September or October? One place or move around? I'd prefer to stay in one place. Vacation rental or castle? It will be me, my husband and our 12 year old. We want to see some sights, but we also want to relax and soak up local color. We would rather be around locals and not tourists. Horseback riding on the beach sounds fun. Drinking lattes in the rain sounds fun. I'd even go for a round of golf. Of course my golfing would be more out of an "I Love Lucy" episode. We want to stay in the most beautiful, relaxing, non-stressful place in Ireland for 2 weeks. Hopefully this isn't too much to ask. LOL All suggestions appreciated. Teresa
Wow...here goes: Is this your first trip to Ireland? Either September or October should be nice - probably September would be preferable, but it's a wash in my opinion. If you're going to stay in one place (personally, I'd go with two), then you should look into a self-catering unit...it would cut down on the expense and you could prepare some of your own meals. A castle will be very expensive...maybe you can do that for just a night or two. Do you want to see any of Dublin? If not, I'd recommend flying into and out of Shannon and staying on the west coast. I assume you're going to rent a car. Two places that would be good to use as a base would be Kenmare (a personal favorite) and the Doolin / Lahinch area. Others may recommend venturing farther north - no experience there. Provide us with more info and we can offer you better options. For example, are you into hiking? What are your 12-year old's interests? For example, there are some caverns near the Burren. There is also a dolphin, Fungie, that can be viewed from Dingle harbor. I'm out of breath.... :)
I'm a big fan of County Donegal. More locals than tourists, beautiful, but still plenty to do.
Based on your interests, I would definitely suggest the west coast. Whether it's Galway, Connemara, or Donegal in the north, or Cork and Kerry in the south, you'll find lots of the activities you want. And tourists will be scarce by late September and October.
I would split the time into two locations for one week each. Maybe one week in the southwest and one week somewhere else. Choose places that you can do day trips if you want. You will definitely want a car.
September is probably a bit nicer weather-wise, but we're going for two weeks in mid-October. Have done the "move around" style travel in Ireland a few times; this will be the first time we're staying put. Both weeks will be in the west, but staying a week each in two different counties. You can find lots of self-catering homes online - do a google search on "Ireland vacation rentals" or any similar phrase.
We've been there in September and it overlapped into Oct. Layer up.
Self catering is the way to go. It gets old quickly, moving your belongings all around the island. Find a central location and use it as your base of operations. Then you can take day trips.
I would definitely suggest somewhere near galway to set as your base. first off, i think galway is a wonderful city and is a bit more relaxed than dublin. from here you can spend the night or just take a day trip in the aran islands, or go south to the cliffs of moher, or head east into some of the canal systems.
We spent a week and a half in Ireland this summer with our kids. Spent a week of it in a cottage near Doolin. We picked Doolin because it was close to a lot of stuff we wanted to see -- the Cliffs, the Burren, Aran Islands, only an hour away from Galway or Shannon. We found a great cottage that was only 400 euro/week in June, probably cheaper than that in the fall.