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First time travelers to Ireland

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West Bloomfield, MI
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First time travelers to Ireland

My husband and I are considering a fabulous package deal to Ireland that includes 6 nights at one of the villas at Adare Manor and a rental car, with GPS. We would be flying in and out of Shannon but are considering flying into Dublin and then leaving from Shannon. We would be traveling with our two children, our son is 14 and our daughter is 10.

Having never been to Ireland I was wondering if staying in Adare is reasonable. We are the types to go someplace and then try to see everything! Is Adare a good place to stay that will allow us to see other parts of the country on day trips? That brings me to driving. What, as an American, can we expect?

Would it just be better for us to stay in the larger towns, Dubin for instance, and forsake staying in Adare?

I am trying to put this trip together at the last minute and would appreciate any advise.

thanks,

renaissancemom

Waterford, Ireland
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1. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Well I'm not local to Adare, but I will put my twopenceworth in! Provided you are not too ambitious with your day trips you should be fine in Adare. I suggest you don't try to go further north than Galway - which is around 2 hours, but within that distance you have the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, which would be a full day no problem. Also the 'beach' at Kilkee is great, a great slab of rock going out to the sea, with natural mini-swimming pools. You could go into Tipperary (inland) to Cashel and Cahir - I think your children would probably like Cahir castle. You could also just about get to Dingle, again around 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Please believe me when I say that an 80 mile trip - which is about what Adare-Dingle is, is anything like what you are used to at home - whatever you are used to! The roads are narrow - tourists find them horrendously narrow, though the locals manage ok :)- winding and made perilous by tractors, tour buses and sheep, not to mention the scenery.

Don't be put off, take it easy, don't try to go too far, and don't include Dublin, go with your original idea of Shannon. Have a great holiday!

Boca Raton, Florida
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2. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Hi Renaissancemom, we have booked the same package for mid-June. Flying to Shannon, Adare Manor Villas for 6 nights, 2 nights Kilkenny, and a week in Dublin (self-catering apartment) from which we plan to make some day trips. The reason we did this, is because we are traveling with my mom and aunt (80-ish). They are slow to get going in the morning. We would waste hours in the morning getting packed up, checked out, and then later in the day finding the new lodgings and checking in. Traveling with kids might give you a similar challenge. In addition to Adare (which has a day's worth of attractions for us - especially after picking up groceries, etc.), we have found more than enough day trips from Adare. We're planning a day in the Burren (and Cliffs of Moher), Clare Glens and Lough Derg, Killarny, Foynes (and there are many other places to stop between Adare and Foynes), Limerick, and if the weather promises to be really fine, then we'll tackle Galway and/or the Dingle Peninsula. Adare Manor website has links to many local attractions (i.e., Lough Gur). Then there's the whole Bunratty (castle, folk park, medeival banquet) experience or Ennis/Quin/Knappogue/Craggaunowen. The kids may really enjoy getting out on the water (Shannon River, Lough Derg, Corrib). After I started researching, I found I could spend months in the Shannon region and still not see everything! We had no problem extending the departure date and flying out of Dublin for no extra charge. We also extended the rental car, for which of course, there is an extra cost. Good luck with your planning - TA is really helpful! Bocabibi

ireland
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3. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Adare will be a great place to spend your nights. From there you can visit the cliffs of moher and the coast of clare 1 day. Then you can travel to Killarney and drive to kate kearneys cottage and drive through the gap of dunloe it is beautiful. You could then do the ring of Kerry by either taking a bus from Killarney or driving yourself it is a full day If you want to book it on coach google dero coach tours and you will get prices. Dingle is another popular area to drive to. you will also been central to travel to Galway city which is much nicer than Dublin. I have stayed in the villas at Adare and they are lovely and nice food at the club house in Adare Manor We also enjoyed the pub in the Manor. If you are getting a good deal go for it and enjoy !

