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Advice for June Itinerary

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Boston...
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Advice for June Itinerary

Greetings to the Ireland experts and travelers.

Four of us plan to tour Ireland by car June 8-21. We have booked a great fare requiring flying to Dublin instead of Shannon, but our main desire is to explore western Ireland. I am concerned that our resulting itinerary is too ambitious and would appreciate comment and advice.

June 8 - arrive 2:35pm. Pick up car and drive south towards Wicklow for about an hour. Pre book a hotel or b&b near Powerscourt gardens.

June 9 - Tour Powerscourt gardens and Glendalough. Is it possible to also see Avoca handweavers? Head towards Kenmare via Kilkenny. Stay in Kenmare as a base. I am really concerned about this day being packed!

June 10 - 12 or 13 - Ring of Kerry and Dingle peninsula. Read that the nearby Beara peninsula is as pretty and less touristy than Ring of Kerry. Do we miss much if we opt out of the Ring of Kerry? Stay 3 nights? I am wondering if we should do 3 nights in Kenmare and 1 in Dingle/Tralee so we have 3 - 4 days exploring?

June 13 or 14 - head to the Burren, Cliff of Mohr, Doolin for 1 day via ferry from near Dingle peninsula to County Clare. How frequent is the ferry service? Find a B&b in or near Doolin or towards Galway.

June 14 or 15 - Drive around to or past Galway. Find B&B as base. We would like to go next day to Aran islands so is it better to be near Rossaveel? Are there B&Bs that allow parking while on the islands? Is there parking for overnight visitors by the ferry?

June 15 -16- take ferry to Aran islands from Rossaveel. Spend one night. Find B&B on island.

June 17 - 20 - base ourselves somewhere and explore Connemara and Galway.

June 21 - return to Dublin airport - do we drive direct from Galway to Dublin airport, turn in the car, pre-book airport hotel with shuttle to and from airport? Do we tour along the way- possibly stopping at Trim and Hill of Tara and turn the car in in the evening (depends on rental office hours),

June 22 - leave early morning.

Thank you for any and all advice.

Ireland
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1. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

I don't know that I'd head for Wicklow after coming off a flight. I presume when you say Avoca you mean either the branch at Kilmacanogue or the one at Mount Usher? The orignal store in the village of Avoca is tiny and not really worth detouring for.

June 9th, I'd stay overnight in Kilkenny.

Remeber the roads in Ireland are not like you are used to, slow tractors, kamikaze sheep, potholes,twists and turns if you are off motorway, which you will be on a lot of the places you are going.

www.aaroadwatch.ie has a route planner that will give you some idea of times, but for people new to driving in ireland, I'd add some extra time to the times they give.

I'd always pick Dingle over the Ring of Kerry. To do the Ring properly you need two days, in my opinion.

1 night in Kenmare would be enough and I'd give Dingle two nights.The ferry is not near to Dingle, it's in Co. Limerick. http://www.shannonferries.com/timetable/

Rossaveel ferry dock has plenty parking, No worries there.

Scunthorpe, United...
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2. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

I find this website useful for working out driving times and routes.

http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

Remember these are minimum driving times so you need to built in plenty of extra time for stops, lunch, slow traffic, holdups etc.

You are right to be concerned about the amount being pushed into June 9th.

Allow an hour minimum for Powerscourt. It will take about 45 min to drive from Powerscourt to Glendalough. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for Glendalough - this will let you walk to the lake (and the smaller, less visited sights) as well as the main area.

Glendalough to Avoca is another 45min PLUS time there.

Avoca to Kilkenny is going to be about 2hours drive....I think this has just about filled up the day allowing for lunch. I think you need to reconsider this day and plan on an overnight at Kilkenny

Even if you miss Avoca you still have a 2 hour drive from Glendalough to Kilkenny. You may also be too late to visit the castle (assuming this is on the itinerary) as this shuts at 5.30. You would need to be in Kilkenny by 4.30 to do this.

Kilkenny to Kenmare is going to take about 3.5 hours to drive.

I would suggest you need to think about tweeking you itinerary a bit to allow for this....

June 10th. Do Kilkenny Castle and then drive from Kilkenny to Kenmare. Think about the short detour for Rock of Cashel and also possibly Cahir. If you drive straight to Kenmare you will have time to drive to Killarney and have a look at the lakes and possibly Gap of Dunloe.

June 11th - do ring of Beara (much less touristy than Ring of Kerry and scenery as good. Overnight at Kenmare

June 12th - drive to Dingle and do Slea Head drive. Have overnight in Dingle/Tralee as this saves driving back to Kenmare this evening and then back again next morning.

June 13th The ferry departs Tarbert on the half hour. The timetable is here:

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

Then as your timetable.

