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8 Days in Ireland.. Need help with itinerary..

So i've been grooming my itinerary based on recommendations regarding renting a car and driving to places and the reality of time VS what google tells you.. i'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how i am going to get from the south to the north.. please let me know if you have any suggestions regarding this with my itinerary..

I understand that our trip is relatively heavy on driving, however we are generally the type of travelers who like to see a lot with the anticipation of coming back to the destinations we really loved (This will be my Wife and I 4th trip to Europe in 6 years) There will be 4 of us total, my wife and my parents who are also seasoned travelers.

So.. our current itinerary is as follows:

Sept 2nd - Land in Dublin before noon

Sept 3rd - Day in Dublin

Sept 4th - Leave Dublin mid morning to drive to Killarney, Spend the night in Killarney

Sept 5th - Drive the Dingle Peninsula, leisurely drive around the countryside, make our way to Cork for the night

Sept 6th - Full day in Cork

Sept 7th - Full day in Cork

Sept 8th - Drive to Dublin early AM, take train to Belfast

Sept 9th - Belfast

Sept 10th - Fly from Belfast to Edinburgh

So the pain lies in the fact that there are seemingly no direct flights from Cork to Belfast so it forces us to drive back to Dublin. We are not opposed to leaving the car somewhere else and paying the additional fees, however it seems like there is virtually no where that gets us to the north quicker than Dublin..

Any suggestions regarding this? Should we be doing this route in reverse starting in cork and going the other way? Would it be possible at all to cut a day out of this somewhere, IE. 3 days in Cork is too much/Not enough?

Any input would be fantastic.

Posted by
5225 posts

One question about the driving- in your previous European trips, have you driven on the left side of the road (on purpose 😉)? It may take a bit of getting used to, and you may not be driving quite as fast as you might initially have expected.

But on to flying ... is there a doable flight from Shannon Airport, in the west, to Belfast, which might be preferable to driving all the way to Dublin?

If not, and if you haven’t already booked your flight to Edinburgh, what about rerouting your trip, saving your Dublin time for later in your trip, rather than the first 3 days?

Posted by
1878 posts

Do you already have the flight booked, flying into or out of Shannon would make the most sense. Also Kenmare over Killarney and Kinsale over Cork. Your time is short to cover this much ground, I would consider leaving Belfast for another trip and try flying Shannon to Edinburgh. This might incur a drop fee for the car though.