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?
Oct 7th: Pick up car and drive to Galway
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
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!!