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Help! Planning 8-10 days in Ireland late June/early July...

Hello all! This is my first post ever online! I have read all previous posts and can't seem to find a peaceful answer to my iternery. My situation is slighly different: I must fly in/out of Dublin b/c I am working in Rome after and want to leave my suitcase in Dublin. I have 8 nights (before Rome) and then 2 more nights (on my way home) in Ireland. I am travelling solo, am 38 yrs old and have been all over Europe. Trying to stay on a low budget but don't do hostels, unless I have a single room. This is my hardest trip yet to plan. I can't figure out where to go b/c of the crazy bus/train schedule.
I want to go to the Dingle Pennisula but I am not going to sit on a bus for 8 hours! SO, I want to stay in Dublin some to do some day tours to Newgrange and south to the Wicklow Mtns. Possibly Belfast on my way home...but from there what to do?? I prefer smaller towns to absorb the local flavor. Not a huge beer drinker, love good food and culture, and like to stay at least 2 nights wherever I go. I am interested in KILKENNY, DINGLE, KINSALE and GALWAY perhaps? Or Cork instead? Ideally I would love to fly into Dublin and immediately train it down to Kilkenny but then it seems impossible to get to Dingle from there...Help! Thanks a ton!
ps Will not entertain renting a car...; )

Posted by
484 posts

Linda, It is possible to take Aer Arann from Dublin to Kerry Airport and then a bus to Tralee and then on to Dingle. The bus trip takes a little over two hours. The flight costs between 25-45 Euros depending on what time you go. You could divide the return trip over several days enabling you to see Killarney,Kinsale,Kilkenny etc. Although I can see very little difference between Dingle Town and Kinsale except Dingle has better scenery.

Posted by
1806 posts

I'd definnitely recommend you spend more time exploring Northern Ireland. Belfast is great, but you could easily take the regional rail from Belfast to get out to the Antrim Coast. Portrush is a small town along the coast. You can find cheap accommodation at many guesthouses/B&Bs along with dozens of restaurants and pubs. Portrush has a hop-on/hop-off shuttle that will run you from Portrush Tourist Information Centre out to the Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle and Bushmill's.

It is not a problem to get to Galway from Dublin. You can catch a train across the country that takes about 3 hours. From Galway, you can take a lot of day trips (Connemara, The Burren, Cliffs of Mohrer) and it's easy to get a bus from Galway to the ferry terminal for the Aran Islands. To really absorb the local flavor, I definitely recommend you stay overnight on the Aran Islands as there are hardly any tourists left after the last ferry leaves.

Try university housing for cheap single rooms in the cities.

Posted by
484 posts

I definitely agree with Ceidleh about Northern Ireland. Most Americans seem to want to stand in line(queue up)to see the Cliffs of Moher,Bunratty,Blarney etc. and completely ignore the north and Donegal. I am not saying that these places are not worth visiting because they most definitely are but there is a whole other world to be explored in the north. As the Donegal tourist board says"It's different up here."

Posted by
484 posts

That may be "Up here it's different." Which ever way my apologies to the tourist board.

Posted by
88 posts

Thanks you guys! Such speedy replies! So perhaps I should just focus on Dublin (and environs), Galway (and same) and Dingle. On my return visit from Rome perhaps visit Belfast as well. Does this sound reasonable: Fly into Dublin, immediately take a bus to Galway (trying to sleep off jet lag in a more budget-minded and tranquil town), stay there 2-3 nights to do Cliffs, etc. Then take the long bus ride to Dingle and stay there 2-3 nights, and then either fly (thanks for the tip!) or train it back to Dublin and stay 2-3 nights in Dublin. I just wish I could get to Dingle more easily and quicker....ah...6 hrs from Galway! ugg! Thanks again for the help! Remember: this is my first visit to Ireland and wanted to focus more on the Republic this time around. ; )

Posted by
67 posts

I opt for Dingle even if it takes 6 hours to get there. Great trad music there and lots to see and the peninsula is a wonderful place to explore.
Moran's tours in Dingle town has a taxi for rent which is what we did instead of the buses they also have. For a reasonable price we had a personal tour of the peninsula and great history and commentary about Dingle. It was great!
Also, day tour to Glendalough/Wicklow was great and money well spent.
My only regret is that I didn't get to Bru na Boinne but maybe on another trip. What history there.

Have a great trip!