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1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

South Jersey
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1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

My wife and I are visiting Ireland for the first time in early March 2013. We'll be flying into Dublin, staying for 2 nights, and then renting a car. We'll be staying 7 nights total, and flying out of Shannon. I have a few questions.....any help would be appreciated.........

--After Dublin, we definitely want to visit County Kerry and County Clare. What is the best location to stay (maybe 2 nights?) for exploring County Kerry? Kenmare, Killarney and Dingle all sound great.

--Is it reasonable to leave Dublin and drive to County Kerry without staying overnight on the way, and making a stop at Cashel and/or Kilkenny? Or, would we be better off staying a night in Kilkenny on the way?

--In your opinion, with somewhat limited time, which is better to visit - the Ring of Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula?

I know the answers may vary considerably, but I'm very interested to hear any feedback. Thanks again!

Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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1. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

I would use Killarney or Kenmare as the better bases for Kerry, The Dingle peninsula can be seen on a coach tour from Killarney or if you take my recommendation of Ennis for Clare you can drive to Dingle Town, round Slea Head and out to Tralee over the Connor Pass before crossing the Shannon.

Dingle has an awful lot of dedicated followers (which I admit does not include myself but that is not the reason for me advising against Dingle town), In simple facts Dingle town is only a suitable touring base for the Dingle peninsular, whereas Killarney or Kenmare can be used as touring bases for the whole of the county.

This blog might have some points of interest around the Ring and Iveragh Peninsula

http://farmerstravel.wordpress.com/

california
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2. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

Personally I wasn't too impressed with Ring of Kerry, whereas Ring of Dingle, Slea Head Drive, and viewing the Skelligs (Ring of Skellig?) was absolutely beautiful scenery! With limited time I'd NOT spend time doing the Ring of Kerry.

I'm sure others feel differently...

Western Ireland...
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3. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

2t2 did you actually get off the main road and explore some of the Iveragh or just follow the tour bus route? Personally I don't rate the tour bus route too highly either.

Ventry, Ireland
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4. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

@Tony2phones

If you bothered to read 2travelbugs2 trip report you would see the following

"In this area we drove Slea Head Drive, Ring of Dingle, Ring of Skellig, Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park (also nice hiking...)."

If you know the area as you claim you will realise that the Skellig Ring is not on any bus route.

Why must you persist in talking down to visitors whose opinions differ to yours?

@2travelbugs2

On behalf of the "real" Irish people here, (to borrow a favourite phrase of Tony's) I'd like to say we greatly value your contributions

Western Ireland...
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5. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

@Soonas

I read a lot of itineraries and trip reports. I do not necessarily remember who these posts are by. It was a simple question. If you read my Question I state that I do not rate the tour bus Ring of Kerry.

My Question was in no way intended talk down to anyone. I leave that to the "real" Irish people (not a phrase I remember using?) But what's the point!!

@2t2 I hope my question is not offensive, and I apologise for not being able to recall the details of your trip report.

Ventry, Ireland
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6. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

At least you have offered an apology. Fair play

Kittery, Maine
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7. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

I have visited Ireland many times, on organized tour groups and also driving myself. From a tourist's perspective, and since this is your first trip, I would recommend staying in Killarney after your stay in Dublin. It's a great walkable town. Just got back from a trip in early October and stayed at the International Hotel which I highly recommend. I'd recommend the Ring of Kerry and drive the Ring in a clockwise fashion (opposite of the tour buses). You can get a map at the Tourist Office or your hotel may be able to help out with this. You'll be there in March which is off-season so there will be fewer buses and less traffic that time of year. Let me know if I can help with any other info. Enjoy your trip - I can't wait to return!

Guernsey, United...
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8. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

Another opinion:

I'd stop overnight en-route to Kerry in/near Kilkenny or Cashel to break up the drive and give adequate time to see Kilkenny city, which is very interesting and attractive, as well as Cashel:

kilkennytourism.ie/eng/…

http://www.stcanicescathedral.com/

http://www.kilkennycastle.ie/en/

My choice for Kerry in order of preference:

1 : Dingle

2 nights will give you time to explore the Peninsula without rushing too much:

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19068-Best_o…

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19854-Dingle…

flickr.com/photos/…

2 : Kenmare

If you base yourselves in Kenmare you could consider visiting the lesser-known but equally interesting and beautiful Beara Peninsula. Kenmare has some great restaurants and pubs, and a good choice of accommodation from simple b&b/guest house to 5-star luxury hotel:

http://www.kenmarerestaurants.com/main.html

http://www.kenmare.ie/

These might interest you:

http://www.kenmarelace.ie/

www.stonepages.com/ireland/kenmare.html

Beara:

http://www.bearatourism.com/visitorinfo.html

www.bearatourism.com/archaelogical.html

http://www.gleninchaquin.com/

www.irelandsgardens.com/derreen/index.html

http://www.bearatourism.com/bwdursey.html

flickr.com/photos/…

3 : Killarney

Is much bigger and busier than Kenmare - although in early March it will be fairly quiet. A good base if you wish to see Muckross House & Gardens, Gap of Dunloe, as well as exploring the Ring of Kerry:

ringofkerrytourism.com/ring-of-kerry-attract…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_of_Dunloe

heritageireland.ie/en/South-West/RossCastle/

http://www.muckross-house.ie/

County Clare: one of my favourite areas of Ireland!

If you wish to see the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, then I'd usually recommend staying somewhere on the west coast, but in early March it's going to be very quiet in villages like Doolin, Ballyvaughan. Plus, if you've an early start from Shannon, it's about 75-minutes drive from afore-mentioned villages to the airport. So Ennis would be a good choice at that time of the year if you're looking for evening entertainment and don't want to be too far from Shannon:

http://www.visitennis.ie/

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19855-Burren…

flickr.com/photos/…

A thought: if you opt to stay in Dingle, then you could head via Tralee and Listowel to the ferry at Tarbert, then head down to beautiful, untouristy Loop Head before driving up to Ennis:

http://www.shannonferries.com/timetable/

http://www.loopheadclare.com/

flickr.com/photos/…

:-)

Dallas, Texas
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9. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

Thank you tony2phones for sharing my blog!

Killarney and Kenmare are both great towns, though Killarney is much larger. Killarney is also right in between the Ring of Kerry and Dingle peninsula, so you could theoretically do both. My wife and I did not get a chance to visit Dingle on our first trip, so I can't speak to that (I'm sure it's gorgeous), but we really loved the Ring of Kerry. Perhaps it is touristy, but it really is beautiful scenery. I think you would like doing either.

You can easily drive to Co. Kerry from Dublin in a day, though I bet you won't want to as there are lots of things to see on the way. Cashel is a really cool spot to stop for a few hours. I personally loved Kilkenny, as it had a great amount of architectural and historical spots to visit. I love castles and cathedrals, but I suppose it depends how much of a history buff you are. Kilkenny was the most medieval feeling town we visited in Ireland.

Renting a car is great. If you see a sign that looks like it leads to something cool, go check it out.

Enjoy your trip!

http://farmerstravel.wordpress.com/

10. Re: 1st Visit - Itinerary Advice

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