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Ireland Family Vacation - Dingle 7 Nights
Overview For the Family Tour of Ireland – Dingle Base
During this Family Vacation around Ireland you will spend your time exploring this magical land using Dingle in County Kerry as your base location. The Dingle Peninsula offers some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery from the Brandon Mountains to the spectacular seascapes of Dingle Bay. A drive around the Dingle Peninsula will leave you and your family with memories of Iron Age forts, early Christian monasteries and remarkable intact traditional Irish culture. Gaelic is still spoken in many parts of the peninsula and can still be heard by passers-by on the quaint and colourful streets.
Other highlights for this Ireland family Vacation include visiting some of Ireland top tourist attractions from the stunning Ring of Kerry, the rugged Cliffs of Moher, the unique Burren, journey deep underground at Ailwee Caves and Kiss the blarney stone at Blarney Castle.
Your Accommodation while Touring the South West of Ireland: Dingle Skellig Hotel
While on your family vacation of Ireland, we understand that it is sometimes difficult for families to move from hotel to hotel so our Ireland with Kids tours are ‘one-centred’ and planned in such a way as you would just collect your rental car, drive to your hotel base and check in for the duration of your vacation. When you confirm your tour with us you will receive a comprehensive tour pack which will include numerous day tours that you can chose to take from your base location. You may decide to take all of the day tours, some of them or you may simply choose to enjoy the great family facilities of your hotel and its surroundings.
Thanks for asking about our trip. Amazing. Wonderful. Fun. Magnificent. Great. Brilliant. And any synonym thereof.
Grab yourself a cup of tea or a Guinness - or two - put your feet up and loosen your tie and we’ll review the adventure and my impressions of Ireland.
The Cliffs of Mohr should be seen from land and from the water and from above. I was most impressed to see them from the water. They are beautiful. We did climb O’Brien’s Tower and saw the cliffs from there.
We did the Doolin Cave. I thought the man said 25 steps and I thought “We can do that after doing Cliffs of Mohr and O’Brien’s tower.” It wasn’t until we were ready to go on the tour that we found out it was 125 steps – down. What a price to pay to see a limestone formation figured to be 300 million years old. One thing for sure, I’ll never see anything like it again in my lifetime and “no”, I have no intentions to see it again unless they get rid of the 125 steps – one way.
Galway was fun. No one should miss the Connemara tour. You were so right to recommend taking some other tours so I didn’t have to drive everywhere. We never would have found everything we saw that day. It was a full day of sightseeing: the “Quiet Man Bridge” and replica cottage as well as the ruins of the original cottage, quaint villages, the stories, laughter, the peat trenches and walking on the bog, and most of all Kylemore Abbey. The sight of the reflection of that castle in the lake as you come out of the mountains is unforgettable. The gardens are beautiful. We had 3 hours there and it wasn’t enough. We took the ferry out of Galway to the large Aran Island. The only way to see the Island is by hiking or the pony trap. Our driver was Timothy and our horse Cappucino. What a wonderful afternoon, the outdoors, sun, sea air, fresh blackberries off the side of the road. We got to see some ladies knitting sweaters and mittens. Again, more stories and a better understanding of the people and culture. We did a 3 hour ferry tour of Galway Bay – history, fun, stories, drinks, and singing. The stories of the famine and the results were so interesting and intense especially as my family is from the Galway area and immigrated to the States in the mid 1800’s.
The best ring tour was the Ring of Dingle. We did a 4 hour tour with John O’Connor of Dingle which ended up being over 5 hours. After the tour he took us to a pub that served good food at a reasonable price on a Sunday evening and then picked us up and took us back to the hotel. He wouldn’t take any money for the extra tour time and the taxi ride back to the hotel. We saw the beehives, the Verder holdings and school, the stones, fairy rings, fort rings, the western most place in Europe, got drenched in the Atlantic in the waves (the beach where Ryan’s Daughter was filmed) – again not paying attention. It was a great afternoon. This is one tour I would do again and recommend to anyone.
