Post # 1
FI and I are looking to have our honeymoon in Ireland next year in the late Spring/Summer.
For Bees that have been or that live in Ireland, do you have any tips? I know that FI would like to rent a car and drive to places ourselves, and I’ve been looking at some “self-drive” tours, but does anyone have any tips about must see places or great vacation packages? We would be coming from the US and would have about a week to vacation, maybe a bit more. We’re looking to try to do this as inexpensively as possible, but we really want to try to get the most out of it.
This will be FI’s first time vacationing outside the US and I’ve been to Europe before, but both times it was an all-inclusive vacation package and I didn’t have to plan anything, so I’m kind of lost when it comes to planning something out. Any help would be appreciated!
Post # 2
I’m going to Ireland for my honeymoon next summer. I haven’t been there before so I don’t have any real tips to offer you, but I booked through Authentic Ireland travel agency and they set everything up for us 🙂
Post # 3
We went to Ireland this May/June. We pretty much flew into Shannon and drove around clockwise up to Belfast. Driving itself was not inexpesive, there is only one credit card from America that covers rentals in Ireland and because we didn’t have that credit card, the vehicle alone was almost $900 (with super cover) for 10 days! Our favorite places were Dublin, Belfast (Titanic Quarter) and the northern coast (Giant’s Causeway). We also did a boat tour of the Cliffs of Moher which I thought was worth it because it seems hard to really see the Cliffs from the top and when you are on the water you get a better view of them.
We went on both the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. Dingle was only about an hours’ drive and unfortunately it was misty most of the time so we didn’t see the coast well. Ring of Kerry had a lot of not coastal driving so we didn’t enjoy it as much as a lot of the coastal drives that we were doing. We stayed about halfway through the Ring of Kerry so we wouldn’t have to do the entire drive in a day (and good thing too because the road was closed from Killarney to Kenmare when we were there so we would have had to back track). We also went to Mizen Head which is the South-Westernly most point of the main island (bit of a trek to get out there though).
Going into Dublin we drove through Wicklow National Park on R115, which had some great mountainous scenery. We also went through a little of the Beara Peninsula (beneath Ring of Kerry) which had some awesome wild and natural beauty.
Of course, all of these places are decently far apart if you are driving to them because they are on different coasts.
Post # 4
Andrea718: Thanks, I was looking at some of authentic ireland’s tours as well.
MrsSaltWaterTaffy: Good to know! Do you remember which credit card does covers rentals? And thanks for the tips!
Post # 5
SithLady: It is the World Mastercard, I believe. Just know that they will put an additional hold on your card of 2,000 Euro which could put a cramp on your spending if you don’t have a very high limit on the credit card.
Post # 6
I went to Ireland with FI this past March and we rented a car and didn’t get charged anything crazy (or have any high holds), we paid ~$40/day with no issues, I’ve never heard of needing a “special” card for rentals. We have friends and family that have been there since and no one has had that problem.
We flew into and out of Dublin and drove clockwise. We adored every minute. Make sure you go to Dingle, it is absolutely stunning!
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2013 - Tuscan Farmhouse
How exciting! I’m from the UK but live in US now and have driven all around Ireland. North or South, East or West each has it’s own flavor. It’s not a huge country but it takes more time to cover than you may think. I took friends from the US and we rented a car from Dublin. Wicklow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Ring of Kerry, Kinsale, Cork coast and everywhere in between! There’s something for all tastes, from romantic valleys to rugged coastlines. Don’t just head for the tourist traps, take in some authentic Ireland en route. If you’re a good planner utilize the Ireland travel forums on tripadvisor, Frommers and Fodors. We stayed in cliff lighthouses, castles and wonderful B&B’s, all on a reasonable budget. We got the most economical car and mapped a logical route. Ah, memories!
Post # 8
I’m an american bee but married to an irishman and have been living in Ireland for the past year! I have done a lot of touring and had many friends and family visitors this year as well, so hopefully I can offer some insight 🙂
I’ve never done a guided tour as I have my husband, but several friends of mine have done the paddy wagon day tours while I had to work and everyone who went really enjoyed those. They did the Cliffs of Moher/Burren day tour and the Ring of Kerry day tour.
I’m not great for recommending guided tours/tours laid out for you (besides the paddy wagon tours) as I am much more inclined to rent my own car and plan my own itinerary when travelling.
I think the West Coast of Ireland is the most scenic and beautiful part of Ireland. Ring of Kerry is must in my opinion, particularly the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney. Also love Dingle and Glenbeigh in County Kerry. The Cliffs of Moher are a must see. Also love the Burren region. My husband took me to Aliwee Caves in the burren on my first trip to ireland, they aren’t well known by most international tourists but they were really cool!
Also recommend west cork during the summer. Love Kinsale (Charles fort in Kinsale is beautiful and scenic!). It’s a gorgeous little beach town.
Love Blarney castle in cork! I live about 15 minutes from Blarney and think it is a must see.
I love Galway too, especially during the summer. Really fun for going out to the pub and drinks.
I’m not a huge fan of Dublin, wouldn’t spend more than a day or 2 there myself 🙂
Edit to add that Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary is also a really cool tourist site.
Post # 9
I am Irish. All I will say is dont try and see the whole country in 7 days! It is small but dense and there is absolutely loads to see and do. I havent managed to see a lot of the country yet and we travel a lot. I recommend flying into shannon and doing a loop either north or south of there. South you could do the wild atlantic way as far as cork city (which is lovely) and drive back to shannon. North you could head for clare and connemara and maybe donegal. Taking in Galway. If you fly to Shannon I wouldnt bother going to Dublin. (I love Dublin but I would say the visitor experience can be hit and miss.) http://www.ireland.com/en-gb/wild-atlantic-way/
If you do fly to Dublin you could head straight for the west and take your time coming back. Parts of the South East (Kilkenny and Wexford and Waterford) are really lovely as well. The weather is often dryer in the South East than elsewhere so if the forecast is rubbish, thats your best bet.
There are lots of small lovely hotels to stay in. Check out the blue book. Hostels can be good too. (We tend to mix things up between good hotels and camping) http://www.irelands-blue-book.ie/
Post # 10
MrsTywinLannister: michfurn: msmorganitebee: jofits: Thanks so much for the tips! I will definitely look into those places you mentioned. I’m glad some of you mentioned County Tipperary, as I would like to spend a little time there as that is where my ancestors came from.
Post # 11
SithLady: GO TO GALWAY!! And bring a rain coat 🙂
Post # 12
Bring an umbrella and a rain coat.
Post # 13
SithLady: If you are going to Tipperary and like mountain biking check out Ballyhoura (its north cork, so not far)- I think beyonce and jay z (or some celebrities like that) came here on honeymoon and did that recently. (maybe it was kardashian… i never can tell the difference)
Post # 14
Westwood: And a hat and scarf and sunscreen. Basically you can get all four seasons at any time of year 😀 (but I dont think it rains as much as people say… some visitors are unlucky of course )
Post # 15
SithLady: When are you going to Ireland? If your wedding is in December I am guessing January. We were in the west (Dingle) last January and it was just freaking awesome. Atlantic storms and then clear sunny days in between. And we had the place to ourselves.