Cincinnati
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4. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

We just returned from a week in western Ireland. At the trad night at the Corn Barn at Bunratty Castle Folk Park, we met a couple that was spending a week at Adare Manor and doing day trips. They were having a wonderful time. It is quite a lovely place. I would suggest flying in and out of Shannon and avoiding the larger cities, which is what we did. From Shannon to Adare is a short, not very nerve wracking drive. It will give you a chance to build up confidence in your Irish driving skills! We went on to Dingle via the Connor Pass. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but one of the most beautiful vistas in Ireland. It's a narrow one lane road with two lane traffic crossing the mountains. Driving in Ireland is an adventure. Just make sure to get the super insurance and you won't need to worry about pesky things like side view mirrors. There will be plenty for you to see. We are anxious to go back.

Merced, California
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for Killarney
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5. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Sorry Coleen but I would not recommend driving through the Gap of Dunloe - it is best to park at Kate Kearney's and have the jarveys take you up and back in horse and buggy. But yes, visiting Killarney from Adare (while a bit of a journey) would be something to consider for one of your day trips. Driving from Adare to complete the entire Ring of Kerry would definitely be a very long day in the car and it would be best if you more than one driver was available to share the driving.

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Hi, the others gave great views on itinerary. My response is to your question about driving. If you can drive 15 mile rd. and Orchard Lake, you can drive anywhere in Ireland with your eyes closed. Folks tend to be concerned about left side of road, etc. You'll do fine.

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7. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Can I just ask where you got this deal for Adare Manor through? I am trying to plan a trip for early Sept. for the Western Part of Ireland and this seems like a lovely and well located spot. Thanks.

Boca Raton, Florida
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8. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Hi Skygoddess,

We booked through Aer Lingus Vacation Store; however, they don't seem to be having the special any longer. I checked around, and a similar package is now being offered by Sceptre Tours and is called the Summer Luxury Package. It is valid through September, but you must book by May 16 (TODAY!!). The price of the package is exceptional. If you check the Adare Manor website you will see that the Villas are 550 Euro per night! I've been watching the Irish Open Golf Tourny on the Golf Channel the last couple of days. It's being played at Adare Manor this weekend. They often show sweeping views of the area and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Good luck and Happy Travels - Bibi

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9. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Thank you so very much, Bibi---will keep my eyes on these sights over the summer. Really appreciate your prompt response. If it's not too much trouble, would appreciate an email when you return with everything you liked and didn't. Thanks again and have a wonderful trip!!!

Terre Haute, Indiana
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10. Re: First time travelers to Ireland

Hello, Renaissancemom!

Congrats on planning your first trip to Ireland. Trust me, you will fall in love with the scenery and the people and start planning and saving for your next trip on the flight home.

We're in the process of planning our next trip (for September).

Here's my two cents worth:

Fly in and out of Shannon. Getting in and out of that airport is much easier. Dublin is a remarkable city, but you'll be perfectly fine if you save that for your next trip.

Driving is a challenge, for about the first hour and then you'll hit a rhythm and be fine. Get a good atlas. Our favorite is Frommer's because it's spiral bound. You can find it at amazon.com/Frommers-Road-Atlas-Ireland/… We put all our loose change into a jar around here and save it for our Ireland Tyre fund as once a trip we seem to lose a tire on a narrow road. I got a beautiful new tire for my anniversary one year! Also take one really good guidebook that your children will enjoy looking at (lots of colored pictures and reasonably good directions). It's very handy for those times you take a wrong turn and can then assign them to find something remarkable to see on your "wrong" road. (If you're so inclined, ask them to learn a bit of history about some of the places you'll be going so they can teach the rest of your family something while you're there.) You'll definitely want to do the Gap of Dunloe, clearly one of the most beautiful places on earth. Park and take one of the pony carts. I would recommend doing the Ring of Kerry on a bus tour so everyone can enjoy and be relaxed... especially your family driver. Cahir and Cashel are great trips and when you're at the Rock of Cashel, walk down the hill to Hore Abbey. The drive to Dingle is breathtaking -- as are most drives. Definitely do the Cliffs of Moher. That was my first stop on my first trip and always makes me feel at home. Most importantly, enjoy the wonderful people you will meet. Every person we have ever met in Ireland is a remarkable ambassador. One other suggestions: Blog your trip. You'll find internet cafes everywhere and it's a great way to keep in touch with the folks back home and create a journal while you're there to enjoy when you get home.