Hello! So happy to have found this forum! This is my first post here - starting to plan our trip for May/June 2023 and would like to get input on a first attempt at an itinerary. I've been reading everyone's posts for a while to get ideas.
About us: My wife and I are both 60, and of Irish background. It's our first time to Ireland although we've traveled internationally. We are low-key, low-budget travelers and look for off-off-the-beaten-track places and experiences. We like walking/hiking, music, culture and history, and are fascinated with the pre-christian and early christian confluence of spiritualities and worldviews.
Misc: We'll rent a car outside of Dublin. Staying in BnBs or occasional hostels. Want to do mostly 2-3 night stays, occ 1 night.
Sat 20 May: a.m. arrive from San Francisco, 2 days in Dublin
Mon 22 May: afternoon train to Cork, pick up car the following day
Tues 23 May: Baltimore or nearby (get used to driving!)
Wed 24 May -Wed 31 May: exploring West Cork, ROK, Dingle Peninsula, maybe drive up to Castle Island (wife's family is from Cahersiveen and Castle Island)
Thurs 1 June: travel day: opinions pls! whether to turn in the car and fly Kerry>Dublin>Donegal (heard that airport is beautiful to fly into), or hang onto the car and drive up the coast
Fri 2 June - Fri 9 June: exploring Donegal (not sure exactly where. My family was from Ardara area, want to go to Glencolmcille, Slieve League, I don't have a sense of how much one can do in a day)
Sat 10 June: turn in car at Letterkenny, bus to Derry, overnight Derry
Sun 11 June: Derry, take train to Coleraine
Mon 12 June: day trip to Giant's Causeway, stay in Coleraine,
Tues 13 June: train to Belfast
Wed 14 June: Belfast
Thurs 15 June: Dublin 2 nights (Clontarf Castle splurge?)
Sat 17 June: depart
Another possibility would be to skip Northern Ireland, and instead spend more time driving up the west coast?
It may seem strange to be going to 2 very separate parts of Ireland, but it's because of family geneology reasons. Let me know if this sounds reasonable, and any specific recommendations or suggestions you have on the 2 areas we'll be visiting. Thank you!