I am taking my girlfriend to Ireland in November and would like some input on possible itineraries. I currently have two ideas and would love some feedback. Note: I have been to Ireland 5 times myself, but want to make sure I show her a good flavor of the country since this is her first time.
We are flying in/out of Shannon and will have a rental car for the week. (Fri morning to Thurs morning)
Plan A (and this seems to be what I am leaning more towards)
Fri and Sat - 2 nights in Galway - drive around Connemara, visit Doolin/Lahinch/Kilfenora, explore Galway
Sun and Mon - 2 nights in Dublin
Tuesday - drive through Wicklow mountains to Kilkenny, spend night in Kilkenny
Wednesday - drive through Cashel and Adare and spend last night near Shannon
Thurs flight is at 9 AM from Shannon
Plan B has us going to the southwest and through Cork
Fri and Sat in Tralee/Dingle/Killarney or somewhere in Kerry,
Sun in Cork/Cobh/Kinsale,
Mon and Tues heading to Dublin
Wed drive west through Galway and western Clare on our last day (ending near Shannon).
Honestly my biggest concern is taking on too much driving throughout the trip. I want to explore but not go over the top, yet still show her the best of Ireland (we can stay clear of some of the real touristy locations). We plan to stay in B&Bs and hope to find some hidden gem towns on our travels.
So I guess my real question is Galway/Connemara or Dingle/Kerry/Cork? I definitely want her to see some of Dublin.
Thanks for your input!