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Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Harrisburg...
Level Contributor
78 posts
13 reviews
Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Hello!!

So my husband and I were asked last week by his brother if we would like to go to Ireland with them. Turns out my husband just got his work schedule rearranged and we can pull it off! Problem being that it is in oh about 2 1/2 weeks! I have always wanted to go and am determined to not let the last minute part stop us. We are late 30s/40 and are active on vacation and love to take in as much as we can while we are there. That being said I want to be able to have time to enjoy what we are seeing and not be in a total rat race. We are good with driving around a lot/hiking around etc.

What we have figured out so far:

Oct 6th - Sunday Oct 14th - Trip Dates (10/6 and 10/14 are travel days)

Oct 7th - Arrive at 8:55am from Philadelphia (provided the flight is still available it is direct overnight)

Oct 11th - His brother and wife arrive in Dublin in the morning and hit the ground running. They want to start out with some kind of walking tour that day to acclimate ourselves to the city and go from there. What type of tour, we have not decided yet. (We know we will be checking out the pubs, music, historical sites, whiskey tastings, restaurants, shops, Guinness tour, etc while in Dublin.)

Oct 11th-13th - Dublin

What we are trying to decide is what to do with Oct 7th-10th. I would love to see the countryside, the villages/small towns, and as many of the things that make Ireland so special that we can! We would like to get as much of a feel for Ireland as possible. It's people, the landscape, the history, pubs, restaurants, music, etc. Being realistic, I know we do not have much time. I have done as much research as I could squeeze in up until now, but need to make a final decision so we can book. I can iron out the details after we secure the places to stay.

If possible, we would like to see some of the south or west side of the island. The pictures I have seen of the coastline, the landscape, the beautiful little towns, and the castles is what made me fall in love with the idea of going to Ireland someday. I have heard nothing but good things about the people as well. We would also be interested in shops, pubs, music, etc. What I need to know is if it is a good idea or if another closer area would be suggested. Below are 3 options I am trying to decide between.

Option 1: Dublin to Dingle:

Oct 7th: Land in Dublin 8:55am, pick up rental car and make our way to Adare. Spend the night there (seems to be halfway). (Open to other suggestions)

Oct 8th: Head to Dingle in the morning - explore Dingle or other areas along the way (any suggestions appreciated!) Stay in Dingle (open to suggestions to stay elsewhere if recommended)

Oct 9th: Dingle Peninsula Stay in Dingle (open to suggestions to stay elsewhere if recommended)

Oct 10th: Head back towards Dublin - would want to get closer to Dublin (within an hour maybe two from Dublin). Looking for a route to explore/town to spend the night in.

Oct 11th: Get up early head to Dublin to drop off the car and meet up with his brother and his wife.

I have looked into the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, and the Cliffs of Moher. It seems as though most people recommend the Dingle Peninsula if you are only going to do one. They all look beautiful and hope to make a return trip to explore more some day! Is that enough time to explore that area? Is it too rushed or too much driving for the time frame? Should we do Ring of Kerry or another area instead?

Option 2:

Oct 7th: Pick up car and drive to Galway

Oct 7th-10th: Explore Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin (any suggestions on where to stay/expore would be great)

Oct 10th: Head back to Dublin and spend the night in Dublin - or stay somewhere else on the way back (If there is somewhere else we should stay, any suggestions would be great! We are leaving early on the 11th to meet them in the morning in Dublin.)

Oct 11th: Drop off car and meet brother and sister-in-law in Dublin in the morning

Option 3:

Explore the eastern side of the island. I have looked at Glendalough, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Cobh, etc. I have not researched this option as much, but looks beautiful there as well.

Which option would be suggested based on time and interests? I am normally a crazy planner and have everything researched and figured out. With our limited time to book, I figured I would check with the experts to help narrow it down faster so I can get it all booked!

All of your help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!! Thank you so much in advance!!

8 replies to this topic
Camarillo...
Level Contributor
143 posts
16 reviews
1. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Do you have an option to fly into Shannon (SNN) from Philly? Then you could do three days on the west/ southwest without crossing the country and head to Dublin to see that side once family arrives.

Harrisburg...
Level Contributor
78 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Unfortunately, we don't. I tried that option but there were 2 layovers and it took forever. We are limited to flying into Dublin.

boston, ma
Destination Expert
for Western Ireland
Level Contributor
2,057 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

All of the areas you mentioned will offer great experiences. My personal opinion would be to eliminate option #1 only because it is a longer distance from Dublin in the time you have to work with. Option #3 has a lot to offer with Kilkenny Castle and the beautiful scenery of Glendalough and the Wicklow Mts. For Option #2 have you considered taking the train to Galway City and renting the car from there? That would give you a chance to rest after your long flight. Galway City is a great town with a lively pub/music scene. While there could also do day trips to Connemara with its spectacular landscapes and the Cliffs of Moher. Whichever option you choose you can't go wrong.

Edited: 21 September 2018, 02:48
Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
232 posts
1 review
4. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Agree that train and car rental.is the way to.go. I would.suggest westport in county mayo. You have to get the train from.heuston station and change trains in Athlone which is in the centre nd could.be an option for your last night back to.dublin.

Westport house is an interesting stately homes.and gardens built on pirate money. With a car you can do the atlantic drive and take the road bridge to.achill island. To make the most of this unique location stay the night in Keel. It is likely to have wild.weather but that is part.of.its charm. Keem bay at the extreme end of.the island is beautiful any time of year.

Just a thought Galway is.great too.

Harrisburg...
Level Contributor
78 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Based on the advice you all gave me here, and some other I have received, I think I am going to focus on either Galway area (I will look into Westport and Achill Islands as well as Doolin for options while there) or Glendalough/Kilkenny/Wicklow area. For either area is there a good base point to stay, or should we stay in two different areas for those days? So many beautiful options!! It is not easy to choose, especially when you are under a time constraint.

I would love to see some of the smaller quaint pretty villages as well. Do both areas offer this? I know that may be a silly question, but my brain is on overload right now with everything I have looked at. It is getting difficult to keep it all straight lol! I am usually a lot more prepared on research for these things. At the end of the day though, we will be there somewhere and will love it!

Thank you so much again for all of your help!!

boston, ma
Destination Expert
for Western Ireland
Level Contributor
2,057 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

You can use Galway City as a base for a day trip to Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher. One route to the Cliffs takes you through the lovely town of Kinvara, Galway with Dunguaire Castle. You could also follow the coast west from Galway City past Salthill. That will take you through some little villages along the coast. If you plan on visiting Achill Island you need to find a different base town. I think the previous recommendation of using Westport as a base for Achill is a good idea. Clifden is also a nice town to visit in the heart of Connemara. Take the Sky Road out of town for scenic views of the Atlantic.

Harrisburg...
Level Contributor
78 posts
13 reviews
7. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

Thank you all so much!! I will look into all of the above recommendations and hopefully have something booked soon! If it all wasn't so beautiful, it wouldn't be so hard to decide. I guess that's a good problem to have! We got our flights booked and our stay in Dublin, now to get the first half of the trip and our car figured out. Thanks again!!

County Dublin...
Level Contributor
32,494 posts
8. Re: Last Minute Trip - Oct 6-14 Advice Needed!

In Galway, this decent central hotel has parking.

https://www.harbour.ie/

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