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Day trips from only one city


Next year my wife and I are planning a 10 day vacation to Ireland. Any thoughts or advice will be appreciated.

Basically our major options are flying into Dublin, Ireland and using a 10 day hotel stay as base to visit various Ireland destinations like Cliffs of Mohrer, Kinsale, Belfast, Cork, Rocks of Cashel, etc. These day long bus trips are 3-4 hours up to 10-12 hours. We have previously taken long day long bus excursions in other countries and have always enjoyed them.

However, I am getting different thoughts: 1) having a “base camp” hotel may be very nice for traveling
around Ireland for 7-10 days. Or 2) these long trips from Dublin may be wearing doing them day after
day; better to stay in Dublin, then move on Belfast, then Cork, etc.

But, having a Dublin base sounds better to us, since it’s being settled in one location rather than uprooting from city to city.
We feel that the base camp approach would actually be much less stress and time involved. That is because tour companies like Viator or Paddywagon have great excursions leaving and returning to Dublin. However, to transition to a different hotel in Galway, Belfast, or Cork we'd have to take suitcases on bus or taxi, or train; then travel to the new city; get cheked into a new hotel; unpack, etc; then repeat a few days later in another city. Also, we will not be renting a car. Did that for 10 days in England and Scotland a few years ago - gery nice trip, but a bit driving stressful (LOL).

So any experiences or advice for a 10 day, one hotel vacation; with mutilple other city excursions?

Thank you very much for your kind opinion and help. Ted

Posted by
4482 posts

I wouldn't want to do those places as a day trip from Dublin. We took a day bus tour to Glendalough and Kilkenny which was enjoyable. My husband tries to avoid renting in UK because it is so stresssful, but the public transportation in Ireland is not great and we survived renting a car to drive from Dublin to Clifden and from there to Ashford Castle,then to Trim and Tara. You may want to rethink your decision after looking at other options.

Posted by
2925 posts

I’m planning a similar trip for next July after spending 3 weeks in England. No driving since I’m solo and eyesight isn’t great.

Suggestion for you: base on the west coast AND on the east coast. Split your time depending on what you want to see and where you want to go. No reason to waste time driving cross country repeatedly.

Viator is a consolidator not a tour company. If possible, book with actual tour companies. If you have problems, it should be easier to correct them.
I’m not familiar with Paddywagon tours but according to their website they are a tour operator. I can’t tell if they are big or small bus tours.
Rabbie’s Tours gets good reviews on the forum and are small bus tours.

Posted by
4482 posts

If you don't want to rent a car, I second the recommendation for Rabbies.

Posted by
802 posts

I've only done a day-trip with Rabies, but they made a great impression. Nice bus, excellent bus driver and anecdotal knowledge, still recall a few places & lovely inn with cafe years later....

Posted by
5 posts

I would stay in at least two locations, otherwise you will spend more time traveling to and from places than you will visiting the actual location. As for Viator, I use them like I would TripAdvisor. I look at their site for tours I'm interested in and then go to the actual tour company to book direct.

Posted by
77 posts

Thanks all for your suggestions about East and West Ireland, and using Rabbies. Ted