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2nd attempt at an Itinerary for 1st Ireland visit

March 4 & 5- Dublin
On way to Belfast- Newgrange, Monasterboice
March 6 & 7- Belfast
On way to Portrush- Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Bushmill’s Distillery, Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle
March 8-Portrush
On way to Donegal town-Explore Derry, Glenveagh Castle
March 9-Donegal Town
March 10-Westport
On way to Doolin-Clew bay heritage center, Leenane, Cong, Dunguaire Castle
March 11 & 12-Doolin

On way to Dingle town *take Killimer/Tarbert ferry across Shannon river go to Tralee and
take Connor pass to Dingle
March 13, 14 & 15-Dingle Town (Slea Head Drive starts and ends in Dingle-ruins on drive Blasket Centre in Dunquin, Reask Monastic settlement, Gallarus Oratory, Kilmalkedar Church, Cliffs of Moher)
On way to Kenmare- through Kilarney National park through Moll’s gap
March 16-Kenmare
On way to Kinsale-Blarney Castle
March 17, 18 & 19-Kinsale (outside Kinsale-Cobh, Cork)
On way to Kilkenny-Rock of Cashel
March 20-Howth (25 minutes from airport)
Questions are; Does this look doable without too many long drives?
Is Howth a good town to visit as a last night before catching flight at 10am the next morning? or is another town more highly recommended?
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
thank you

Posted by
439 posts

Hi,

You seem to packing a lot into each day + driving. If you google driving times in Ireland, double it what it tells you. Did you check opening/closing times. I don't think March is peak tourist season yet so some venues may close earlier. Also consider sunset will be about 6:30pm. Unless you are comfortable driving dark country roads, I would plan on being in the next town by then or shortly there after. I would pick 1 thing to do between each city, if you have time for more, add it on then. You will need time for lunch, a cup of tea or a pint. Remember you are on Irish time.

One piece of logistics that did pop out, Cliffs of Moher are in Clare, not far from Doolin. It would be a long drive back up from Dingle.

I have stayed in Pormarnock and Malahide, not far from Howth. The location is close to the airport and they beautiful towns/villages. I believe Malahide won the tidy town award a few years ago.

This is a link for sunrise/sunset times I find helpful. http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/ireland/dublin?month=3

Mary

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks for the feedback Mary. I will definitely relook at what sights are most important to me.
CHeers

Posted by
247 posts

I agree with Mary, you are trying to pack a lot in. Based on our experience it may be difficult. Example: your trip Dublin to Belfast with stops at Newgrange and Monasterboice. Be advised that the tour of Newgrange requires you to park at a visitor center where you sign up for a bus, wait for the bus to depart, ride in the bus to the site, see it, and ride back to the visitor center, all on the bus schedule. I recall it took us almost 2 hours just for Newgrange, not counting the time to get there from our main route. Similar comments for many of your other driving days. Mary's comments about driving time and hours of daylight are also valuable. We got lost several times driving on the small rural roads that are the only way to many of the locations, we'd have been really in trouble timewise if darkness had fallen. IMO, Mary is so correct about "Irish time". We saw many of the sights you have listed, very few were a quick in-and-out. Better to reduce the number of stops and really spend some time at the ones most important to you. Have a grand visit.

Posted by
317 posts

I think the itinerary is great, you definitely are trying to fit a lot in, but some people love that so maybe you'll be fine with it. Sound like you will.
The day from Westport to Doolin is very packed with activities and may be unrealistic in my opinion, but other than its great, good luck with it all, maybe run into you in Dingle or Derry!
Le meas/with respect
Stephen McPhilemy
Rick Steves Ireland Tour-Guide

Posted by
8 posts

Sincere thanks to you all.
Probably cutting out Westport and going a more direct route from Derry to Sligo (night) and then on to Doolin.
Most excited about Doolin and Dingle areas.
Slainte

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you kindly for all the advice, all set to go. Complete with gps! and lots recommendations.
Leaving in a week!
Final Itinerary (with B&B's already booked in Dublin, Belfast, Doolin, Dingle and Kinsale. Winging the rest)
Any comments are still cherished. thanks again.

2 nights in DUBLIN
Drive to BELFAST on way see NEWGRANGE, *MONASTERBOICE
2 nights in BELFAST
Drive to PORTRUSH or DERRY on way see *CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE, *GIANTS CAUSEWAY,
DUNLUCE CASTLE
1 night in PORTRUSH or DERRY or in-between the two
Drive to SLIGO
1 night in SLIGO or a little south of
Drive to GALWAY
1 night in GALWAY
Drive to DOOLIN
2 nights in DOOLIN CLIFFS OF MOHER
Drive to DINGLE via Ferry across Shannon and *CONOR PASS
3 nights in DINGLE *SLEA HEAD DRIVE AND ALL SITES ON IT (take a day)
Drive to KINSALE via *KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK SITES
3 nights in KINSALE BLARNEY CASTLE, *COBH VILLAGE
Drive to KILKENNY via *ROCK OF CASHEL
1 night in KILKENNY
Last night stay in one of the following towns
MALAHIDE, HOWTH, PORTMARNOCK *
*
Next morning drive to Dublin Airport

Posted by
2246 posts

bravo, as long as you are willing to take note of the moment that you realize you are rushing too fast, and can slow it down as needed, you'll be fine. It's a tough thing to balance-knowing you'll be "just 40 minutes" away from something else incredible, and weighing whether to go for it or to just sit tight and enjoy the view, or the people, or the old building you are sitting outside of. Be sure to build in that soak it up time too. You'll have a great trip, let us all know how it went when you're back.

Enjoy the Conor Pass!

Slainte!