I am planning a trip to Ireland for my lovely and wonderful aunts in September (I'm sort of a hobby travel agent!). Please help me make it the best! They love good food and hiking and nature. They are flying into Dublin and then ending up at Castle Leslie in County Monaghan 5 days later- I am planning the 5 days, 4 nights in between.
I have three possible itineraries for them
Option 1: Southwest with a peninsula (which one?! Dingle Peninsula OR the Ring of Kerry OR Skellig Ring OR Beara Peninsula??)
- Day 1: Leave Dublin and drive through the Wicklow mountains, go to the gardens of powerscourt and ruins of Glenalough, then drive to Kilkenny/Rock of Cashel.
- Day 2: Pack lunch. Leave early to drive south to do hike to Coumshingaun Lough. Finish by early afternoon. Late afternoon, drive to Kinsale to stay and enjoy a nice dinner.
- Day 3: Explore Kinsale in the morning, relax a bit, then head to next stop. Stay at Lake hotel in Killarney, Sheen Falls Lodge, or Ard na Sidhe Country House Hotel as home bases either the Dingle Peninsula OR the Ring of Kerry OR Skellig Ring OR Beara Peninsula. Not quite sure which to pick based on the many conflicting opinions on this site comparing them, but I am leaning towards the latter two to avoid the crowds!
- Day 4: Explore selected peninsula. One aunt really wants to ride horses, we will be seeking such opportunity here.
- Day 5: Drive to Castle Leslie in County Monaghan. Stop in Westport area to site see on the way.
Option 2: West
- Day 1: Leave Dublin early and drive to Ennis or Doolin/Buren, enjoy some pubs, music
- Day 2: Take a cruise to the cliffs of moher and maybe to Arlan islands. Drive to Galway late afternoon or elsewhere if not to deal with Galway traffic/crowds.
- Day 3: Explore Galway in the morning and then head to Currarevagh House for the night
- Day 4: Explore Westport and Connemara, stay in Westport.
- Day 5: Drive to Castle Leslie in County Monaghan.
Option 3: Northwest
- Day 1: Leave Dublin and drive Donegal, explore and visit castle
- Day 2: Visit Slieve League, Hike Errigal and eat after at Glebe House.
- Day 3: Glenveigh National Park and Croithi distillery for Irish whiskey, Take ferry from Rathmullan to Buncran
- Day 4: Explore Inishowen Peninsula.
- Day 5: Drive to Castle Leslie in County Monaghan in the late afternoon