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Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

Pittsburgh...
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Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

Hello TA Community,

My wife and I are traveling to Ireland from the US for an 8 night stay in May. We are flying into Dublin on the 11th (arrive early morning) and out of Shannon around noon on the 19th. I've been researching on TA and elsewhere EXTENSIVELY but thought it might be better to start a thread and share some of my ideas to see what everyone thought - suggestions / advise / personal experience and stories welcome!

A little about us...we're a married couple, both around 30yrs old, looking to experience the smaller towns, natural beauty, history, and great pubs of Ireland. We have a car hire for most of the trip (staying in Dublin for the first two nights, then getting the 747 to the airport to pick up the car) so we have flexibility to go as we please but want to balance jumping around with relaxation and not being in the car 24/7. We've narrowed the focus to the Southern portion of the island this time around (no Belfast or northern sites unfortunately).

Aside from Dublin for 2 nights, we have no accommodations booked. My tentative plan as it stands now is:

Tuesday 5/13 morning, leave Dublin, pick up rental car and drive to Cork area. My wife really wants to tour a castle and I'm thinking RoK on the way, or possibly staying somewhere closer to the RoK and not Cork. Blarney is also an option here. Suggestions either way? Stay one night.

Wed 5/14 - Thurs 5/15 - Killarney, see the national park sites and possible Ring of Kerry and/or Dingle region. Is that too much for two days? Should we add a third? Thinking of staying in Killarney as opposed to Kenmore but open. Just seems to be more central to the sites. Since it's mid May and not peak travel season I'm hoping it won't be jammed with tourists as some posters have noted - if this an accurate assumption?

Friday - head north to see the Burren and Cliffs of Moher. Ideas on a good town to stay in for two nights, preferably a smaller village, on the sea if reasonable?

Sunday - possibly one night in Galway to close out the trip. Is the drive to Shannon from Galway simple enough? And is Galway even worth it considering we already have 2 full days in Dublin and want to experience more of the smaller towns and villages? Our flight is at 11:30am and would prefer not to have to leave Galway at 4am or anything to make it.

As you can see we are debating a lot at this point...would love any suggestions from those that have planned out a similar trip

Thanks for the help,

Jim

Center Moriches...
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1. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

Couple of ideas. From Dublin drive to Cashel or Cahir. They are quite close together. Rock of Cashel makes the list for many visitors, and Cahir Castle is a bonus. From Cashel/Cahir head to Killarney for two nights. Makes a great base for the Ring plus Gap of Dunloe and Gardens ( Muckross? ). Dingle would be possible on day you leave and head up to County Clare. Spend two nights in Ballyvaughan or Kinvara. Both are small, attractive towns on the coast with easy access to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher.

Could add one day to above itinerary, probably Dingle, or spend your last night at Bunratty. They have a castle with a medieval banquet and a folk park. Bunratty leaves you very close to Shannon for your early flight. May is supposed to be a spectacular month to visit the Burren.

Edited: 13 April 2014, 02:30
Center Moriches...
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2. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

Regarding above post: Cashel/Cahir would be overnight, and it is Muckross Gardens.

Maryland
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3. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

I do love Galway but to make your exit easier many people recommend Ennis to be close to Shannon and still offers the small town flavour, nice restaurants, and very nice places to stay. If you are up to driving past Shannon by 25 mins south Adare is a lovely village with many thatched-roofed cottages and is very picturesque, also has great restaurants, pubs and accommodation. It is totally packed in summer with tour busses but mid-May it should be all in bloom with flowers everywhere but not crowded. Google Adare Ireland for photos, and Ennis as well.

Safe Journeys,

Sunny

Maryland
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4. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

PS. I agree with Chris -Bunratty is between Ennis and Adare, and is really lovely, the Castle is great, the folk village better than I expected, the medieval banquet sounds touristy but having done it I thought it was quite well done, not hokey, very entertaining, and the food & wine were excellent. Bunratty is 5-10 mins to Shannon. Could not get simpler or better for your last night.

Cheers!

Sunny

Pittsburgh...
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5. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

Thank you Chris B & Sunny. Ballyvaughan & Kinvara both look like great options for the last 2-3 days of our trip (as a base to see the Cliffs, Burren, and possibly Galway). I'm still stuck on what to do the day we leave Dublin. Now thinking of heading straight for Killarney (see the Rock or Cahir Castle on the way), and adding a night in Dingle in between Killarney and co Clare.

Center Moriches...
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6. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

Good plan. Figure minimum 4 and a half hour drive plus time for Cashel/Cahir.

7. Re: Itinerary Suggestions! - May 11th - 19th

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