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Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

Raleigh, NC
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Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland in May and would like some suggestions about our proposed itinerary. He is going on a golf trip with a group of guys and we will meet in Shannon, so that's where our adventure will begin. Listed below is the basic itinerary I've come up with so far. We want to see historical sites and beautiful landscapes, enjoy good food and not be too over- scheduled. We would like to spend at least a day in Dublin at the end of our trip and fly home from there. Is this a realistic itinerary? Are there other sites along this basic route that are must sees? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Day 1 - Drive from Shannon to Galway. Explore the city and stay in a B&B.

Day 2 - Take Aer Aran flight to the Aran Islands, explore, have lunch, fly back and return to Galway and stay another night.

Day 3 - Drive south, visit The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, continue south and take the ferry across the Shannon and on to Killarney to stay at B&B/hotel.

Day 4 - Do the Ring of Kerry and spend the night again in Killarney B&B/hotel.

Day 5 - Drive east, visit Blarney, Cobh then head north to see the Rock of Cashel. Stay in Cashel at B&B.

Day 6 - Drive north to County Meath. See Newgrange, Hill of Tara as time allows. Where to stay??

Day 7 - See more sights in County Meath and then drive to Dublin to stay at B&B/hotel - suggestions?? We will turn in our car this day since we won't need it in Dublin.

Day 8 - Explore Dublin. Spend another night at B&B/hotel.

Day 9 - Fly home from Dublin.

Thanks!!!

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

Day 3 could be a very full day depending on how much time you want to spend exploring The Burren. (We spent 3 days in the Burren and still did not see everything.) But, fortunately, the sun does not set until pretty late in May, so I'd recommend an early start and a late finish so you don't rush The Burren.

The rest of your itinerary looks very do-able to me.

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

I agree with Longhorn 74. Day 3 may be too ambitious. On our trip, we left Galway around 10AM for the Cliffs where we spent a couple hours. Then headed to Kenmare (through Killarney) taking the car ferry across the Shannon. We arrived in Killarney just as it was getting dusk and had to drive onto Kenmare in the dark (with good directions from locals we met at the McDonalds in Killarney....yes, Big Mac is everywhere). So either start real early or make it a quick trip to the Burren. On Day 4, you might want to consider taking a boat out of Portmagee to Skellig Michael (island about 7 miles off the coast). Skellig Michael was one of the high lights of our trip and we saw all ages making the trip out there. A once in a lifetime adventure / sight. As to Day 6, we enjoyed Newgrange and hope you will as well. It's kind of in a rural area so can't recommend places to stay but perhaps consider heading from there onto Belfast for the night; taking in the new Titanic Musuem. We stayed at the Premier Inn next to the museum and can recommend that for one night. And get used to round-abouts; they are everywhere.

Whitney, Texas
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3. Re: Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

nwannago don't change a thing....it is so refreshing to see someone who has put a lot of thought into their itinerary and isn't going to spend all their time in the rental "seeing it all".....as longhorn said, day 3 is a full day but doable....you'll have 15-16 hours of daylight, depending on whether you'll be in Ireland the first or last half of may, so no need to worry about driving in the dark....

if the hill of tara is your final site for the day I can recommend a great b&b there....in fact it's the only one, and the owner joan macquire is wonderful and serves up a great breakfast and even greater hospitality...I found this b&b in 2002 by accident and haven't missed staying there every trip since....it's literally a hundred steps from the hill, or less......you can also get some great food at macquires at the top of the hill but if you have a sweet tooth be careful because he serves some amazing homemade desserts....they don't have a website but their email address is sineadfromtara@eircom.net .......

Guernsey, United...
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4. Re: Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

I agree : although some of your days are a bit busy, it's a nice itinerary! At least on day 3, you'll have plenty of daylight. This is a route from Galway to Killarney that will take you past some of the sights /sites in the Burren, with a stop at the Cliffs :

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i31303-Galway…

Day 6 : recommend a fairly early start in order to reach Newgrange in the morning, as tours from the Visitor Centre to the Chamber are limited to small groups, and it would be a shame to drive up and not get on a tour. Factor in 3hrs for the drive from Cashel :

heritageireland.ie/en/…

Dublin :

I've stayed at the Schoolhouse Hotel twice; it's a charming, characterful hotel, about 15-minute walk to Grafton Street. And I've booked into Buswell's next month for a 2-night stay. It's located slightly more central, near the Archaeology Museum, and a very short walk to Trinity and Grafton Street :

http://www.schoolhousehotel.com/

http://www.buswells.ie/

I also stayed at Bewley's in Ballsbridge several years ago; decent budget hotel, with good bus route into the centre:

http://www.bewleyshotels.com/ballsbridge/

:-)

5. Re: Planning self-drive itinerary - help please!

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