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6 night scenic history trip?

We'll be in Ireland for 6 nights in early July. Trying to work out the itinerary, and I'm struggling since there seems to be so much to see. We will be renting a car once in Dublin, and flying out of Shannon. Any suggestions would be most appreciated:
Jul 8- Belfast all day. Likely overnight.
Jul 9- To Dublin (thinking train)
Jul 10- Dublin, pick up rental car. Half day trip to Newgrange (is this a half day trip? full day?)
Jul 11- To Cobh via Rock of Cashel, then on to Kinsale? Kenmare? Dingle? I understand Dingle is amazing, and ideally would like to have 2 nights there-- is it too much to do the Rock and a stop in Cobh and then travel all the way to Dingle? Am I wrong to miss ROK and surrounds by doing this? Or is it similar in terms of type of scenery?
Jul 12- Dingle Peninsula
Jul 13- Up to the Cliffs of Moher, via Adare? Need to stay close to Shannon Airport tonight...
Jul 14- Fly home from Shannon
We've never been to Ireland before- is this a good mix of city/history/quaint towns/scenery for our short timeframe? Am I glaringly missing something important (Galway?) or doing something that is less impressive (Cobh?). I'm a Titanic buff, but we like quality, authentic experiences, and history/scenery overall. Do not care to be exclusively on the tourist trail, if possible. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
5348 posts

Clarity please? Why are you starting in Belfast? Because of the Titanic Museum? I love Belfast and thoroughly enjoyed the Titanic museum merely trying to understand why you are starting off in NI.

Given your "want to see list," I'd take the earliest non stop bus you can from Belfast to Dublin airport.

Get the rental car at the airport. You'll need to look up operating hours of whichever car rental company you do business with. Most of the rental car desks are in the arrivals hall of Terminal 1. This could be a full day out of your remaining 4 or not. Will all depend on drive time willingness and stamina. From Dublin back tracking to New Grange is about a 45 minute journey. Best to book a tour of New Grange in advance to avoid long waits. From New Grange to Rock of Cashel is a two hour drive.

Why Cobh? Titanic again? Personally I'd drop that off the list and spend more time in and around Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula.

You will be traveling in peak tourist season so the wee roads can be over run with tour buses so you'll need to factor that into your travel time and distance equations.

Lastly and I'm sure other frequent posters to the Ireland forum are tired of the suggestion but if you don't have the Seafood Chowder at Mourne's in Belfast you will regret it. The same with having a pint at Foxy John's in Dingle.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you, Claudia. I have wanted to visit Belfast for some time, in part because of the Titanic, in part because of the history, and I didn't see a way it fit better into the itinerary-- we've booked airfare out of Shannon already so I couldn't do the trip in reverse, ending in Belfast. I realize Newgrange is a backtrack, but it looked like it could be worth it and wasn't too far away. We'd overnight in Dublin again, and then head out on the 11th for Cobh via Rock of Cashel... I am sensing it seems to far to try to drive all the way to Dingle that day as well, for 2 nights there, so I'm trying to figure out where, strategically, to stop. If you suggest eliminating Cobh (and yes, Titanic was the primary reason for that stop), would you suggest going straight on to Dingle, or stopping in Killarney, Kinsale, or Kenmare (or other)? Or perhaps scrap Cliffs of Moher and never go further north than Shannon airport area, leaving more time for Kerry area? I appreciate any suggestions.

Posted by
1852 posts

Several comments. You mentioned Newgrange. It is amazing. Have been there twice but both well off season. I believe during tourist season when you will be there, it can be hard to see due to crowding? You have to take the bus to the site from the visitors center so perhaps that is the problem with seeing it during the summer. My second comment is visiting Cobh. If you are planning to go there for the Titanic exhibit, I really suggest you skip this. We were there about a year and half ago and were very disappointed, did not see even one item from the ship. The only thing worthwhile was replica of first and maybe steerage cabins but that was it. The view from St. Colmans church up on the top of the hill was fantastic to view the harbor where the ship was anchored was great but that is about all. If you do,want to go anyway, take the ferry outside of town to get to Kinsale, saves a lot of time. Kinsale was lovely village but our favorite is Dingle, not to be missed. If you go to Dingle and want to see Cliffs, take the ferry from Rosslare-Kilmer, again saving driving time. Coming home from Shannon, be sure to allow time for pre-clearance back to US. Enjoy Ireland.