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4 days based in Ennis--suggested day trips?

Hi. A friend and I will be at a hotel in Ennis for four days. We are trying to piece together an itinerary, but our list is way too long at this point! Neither of us have been to Ireland, and we will have a rental car. Any suggestions? Any thing we should skip?

Cliffs of Moher & Aran Island boat trip
Dingle Peninsula
Ring of Kerry
Killarney NP

Posted by
1 posts

I spent 5 days last summer in Ennis as a base for daytrips. COM / Aran is a must-do!

Based on RS book, I did not do both Dingle and ROK, due to their similarity. We did Dingle, and it was amazing.
I'd read that both CoM and Dingle could be difficult to enjoy in rain / fog, and for that reason, if you're able, don't plan a specific day. We only decided which day the evening before based on the forecast.

We did visit Killarney NP, and, at the risk of sounding like a Virginia snob, it was nice enough, but not much nicer than the Blue Ridge Parkway / Shenandoah mountains here. If you've done those, perhaps replace this day. It was tough driving too. It was nice enough, but in my perspective, not worth the time to get there and difficulty getting through it.

Our other daytrips were: Middleton & Cobh - and - Kilkenny & The Rock of Cashel, In any case all were easy as daytrips from Ennis

Posted by
10310 posts

May I ask why you basing in Ennis? Have you looked at a road map?

Dingle round trip from Ennis is 5 hours and that doesn't include driving around the peninsula.

Ring of Kerry is will be a minimum of 7 hours round trip.

Kilarney NP is 4 hours round trip.

You'd be better off staying 2-3 days in Kilarney for Kilarney NP, Ring of Kerry and even Dingle. Otherwise you will waste a lot of time driving.

And personally, I think missing out on the town of Dingle would be a waste of time.

Posted by
5 posts

I have looked at a map--we are staying in Ennis because that is where my company booked our hotel. No choice there.

Thanks for the input so far! I appreciate the travel estimates and feedback on places.

Posted by
2021 posts

I think what Frank was getting at was that rather than spending all of your time on the road just getting to Dingle or Killarney, you might be better advised to concentrate on the attractions in your immediate area...say within an hour's drive from your home base in Ennis. The Cliffs and Doolin are obvious choices, and from Doolin you could catch the ferry out to the Aran Islands. Galway is quite pretty and would be worth your time.
A very pleasant day trip would be the drive out along Sky Road past Clifden, then continuing around the N-59 to Connemara National Park for a scenic hike, Kylemore Abbey and on to the village of Cong. Full disclosure - I'm pretty biased here. Connemara is our favorite part of Ireland. Spectacular scenery and fewer crowds (by half) than either Dingle or Killarney.
The monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise is worth a visit, either as a day trip or as an enroute stop on your way to Dublin - assuming that's where you're flying out of.
The scenic coastal drive south from the Cliffs towards Kilrush and Kilkee (on a sunny day) wouldn't be a bad way to spend a day either. Lots of places to stop for photo ops, a pub lunch, and/or a pint.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the insight. I don't mind a long day trip at all--in fact I generally love a good road trip! I do love the ideas a little closer to our home base though. I have a lot to investigate now.

We are actually flying in and out of Shannon.

Posted by
2021 posts

OK, as you're mapping out your road trips keep in mind that the drive times shown on Google maps (and other drive planners) are usually pretty optimistic. Many here suggest adding another 25% to whatever the planners show.