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10 Day (incl departure) Itinerary Ireland - HELP?

Okay I am sure somewhere in this forum there's a sample itinerary for Ireland 10 days start/end Dublin. Flights have already been booked, otherwise we should have done in/out Dublin/Shannon. Oh well. Please tell me if this is a feasible itinerary, recommendations for places to stay. This is such a rough idea at this point, as I am completely overwhelmed with this.

Arrive in Dublin through customs etc by 7am - 8/31

Dublin 2 nights (8/31-9/2)
Kilkenny 1 night (9/2)
Limerick 1 night (9/3)
Kerry or Clare 2 nights (9/4 - 9/5)
Galway 2 nights (9/6 - 9/7)
Dublin 1 night (9/8)

Fly out Dublin 9/9 at 1pm

Here are some things we are hoping to see. Just two active sisters traveling. We are NOT set on this below - just some rough sights that we thought would be nice. Open to suggestions. I am hoping we don't get castle burnout - don't want to miss anything good though. Please let me know what to omit/add as far as castles.

Dublin
Ha'Penny Bridge
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Newgrange Tour/ Hill of Tara
Trinity College
Guiness Storehouse
Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)
Butlers Chocolate Cafe
Malahide Castle
DART to Coastal Villages (Howth)

Food/Drink
John Kavanagh The Gravediggers
The Church Pub
Temple Bar
Johnnie Fox's Pub
The Brazen Head

Wicklow/Kilkenny
Powerscourt Estate
Waterfall at Powerscourt
Wicklow Mountains
Kilkenny Castle
Rock of Cashel
Smithwicks Tour

Kerry/Dingle
Dingle Peninsula
Skellig Ring
Blue Pool
Gap of Dunloe

Clare/Limerick/Shannon
Cliffs of Moher
Bunratty Castle
Aran View
Vaughns Pub

Galway
Kylemore Abbey?
Dunaire Castle
Claddagh Jewelers

Birr
Birr Castle on way back to Dublin

Posted by
287 posts

I somehow managed to lose my original reply; maybe I'll be more concise this time ...

(I'm assuming you are renting a car when you leave Dublin).

You've done a lot of research and have a great list of things to see, but I would suggest prioritizing and paring down the list. For example, I did the things on your Wicklow/Kilkenny list, but I spent almost three days doing them, not just one. It will take time to get to the Skellig Ring; driving is slower than you might think once you get off the motorways. And seeing the Dingle Peninsula without spending a night there would make for a very long day.

As for Dublin, if you're fast and efficient you can see a lot in a day in the city; however, you're going to be jet lagged and that will probably slow you down. And you've got a couple of day trips listed (Newgrange/Hill of Tara and Howth) that together would probably use up almost 1 1/2 days, which is practically all the time you have in Dublin. (Incidentally, I spent two days in Howth and enjoyed it, but on a ten-day trip I would skip it unless you have a special reason for wanting to go.)

I tend to be a more leisurely traveler, and my suggestions have to be viewed through that lens, but the things I remember best from my trip aren't the "must see" sights; they're the things I stumbled onto. Like the night in a Cashel pub when I ended up in the midst of an impromptu trad music session with locals; I even got handed the bodhran at one point! Or my unplanned detour into Glengariff at lunchtime that led to an equally unplanned couple of hours in the gardens at Garnish Island. Or a pleasant hour spent discussing life and philosophy over tea with two motorcyclists from the north of England, when we were the only patrons of a tiny seaside cafe on the Dingle peninsula. Or the evening I drove down from Galway to see the sun set over the Cliffs of Moher. Or being delayed in an evening drive through the Connemara by a large and stubborn cow whose owner couldn't convince it to move out of the road. None of that (except maybe the cow) would have happened if my schedule had been too tight to allow for accidental discoveries.

For nine nights, I'd suggest some variation on the following:
- Dublin (3 nights)
- Kilkenny/Cashel (1 night). This is a good first-day drive out of Dublin, not too long and mostly on good roads.
- Someplace else (2 nights). Dingle is a possibility, but there are other places in Counties Kerry, Cork, and Clare that aren't as far out of the way.
- Galway (3 nights). You'll pass the Cliffs of Moher en route and can stop then, weather permitting. You could probably leave Galway early the morning of your flight home if you were comfortable doing that, since your departure is in the afternoon. Or if you're more comfortable, leave a day earlier and make the castle stop you suggested.

This isn't that much different from what you proposed, and it could be pared down even further, but it's a compromise between a slower pace while still seeing a fair amount.

I know you'll have a wonderful time, whatever you decide!

Posted by
2 posts

Wow thank you so much! That is exactly what I wanted to hear! I am definitely looking forward to those unplanned experiences! My sister and I love that kind of thing. You were spot on!

Posted by
6 posts

Looks like you'll be in Ireland the same dates as us. We're planning on flying into and out of Dublin as well, but driving directly to Galway and doing Dublin for a couple of days before we leave. Our only reason for doing that is since the flight gets in early, most things won't be open and we might as well drive. Hoping to get our tickets purchased this week and start working on an itinerary.