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Length of visit

Length of visit

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United States
Posts: 2
Group: Community Member Last Active: Wed 2 Jan 2019 7:12 PM Visits: 7
Martin,

We have plenty of time to visit Ireland and leisurely see your beautiful country.  We plan on a self drive trip with mainly B&B stays.  Is 21-30 days too much to plan on?  Looking to thoroughly explore scenery, do some hiking, avoid most tourist areas such as the Blarney stone, and enjoy the villages and people.  Trying to allow sufficient time to drive and see all of Ireland without having so much time we won't know what to do with it all.

Gary in Colorado
Posted Mon 31 Dec 2018 8:51 PM
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Island of Ireland
Posts: 456
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: Yesterday @ 1:13 PM Visits: 4.4K
Hi Gary,

Three to four weeks is a fantastic length of time to visit the island of Ireland, it will certainly allow you to see plenty at a more leisurely pace!

Although we are on a relatively small island, driving times can be a little longer than expected due to the rural nature of our towns, villages and off the beaten track routes.

We have some excellent trip idea itineraries on our main pages that you may find useful. A particularly interesting one would be the Lakelands running through the middle of the country. In combination with the Causeway Coastal Route, a fantastic drive all along the majestic north coast, it will put you in some of the hidden gems and off the beaten track locations you are looking for.

To complete the journey, Ireland's Ancient East and the Wild Atlantic Way will have you filling your time with us and wishing you could stay longer!

There are a few community posts as well regarding walking and hiking that you may wish to take a look at. You'll find some suggestions and links to information that will be helpful when trying to plan a few walks along the way. There are many greenways appearing across the island of Ireland as well to give you an out of the way view of some towns and villages.

For accommodation options, please take a look at our approved accommodation search page to see what is available. I have pre-selected Donegal and B&B to get you started. Please alter the destination to see what else is available as you create your itinerary.

I hope this helps get you started and I'm sure our fellow members and industry partners will be able to add some suggestions of their own.

Speak soon,

Martin

Posted Wed 2 Jan 2019 11:32 AM
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United States
Posts: 2
Group: Community Member Last Active: Wed 2 Jan 2019 7:12 PM Visits: 7
Thank you Martin, very helpful links.  So when traveling with a flexible schedule, what is the best way to map a route?  Coastal first then inland?  If arriving in first or second week of May (probably 2020) should we attempt to pre-book B&Bs or can we book them one at a time a day or so ahead of our planned visit nearby?  We did fine without booking ahead in England, Scotland, and Wales but I am not sure for Ireland.  I have not visited all the blog communities yet but are there recommended rental car agencies?  Thanks again and I am sorry I forgot to wish you a Happy New Year!
Posted Wed 2 Jan 2019 7:14 PM
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Island of Ireland
Posts: 456
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: Yesterday @ 1:13 PM Visits: 4.4K
Happy New Year indeed, Gary!

With a flexible schedule, it would be possible to circle the coastline then follow up with the inland areas or vice-versa. You could even do some zig-zagging just to mix it up a little too!

May is a fantastic time to visit, the days are getting longer and normally less busy than the more traditional Summer months making it easier to travel around. B&B accommodation should be more readily available for those ad-hoc stays when there is so much to see, one day isn't enough. If there is something that you definitely need to be nearby, such as an event or festival, then prebooking is advisable.

We have some information on vehicle rental that you may wish to take a look at. There are several car rental companies available on the island of Ireland. Your airline might have partnerships with rental companies too that you may like to look at. As you intend to travel in both the North and South of the island, please be sure to check any terms and conditions for insurance purposes.

There are some community post already regarding car rental, again have a wee look and see if there is something helpful there too.

There is always plenty to think about as you plan any trip, we have some lovely downloadable brochures too, including a Map and Route Mileage Planner that is super useful.

We are always happy to help, so please check back with us as you start to put a plan in place.

Martin

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Posted Thu 3 Jan 2019 10:50 AM
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Northern Ireland
Posts: 182
Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: 2 days ago @ 10:55 AM Visits: 2K
Hi Gary,

As Martin has already pointed out, may I suggest that you might like to consider exploring the Causeway Coastal Route.  This is one of the world's great road journeys, stretching from Belfast and going towards Derry/Londonderry.  It takes in coastal villages at the foot of beautiful river valleys known as glens as well as providing stunning views of cliffs and long sandy beaches, all waiting to be explored.

Central in the route is the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage Site, with it's hexagonal shaped basalt stones and columns.  For further information about sights along the way have a look at the following link: https://www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/150666-CCG_NI-Map_Online-version-03.pdf.

If you have specific questions about the area or need help booking accommodation, Coleraine Visitor Information Centre will be only too happy to help.

Kind Regards,
Alison

Posted Tue 8 Jan 2019 2:13 PM
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Northern Ireland
Posts: 16
Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: Wed 24 Jul 2019 3:03 PM Visits: 249
Gary

I hope you will find that your time is not nearly long enough!!  I would recommend that you definitely come North and a great gateway into Northern Ireland would be a visit to Historic Armagh. 

The city boasts two wonderful cathedrals, both dedicated to Saint Patrick - the only city in the world to have two cathedrals dedicated to the one saint!  We would also recommend that you visit The Navan Centre and Fort, one of Ireland's most famous and important archaeological sites.  To supplement this, we have a variety of museums and libraries and Armagh is also home to the Planetarium, so a complete change of pace!  From past to present, we cover it all.

As I said, Armagh is a great place to start your visit and if you do decide to come north please call with us here at the Visitor Information Centre, not only can we give you more information on our own local product but we can assist with information on all other fabulous places that Northern Ireland has to offer.

Please visit our website www.visitarmagh.com to get a feel of what we have to offer.  I would also recommend a visit to www.discovernorthernireland.com.  Whatever, you decide, I know you will enjoy your time in Ireland.  Happy Travelling!

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Posted Tue 8 Jan 2019 2:43 PM
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Ireland
Posts: 12
Group: Community Member Last Active: Sat 9 Feb 2019 12:29 PM Visits: 104
I would go for May, perhaps June but no later. In May, not only is the grass green but the mountains too are getting green. Then you will experience why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle - the green island. The weather is getting better. When July comes, the sky closes due to clouds and the crowds are getting dense.
If you are doing the Wild Atlantic Way, there are some destinations you should make sure to include:
- Achill Island in Mayo, the Deserted Village and the only amathyst quarry in Europe (it's prob empty now)
- Sligo: Has some awesome monuments like Carrowkeel with alignment to the Sun at summer solstice, Queen Maeve's tomb, W.B. Yeatt's grave, Lissadell where the charismatic Countess Markievicz grew up - she was one of the 1916 Rising leaders so you get to learn about Ireland's fight for freedom, Coney Island (not the Long Island Coney Island) to where you can walk at low tide
- Connemara: The winding bog roads with open space in all directions, the landing place for the first trans Atlantic flight in 1919 and distances measured not in kilometers but in hours (and days) like in America
- Kerry's peninsulas, both the touristy Iveragh Peninsula with the Tir nan'Og (Land of Youth) at its heart and the Skelligs out at sea (they featured in Star Wars, the Force Awakens) and the Beara Peninsula with its stone circles and the cable car at the tip of the peninsula to the remote Dursey Island with its ghost villages

Posted Tue 22 Jan 2019 3:47 PM
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