June 21st - depending what time you have to get back to Dublin, think about visiting Clonmacnoise on the way. This is another early Irish religious site and well worth a visit. Allow about 2 hours to do justice to the site, exhibition of carved stones and St Nun's church.

heritageireland.ie/en/…

…mac.com/wasleys/…index.html

Guernsey, United...
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3. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

Greetings HuaMulan!

I think if you just tweak your itinerary slightly, it should be fine, as long as you're happy to move on every 2-3 nights or so.

9th June

You're right about this day: far too much to achieve comfortably.

I think a visit to Powerscourt followed by Glendalough will be enough for your first full day in Ireland. You should have time to drive as far as Kilkenny, but not Kenmare.

10-13 June

Give yourselves time to see Kilkenny, then drive on to Kenmare. It's a really pretty little town with great choice of guest houses/b&bs, plus restaurants and pubs. It's been a while since I stayed in Kenmare, but Bryno (DE for Cork) recommends:

http://www.virginias-kenmare.com/

http://www.kenmare.com/

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

http://www.kenmare.ie/

I do have a preference for Beara over Ring of Kerry, as it's much quieter, but with equally beautiful scenery:

http://www.bearainfo.com

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

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

http://www.gleninchaquin.com/

Aim to share these 4 days between Kenmare and Dingle (maybe 2+2). Dingle is too far really to visit as day trip from Kenmare as it's 3.5-4hr round trip just to Dingle town:

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

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

14th June

If you're travelling from Dingle to Doolin, this is a nice route with lots of lovely scenery (via the ferry) and should take around 3.5-4hrs.

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i20532-Dingle…

this would leave you with around half a day to see some sites in the Burren. you won't see very much in half a day, but you could get a "feel" for the area by driving this route. However, this does mean that you'll be in the car for much of the day:

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i22124-Half_D…

The Burren is a fascinating landscape with many sites of interest hidden away; here are some of my favourites, in case you find something here that sparks particular interest:

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

As an alternative to Doolin, have a look at Ballyvaughan village which is on the north coast of Clare overlooking Galway Bay:

http://www.ballyvaughanireland.com/

15-20 June

This looks fine!

I'll add my recommendation for stopping at Clonmacnoise: a beautiful spot!

You might like to consider spending two nights near Dublin airport if you wish to see Trim Castle and the Hill of Tara. I enjoyed both very much, but my husband was a bit disparaging about the Hill of Tara ("it's just a hill"). If you know the significance of the Hill in Irish history, then I think it makes a visit more enjoyable!

www.mythicalireland.com/ancientsites/tara/

However, if you're in the area, then I highly recommend visiting Newgrange, which is fascinating. You need min. 2hrs to see around the Visitor Centre and take the guided tour out to the Chamber:

heritageireland.ie/en/…

22 June

Bear in mind that you'll have to check-in 3hrs before departure, so if you have an early morning departure you might find it more relaxing to return the car the previous evening. Otherwise, you might like to keep it until the morning and spend your last night or two in a town/village within reasonable drive of the airport. Maybe Malahide on the coast:

www.malahide.ie/channels/touristguide.htm

Hopefully by picking through all these suggestions, you'll be able to come up with an itinerary to suit your pace of travel!

I've photos of most places, apart from Glendalough (my visit was pre-digital!) and Connemara (yet to visit great detail) if you'd like to browse through and get a feel for each area:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fainleog/sets/

:-)

Boston...
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4. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

Thanks, everyone.

I will pass the wonderful advice on to my companions.

Based on that time of June and the itinerary, would we be able to find b&bs without prior reservations? Or is it better to pre-book? Are there places where it is absolutely important to pre-book accommodation?

Any recommendations for a Dublin airport hotel with a free shuttle to and from the airport? I think we will return our car rental and then stay by the airport as we fly out early in the morning.

Thanks again.

Grayslake, Illinois
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5. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

Hi, I can recommend the Holiday Inn Express-Dublin Airport:

http://www.hiexpressdublin-airport.com/

It was a very nice hotel, with a free breakfast and a free airport shuttle.

The shuttle bus is a full-sized bus and is operated by the Crowne Plaza Hotel (which is right next door to the HI), but serves both hotels.

Dublin, Ireland
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for Dublin
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6. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

You'll be on the Aran Islands on a Thursday so you shouldn't have a problem with finding a B&B that has a spare room, but just remember it is an island and once the last ferry leaves you are stuck there until the following morning... I think for peace of mind I'd book somewhere here!

B&B's are spread out all over the island and your only transportation options are your feet, to rent a bicycle or to arrange to be picked up by one of the private minibus operators. For ease of getting to restaurants and pubs that evening I would chose a B&B in or close to Kilronán village. Curiously though most B&B's list there addresses as being in Kilronán even though they are on other parts of Inis Mór, probably for postal reason! PM me if you need any help!

7. Re: Advice for June Itinerary

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