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Post Info TOPIC: First Trip. Can we do it all? by KrysJohn


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First Trip. Can we do it all? by KrysJohn
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Unregistered User
(8/10/05 9:21 pm)

First Trip. Can we do it all?

From reading your forums, it sounds like many people are taking their first trip to Ireland! Us, too! We'll be traveling over the week of Thanksgiving. I have learned that it will be dark around 4 pm while we are there, so I kept that in mind when planning our trip. But I have a question... Is Limerick/Shannon/Cliffs of Moher really worth the jaunt across from Dublin? Looks like to me it'd be a 3 hour drive. There's so much to see in Ireland in 7 days; Kilkenny, Cashel, Killarney and back to Dublin. We usually travel to a country only one time so I've got to pack in everything in one trip. Can we really drive all of this and see everything? I've decided to not even look north of the 53rd parallel because there's so much to see in the south. Here's what I'm thinking, but I'm totally open to suggestions since we've never been to Ireland:

Saturday - Arrive from the US, drive to Limerick. See St. Johns Castle and spend the night at a local B&B.
Sunday - Drive to Cliff of Moher, see that, then drive all the way to Killarney. B&B for the night.
Monday - Day in Killarney. B&B for the night.
Tuesday - Drive to Blarney, Cashel, Kilkenny, B&B for the night near Kilkenny.
Wednesday - Visit Kilkenny and then Waterford to see the Crystal, but then Druids Resort in the Wicklow area for the night.
Thursday - day in the Wicklow area, Druids for the night.
Friday - Drive to Dublin, see the sights and spend the night there.
Saturday - our flight home to Chicago.

If we didn't take time to drive from Limerick to the Cliffs, we'd have more time to see other places.

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3330
(8/11/05 1:30 am)

Re: First Trip. Can we do it all?


Don't even try to see it all! Ireland is a place that should be savored not rushed through in a "green blur tour". Actually, drive time from Dublin to Limerick is more like 4 hours. It could be more if you get caught up in traffic. I really wouldn't recommend driving all the way from Dublin to Limerick on your first day. You will be jet-lagged, learning to drive on the left and in an unfamiliar country.

The Cliffs of Moher are spectacular but there is also a circus-like atmosphere there with people selling all sorts of things, musicians playing, tour buses coming and going and lots of tourists. It is very popular especially in good weather. With your limited time it might be better to skip them. Limerick and Shannon are not "must sees".

For the remainder of your itinerary you are trying to pack too much into each day. Remember the early sunset time. You don't want to be driving around Ireland in the dark. There are virtually no street lights in the countryside and it is very dark. Also, you need to spend time at the various sightseeing attractions. All that adds hours onto your journey.

Try going back to the drawing board. Try to cut things and slow down a bit. Sometimes it takes many tries before an itinerary comes out just right.


Registered User
Posts: 55
(8/11/05 7:42 am)

Re: First Trip. Can we do it all?

I'm backing Michele up on this one (again). You'll need to consider the fact that your breakfast in B&Bs might not be served until 8 or 9am...this means you might not even be on the road until 10am. The remaining six hours of daylight will get eaten up pretty quickly with time on the road and just a few, drivetimes on Irish roads can be significantly slower than what you're used to.

The southwest, southeast and the midlands all offer their own unique, but thouroughly Irish experience, so don't worry if you don't see it all. You will still go home feeling as though you saw a significant part of Ireland just by experiencing even one of those regions. And the truth is, even if you stayed a month, you'd still feel like there was so much more to see.

Good luck.

Unregistered User
(8/11/05 12:30 pm)

Drive to Limerick on the first day? I'D DIE ! :)

Whoa. If I tried to drive to Limmerick on my first day in Dublin, after the time change / long flight / etc... I'd be a mess ! I didn't try driving until I was in Ireland for 3 days.

When I first arrived in Ireland there were three allotted times... A: The ideal time you wanted to make the destination B: The time people said it would take and C: The real time it would take (I called it mmaloney time). So for your first day driving....

You ititally hear 3 hours, which is a best case scenario...

then B: The time Michele tells you, about 4 (which is about right)

but then C: the mmaloney time... which is most likely 4.5 to 5 hours. This is because inevitably you will miss a turn somewhere, get a little lost, have to stop and ask someone for help. Chat with them a bit, etc... Or in my case, have the hatchback fly open on the highway, trying to drive and read the manuals coz random car lights were blinking and I didn't know what they were... etc...

