I've done a lot of research and wasn't planning to post this, but it occurs to me that people on this forum know more about Ireland than I do, so if you could take a look and identify any issues or make any suggestions for improvement, I'd appreciate it. This is not a typical itinerary, because our goal is not to concentrate on the "must-see" sights. Instead, my family's goal is to get a sense of Ireland's deep history. We are focusing on County Mayo because of our family history, though the region around Dublin is also interesting as it has always been the heart of Ireland. The timing of the rental car pickup and dropoff may seem odd, but it is designed to make best use of a weekly rental, without tacking on an extra day and without adding stress in the early morning. Here is our plan:
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin in the morning jetlagged. After dealing with practicalities, either walk around Dublin city center or take DART out to Howth for a walk to stretch our legs and get some fresh air.
Day 2: Explore Dublin with a focus on architecture and history. Visit a pub in the evening to hear Irish traditional music.
Day 3: Visit the National Museum and other sights in Dublin. Dinner at a nice restaurant. Collect our rental car in the evening.
Day 4: Get an early start driving to arrive at Bru na Boinne a bit before opening in the hope of getting a ticket to Newgrange and Knowth. Later stop at the Hill of Tara, Bective Abbey, and Trim Castle before returning to our lodgings in North Dublin.
Day 5: Drive from Dublin to Westport, stopping along the way at Carrowkeel and/or Carrowmore in County Sligo, and/or Hennigan's Farm Museum outside Swinford.
Day 6: Get up very early to climb Croagh Patrick. Then drive from Westport to Cong in time for lunch, continuing on through Clifden and Sky Drive and past Doo Lough back to Westport.
Day 7: Drive up to Killala, then to Ceide Fields, then to Achill Island to view the scenery.
Day 8: Take the morning ferry to Clare Island. Explore the island on foot in the afternoon.
Day 9: A day of exploring Clare Island on foot.
Day 10: Take the morning ferry back to the mainland. Drive back across country, stopping along the way at Tuam for lunch and to look at the cathedral and high cross. Arrive at our lodging in Swords around 4:00 p.m., maybe take a quick look at Swords Castle, then eat our last dinner in Ireland in Malahide before dropping the car off at the airport and returning to our lodgings by shuttle.
Day 11: Transfer from our Swords hotel to the airport by shuttle in the morning for our flights home.
Does this seem reasonable? Thanks.