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Ireland in June

My husband and I are going for the first time to Ireland. We will arrive in Dublin on the morning of the 30th. We are staying there till 31st. From Dublin we are going with a group of friends to Ballyfin near Portlaoise from 31st to the 5th. We have the rest of the day on the 5th when we check out and our flight leaves Dublin on the morning of the 8th. What would be the best choices to make of the additional time that we will have? Arrangements can be made for a car rental to be delivered to us if we want to do some driving and seeing the countryside. My husband's mother was from a small town in Northwest County Cork called Dromina and his grandfather was born in Tuam ( his grandfather past away before my husband was born). We could go to either or both of these....don't know if it is possible with such a short amount of time. Any suggestions ? He doesn't know if there is any family left in either of these places. I think it would be fun to check out one or both.
Thank you....April

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks so much Claudia.....2 great options! You have narrowed this down to something entirely do able. I really appreciate the advice!
Can't wait !

Posted by
8728 posts

Per Google maps distance between Ballyfin and Dromina is a little over a 100 miles. So a 2 hour drive without stops. Easy peasy. What is it that you'd like to see in Ireland? If you visited Dromina you could then head off to Cork for the afternoon and night. Leave Cork in the early morning, head to Cobh and explore the coast, hop back into the car and head off to see the Rock of Cashel. From there either spend the night in Kilkenny or in a small town along the way. Kilkenny is not far from Dublin. Hour and a half drive. I'd recommend you spend this day driving toward Dublin but via a route that takes you into the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough. You could also visit Powerscourt. EASY island to traverse. A lot can be seen. Simply remember to drive on the LEFT, watch out for the sheep and drive slowly. No need to hurry. Before others state the obvious, ( if the Barnes and Nobles is still off of NW hwy by the Cheesecake Factory head on over there to) buy Rick's book on Ireland. An easy read. So beneficial to first timers. Practical info that helps any traveler get a sense of the country they are about to visit. Lovely, magical country. My family roots are from County Sligo in the West. Slainte!

Posted by
5 posts

Claudia, I debated on whether to get the book or not. Thank you for confirming that I should. Seems there is so much to choose from regarding incredible sites to see and, I was getting overwhelmed with too many choices. Another reason for my quandary is that I may never get my husband back to Ireland and I would love to maximize our time there. He has a terrible back problem and long distance traveling is very difficult! I love your suggestions and think that is the route to take. You don't think we have enough time to see the Dingle Peninsula? I was worried that driving too far a distance would shorten our time to actually see anything and we would spend all our time on the road....
Thanks for "cutting to chase" for me!

Posted by
5 posts

Oh and had to look up Slainte.....Is that how you toast or does it mean "good luck" ?
Thanks!!!

Posted by
8728 posts

Definitely get the book. Will help you create a doable itinerary for your few days solo. Tuam is one way, Dromina the other. Would need to make a choice I think or drop all together. Simply a matter of deciding what you truly, truly want to see. Dingle is stunning, no doubt about it. If THAT were a primary focus you could consider a route such as.... Ballyfin to the Rock of Cashel, tour, have lunch, back on the road to Tralee. 3 hours without stops and you'll stop. Stay in Tralee, up early and out to explore the Dingle Pennisula. Lunch and then another 3 hours to Galway for the night. From Galway a straight shot back to Dublin. Again, ALL about what you REALLY want to see, explore and enjoy.

Posted by
1010 posts

Hello April. We just booked a 2 week trip to Ireland with Tauck Tours. From the looks of it, we will cover everything important during those two weeks. You might want to look into Tauck tours on-line or through a AAA travel agent, as we did.. We did a Tauck tour to Canada four years ago (Western Canada). Last summer we did a Tauck tour to Greece and Turkey for 13 days. It was part cruise on a small ship for 7 nights. Then 6 nights in hotels. Tauck does a great job of organizing tours.

Posted by
9363 posts

Elaine, the OP only has a couple of spare days, and an idea of what they want to try to see. And you suggest an expensive, multi-day tour??

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for all the fabulous advice....i appreciate all who responded!!