11 and 13 year old girls

I've been playing with this itinerary for weeks and it is long past time to begin finalizing arrangements. Please give me a bit of feedback.

Fly in/out Dublin from US and hiring a car

March 16 and 17 in Dublin

March 18 and 19 in Killarney for Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula

March 20 TBD

March 21 and 22 in Galway City with day trips planned to Kylemore, Ross Abbey etc.

I'd love add in Castle Cahir and Waterford but don't know when or where to fit them in. We are mostly hoping for a landscape and history trip with lots of walking and climbing and exploring. We also enjoy a slow paced "dress-up" meal here and there.

Should I add an overnight on the Aran Islands? What am I missing? Is this too long in any one spot? Not enough time in a spot?

Dingle, Ireland
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1. Re: Itinerary for a family with 11 and 13 year old girls

You have March 16 and 17 'in Dublin' and March 18 and 19 ' in Killarney', this gives the appearance of four days but it actually isnt as one of them will be taken up with travelling between the two, which day is that?

If it turns out you have only one day in Killarney, I would add a day there.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: Itinerary for a family with 11 and 13 year old girls

Stop at the Rock of Cashel when going from Dublin to Killarney. It was the seat of the kings of Munster until the time of Brian Boru and now the cathedral built there after it was given to the church is being restored. Also, if you're going to be visiting around 4 or 5 OPW Heritage sites, get the Heritage Card...it will pay for itself. One of the sites that's covered by the card and you simply *should not* miss is Killmainham Gaol.

If you're having a 'history' trip, you also might want to check into the 1916 Rebellion Tour, which is a walking tour of a small area of Dublin that starts at the International Bar. It sounds a little sketchy starting at a bar, I know, but our guide was very knowledgeable and very thorough in his presentation. (The tour took about 2 hours including the introductions at the pub.)

You might also want to consider doing a visit to Muckross House or the farm (in Killarney). I prefer the farm, but my wife enjoyed the house tour...I was busy trying to manage a two-year-old around antiques and up and down a number of stairs, so my experience may not be the best guide. If you go to Muckross, spend the coin to hire a jaunty car (right outside the House), even if it's just for a ride up to Torc Waterfall. We've found the drivers to be very friendly and possess quite a bit of knowledge about the area.

Other options nearby include Bunratty - I'd suggest the Traditional Night rather than the Medieval Dinner...if you really want one of those there's a castle near (or in) Kinvara that has one and is very close to Galway, which is already on your list. Of course if you're more interested in scenery, skip the motorway (which will take you past Bunratty), go to Tralee for Killarney and take the Killrush ferry across the Shannon and make your way up to Kinvara. You might not want to make this trip without a satnav/GPS, but it's some of the best scenery we found...though I doubt you'll see the surfers out in March (but I'm not certain you won't...the surfers I know find the waves at all times of the year).

One of the things you*might* have problems with is finding traditional music. Most pubs don't start until after 9, and your girls are technically too young to be in pubs that late. Experience varies - some have had no problem staying in pubs after hours, but that hasn't been my experience when out with someone under 18. The Traditional Night at Bunratty includes trad, storytelling, and even a bit of dance. While a *little* cheesy, it's an enjoyable, family show. Another option, since Galway is on your list, is Trad on the Prom at the Galway Bay Hotel.

One other 'drive-by' that may be of interest, and I bring this up because of your girls. North of Galway in Bunowen sits an abandoned castle. It's on private property, and you cannot get near it, but it can be seen from a number of locations. The caste is called Bunowen Castle, and it was the home of Grace O'Malley. (This might be a counterpoint to Muckross, where they make a point of discussing Victoria's visit at length.)

As you can tell, there is a *lot* to do and see, even when you've limited your trip to Dublin, Killarney, and Galway. :) I have no doubt you'll enjoy your trip, but I expect you'll be a little disappointed that it's not longer.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Itinerary for a family with 11 and 13 year old girls

I don't know where you'd fit this in, but we did a great self-guided walking tour through the Burren in May 2011. It starts out with a scenic walk along a river then a hike across the Burren and finishes with a walk through a village to the seacoast in Fanore. It you want to "walk, climb and explore", I think you'd enjoy it.


4. Re: Itinerary for a family with 11 and 13 year old girls

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