Ireland in a week….crazy right?

January 9, 2009

Question:

Hey everyone, first off, I LOVE THIS SITE! Gosh, I just recently started planning a trip a friend and I are taking early to mid may (9th-16th) and it has been sooooo helpful already.

Anyways I’m trying to figure out my budget and his budget along with what we’re doing (never to early to plan, right?) Anyways we’re thinking of going from Dublin to Kilkenny to Tipperary to Cork to Clare to Galway then back down to Clare and Limmerick before flying out of Shannon…in 7 days….yeeeaaah. ha. But I’m hoping its doable. We’ll both be trading off driving and I’ll be taking about a million pictures as my photographer’s blood goes crazy! Anyways I was wondering what you thought of my current itinerary as well as what you think a normal amount should be budgeted for food each day.

K, here goes:

Day 1: Flying from Austin, Texas to NY to Dublin and getting in about 2ish. We’d spend the day in Dublin checking out the castle and brewery, etc before staying in one of the hostels, maybe Camden Place.

Day 2: We’d pick up the car and go to Kilkenny to see Kil. Castle and St. Francis Abbey before continuing to Tipperary and more specifically Cashel and all that is around. We’re thinking the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey for sure. We also wanna visit Cahir Castle. Then off to another Hostel, thinkin’ Mountain Lodge.

Day 3: We’d travel to Cork and Cork city as well as Blarney Village…I pretty much wanna live there, so much to see! We’re thinkin’ we’ll splurge a bit and stay in a B&B in Kinsale as well as good a good meal there.

Day 4: We head towards Clare for the obvious stuff, ie Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, etc as well as Donagare Castle. Thinkin’ of stayin’ at Sleepzone Hostel around the Burren that night.

Day 5: We’ll then go to Galway and one of the Aran Islands, haven’t decided which yet… as well as Galway City and eventually Connemara National Park. Hopefully stay in Sunnymeade.

Day 6: We’re thinking of heading back towards Clare and Limerick to see Adare Village as well as the Aillwee caves in Clare. We’ll end up in Bunratty village at another B&B for our last night.

Day 7: We figured we’d lounge a bit before flying out of Shannon Airport…I guess it’s really on six days, alas.

Soooo what do ya think? Too crazy? Do you have any advice on food or gas? I’ve been checking into the distances across those areas but I know I’ve gotta factor in going WAY slower than i’m used to here in the states….WAAAAY slower. ha, but that’s probably a good thing!

Anyways, thanks already and I can’t wait to visit!!!

Pierre

2 Answers

  • Pierre says:

    Hi Katherine,

    THANK YOU!!! Oh my gosh this is amazing! I was talking to my friend Mark today who’s going with me and after looking at this stuff it just made us sooo much more excited. I definetly am looking forward to slowing it all down, we’re far too busy here in the states. I’m glad I’ve got a while until May cuz just looking at all of this is both exhilirating and tiring at the same time but i’ll for sure take all of your suggestions to heart. The biggest thing for me with your reply was the itinerary you plotted for me……wow! That’s so amazing! Seriously, thank you for your time and expertise! I know it’ll make all the difference once we’re actually there! Alright, I’m off to more planning! Thanks again!

    Pierre

  • Katherine says:

    Hi Pierre,

    Glad you find the site useful 🙂

    First the good news, your itinerary is doable. But….. it’s just not quite there yet!

    You are already aware that your time is relatively short, and when that’s the case I think it’s better to try to get the most out of each day rather taking something that would work over a longer time and than trying to cram it down into less time.

    The hard part of that is getting your head around the idea that you need to leave something out – you can always come back another time!

    You are right about sloooowing down! It’s not just that distances take longer to cover, but that you want to be able to stop, to follow an interesting looking signpost to something you had not planned to go, to wander about somewhere you find you really love without feeling pressured to move on, to savour things.

    It’s not all about seeing things – it’s about experiencing them!

    In your case, I’d leave out the Cork loop, which for the time it takes doesn’t give you maximum value. Your other option would be to leave out the Aran Islands (which is a whole day or not at all), which I wouldn’t do.

    You can also streamline your last few days which at the moment tend to do a little too much retracing of your steps.

    So, here’s what I suggest instead.

    Day 3: Go via Limerick and Ennis to Doolin/The Cliffs/the Burren. You’ll have time to stop in one of them (Limerick I’d suggest, cos Ennis reappears later!).

    Stick to looking around the western side of the Burren, you’ll be able to catch some of the eastern parts on day 6.

    Day 4: Go from Doolin by boat to the Aran Islands. Move on to Galway for the night on your return, via Kinvara and if you’ve time a trip out to the Flaggy Shore, which as a photographer you will love in the evening light.

    This itinerary for a Burren tour won’t exactly work for you, but it can be adapted and will give you ideas about what to see.

    Day 5: Spend the WHOLE day in Connemara (it will take a whole day), overnight around Galway again.

    Day 6: Although you’ll have been in Galway 2 nights, you really won’t have seen the city – so have a look around this morning. Then drive from Galway to Shannon using this tour or some adaptation of it, in reverse.

    Day 7: You could spend the morning before you leave at Bunratty, which is just a few minutes from the airport at Shannon.

    These of course are just suggestions – you’ve loads of time to tweak between now and May!

    I’ve plotted that itinerary on Google Maps, so that you can drag things about, add things or take things off and see how they work.

    On gas, it’s just a necessary evil – not much you can do about it! Not hiring too large a car will be the best you can do to keep costs down.

    On eating, if you are staying in a B&B eat a lot at breakfast and you’ll barely need lunch! Having picnic lunches, which you can make up from food bought in a supermarket saves a lot, and is fun too.

    Get out to dinner as early as you can in the evenings – many restaurants have special early bird menus if you are in before about 7pm and they can be great value.

    You’ll have a great time, I think May is one of the best times to visit.

    Katherine

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