hi there! this is my virgin voyage on this site so be gentle :) 4 of us (2 adult couples) are trying to plan a 6 day trip to ireland in october. we are making ourselves crazy with all the possibilities so i'm reaching out here for help. we will be flying from boston so we could easily fly in and out of dublin or we could do one way to shannon and one way to dublin if that allows us to see more. we'd like to see some of the many highlights, and even play golf one day. one thought was to stay near limerick and just do day trips, but i just don't know. all thoughts/suggestions are welcomed and so very much appreiciated! -audrey
Besides golf, what to do you like to do? And do your 6 days include arrival and departure days? Keep in mind that on your departure day you preclear US immigration at either Shannon or Dublin. So on that day you need to be in the airport terminal 3 hours before departure. With that in mind you probably don't want to stay in more than 2 locations. So you could fly into Shannon, stay in Limerick for 2-3 nights, then drive to Dublin, drop off the car and stay in Dublin for 2-3 nights.
thanks for your reply! great question - we like to see the "must sees" where we go, but also like to see how the locals live - enjoying traditional food and drink, listen to music, etc. we like to do moderate walks/hikes in order to see spectacular views and waterfalls. we get excited about "interesting" things like i saw somewhere is a hardware store by day and a pub at night. we would definitely have 5-6 full days given when our flights are.
Ah the wonderful Foxy John’s hardware store/bar in Dingle. Pleasant memories.
Is that 6 full days and nights will arrival and departure times?
Fly into Shannon. Rent a car. Head South to Dingle. 2 nights Dingle.
1 morning Drive to Kate Kearney’s cabin at the foot of the Gap of Dunloe. Can drive over it. Its a wee road. there will be traffic, sheep, bicyclists, lorries, hikers and dog walkers.
You could also drive from Dingle to Killarney National Park. Meander there then have a meal in Killarney.
Drive from Dingle to Portmagee to see the cliffs.
Drive from Dingle to near Ballyferitter and enjoy the ambience of the Tigh Uhi Chathain pub. No drink driving in Eire so make sure there’s a dedicated driver.
Personally I’d stay on the West Coast for your short stay. There’s a golf course 20 minutes from Dingle.
Beautiful country. Lovely people. Fantastic Guinness!
EDIT: dress in layers. Rain coat.
Claudia has come up with a good itinerary. If you do end up going to Dublin, you can stop on your way through the Wicklow mountains at the Powerscourt Waterfall, reportedly the tallest waterfall in Ireland, https://powerscourt.com/waterfall/. There's also a beautiful garden there - but maybe not so stunning in October, a distillery and a golf course and attendant high-end hotel.
C!audia suggests just Western Ireland and agree. Can you fly into and out of Shannon. Since you have such a short time that seems the besf. If you want to see Dublin, fly there, spend a couple of days and then a long drive to Dingle but I think it is worth it. Be sure to book open jaw tickets if doing Dublin and home from.Shannon not one way tickets. Also book with airline. As said the day you come.home flights are usually in the morning or early PM and you must be at airport three hours early so try to stay near airport if also returning a car. With four of you be sure to get a car large enough for four suitcases. Enjoy.
On our first trip to Ireland, we flew in and out of Shannon, and stuck to the western side of the country. Second trip (which was in September/October), we made it to Dublin for a short visit, saving Dublin for the end of that trip. For Irish cities, I far prefer Galway, on the western side. And it’s fairly near the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, top sights in anybody’s book.
Since Boston is one of the few US gateways offering direct flights to Shannon I'd suggest taking advantage of that fact and booking your R/T to and from there, and then renting a car in order to explore what most here would agree is the prettiest part of the country. I certainly wouldn't sacrifice any time in the west of Ireland in order to include Dublin in your itinerary ... as much as I like the city. Save it for a future trip.
