My parents have recently retired and my siblings and I are sending them on a trip To Ireland! My wife and I have been twice and learned from our travels (and from here a great deal). We have no itinerary yet, but I'd like your thoughts on a basic plan. We were originally looking at groupons or other packages, but I can't really find the right fit for my folks. They will be driving themselves around. One big consideration is that my father had a knee replacement a couple of years ago, he is mobile, but not going to be interested in long treks, hiking, etc.
Im thinking that they should fly in directly to Shannon and explore the southwest. From what I recall, the roads are much easier to navigate and well marked. I'm thinking Killarney would be the best base for them. Lots of things to do, places to eat, public transportation, etc. I think it would be a great base for daytrips if they want to hit Dingle, Blarney (though my Dad is not going up thos steps!), ring of Kerry, Cobh, etc. They could also drive around or take buses if they choose. My Mom also likes to shop, so I think Killarney would be good for that too.
Does this sound like the best option? Other base options or secondary base? I'm thinking 7-10 days. Open to other suggestions...
Are there tour buses from Killarney to Cob? Is Cobh worth the visit?
Thanks so much!
"Ireland Expert" Michele ErdvigClick links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland ItineraryVisit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.
As Michele said, Galway is best suited for their second base, based on a trip to Aran Islands being "Must". With the Ferry departing from Rossaveal and flights, from Inverin, both of which are quicker and MUCH less weather-dependent than from Doolin, it also makes an excellent base for exploring Connemara and County Clare. The flight option can also include an aerial tour of the Cliffs -- which might be preferable to attempting the foot paths leading up from the Visitor's Center.
If they don't want to stay in the City, there are a number of small-town options around it. Spiddal, Oughterard, Oranmore, or Kinvara come to mind. The latter two would be equally well-suited for both the Arans and the Cliffs.
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I've seen some trip offers with B&B vouchers. How widely are these accepted? Can they be booked in advance?
As to pre-booking with vouchers, it depends on the brand and the B&B.
As a general rule, Many B&Bs don't care for vouchers and even those that accept them, generally do so only reluctantly. The voucher company takes a cut and then, the operators have to wait (sometimes Long after you leave) to receive their money.
The only people I know that recommend using vouchers are those that Sell them. Choices and availability usually make them a poor choice -- even in the 'off' season.