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Forums » Ireland » First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

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First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/stellabug »

We are planning our first trip to Ireland June 2017.  We have quite a bit of time to plan but I dont know even where to start.  I do know we will be spending a few days in Dublin.  We wil have a small group of 6-10 people and would like to do this on our own.  Or would it be better to use a tour group?  We are interested in seeing the countryside, castles and of course a few pubs.

All ideas will be appreciated.

 

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/pauline-frommer »

You can easily do it on your own and with that many people, you could hire a guide who drives a van for less than you'd pay on a group tour!

Frankly, I like the countryside of Ireland more than the cities (though Belfast and Derry are fascinating because of their recent history). The key is to decide on an area to visit and stick to that. Though Ireland looks small, it doesn't have many big highways so getting around takes longer than it would in other countries.

Frommer's Ireland 2015 just arrived on bookstore shelves and it has an entire chapter of suggested itineraries for folks with different interests. You may want to pick up a copy.

I've been a number of times and I would the itinerary when I spent time in Dingle (and on the Dingle Peninsula), in the Burren and in Connemara as my most successful trip, though I also loved Northern Ireland (seeing the Giant's Causeway and the beautiful ruins and natural sights in that area).

Bottom line: it's hard to go wrong! I'm sure others will chime in with their suggestions.

Best,

Pauline

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/enchantingireland »

Stellabug,

When it comes to groups your size, as Pauline said, it is probably the same to hire a private driver than it is to do an escorted tour.  The only downside is that some dinners will not be included on a small tour but then you have a plethora of choices on where to eat instead of at the tour's hotel.  

You have plenty of time, so why not get every group (or couple) to buy a different guide book and start going through it?  Have everyone start a "must see" and "like to see" list and setup a meeting to go over it and discuss.  Compile your lists and you'll see that your itinerary starts to form.  You might find that you want to see more than you could possibly see in one trip so post the itinerary back here and we'll help you whittle it down.

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/captain-larry »

In the summer of 2013 I took a three week escorted tour of Ireland. It covered the perimeter of the Island, both Northern Ireland and the Republic. When the tour ended in Dublin, I stayed for a few more days to visit my ancestral home, which is almost dead center of the island. I rented a car at Dublin Airport and drove into County Laoise, the most land-locked County on the island, and an area that tourist seldom go. My ancesters had lived at Mountmelick during the 17th Century. From my experience of independent travel in the Republic of Ireland I can suggest that, if you want to know something or find something, just ask. If the person you ask does not know the answer, they will go out of thier way to connect you with someone who does. And you'll likely get a free pint as well.

Example: In Mountmelick is a Museum to Quaker Industry (my ancesters were Quakers). We were there on a Saturday, a day when the Museum is closed. We went to a small cafe adjacent to the Museum and asked the proprietor about the possibility of seeing the Museum. He phoned the docent, who was working in her garden on her day off, and within about 20 minutes the docent had changed her clothes and came to open the Museum and show us around. While we were watching a movie she took the names of my ancestors and searched her data base for information. She copied the information from her data base and emailed it to me so that I could download it when I got home. We had a couple of new "best friends" in Mountmelick.

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/stellabug »

I found a trip staying in Adare.  Attractions such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle are a one-hour drive from the resort.   Is this a good place to base our stay for 6 nigths with several day trips? Or should we stay 3-4 nights and move on to another town?    The plan at the moment is to fly into Dublin and leave immediately for the country side.   We could then head back to Dublin for 2-3 nights before flying home.

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/enchantingireland »

Stellabug,

We used to carry that package but pulled it -- 6 nights in Adare just doesn't give you enough breadth or you'll spend lots of time in the car.  Killarney, Cork, Waterford... just too far to do in a day trip.  If you've been there several times, then yes... that package is good so you can relax otherwise do an ad-hoc trip and design it yourself.  

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/stellabug »

We are chaning up a bit and thinking of flying into Shannon and out of Dublin.   New possible itinerary - 

·         Fly into Shannon airport

·         Drive to Killarney for 3 nights

·        Next to Cork for 3 nights

·        End in Dublin, stay 2 nights, fly home 

We would like to visit kilkenny and possibly waterford on the way to Dublin.Can we visit either in a day or should we stay overnight in one town?  

 

 

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/enchantingireland »

You can do Kilkenny/Waterford on the way up to Dublin - you'll just get in to Dublin a little later but you have a full day the next day to enjoy the city.


This is for 2017?  You are planning VERY WELL in advance... you may go through many iterations planning this far in advance.

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/stellabug »

I spent 2 years planning our first trip to Italy so I thought I would get an early start for Ireland too.  I have to say I am not at all familiar with the county so I dont even know where to begin.  With a larger group it may take 2 years to settle on an agreed upon itinerary!.   smiley

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RE: First trip to Ireland in 2017 - where to begin

by /bio/shaun-t »

There is much to say to the benefits of traveling on your own and exploring for yourself. However I found it more efficient to travel as a group and felt that we covered more ground.

If you are already planning on spending a few days in Dublin then I would recommend arriving at Shannon International Airport and work your way around the southern coast and back up to Dublin. You will get a great trip with many spectacular sites to see; including Blarney Castle!

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