I initally like you wanted to do it all. When I initially planned my trip I even tried to squeeze in a 3 day getaway to London as well! Madness ! I ended up doing less that what you have planned and I was there for 14 days...

However, once you get there you realize you don't really need to see everything. Once I settled into a spot I felt like, "I don't want to leave!"
Then I got to the next spot, and again "I don't want to leave!" I guess what I'm trying to say is, you will have fun doing what you are able to do. Don't feel like you have to squeeze it all in.

And by the end of our trip I actually enjoyed the 'mmaloney' time, because I stopped to take photos, grabbed a bite to eat at a gas station (which is pretty good actually! not like at least here in Los Angeles!), etc.

Unregistered User
(8/11/05 1:09 pm)

First Trip Planning

Wow! You all are great! I'm so getting the "I told you so" from my husband, but that's ok. I'd rather have someone say I'm doing too much now, rather than when we get back. This way, we can move things around and have a good trip. Back to the drawing board I go!

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3333
(8/12/05 2:25 am)

Re: First Trip Planning


I'm glad you are taking everyone's excellent advice to heart. Your trip will be much nicer for it. In Ireland "less is more".


Registered User
Posts: 161
(8/16/05 10:18 pm)

too much

we went to Ireland in October 2003 and, like you, we planned a lot because i didn't know if we would ever be back and there was so much i wanted to see. Michele and the others are great and we made our top 10 list and then we had our secondary list of things near enough that if we had time we went. Depending on the things you like - you should spend more time there. We were so dissappointed to get to the Cliffs of Moher later in the day. I could have stayed there all day!! We didn't get to see all the sellers, musicians, etc. but we were there late in the season. We had the same problem in England this year - too much planned and not enough time to spend in the places that we really loved. We were so stressed and exhausted with even the watered down version of our trip....

Unregistered User
(8/17/05 4:34 pm)

First Trip Planning ... Back from the drawing board

I'm learning so much from everyone and Michele! What do you all think of this:

Friday - flight to Dublin from Chicago
Saturday - arrive in Dublin and stay there for the day
Sunday - Drive to Kilkenny, stay there for the day
Monday - Drive to Chashel, Tipperary, Limerick, stay in a B&B for the night near Shannon. (Too much??)
Tuesday - Drive to see the Cliffs and then on to Killarney (Too far?)
Wednesday - Day in Killarney
Thursday - Drive to Waterford, maybe stop by Blarney on the way, spend the night in the Waterford area
Friday - Drive to Dublin, spend the night there.
Saturday - fly home.

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3348
(8/18/05 12:41 am)

Re: First Trip Planning ... Back from the drawing board


That looks much better. It is still a lot of traveling around in a short period of time. But at least you have two nights in one spot. The Shannon/Cliffs/Killarney day will be long but can be done. Get started right after an early breakfast.


Registered User
Posts: 1
(8/20/05 8:35 pm)

first trip

My wife and I decided yesterday to make the trip in March of 2006. We have been talking about it for a year. How should we start the planning? Anyone?

Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3353
(8/20/05 9:16 pm)

Re: first trip


Just go to the IrelandYes Index on the bottom of this page and click on "Getting Started". It will walk you through the beginning stages of your trip. My website has a wealth of info on it, if you take the time to look at each page.

If you have questions that are not answered by my site you can post them here. If you are planning on being in Ireland around St. Patrick's Day you should have reservations, otherwise (with the exception of Dublin) March is off-season.


Registered User
Posts: 2
(8/21/05 1:11 am)

Re: first trip

Thanks, I'll do that and then the real questions will start.

Unregistered User
(8/22/05 12:49 pm)

First Trip Planning

Don't do what we did. We bought our airline tickets first because we got such a great deal, but then tried to work in an itinerary.

I would have flown into Dublin and out of Shannon or something if I had known what all there was to do and see in Ireland. But now, we're stuck with our flights because it costs so much to make changes.


Michele Erdvig
Posts: 3359
(8/26/05 12:57 am)

Planning Ahead


Good advice. It always helps to plan as far in advance as possible. Perhaps this will only be the first of many trips for you. Next time you will know just what to do. ;)



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.

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