From Connemara down to Dingle and Kerry there's plenty to keep you occupied during your short stay. Don't run yourselves ragged trying to "see everything" over the course of a 6 day visit.
thank you so much everyone! i can't tell you how much stress you all lifted off my shoulders. we will plan to do round trip from shannon and really enjoy the western part of ireland. sounds like 3 nights in dingle and 2 in galway will be perfect for a nice combination of sighseeing, golf and eating/drinking/listening to music. if there are hotels and/or pubs and activities that you recommend, please feel free to forward along. all 4 of us love just hanging out and listening to music - we certainly don't need anything fancy. again, thank you so much!!! if you ever come to the boston area i would love to return the travel help!!
We stayed several times in the Lighthouse in Dingle and loved it. It is an uphill walk from.town but the view and everything about it was wonderful. Also a couple of times we stayed in the Chili Bhreac which I think is now under new management. Again a great time and we loved the upstairs balcony view over the water. What a wonderful way to have morning tea. It is a little further up the hill.from town. You all will enjoy Ireland it is fantastic. Be sire to stop at the South Pole pub in Annascaul on Dingle Pensinula to see pictures of the explorer Tom Crean. Look him up on the internet he had a fantastic life. We also had very good lunch with really good seafood soup at the Stonehouse pub outside Dingle. Music at Foxy Johns and I think it is called Small Bridges both in town.
I have visited Ireland five times, including once in October and once in November. October is a good month to go in part because it's shoulder season. The popular sites will not be mobbed, including Dublin. In fact, the best times I had in Dublin were during my October visit.
One other idea is to use Galway as a base. It's mid-way up the west coast, so you are halfway between sites to the north and sites to the south. It's the most charming small town in Ireland. Galway is much more picturesque than Limerick. (Sorry to people from Limerick.)
Go to the Irish bus site, Bus Eireann (https://www.buseireann.ie/), if you want to see as many sites as possible. I've taken the bus all over Ireland. It's convenient and reliable.
Thanks for that info! We are definitely staying in Galway for a couple nights. We have heard wonderful things about it from everyone, and the whiskey pub tours look like something we can’t miss. We were thinking of staying in dingle for a few nights as well and saving Dublin for another time since we are only going for 6 days and don’t want to spend the entire time in a car or bus. We just need to find something U2 related on the areas we are planning to visit. Nothing is set in stone yet but flying in and out of Shannon just seems to be the smartest idea.
I know one thing U2 related, but it would involve a trip to Dublin.
U2 owns a hotel in the city called The Clarence Hotel (https://theclarence.ie/). Is it worth it to go all the way to Dublin just to stay at the band's hotel? And I am sure Bono and The Edge don't bring guests' bags up.
However, it's something. I've known fandom in my time.
I thought of one more U2 idea, but it's also in Dublin:
You could tour Windmill Lane Studios: https://www.windmilllanerecording.com/studio-tour/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA6LyfBhC3ARIsAG4gkF8bRKlCc8COKd-hhaEA6PJQhjhZki66MqtBsJj6Hr0MEEJjv3h9a6IaAt4iEALw_wcB
U2 recorded there.
Though infrequently mentioned in Ireland tour reviews or the Travel Forum, anyone visiting the Republic during May-June or September-October might give some thought to the Irish midge, especially if one is sensitive to the bites of mosquitoes or No see Ums. These swarming mini bugs will return over 1.5 million internet hits when searching for “Irish midge”, and when looking for “Irish midge….swarm” on YouTube, hundreds of videos appear. By mid- video, once-happy-hikers are recording “selfies” of their hands and faces, covered with red, swollen bites.
Recommendations include very tight-weave No-see-Um head netting (weighing only 1.75 oz.) and bug repellent sold in Ireland, formulated for Irish midges. Several websites reporting on the midge say repellent sold in the U.S. and within the E.U. are not very effective. Light color clothing is highly recommended, with pant cuffs tucked into socks, as well as gloves these tiny bugs can’t penetrate (possibly nitrile gloves, rubber-banded around long-sleeve cuffs). We’ll be part of the June 8th tour. Just a suggestion for bite-sensitive travelers.