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6 days with teens in July- last minute trip -help!

Wasn't sure if we could get away nor if we could find award tickets, but it seems we can and are now scrambling to devise our itinerary and get lodging. My hubby and one teen are arriving early on 7/22 to see U2 in Dublin, so they'll have two nights there before the rest of us arrive. I will be arriving early on 7/24 with 3 more teens. We will be flying out of Shannon on 7/30. Given our brevity of time, we were going to stick to the south and west and plan a return trip to properly see the other parts of the country at another time.

Given the ages of our group, our interests are more in being active and seeing the natural beauty of Ireland than focusing on the history, although visiting a castle would be nice if easily includable. We hope to do at least one day of hiking and plan to spend our evenings in pubs with lively music or playing games together. We are ok to rent a car or use a guide or use a combination of the two. Since there will be five or six of us, it will have to be a larger vehicle.

Any recommendations for our 6 day itinerary that starts in Dublin and ends near Shannon? Lodging could prove challenging at this late date, especially near Dingle, where we hope to spend two nights, but I have found some options that could work I think, but we need to firm up an itinerary so I know where to look when. Appreciate any help in sketching this out as I try to get up to speed quickly for this trip.

Posted by
36 posts

Hi there. We just returned from a wonderful 2 week vacation in Ireland with our two teen boys. We stayed in Howth (just outside of Dublin) for 2 nights which was great and convenient to Dublin via the DART. I would highly recommend staying in Kenmare for 2 nights and doing a tour of the Beara Peninsula. It was beautiful and not very busy at all. I had read that it was a much better option than trying to tour the Ring of Kerry. One of the highlights of our trip and the Beara was stumbling across the Geninchaquin Park while looking for an ancient stone circle. It was so beautiful - we named it "Hobbit Land". Lots of opportunities for hiking there. There is also a cool castle and newer mansion to see near the town of Castletownbere called Dunboy castle. We stayed in a family room at O’Donnabhain’s Bar, Restaurant and Guesthouse / Bed and Breakfast which had 4 beds in one room and was very reasonably priced. We also loved the town of Clifden at the edge of the Connemara National Park. (again, great chances to hike in the park) We spent 2 nights there at the Quay House (amazing!) and stopped at Aughnanure Castle on the way back to Shannon. There is also a cool castle in Clifden to which you can walk. I would echo what I have read on this site, try to stay at least 2 nights in places, it is so much more enjoyable than the short 1 night stints. Have a great trip!

Posted by
2565 posts

Very wise of you to limit your geographic coverage to the south and southwest. You'll surely find lots of good places to hike/walk for a few hours at a time and maybe do some horseback riding. Bring layered clothing and rain gear. Make use of waterproofing spray before you leave home.

Check on the legalities of bringing teenagers into pubs. Ireland's legal drinking age is 18.

You'll probably save money renting your own vehicle instead of paying for tours or trying to wrangle your luggage (& keep track of 4 teenagers) on public transport. The vehicle you want is a "people carrier" (what we call a van or a mini-van).

Itinerary could begin with a day of Dublin sightseeing (let the U2 advance scouting party decide which highlights are worth sharing with the new arrivals), then proceed to Kilkenny and Rock of Cashel, next day Blarney, then Dingle. Spend the night prior to your flight in Shannon to avoid stress getting to the airport on time in case of car trouble, traffic tieups, etc.

Posted by
1059 posts

My experience w ireland is that its fairly easy to find rooms w a double bed and a twin....so if its difficult /too expensive to find 3 rooms, you could make due w 2. Dear friend of mine traveled w spouse, 2 teenagers and her mother in law, and they knew before they left home that everyone would be taking a turn being gramma's room mate. :)

Posted by
36 posts

I meat to add that we did go to pubs with our boys and had no problems with them being there. One night in Dingle, my 16 year old and I stayed until 11:00 listening to music and there were other younger children there as well.

Posted by
3 posts

Me, my wife and two sons (ages 18 & 22) just returned from Ireland yesterday. We spent 3 nights in Killarney which worked well as a good home base in the Southwest. We were able to do the Ring of Kerry on one day and the Dingle Peninsula on the next. I would also highly recommend the Kissane Sheep farm to see the Border Collie, herding demonstration. Since my kids are of legal drinking age, we obviously had no issues with bringing them into the pubs. I know the RS thinks Killarney is too touristly, but we really enjoyed it.