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Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

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Portland, Oregon
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Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

Hello all,

My wife and I am planning on a week in Ireland ending on the day before Easter. We are planning a basic itinerary, as we will be driving, and are interested in your comments. We will be arriving in Cork and leaving from Galway (airports).

About us: We are interested in scenery, historical sights, and being outdoors. We realize this plan has an hour or two (or three) of driving per day, but we like that if we are seeing things/stopping along the way. (We wouldn't want to drive hours just to get to our lodging, then not see anything that is there.)

Day 1: Leave Cork for Iveragh Peninsula.... making a brief stop in Killarney (a short hike in the mountains?) Staying somewhere on the peninsula ...Waterville/Cahersiveen?

Day 2: Continuing around the Ring of Kerry up to Dingle. Stay in DIngle

Day 3: Finish Dingle Peninsula..stay somewhere near Tralee

Day 4: From Tralee, over the Talbert-Killimer ferry, up to Cliffs of Moher/ Burren. Stay in Doolin/Ballyvaughan/other ideas?

Day 5: Quick drive up to Galway and spend that day doing a Connemara loop (Craigh Patrick) This is Good Friday.

Day 6: Exploring Galway... We fly out at 7pm.

We would love to hear any advice, warnings, or recommendations you might have about these plans. Thanks a bunch!

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

On "Day 3" I would recommend a night in Dingle over spending the night in Tralee. Nothing "wrong" with Tralee, it's just a bigger town without the same charm and character that so many of us like about Dingle.

Also, you don't comment on pubs or nightlife, but if you enjoy an adult beverage you need to be aware that Good Friday will find all the pubs closed up tight in Galway.

Grayslake, Illinois
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2. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

I agree about Tralee....spend a second night in Dingle instead.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

That sounds like a great idea....thank you both. Any other comments, anyone?

Cork, Ireland
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4. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

Day 1: Leave Cork for Iveragh Peninsula.... making a brief stop in Killarney (a short hike in the mountains?) Staying somewhere on the peninsula ...Waterville/Cahersiveen?

#### As you only have a little time, I recommend that you park at Torc waterfall, follow the path up to the top of the fall which will bring you onto the beautiful Kerry way and you can walk as much or as little as this as you like. I do recommend that you climb to the top of Torc mountain at least, it's not at all too much but has fabulous views of the Killarney area. All of this should take you no more than 3 hours up and down.

Day 2: Continuing around the Ring of Kerry up to Dingle. Stay in DIngle

#### Very nice the ring is lovely and Dingle is fabulous.

Day 3: Finish Dingle Peninsula..stay somewhere near Tralee

#### Stay in Dingle again if you can. When in dingle there is a wonderful short hike at Lough Anascaul just a few miles outside of Dingle, you will pass Anascaul as you drive to Dingle from Killarney,. Worth the short 2 hour hike up and down on a clear day only though.

Day 4: From Tralee, over the Talbert-Killimer ferry, up to Cliffs of Moher/ Burren. Stay in Doolin/Ballyvaughan/other ideas?

#### Very nice. Plenty there really for the time of year. Why not just chill out early(ish) in Doolin with a few pints followed by a trad meal in one of the nearby restaurants. (Booking may be essential as it's easter weekend)

Day 5: Quick drive up to Galway and spend that day doing a Connemara loop (Craigh Patrick) This is Good Friday.

#### It will be very quick if you want do Croagh Patrick, in fact it might be better to bypass CP and just concentrate on Connemara.

Day 6: Exploring Galway... We fly out at 7pm.

#### Very nice, Galway is a great city and is surprisingly compact. O'Gradys on the pier is a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner in Barna (just about 3 miles outside of Galway city. They serve the freshest fish - and why would't they, being a stones throw from the nearby fishing pier.

Enjoy the trip, it's a good itin.

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

Day 5: Quick drive up to Galway and spend that day doing a Connemara loop (Craigh Patrick) This is Good Friday.

Nothing in Ireland is quick! Particularly Connemara with it's cranky little roads and poor signage so slow down...

:-)

It's going to take you and hour or so to drive to the outskirts of Galway and then another hour to get up to the beginning of any number of variations of a Connemara loop - if you need to go into Galway itself and check-in to accommodation first then that's at least another hour driving. Driving a basic loop based of Oughterard to Recess to Roundstone to Clifden to Leenane and back is going to take an absolute minimum of two hours without any stops (which is impossible in one of Ireland's most beautiful regions) and then it's another hour's driving back into Galway city - tired of being in the car yet?

Oops, we forgot that you wanted to include Croagh Patrick! Croagh Patrick aka the Reek isn't actually in Connemara/Galway it's in Mayo and although you can see it in the distance (it's actually best viewed. however, in it's iconic pyramidical form from the 'other' direction) as you start to leave Leenane/Leenaun village and travel north on the N59 it'll take about 45 minutes to get to it from the Mayo/Galway border and then the same again to get you back...

Why not maximise your time in Connemara and stay the night? You can then travel up from wherever you choose to stay in Clare and make a leisurely base to take in the gorgeous scenery and maybe take a hike or two - Clifden would be a lovely stop off and has a wide variety of accommodation from B+B's to hotels which you may want to consider as Good Friday is a 'dry' day in Ireland and only hotels can serve alcohol. The following day you could make an early start for Galway and see the city for a few hours and then fly out. Like Bryno we think that you should probably skip the Reek this trip ;-)

Tralee, Ireland
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6. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

I have to agree with the other posters. The second night in Dingle is the better option.

Grayslake, Illinois
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7. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

I agree with the other posters - save the Reek for another trip....it's not in Connemara, it's farther north.....and if you wanted to climb it - that would take the better part of a day.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Oddly, I somehow mistook the dates on the calendar and found we will actually be there the week after Easter, not the week before. I don't think that changes any of your great suggestions.... but now more sights will be open (the ones that don't open until Easter) and we will not have to worry about food on Good Friday.

I'm also curious what you think about Connemara vs. Aran Islands... We like the suggested idea of leisurely driving from Clare into Connemara, staying there, and exploring Galway the day we fly out. However, a second option would be to go from Clare into the Galway area.... and explore just north and west of the city, including a ferry to one of the Aran Islands...exploring that instead of going all the way up toward Mayo... and then still exploring Galway city the next day.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

We're huge fans of both Connemara and the Aran Islands so couldn't choose between them* so we'll try a different perspective based on geology: Connemara will give you predominately granite landscapes with quartz and mica mountains broken up by many lakes and rare Irish boglands the like of which you'll never have seen anywhere that you've been already (and the beaches are truly superb as well) but the Aran Islands will give you an opportunity to experience an Ireland of times gone by with some of the most stupendous limestone cliff top fortifications to indulge in but the landscape, geologically, is going to be very similar to the limestone of COM/Burren where it is believed the islands broke off from...

Tough one indeed!

* if pushed we'd probably go with an overnight in Connemara ;-)

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Our plans for pre-Easter week....do you notice any problems?

I never thank you all for posting... Just wanted to let you know we are following all of your suggestions (though my wife REALLY wants to hike the Reek, weather permitting, so we're still considering that) Thanks for all of your expertise.