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8 Days - Itinerary feedback please!

Touring southern Ireland In March 2016 (I'm aware of temperature and rain concerns) and will be hiring a car. Just looking for some feedback on a rough itinerary I've quickly sketched out.

D1: Arrive Shannon 615 AM. Tour County Clare (Burren, Cliffs, etc). Sleep Limerick.
D2: Dingle Peninsula. Slea Head. Sleep Dingle.
D3: Sleep Dingle
D4: County Cork via Muckross. Sleep Kinsale.
D5: Explore County Cork in AM. Kilkenny via Rock of Cashel. Sleep Kilkenny (Lawcus Farm and Guesthouse sounds great)
D6: More Kilkenny area. Sleep Lawcus again.
D7: Dublin. Drop off Rental. Sleep Dublin
D8: Sleep Dublin.
D9: Flight Dubin to Madrid for continuation of holiday.

Good?

Posted by
593 posts

D1: Is there any reason you are choosing to sleep in Limerick? We stayed in Doolin and loved it. It gives you more time in the area. We did a walking tour with John Connolly in the burren and loved it. www.burrenwalks.com/. The boat ride under the cliffs was also a lot of fun and just hiking along the cliffs was great as well. And, remember that if your flight is delayed (like ours was) you may not have as much time as you originally planned that day.

D2: Depending on where you depart from, Doolin or Limerick, you will spend several hours getting to Dingle. I would plan to drive the full Slea Head on D3.

D4: Muckross is great and you will enjoy it. This area has LOTS of great things to see and do. Do you have no interest in anything besides Muckross? ROK? Or anything around Kenmare/Killarney?

D5: County Cork is huge -- is there anything between Kinsale and Kilkenny that you are wanting to visit in particular? Cahir Castle is not too far away from Rock of Cashel.

We really enjoyed our time in the Kenmare/Killarney area. We also really enjoyed Kilkenny, but I think you are cutting Kenmare/Killarney area way too short. Your first day is ambitious for coming off jet-lag, grabbing a rental car, driving to the sights you want to see AND actually spending any time to see them. Plus you'll be back-tracking to Limerick! That's way too big of a day for your first day, IMO. I would personally suggest considering giving yourself more time/nights on the West coast of Ireland and just driving from Kinsale to Dublin straight through, seeing Rock of Cashel on the way and dropping your car in Dublin. We loved Kilkenny but this seems a little rushed to me and that you are missing a lot of what the West side offers, unless you've seen some of it before.

Posted by
119 posts

To be honest I haven't researched the sites enough to be familiar with all of them (aside from the major ones liek Cashel, Cliffs, etc) so pardon my ignorance haha. Perhaps better to do 2 nights in each County Clare (maybe Doolin?), Dingle, Kenmare, and Dublin. The reason I said 1 night Kenmare area was because I was reading that people weren't huge fans of Killarney. I'd still like to figure out a way to squeeze in Kilkenny if possible but if will be too rushed will do it on return trip.

Posted by
593 posts

Sure! I'd do some research and find out what appeals to you. What's tricky about Ireland is that there is ALWAYS something around the corner that you want to stop and see! For example, when we did the walking tour of the Burren, we ended up seeing a beautiful ruined church from our vantage point and we went and checked it out after our hike. It's called Corcomroe Abbey and it was a great stop. I wanted to see Poulnabrone Dolmen in that same area but we ran out of time...I don't think you'll regret having time in your itinerary to slow down and poke around and stop and see whatever appeals to you.

You said Kinsale in your original post, which is down by Cork. Did you mean Kenmare? That makes a little more sense to me, itinerary-wise. We stayed in Kenmare two nights and Killarney one night. We honestly didn't really spend any time in Killarney itself, but we loved the B&B there, it was the favorite of our trip. We moved there since we were so disappointed in the B&B in Kenmare and we had to change for our own sanity, that's another story.

If you change it up as noted:

D1: Doolin
D2: Doolin
D3: Dingle
D4: Dingle
D5: Kenmare/Killarney
D6: Kenmare/Killarney
D7: Kilkenny
D8: Dublin
D9: Madrid

I'm guessing you want two nights in Dublin still so I would just sit down and prioritize what you want to do in each area and cut to get what you want.

Posted by
119 posts

Definitely don't want to be rushing around. Current thought is 2 nights each in:

Doolin
Dingle
Kenmare
Dublin

Can always come back :)

I just wish I had unlimited time/funds to see it all in one go :)

Posted by
340 posts

When you are in the Kilkenny area, consider seeing Jerpoint Abbey. Definitely get one of the docents to do a guided tour. And if you are seeing the Book of Kells in Dublin, you can swing by the ruins of Kells Priory, which is close by. If you stay at Lawcus (lucky you!) get takeaway one night from the Indian/pizza joint in Thomaston. The Indian food is fab!

Posted by
300 posts

Current thought is 2 nights each in:
Doolin
Dingle
Kenmare
Dublin

Maybe one night in Kenmare and three in Dublin, if you can't stretch one more day into your itinerary. There's more to see in Dublin than you can fit into a day or a day and a half.

Posted by
119 posts

After thinking about this more and doing some reading I've come up with...

D1: Arrive Shannon 615 am; pick up car; make way to Doolin via Ennistymon (check out town, have breakfast; arrive Doolin; power nap, Cliffs of Moher; Sleep Doolin
D2: Explore The Burren (maybe get one of those hiking tours); Sleep Doolin
D3: On road by 9am after breakfast; make way to Dingle Town via 1-2 small towns; Explore Dingle; Sleep Dingle
D4: Slea Head Loop; Sleep Dingle
D5: Early departure; make way to Kenmare via Killarney; drop car off, rent bikes, biks to ferry across Lough Leane and back up to Killarney through Gap of Dunloe; Sleep Kenmare
D6: Ring of Beara (seems more manageable in 1 day than RoK); Sleep Kenmare
D7: Make way to Dublin via Rock of Cashel. Sleep Dublin
D8: Dublin.

Posted by
593 posts

I think the latest itinerary is looking good. I don't think that you will have any regrets having more time where you've allotted it, out west. You can always plan to go back and see more of Dublin on a return trip.

Definitely make sure you are out in town at least one of your nights in Doolin for some great traditional music.

I've heard great things of the Beara peninsula. One stop that caught my eye was the Three Castle Head at Dunlough Bay, you may want to check that out. We did the ROK instead and found it completely manageable, but I think it would be fun to get off the beaten path a bit on the Beara. I'm sure it will be gorgeous. On your way south to the Beara peninsula, keep your eyes open for a stop called the Sheen Valley Heritage Area. It was a fantastic stop with lots of historic things to see, including a ring of standing stones. I loved it.

I have no advice for you on the biking bit -- I do know that the Gap of Dunloe was steep in areas so just make sure you are ready for the intensity/distance/etc of your biking adventure. :)

Posted by
2116 posts

Your new itinerary is excellent. Kilkenny is not worth worrying about, and I would not devote more than a day to Dublin on such a short visit. Hope you have a great trip!