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4 nights in Ireland itinerary???

We have four nights in Ireland and would like to see as much as possible. As there are four of us traveling together, we will have two drivers for our trip.
Our plan is to spend one day/night in Dublin, drive from Dublin to Cashel, then on to Cobb for a quick look around and end up in or near Tralee for the second night. On day three we would drive to the Dingle Peninsula and go on to the Cliffs of Moher spending the night in Doolin. Day four would find us doing Cliffs of Moher if there wasn’t enough time on day three and head back to Dublin with a stop Bru na Boinne. Does this look doable? Thanks

Posted by
5611 posts

Only if you like seeing Ireland through the car windows.

What is it that you truly want to see in Ireland?

Posted by
359 posts

Bru Na Boine is an afternoon itself. It isn't even a consideration on a cross Ireland driving day especially if you throw in the Cliffs of Moher. I'm honestly not trying to be snarky at all....but is this really serious ?

If it is serious.....it would be brutal, basically pointless as far as really seeing anything and massively counterproductive. Actual driving times are 1.5 -2 times what's listed on apps. Driving in Ireland requires real concentration...you can't sight see out the car window much at all. You barely leave time for eating let alone stopping to see a sight.

Stick to day trips from Dublin there are great things fairly close....or at most pick out one spot central to a couple things you want to see most. Sorry, while maybe technically physically possible it sure wouldn't be rewarding in any way to do that level of massive driving.

Posted by
4 posts

We have one car and two drivers. We were hoping to see as many scenic and iconic places as possible and were relying on an app for driving times.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you so much for your input.

Posted by
5611 posts

Ah relying on an app and the kindness of strangers.

Two drivers means nothing. The majority of roads in Eire are two lanes so lowering your speed is the essence of driving there.

What iconic sites do you wish to see?

Be sensible. Your itinerary is insane.

The beautiful countryside is pretty much everywhere. If that’s all you care about drive the Sally Gap through the Wicklow mountains and make friends with the sheep.

Experiencing Ireland is about slowing down. You'll be grateful you did.

Posted by
1168 posts

Stay in Dublin and plan reasonable day trips from there.....do not bother with getting a car....

From Dublin, reasonable day trips would be Belfast, Wicklow, there are some great coastal areas to Dublin as well like Howth/Dun Laoghaire/Killiney

There are enough things in Dublin to keep you busy for at least 3 days as well.

Posted by
4 posts

We have done a lot of reseacrh reading Rick Steves Ireland cover to cover as well as reading blogs. I do believe we have a good idea what iconic sites are. We are aware of the difference between kilometers and miles. I guess we are naive, overzealous senior citizens.
Thank you for your input!

Posted by
5611 posts

Over zealous and a bit naive.

Apologies for the pithiness but you have definitely laid out an itinerary that will not allow you to relax at all.

Great that you've done the research and made a plan but you did ask if it was doable.

Then again if that's they way you want to travel then by all means rent the car and go.

Remember small roads, lots of sheep, lorries, tractors, and hedges. And weather, remember the weather. Always a factor. There's reason it's so green, its called rain.

And BTW Truman was in office when I was born and I've driven the island 3 times.

Posted by
72 posts

You could do this but you will spending all your time in the car. I have mapped your first driving day and it looks something like this:

Dublin to Cashel is about 166 km. Theaa.ie puts the drive time at just under two hours. Those who have driven in Ireland know these estimates are very optimistic, so add another third to the drive time, so say about 2.5 hours.

Cashel to Cobh is 102 km, drive time 1 hour and 10 minutes, so say 1.5 hours.

Cobh to Tralee is 142 km, 2 hours drive time, so say 2 hours and 45 minutes.

So that’s almost 7 hours of sitting in the car. Now factor in how much time you would like to spend at Cashel and Cobh. Will you stop for lunch or toilet breaks? Photo opportunities? Will you get lost and have to back track? (This happens to us once or twice every time we go.)

You are trying to cover a lot of territory in a short amount of time. Whatever you decide, i hope you have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
141 posts

I also had a quiet few minutes and decided to plan this out. Assuming EVERYTHING goes well (the drive time listed on Google Maps is the actual time, you never get lost, you never have to stop for a sheep crossing, etc.), here's what I came up with:
DAY ONE - ARRIVE DUBLIN
You don't say what time you arrive, but I know a lot of flights from the east coast land in the morning - sometimes VERY early in the morning. I think the direct flight from Hartford gets in at 4:50am. The worst case of jet lag I ever had was my one-day layover in Dublin. I mainly remember flashes of Trinity College and a tourist shop, and then passing out on the train while my friend tried to keep me awake. But let's assume you land and have no jet lag and see what you want to see (which you don't mention, so maybe one day in Dublin is doable for you).

DAY TWO
You leave Dublin at 8am, which means getting up an hour (?) earlier to pack, shower if you wish, and eat breakfast. It's then 1h37m to the Rock of Cashel, putting you there at 9:37am. Say you spend an hour there, leave at 10:37am, arrive Cobh at 11:45am (1h8m drive). Stay for three hours, one of which will likely be taken up by lunch. Leave at 2:45pm, arrive Tralee 4:50pm (1h55m drive). Check in to your hotel, unpack what you need, go to dinner.

DAY THREE
Again leave at 8am. I wasn't sure what you meant by "drive the Dingle Peninsula," so I put in three locations that made the loop. Tralee - Dingle (50m); Dingle - Dunquin (35m); Dunquin - Cloghane (50m). If you make no stops, you'll be in Cloghane at 10:15am. From there it's a 2h42m drive to the Cliff of Moher, assuming you catch the ferry RIGHT on time. That puts you into the Cliffs at 12:57, but let's say you also stopped for lunch. Call it 2pm arrival at the cliffs. Stay an hour, drive 11minutes to Doolin, getting you there at 3:11pm for checking in/unpacking/dinner.

DAY FOUR
Cliffs of Moher to Bru na Boinne is 3h18m. Leave at 8am, arrive 11:18am. Stay two hours, leave 1:18, drive 45minutes to Dublin, putting you in the city at 2:03pm. You don't mention when your flight home is, but I'm assuming it's the next day.

So, yes, your itinerary is doable. You physically can do it. But I would really suggest thinking hard about if you WANT to. This is assuming everything goes exactly plan - and when does that ever happen? It also has you rushing through sites, like the Rock of Cashel, and doesn't include stops, such as ones you'll surely want to take on the Dingle Peninula. Others who have been to and driven in Ireland consistently say that you need to add 25-50% to the drive time given. As AlliM pointed out, your second day has you driving almost 7 hours. It's ultimately your vacation and your choice, but I fear your memories of this trip will be of looking out the car window.

Posted by
2732 posts

Personally I would not try to cram all of this into such a short time. Just because you can trade off driving doesn't mean it will be fun to drive for so many hours each day. You're traveling to Ireland to experience Ireland, not experience the interior of a car.

I would stay in one hotel the entire 4 nights, see the sights of Dublin on your first and last days, and take two day trips on Day 2 and Day 3 to see sights within range of Dublin that are, in your estimation, of greatest interest.