I am a single woman doing my first solo trip to Ireland. I plan to fly into Dublin 4/1 AM and stay overnight. 4/2 I’m setting out in a rental car to Doolin for seeing Cliffs of Moher AB’s staying overnight. That brings me to the morning of 4/3. I fly out of Dublin the afternoon of 4/5. So where do I go for the last two days? More aptly, what do I leave out? I want to see a castle but ? What else. Ring if Kerry / Dingle too far? Limerick or Cork? Killarney or Kilkenny? I don’t want to drive all day on the last two days. I’m renting a car so I don’t have to rely on public transportation schedules. Thank you for your help.
The Burren - the limestone area around Doolin is wonderful. Why not spend time exploring it in more depth , and in particular drive along the coast from Doolin past the photographic Dunguaire castle (unfortunately not open when you are there) and head to Athenry for the night. Athenry is described as one of the best preserved Medieval towns in Ireland with the remains of town walls, castle and ruined priory.
Athenry to Dublin airport the next morning is about 2.5-3 hours drive. You should have time fror a short stop at Clonmacnoise a lovely early Christian site on the River Shannon, with its round towers, ruined chapels and crosses. This would be a good place for a lunchtime picnic!
Drive the Connemara loop - or a part of it - west out of Galway toward Clifden. It's the loveliest region in Ireland with a number of towns and villages along the way. The south-north route on the R344 through the Inagh Valley is spectacular.
Another option is to take the ferry from Doolin to one or two of the Aran Islands.
The other towns you mention are definitely too far if you have only two days.
Thank you for the replies! I guess I was hoping for a stop on the way back to Dublin. I’ll have from 4/3 morning until 4/5 afternoon. I didn’t want to take a boring interstate to the Cliffs of Moher and then back again. For instance, what about the town of Adare near Limerick or a castle that is back in the eastern direction. Wexford? Thank you for helping me! I’m quite nervous going alone but excited too!
Trim, a town northwest of Dublin, is worth considering, Right at the edge of town is Trim castle. Other advantages is that it’s convenient for Hill of Tara and the Newgrange neolithic site, which we found very worthwhile. Great Indian restaurant, too, plus pubs with trad music. It’s also close enough to Dublin that from Trim, you’ve got a fairly short drive to turn in your rental car at the Dublin airport and get to your flight out.
The Burren is an excellent sight to include, so close to the Cliffs of Moher. We stayed at a B&B in Lisdoonvarna, but there are other nearby places as well.
Wexford and Cork, great with more time, but leave them out this trip. I’d say other l places south of Limerick, including Dingle, are too far for the time you have. Same with Aran Island(s) - I’ve been on both of my trips, but had way more time.