We will be on a Ireland tour ending on 9/27. We always extend our time before or after tours, but we just can't decide this time on what to do. We originally planned on going to Scotland for a week or so, but we are starting to question that plan. We aren't sure about the weather at that time of year, and we also wonder if we will be ready for a culture change after two weeks. We would love to hear any suggestions you might have. Preferably, it would be somewhere where we could walk or use public transportation. A couple places we have though of are the Rhine River area or Iceland, but we are open to all suggestions. Thank you.
Scotland wouldn't be too drastic of a culture change...more like variations on a theme. ;)
Scotland, Wales, England or somewhere around the periphery of the UK seem like good choices to me. Sure, there's a chance the weather might turn a bit, but it also might be nice and fair (and honestly, the weather in either Ireland or Scotland can get skanky anytime).
A lot depends on where you've been before and just your general preferences. No bad choices.
We've only been to Europe twice. The first time we visited Prague and Vienna before joining My Way Alpine Tour. After the tour we went back to spend more time in Murren. Last year we went to Lake Como and Venice before we went on a Village Italy Tour. Lake Como, Switzerland, Lucca and Cinque Terre were my favorites of those places.
Look at section 8.1 of this wiki page . You can see all the places you can fly to from Dublin.
The cultural change from Ireland to Scotland will be negligible. In fact, despite the history of conflict of all four of the nationalities in those islands (Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland), the cultural similarities are almost surprising. All speak English as the primary language. The main difference better Ireland and the UK has largely been that most Irish are Catholic and most in the UK Protestant. However, in the early 21st Century, religion is just not as important in our culture as it once was.
I have ancestors from all four of these countries and love visiting each. Scotland in September is not too bad. We did a drive tour of Wales and England in 2017 in the month of October and were in Northern England for several days at the end of the month. It was chilly, but not too bad.
You may wish to also go to a warmer place like Spain, Portugal or Italy, but that involves the additional cost of flying.
mnannie - if Iceland is an option, I would recommend it highly for that calendar space! Not a big public transport location, unless you're booking day tours. We were there 9/26-10/2 this last fall and as a Minnesotan, it was really wonderful weather fun - sort of like MN weather on steroids with mostly beautiful days. We rented a car and were perfectly fine driving.
I think OP is saying that they'll want a culture change after two weeks. What, you think both countries are all pipes, fiddles, pubs, beer and rain? Don't forget tea!
It might be fun to see the similarities and differences between Ireland and Scotland. But then, I like pipes, fiddles, pubs, beer and rain. And tea.
Yes, Karen, that is what I was trying to say:) I like beer, fiddles, pubs, and warm rain, but two weeks might be my max:)
Today we are looking into Iceland a little more. Ferst, and anyone else that has input, what do you think would be the correct amount of days to spend in Iceland? We will rent a car if we go there.
Thanks to everyone for responding to my post.
While there's certainly more of any country to see after a tour, I certainly understand wanting something different after two weeks in one country.
If you want a culture change at that time of year, consider Spain or Italy. You'll be going at the end of September - the weather should be nice but not too hot, and the worst of the tourist crowds will be starting to diminish (particularly important in Italy). Both countries have lots of great places where you not only don't need a car, but where a car would actually be a hindrance.
I think five days plus departure day would be enough. Our arrival day from the US was really low key and you'll already have done the big travel piece.
If you'd like to see how we spent that time, I did write a trip report and you can PM me with any questions.
Iceland. I just looked at the temps at the end of September for the last five years in Reykjavik - highs in the 40s and low 50s, lows about 10 degrees lower. There was a mix of sun, cloud and rain. Sun rise around 7.30, sunset around 7 pm.
Check prices. Car rental, gas, food, lodging. Iceland is one of the most expensive countries. Make sure it's in your budget. I also wonder what there is to do in the evenings.
Maybe you should visit Scotland after Ireland so you can realise there is alot more to both countries than "beer,fiddles,pubs and warm rain"?
As I imagine your Ireland tour will be quite rural in nature why not visit somewhere a bit more urban? You can easily catch a flight from Dublin to most major European cities. The most obvious choice to me would be London, and not just because I live there. It truly is a world city with more history, art, culture than you could ever take in in a week.
Regarding the weather, September is often a much better month than August in the UK with "indian summers" almost the norm.
Why not Norway? Or Belgium? Or Croatia? Or Portugal? Or Germany?
Each country vastly different from Eire.
"Beer,fiddles, pubs and warm rain" was just a quip in response to Karen:) I am mostly interested in beautiful scenery and adventures. Ireland has always interested us, partly, because my husband has ancestors from Ireland. Although, Scotland looks beautiful, neither one of us has that ancestral draw.
You have all given us many things to think about. Two of my grandparents were born in Norway, and my husband still has family in Norway, so that trip will be 3 weeks sometime in the future. Our last trip was three weeks in Italy, and I hope to go back, but that is probably another 3 week trip. We have thought about London and Paris, but both of us prefer smaller cities, villages, and rural areas.
Iceland would be convenient. We can fly Iceland Air and layover in Iceland for no additional cost, so the overall cost would probably be similar to going somewhere with additional airfare expenses. And, to my surprise, Iceland Air came in with the lowest price to Dublin. My husband would be comfortable driving in Iceland, so we wouldn't have to figure out public transportation. I do prefer warmer vacation temperatures, but Iceland's fall temps seem similar to what we have at home, so it does work for us.
Thanks for all the input. I'll have to sit down and get my dates figured out, but if the airfare is still good when we go to book, I think it will be Iceland.
wales is a good place to continue your journey. U can take a ferry from Dun laoghaire just outside of Dublin to aWales. Of course weather is no guArantee , but it will be close nad interesting then fly home from Manchester.