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7 Day Itinerary help...are we crazy?!

My wife and I will be traveling to Ireland (flying in and out of Dublin) March 31st-April 7th. I know there are a lot of itineraries posted on this forum but really looking to get specific help as I cannot find one that is like ours (which is why I'm thinking we are crazy). We are in our 30's and have experience traveling to Europe but this is our first time doing a self-drive tour. Here is our TENTATIVE plan:
Day 1: Spend afternoon in Dublin, stay the night in Dublin
Day 2: Drive to Kilkenny, on the way stop to see Rock of Cashel
Day 3: Depart Kilkenny to Ring of Kerry, after doing the Ring of Kerry drive, spend the night in Dingle
Day 4: Full day/night in Dingle
Day 5: Drive to Cliffs of Moher, spend night in either Doolin or Galway
Day 6: Galway
Day 7: Drive to Dublin, spend night in Dublin
Day 8: Fly back to the States.

Any help, feedback, or guidance is much appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by
6578 posts

If at all possible, fly home from Shannon. It's quite a long drive from SW Ireland to Dublin.

Posted by
5099 posts

Crazy? Maybe.

I think your itin is very, very tight, but doable (though just barely). You need to keep in mind that you will be spending a large part of most days in the car. Also, drive times are probably longer than you expect, due to small, winding roads in the west (where you're headed).

Early April will probably have at least some (maybe a lot of) challenging weather, and days that are not terribly long.

I"m planning a trip to (mostly/roughly) the same areas next summer (better weather and long days, but more tourists). My trip is a little longer than yours (and we're going counterclockwise, opposite sequence as yours). We decided to blow through Dublin upon arrival (our flight arrives fairly early in the day) and take a bus or train straight to Galway (not because we don't think Dublin is worth some time, but we figure we will by flying to Europe via Dublin again, and this trip we're focused on the west). We are also going to head back to Dublin from Kilkenny via train. By doing that (not driving to/from Dublin, not spending our arrival day in Dublin) I figure it saves us 1-2 days we can spend elsewhere. If your flight arrival time is early in the day (common for Aer Lingus US flights) you might also consider pressing on from Dublin to your first actual destination -- by train if possible (don't drive after a redeye) -- which effectively "buys" you another day (admittedly at the expense of wandering around Dublin upon arrival, when you're probably exhausted).

Posted by
3 posts

FWIW, re Day 3.

When we did the ring of Kerry, we drove opposite the way the buses have to go to avoid getting stuck behind them. There were very few places on the ring road where you have enough room to pass a bus.

Also, we stayed at The Lake Hotel one night. Excellent, but a bit pricier than some others we considered. Wonderful after dinner lounge with live local music when we were there.

This was July, and still needed winter jackets, still rainy a lot.

Posted by
3 posts


Do you think it would be possible to drive the Ring of Kerry and still make it to Dingle in the late afternoon?

Posted by
622 posts

If I understand your itinerary, you plan on leaving Kilkenny, drive the RoK and end in Dingle in one day at the end of March. I suppose it’s doable if you left Kilkenny at daybreak and didn’t stop. You probably wouldn’t make it to Dingle town in the daylight. And if you are driving the Wild Atlantic Way, there might be some white knuckle driving at night. If you spent the night in Killorglin, for example, and drove to Dingle the next day you might have a better experience. But if I were you, I would pick either Dingle or Kerry and not try to do both.