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A month in Ireland

My daughter & I will be spending a month touring Ireland May 2018. Other than 5(ish) nights in Cork upon our arrival via Dublin, we would like to "wing-it" with a few destinations pre-planned. I would appreciated feedback on our tentative "loose" intinerary.
- arrive Dublin May 3rd and train to Cork for 4-5 nights (walk, bike, public transport while in here)
-rent a vehicle in Cork and drive to Londonderry via ...Killarney, Limerick, Killaloe, Portumna, Galway, Sligo...seeing the sights along the way and staying overnight wherever feels right
-train from Londonderry to Belfast
-4(ish) days in Belfast
-train to Dublin for our last 5(ish) days before flying back to Canada on May 29th

Again, this is the first draft of our loose itinerary and appreciate any thoughts, ideas, comments about our plans.

Much appreciated:)

Posted by
3048 posts

Lucky you, a whole month!

Is there a reason why you don't want to do your longer Dublin stint (5-ish days in Dublin) at the beginning of your stay? If you have not been to Ireland before, it seems like Dublin is a good introduction to the country and a good place to let the jetlag wear off. Flying in and then getting right on a fairly long train ride to Cork seems kind of exhausting.

Since you'll be driving to Londonderry, why not include some destinations in Donegal? It is less touristed than many other parts of Ireland but gets great reviews from those who do go.

While you're in Belfast, consider a day (half-day) trip to Mount Stewart, seat of the Vane-Tempest-Stewart family. There's an interesting biography of Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry

In May the days are long and the temperatures relatively mild -- should be a wonderful trip!

Posted by
238 posts

A whole month--lucky you!! Are you planning to rent a car in Cork and drop it off in Derry? If so, remember that Derry is in Northern Ireland, a separate country from the Republic, so there may be a substantial charge for this.

Posted by
9 posts


Just had a quick look at your itinerary, looks great but I would amend it slightly. I would def recommend longer in Dublin initially, so much to see and do here. If you are making your way from the bottom of the country to the top, I would recommend that you take in as much of the Wild Atlantic way as possible - so go from Kerry. It's amazing and one of the best things the country has to offer. Unless you have commitments to go up the centre of the country, WAW has to be the preferred route!


Posted by
21 posts

Thanx for the great info and advise. We have a commitment in Cork on the 6th, plan was to get there and settled until the 7th. Due to advise given here, we will now consider staying in Dublin upon arrival for a couple days before heading to Cork. The last of our trip will in Dublin... 5ish days...but again, other than the concert in Cork on the 6th, nothing is written in stone🙂

Suzanne & Shea

Posted by
189 posts

We rented a house on the Dingle Peninsula, 3 weeks one time and 2 weeks another. I suggest the Dingle Peninsula drive described in the tour books, drive over the Conner Pass on a nice day, Cliffs of Mohr walking to the south point, carriage/boat ride at Gap of Dunloe, drive thru Kilarney Park stopping to enjoy the views. If you can take the trip out to the Skelligs. We aren't big city folk so an afternoon in Dublin before we flew out was plenty for us.

My thought is don't spend a month bouncing from one place to another every day or so checking off the sights like you are on a tour. Settle down in an area and enjoy it then move on to another area. Don't be a slave to a rigid over booked time table. Our trips are typically a month long. We like to go to an area settle in learn the restaurants, markets etc and take day trips to the places we are interested in. My suggestions, above, are from our trips to the Dingle Peninsula. We rented a house near Castlegreggory and explored up north to the Cliffs of M/Burrans(sp), south to Garinish Island and Cork. Some days it will be rainy all day, it is Ireland after all, just relax and read a book, go shopping, go out to dinner and the next day will likely be sunny and bright.

Sorry for the long rant. Have fun it'll be the trip of a life time.

Posted by
257 posts

Killarney is a good base for touring the Muckross House and Traditional Farms and the Gap of Dunloe. You could also drive the Ring of Kerry from there.

I’m not familiar with the Limerick, Killaloe, Portumna route, and you may have interests that take you that route, but like others, I would encourage you to spend a few days on the coast, either the Ring of Kerry or Dingle, while on the way from Killarney to Galway.

The day tour from Galway to Inishmore is well worth it

From Galway, I spent a night in Westport (good pubs for music) before driving to Sligo.

As a W.B. Yeats fan, I enjoyed my stay in Sligo, and drove from there to Londonderry by way of Boa Island to see the Janus Man. It’s a bit out of the way, but interesting if you enjoy ancient history. Then I stopped in the Ulster American Folk Park. If you enjoy history, it’s well done.

The murals in Londonderry are impressive, and there are good walking tours that provide background into the history of that time.