Belfast was interesting and somewhat ….sad is the only word I can think of. It is kind of “dark” with an undercurrent of tension. We took a Black Taxi tour – the political one and went to the Shankill and Falls areas. One of the gates actually closed while we were there. The prison tour was excellent and made the history more alive. Belfast is not on my list of places to revisit but I would recommend the prison tour. The taxi driver was so nice and full of stories. He also told us to keep the tip. This was a recurring theme. The people were very nice especially at the Post Office.
Speaking of Post offices- a cute story… we went to the post office in Kinsale around 10 am and then back at noon. The lady there reminded us that they didn’t close till 5:05 pm if we had more to mail. We, of course, hasn’t been shopping yet but figured we were about done shipping boxes. Don’t you know, at 3:15 pm in we walk with 2 more boxes each. She just laughed and let us go to the front of the line. Again reminding us that we had 2 more hours to “shop and mail.” Back to the travellog.
Yes, we did the Rope Bridge – have the pictures and the certificate to prove it - as well as Giant’s Causeway. There is a bus down to the rocks at the Causeway and back. No bus to the Rope Bridge – it’s all pedal power. The views are wonderful. I have never seen rocks come out of the ground in columns. I recommend both of those attractions. Don’t forget Bushmills.
Dublin. Dublin. Dublin. What can you say? None of the superlatives are enough. There was more to see than what we could see in 4 days. Guinness, Trinity College, The Old Library, The Book of Kells. I spent two hours in the exhibit and could have stayed longer. The Hop-on Hop off tickets were a great purchase. We really used them. The Food, Folklore and Fairies dinner presentation was terrific. Being at the oldest pub in Ireland 1197 was an added bonus. The gentleman who does the presentation is quite a story teller. “ We may not believe in fairies but just in case….respect the fairies.” It is a 4 star evening which I wholeheartedly recommend. The GPO, Dublin Castle, the prison – so much history. To touch those walls where bullet holes can still be seen was an experience. I plan on returning to Dublin in a couple years to see what all I missed. The shopping was great!!
No trip to Ireland would be complete without a medieval meal. The Bunratty Castle is the place to go. What a fun night eating with a knife and your fingers. The entertainment was good. Not a dry eye in the house when they sang Danny Boy. The village was right out of a book complete with animals. A great place for families to visit. We did it in the early evening. There were real peat fires burning in the hearths and you were expected to add the peat if the fire was going out, which of course, I had to do.
There are so many stories and so many people willing to share those stories. Are you getting a theme here – stories – the very best part! Everyone was kind and helpful and you couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The accommodations you secured were very nice and, I don’t know how you did it, but got nicer as the trip progressed. Bea at the Atlantic in Doolin was so sweet. Her excitement about the soccer championship was infectious. The room was up the stairs but the room was very nice and she makes great French toast – one of my personal favorites.
Ireland…a country of cities and villages, highways and unnamed paved lanes, bacon and bread, potatoes cooked in every way imaginable, ruins and intact castles and cathedrals, laughter and sadness, light and dark, realism and fantasy, fairy rings and fort rings, Charles Fort, smiles and tears, war and peace, trains, cars, horse and traps, and buses and ferries, superstition and mysticism, feast and famine, rock walls, hedges and grazing lands, sheep and cows, mountains, sea and lakes. What more or less can I say?
Thank you for all your help in setting this whole trip of a lifetime in motion. We could not have done it without your guidance, input and recommendations. I am already recommending you to friends who have asked about the trip. I would make one suggestion. There is a National ticket you can buy to see attractions at a decreased or free rate. We asked about it at Giant’s Causeway and the gentleman told us all the attractions would be closed and it wouldn’t do us any good. Wrong. You might want to let people know something like that is available.
So now we have come to the end of this missive and I didn’t even kiss the blarney stone. That is for the next trip!! Obviously, I had a wonderful time and hope to plan another trip in a couple years to see what I missed and there was a lot that I missed.
I will include a couple pictures. You can use any part of this you want or put it in a file and on occasion pull it out to remind yourself of the happiness you brought to an old lady you never met.
Be well and thank you again.
Michelle Estadt, Wrangell, AK, USA