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10 Day Ireland Itinerary

Hi, my husband and I are taking our first trip to Ireland at the end of September. We have somewhat of an itinerary planned out and I was just hoping for some advice on if this itinerary is doable or if it is too much. I have been reading my Rick Steves Ireland guidebook and the posts on the travel forum for information, but would like some feedback from people who have been there. I am nervous about the driving times and distance so we tried breaking it up a bit so we wouldn't be in the car the entire time. We will be flying in and out of Dublin. We were thinking of seeing Dublin last. I haven't made the car or lodging reservations yet. This is what we have planned:

Monday, Sept. 26th: arrive Dublin airport in morning, get rental car at airport, go to see Gardens of Powercourt, drive to Kilkenny; see sights there; stay night in Kilkenny

Tuesday, Sept. 27th: see Rock of Cashel, drive to Dingle; stay night in Dingle

Wednesday, Sept. 28th: Dingle

Thursday, Sept. 29th: Dingle

Friday, Sept. 30th: drive to Galway, on way stop and see Cliffs of Moher and the Burren; stay night in Galway

Saturday, Oct. 1st: Aran Islands (day trip); stay night in Galway

Sunday, Oct. 2nd: drive to Dublin (maybe go see Ashford Castle for a few hours before going to Dublin?), on way to Dublin stop at Valley of the Boyne and see Hill of Tara, drop off rental car at airport, stay night in Dublin

Monday, Oct. 3rd: Dublin

Tuesday, Oct 4th: Dublin

Wednesday, Oct. 5th: Dublin

Thursday, Oct. 6th: go home

Any feedback or advice would be appreciated - thank you!

Posted by
9363 posts

I have been there four times now, and it looks nicely paced to me. I might take one night away from Dublin and add it to Galway so that you could have time to see the beautiful Connemara area, but other than that, it looks good. Have a great time!

Posted by
2272 posts

I agree - looks like a nicely paced itinerary to me too.
Connemara is our favorite part of Ireland...the place we keep going back to. The loop drive from Galway out to Clifden, to the National Park, to the Abbey and then down to Cong is one of the most pleasant road trips you'll ever take. Try to include it if you can.
Although it might be a bit out of your way if you do the loop, try to stop by the Famine Memorial at Doolough - a very evocative place which puts the famine years in harsh perspective like nothing else can. Can google it if interested.
Safe travels.

Posted by
356 posts

Brú na Boinne and the Hill of Tara are not on the way from Galway to Dublin, but involve an hour of a diversion northwards once you reach Dublin (the motorway system is radial, everything goes to Dublin). Brú na Boinne especially is worth the trip, but do it as a day trip from Dublin, rather than an stopover.

If you're planning a day trip to the Aran Islands, it might be more efficient to fly, rather than take the ferry. The Aer Arann airstrip ia twenty minutes closer to Galway than the ferry port at Ros A' Mhíl. Also the flight is ten minutes, rather than an hour on the boat. It will just give you more time on the islands. Also, when choosing an island, Inis Oirr, the smaller island, is much nicer than Inis Mór, the big one. Also, you'll get an incredible view of the cliffs of Moher from Inis Oir. The back of the island faces the cliffs. It is stunning.

Posted by
11 posts

Great - thanks so much for responding and the suggestions - can't wait to go!

Posted by
32 posts

I agree completely with Nancy and Robert. One less day in Dublin, and add the Connemara region to your trip. It was absolutely spectacular scenery, and a highlight of my recent trip.

Posted by
81 posts

Nancy and Robert are spot on.

Definitely one less day in Dublin.

I would also add the drive from Galway (stop at the Quiet Man bridge - there is a picture of John Wayne there) through Connemara to Clifden is gorgeous. Once in Clifden you must drive the Sky Road for some real (scary) scenery of the Atlantic.

If you are into hiking between Clifden and Kylemore Abbey, you could hike Diamond Hill. Views from there are breathtaking.

Finally, while in Dublin, I would highly recommend the Irish House Party. Dinner, music and entertainment are worth every Euro!

Outside of Switzerland, I love Ireland! (of course I'm Irish!)