Day Trips from Dublin recommendations

We're taking the Best of Ireland tour this summer with a couple of extra days before the tour starts in Dublin. Trying to decide on possible side trips near the city that aren't included in the itinerary. I looked through Viators listing and came up with these sights:

- Boyne Valley including the Hill of Tara, Trim castle, Newgrange, Loughcrew Celtic Tombs
or
- Wicklow, Glendalough, and Powerscourt

Pretty much everything else is either in the tour itinerary or requires more travel time - Cork, Blarney, etc.

Would appreciate some recommendations.

Comments

  • edited January 2018
    We're taking the Best of Ireland tour this summer with a couple of extra days before the tour starts in Dublin. Trying to decide on possible side trips near the city that aren't included in the itinerary. I looked through Viators listing and came up with these sights:

    - Boyne Valley including the Hill of Tara, Trim castle, Newgrange, Loughcrew Celtic Tombs
    or
    - Wicklow, Glendalough, and Powerscourt

    Pretty much everything else is either in the tour itinerary or requires more travel time - Cork, Blarney, etc.

    Would appreciate some recommendations.

    I haven't been to any sites not on the BoI tour/outside Dublin, but I just did a quick search, and I think you listed most of the major ones in the pale and beyond.

    However, thinking outside the box, one possibility not on your list but one that may fall into your second category- certainly a full day but doable- is a trip to the Aran Islands. It is about a 2.5 hr straight shot from Dublin to Galway on the M4/M6 or on the train and another 45 min. to Rossaveal Harbour where you can catch a ferry for the 40 min voyage (10 nm) to the islands. You might also be able to find a smaller tour boat that could get your there faster. Or, in the other direction, take a ferry to the Isle of Man (two seagoing suggestions : ) )

    Getting from Galway to the Aran Islands

    I just looked again and found a Viator day trip from Dublin- you travel by train to Galway and then fly out to the Islands- $194 p/p. Viator trip from Dublin to the Aran Islands. Check it out! If I had known about it, I might have done it when we did BoI two years ago- then the tour started in Ennis which is not too far from Doolin another ferry jumping off port for trips to the islands (and Cliffs of Moher boat excursions).
  • Thanks for the heads up, Alan! We have an extra day in Dublin, and I was looking for an interesting excursion! This sounds like a great option! More to research when we get back from our present adventure...lots of golf, Mai Tais and whale watching!!
  • edited January 2018
    joycesw wrote:
    Thanks for the heads up, Alan! We have an extra day in Dublin, and I was looking for an interesting excursion! This sounds like a great option! More to research when we get back from our present adventure...lots of golf, Mai Tais and whale watching!!

    Oh, just rub it in!! Our typical NC winter is mild with temps mainly in the 40's & 50's (sometimes in the 30's) but this week we've had temps in the teens for several days straight and last night we got hit with a storm that dropped 6" - 8" inches of snow. And the temps, though a bit warmer so far today are still hovering a little below freezing!
  • Aran Islands does look interesting Alan. Wish it was on the itinerary instead of Drumcliffe - really don't care about Yeats grave. I think we'll opt for something a little closer to Dublin.

    I know it sounds crazy but wish we had your weather. It's too warm and dry out here in the west. My trees need a deep snow.

    Joyce, when is your tour? Ours is the 16 Jun start.
  • If you have time for only one of the tours that you listed, I would suggest taking the one that goes to the Boyne and Newgrange -- but I'm more into history than into manor houses (or castles). You may see ruins of monasteries like St..Kevin's (Glendalough) on your tour. I see that you have a free afternoon in Dublin. I would suggest a trip to Kilmainham Gaol. Trying to do the Aran Islands from Dublin in a day would be too much -- though if you had enough extra time, you could get to the west coast on one day, stay overnight there, and go out to Inishmore the next day, returning to Dublin at night.

    You can have some of my NH snow, Claudia. We're getting 12-18" today, and temperatures have been below zero, with the wind chill double-digits below zero.
  • I was leaning more towards the Boyne valley tours - viator has a couple of different ones. I like history too and felt those were more of a change from Tauck's itinerary. Sometimes sights sound good on paper but turn out different when you actually go.

    Feel free to send us your snow.
  • Hi Claudia,
    We are doing England, Scotland and Wales on May 27,and then a Week in Ireland on June 10
    Joyce
  • joycesw wrote:
    Hi Claudia,
    We are doing England, Scotland and Wales on May 27,and then a Week in Ireland on June 10
    Joyce

    Looks like we have a slight overlap in Dublin on your last full day and our first but different hotels.

    We did ESW last summer after our Seine cruise. It was great. Let me know if I can answer any questions.
  • The beautiful Boyne Valley has three similar groups of prehistoric passage tombs--Newgrange, Dowth, and Knowth. On our non-Tauck tour several years ago, our group visited Knowth.These stone age tombs date back as far as 3300 BC with evidence that indicates there were farming settlements in the area even earlier. I would definitely recommend that you visit one of the three tomb sites since I feel sure all three sites are similar. The view is wonderful, and from there you can definitely see Johnny Cash's "Forty Shades of Green." A few days later after touring lovely Dublin, we headed south and visited Glendalough. It's well worth visiting also, but between visiting the passage tombs or Glendalough, the ruins of a very early Irish monastery, my personal choice would be the former.
  • The beautiful Boyne Valley has three similar groups of prehistoric passage tombs--Newgrange, Dowth, and Knowth. On our non-Tauck tour several years ago, our group visited Knowth.These stone age tombs date back as far as 3300 BC with evidence that indicates there were farming settlements in the area even earlier. I would definitely recommend that you visit one of the three tomb sites since I feel sure all three sites are similar. The view is wonderful, and from there you can definitely see Johnny Cash's "Forty Shades of Green." A few days later after touring lovely Dublin, we headed south and visited Glendalough. It's well worth visiting also, but between visiting the passage tombs or Glendalough, the ruins of a very early Irish monastery, my personal choice would be the former.

    Thanx much. I'm definitely leaning towards the Boyne.
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