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Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

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columbus ohio
Level Contributor
69 posts
Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

Hi! I have read until I am overwhelmed.We have 14 nights.Flying into and out of Shannon. Looking to get out of the city and enjoy the scenery and countryside and small towns.Want to limit our driving to a reasonable amount of time each day and would like to stay 3-4 nights in each area. The following areas we would like to see:Connerma Ntl Park, Burren,Day trip to Aran Islands,Cliffs of Moher,Dingle Pennisula, Ring of Kerry and Slea Head,Beara Pennisula, Garnish Isl, and Bantry house,Mizen head and Dursey Island. Would like to stay in the following accomadations if they work logistically:Adare Manor,BallyseedeCastle,Gregans Castle or Ballinalacken Castle,Abbeyglen Castle,Dromoland Castle(last night?)Dont want to rush it want to slow down and enjoy it and not spend all our time behind the steeering wheel....What is the best iteniary to take time to enjoy and not be moving from place to place.Want to plan it so it makes sense and I am running out of time.Airline tickets are booked but I can't figure out how to do the accomadations. One last thought would love to stay in some castles and have nice views of countryside or the ocean...I appreciate any ideas or thoughts.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, County Galway
Level Contributor
1,982 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

We would suggest that after an orientation period on arrival (maybe an overnight even) that you head up to your furthest point of interest first and then make your way back to the Shannon area before setting of on your journey south - kind of like a 'figure of eight' itinerary that has been suggested in this post here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k34014…

Your interest in Connemara National Park and a day trip to the Aran Islands could both easily be satisfied from a base camp of somewhere like your choice of Abbeyglen Castle Hotel http://www.abbeyglen.ie/ in Clifden quite easily - Clifden is a lovely small town to base with many local sites and sights to enjoy such as the Sky Road, Mannin Bay, Omey Island and the Allcock and Brown Landing Site. The National Park is about 15-20 minutes drive away from Clifden and the Connemara departure point for trips over to the Aran Islands (Rossaveal for ferries, Inverin for planes) is about 30-45 minutes drive :-)

It's worth noting, if you don't already know it, that a lot of Ireland's so-called 'castle hotels' are not necessarily housed within a castle themselves but maybe within the grounds of a ruined castle and are often buildings linked to the heritage of the castle estate - Abbeyglen, for example, is an old orphanage originally built by the owner of Clifden Castle abbeyglen.ie/abbeyglen-castle-hotel/history.… . Clifden Castle is a romantic nearby ruin that can be easily visited...

Edited: 6:37 am, February 25, 2010
Shannon, Ireland
Destination Expert
for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
Level Contributor
8,247 posts
34 reviews
2. Re: Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

"It's worth noting, if you don't already know it, that a lot of Ireland's so-called 'castle hotels' are not necessarily housed within a castle themselves but maybe within the grounds of a ruined castle and are often buildings linked to the heritage of the castle estate "

That's also true of Gregans Castle & Ballinalacken Castle, and pleasetake a health perspective on all hotel reviews. Cregans is located at the foot of Corkscrew Hill and although it does not have Ballinackens coastal location - it is the more attractive property of the two.

Have you looked at?

http://www.moyhouse.com/

Dromoland is just outside Shannon Town, so it won't take long to get to the airport on your last day.

columbus ohio
Level Contributor
69 posts
3. Re: Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

Ok, so if we stay at Dromoland day of arrival and next night we can rest...

Anything we might see that is very nearby Dromoland like under 45 minutes?Is Bunratty Village and Dinner worth doing? Dont know much else nearby other than Adare Manor (45 min from airport) Would that be a better option to rest a few days or would I be back tracking since we are heading North?

If we want to spend 1 dayseeing aran islands, 1 day Cliffs of Moher,1 day Burren area, 1 day Connerma Ntl Park,and 1 day Corrib Ferry to Cong Vill and want to drive 1 hour or less each way should we stay at Greggans and Abbeyglen or would one place work just fine and prevent us from moving around?

When we move South if we drive from say Greggans or Abbeyglen how long of a drive to the next hotel?Hotels I am considering are Ballyseede in Tralee or possibly something in Kenmare? We will have luggage and need to go straight to hotel. How much time should we allow to do this and will we loose a day in travel? We want to see Dingle Penn1 day, ROK 2 days,Garnish Isl and Bantry House 1 day, and Mizen Head & Dorsey Isl 1 day. Should we stay all nights at Bally seede or just a couple and move again. Again want to keep the driving to a minimum and keep hotel changes to a minimum.I know the drive from Kenmare to Kinsale is suppose to be 3 hours so if we go down that way we obviously wont want to drive back up to Ballyseede or even Kenmare...should we overnight further South? I appreciate any help.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Sligo, County Galway
Level Contributor
1,982 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

Kicking off any trip with two nights at Dromoland would be lovely as it's relaxed, luxurious and romantic. Others more local can make the best recommendations for the immediate area - we're personally not huge fans of Bunratty but many folk are...

Re: Connemara - staying at Abbeyglen in the northern part of Connemara would put you within the one hour travel mark for the Aran Islands day trip and for the National Park but it's going to be more on the 1.5-2 hour mark to get you down to the COM or The Burren from Clifden if not longer. We're not actually sure where Gregans is but if you want something similar to Abbeyglen to stay in that would put all four of these attractions as well as Cong within an hour radius then have a look at the region of southern Connemara and beyond back towards Galway and in particular at The Twelve Hotel or Glenlo Abbey

http://www.thetwelvehotel.ie/

http://www.glenlo.com/

To be honest your one day in Connemara National Park is very generous and you'll probably find that you can combine it with another attraction or two - Kylemore Abbey and Leenane village in one direction or, for some romantic beach scenery, Omey Island and Mannin Bay in the other spring to mind :-)

Edited: 11:25 am, February 25, 2010
London
Level Contributor
759 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

I've stayed in the Connemara Coast hotel a few times and really liked it. It's not a castle hotel but has great ocean views, is in a lovely quiet and relaxing place and is perfectly located for exploring around Connemara. Its location means that you are in a good sport for when you want to start on your drive down further south. My stays there have always been really comfortable, ask for a room with an ocean view if you do decide for this one

http://www.hotelconnemaracoast.com/

6. Re: Romantic 1st trip in May need help with planning

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