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12 day itinerary, extra day in Galway or Kilkenny?

Our first time in Ireland is in September. I have our tentative itinerary but need a little help.

Day 1: Arrive Dublin (from Amsterdam, so will not be jet lagged)
Day 2: Dublin.
Day 3: rental car to Kilkenney, stop by Glendalogh.
Day 4: Rock of Cashel, drive to Killarney and stay the night
Day 5: drive to Dingle
Day 6: Dingle
Day 7: Dingle
DY 8: drive to Cliffs of Moher, arrive in Galway and stay overnight
Day 9: Galway with day trip to Burren
DY 10: drive to Trim, stop at Clonmacnoise, stay in Trim. Do Trim Castle
Day 11: Trim, do Newgrange, Bru N Boinne
Day 12: head to airport, spend night near the airport, and leave for USA on Day 13.

My question is: should we skip day 4 overnight in Killarney, and just drive straight to Dingle, to give us an extra day in Galway? My thought is, with an extra day in Galway, we can also do a day trip to the Connemara area. Or should we just do the night in Killarney as planned?

All ideas are welcome, as I would like to book hotels as soon as we can. Thank you all!

Posted by
1994 posts

I would keep the night in Kalarney. I think the national park there is lovely and offers nice variety – eg, Muckross house and gardens, the Torc waterfall, the ruins of Ross castle, and pleasant walks or bike rides. I found a far more enjoyable than Connemara.

Posted by
41 posts

I battled that thought too, Chani. There is a lot we plan to see in Dublin, so our 2 days will be full days. I guess for us, we really want to see the countryside, castles, etc; probably like a typical tourist.

Our last trip was London, Paris and Rome: all cities. I do not regret that trip, but when we headed to Bayeux on the Normandy coast, we could feel ourselves really relax and slow down. We only have so much time, so at least we have basically almost 2 dull days. We arrive inDublin at 10:30 in the morning, and we won't have the jet lag to deal with, plus, we have the whole 2nd day as well.

Thank you for your input.

Posted by
34 posts

I think you do have enough time in Dublin to see some highlights and enjoy it, especially since you won't be jet-lagged. Dingle was one of my favourite places on the trip and you may enjoy having the extra time there, I didn't stay in Killarney however so I can't compare.

We drove from Dingle to Galway and stopped to see Cliffs of Moher and Doolin on our way. We spent a full day on the Aran Islands and besides Dingle Peninsula, this was my favourite part of the trip. We biked to the fort at the end of the island (Dun Aengus) which was right on the edge of the cliffs and really beautiful. Plus, our B&B packed us a lunch to go which we ate while sitting on the edge of the fort looking over the ocean. We spend part of the next morning touring Galway and I don't really think it's worth it. You could spend that day on the Aran Islands instead, and maybe see the Burren on your way to Galway from Dingle?

We toured Clonmacnoise as well on our way back to Dublin and that was a neat place to see and basically no other tourists.

After we left Kilkenney we visited the Rock of Cashel and onto Blarney Castle and stayed in Cork. That might be out of your way.

Posted by
317 posts

Hi Jackie, Greetings from Ireland!
The extra night in Galway would definitely be handy for more sightseeing in Connemara, however you wont regret a night in Killarney, its a great town.
That being said, you and I both know the value in being in one destination for more than one night, unpacking and repacking for a next day departure can be a pain.
You could easily spend a nice on afternoon in Killarney an move on to Dingle and then get yourself that extra night in Galway.
I love galway but I would find 3 nights in the town, one night too long.
I guess you have to decide whether not you put more value on the hassle factor of a one night stay in Killarney, versus being able to explore Killarney and its beautiful natural surrondings in-depth.
Stephen McPhilemy

Posted by
41 posts

Thank you Ashley and Stephen! I think Killarney will definitely be a stop, as I don't think we will regret it. We can handle a couple of one nighters, especially early in the Holiday. We appreciate the feedback!