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8 days in and out of Shannon airport.

We are traveling to Ireland in October. We are a family of four with two children age 8. We also have a friend joining us, making us a group of 5 total. This is the itinerary I have come up with. Haven't booked anything as of yet. Please let me know your opinions. I know we can't see it all and do it all but we want to make the most of our trip. But I also don't want an overly aggressive schedule. I'm hoping to strike a balance. I'm also including the B&Bs we are considering. The drive times listed are from google maps. I understand we need to add about 25% to the time to adjust for winding roads.

Day 1. Arrive Shannon airport 820am.

Bunratty castle-11 min drive. Allow 2 hours to visit.

Quin Abbey-13 min drive. Allow 30-60 min to visit.

Thor Baylee Years Tower-34 min drive. Allow 30-60 min to visit.

Galway City-43 min drive. Sunrise Lodge. Staying two nights.

(If we are tired we will just make Bunratty castle our priority. Everything else for Day 1 is only if we feel like stopping as it's all either close or on the route to Galway City)

Day 2. (Destination Connemara National Park)

Spiddal-27 minute drive. . Allow 1 hour.

Clifden-1 hour 8 min drive. Allow 1.5 hours for lunch

Connemara Nationa Park-16 min drive. Allow 4 hours.

Kylemoore Abbey-8 min drive. Allow 2 hours.

Return to Galway City 1 hour 21 min drive.

Day 3 (Destinrion Doolin)

Doolin-1 hour 37 min. But possibly stop at Burran in route (61 min drive from G.C.)

Cliffs of Moher. Allow 2 hour visit.

Doolin Pubs.

Staying Doll's Cottage one night.

Day 3 (Destination Kenmare)

Visit Cliffs of Moher again before leaving area-maybe drive to see southern part of cliffs.

2 possible routes. Option 1. Drive the coast and take the ferry. Google says 3 hours 48 min. But not much to see in route.

Option 2 Drive from Doolin to Kenmare via Limerick. 3 hour 9 min. Visit King Johns Castle and have lunch in Limerick.

(Forums say that the ferry saves time but not according g to Google maps?)

Once in the area if everyone is up for it and time allows visit Muckross House in route to Kenmare

Arrive Kenmare. Staying Rockcrest House 2 nights.

Day 4 (destination Killarney National Park)

Killarney-40 min drive. Renting bikes and tagalongs for the children. Bike in boat tour of Gap of Dunloe. Boat tour is 90 min. Allow 2-3 hours to bike the gap and return to Killarney. Visit Muckross House and Torc waterfall after returning bikes.

Return Kenmare-40 min drive.

Day 5 (destination Dingle via Ring of Kerry)

Ring of Kerry. Making stops and exploring as we feel up for it. I haven't researched family hikes here yet but we plan to take our time. Valentina Island for sure. Once hitting the northern part of the ring around Killorglin we drive to Dingle. Stay 2 nights. Pax House B&B.

Google maps says Kenmare to Valentina Island to Dingle 3 hours 25 min. We are planning lots of stops and allowing the entire day. We realize this isn't a Point A to Point B drive but the drive IS part of the experience. I also know the recommendation is to drive th ROC anti clockwise but we can't do that in order to end up in Dingle.

Day 6 Dingle. Relax. Drive the Dingle Pennisula possibly or just enjoy the town and the waterfront.

Day 7. Return to Shannon airport. Departing 3:40pm

Adare-1 hour 53 min drive. Allow an hour or two

Shannon airport-33 min drive.

If driving straight to airport 2hour 23 min drive. We will allow lots of extra time for airport

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Honestly, I would plan nothing for day 1. I would drive to Galway from Shannon and try and get a hotel with pool so that the kids can swim and take it easy. Between not sleeping on the plane and the time change, my kids were zombies on day 1 ( they are 11 and 8)
Bunratty was great fun and I would want to visit it when they are not exhausted

You won't need 2 hours for Kylemore Abbey. We were done in less than 1 hour. The part o the Abbey that you can visit id very limited. Still worth the drive though

Are you allowing any time for Galway itself? We really enjoyed the town. There is a great little arcade for kids by the quay.

Once you are in the park, I would bike over Muckross House and Torc water fall. We did this and it was great. The bike rental place will give you a chain to look your bikes.

We drove the ROK clockwise and were fine... don't worry about that at all

have fun!