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Ambitious Itinerary?

Hello! Our group of 4 adults (ages 29 & 30) will be visiting Ireland in mid-April 2019. We'll have a rental car upon leaving Dublin. Any comments on the following itinerary? Any suggestions on moderately-priced B&Bs in these cities? Thanks in advance!

  • Day 1 - arrive in Dublin
  • Day 2 - Dublin overnight
  • Day 3 - drive to Cliffs of Moher, stay overnight in Ennis
  • Day 4 - drive to Dingle, stay overnight
  • Day 5 - drive to Rock of Cashel, overnight in Kilkenny
  • Day 6 - Kilkenny, Glendalough, drive to Dublin, stay overnight
  • Day 7 - flight home
Posted by
556 posts

Far too much driving, and all those one night stays don't allow you much time to actually see anything. The day you arrive in Dublin you probably won't see too much of the city as by the time you get out of the airport and to your hotel there may not be much of the day left, and the one day you have for Dublin isn't a lot. Then the next day you are going to hop in a car and drive to the other side of the country just to see the cliffs. Then a long drive to Dingle just to stay one night won't give you much time to actually drive the peninsula and take in the scenery. The rest of you plan is more of the same long drives to see one thing. You would have to get very early starts every morning (like 7am early), but B&B don't always have breakfast out at 7am (some places I have stayed didn't have breakfast until 9am). You will end up spending more time driving to a location than you will spend at the location. My suggestion would be to narrow your focus and cut down on the driving. Spend another night in Dublin and use one day to see the city, and another day to do a guided day trip to Newgrange before you get the car. Once you have the car stay on the east side of the country and do a small loop tour from Dublin down to Kinsale and back doing shorter drives and spending more time at the places you stop.

Posted by
359 posts

Second the above advice. Know the temptation is to cram as much as possible in but all you will really see is the inside of a car and a few tourist sights at high speed at best. The goal should be to experience Ireland not try the impossible task of seeing Ireland.

Avoid one night stays, linger in areas and don't worry about what you are "missing" but soak in what you do see. Less is WAY more in Ireland. An ambitious and probably still overloaded yet realistic itinerary is 2-3 nights in Dublin exploring its sights and then day trips to Newgrange and/or the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough. Then if you want to see the West go to a town like Castlemaine for 2-3 nights. From there it's easy to do a day drive of Dingle and the next day a good chunk of the Ring of Kerry....including the FAR FAR more beautiful Cliffs of Kerry ( though beautiful Moher is nowhere near the prettiest cliffs in Ireland and are tourist overrun). You can easily fill a month let alone 2-3 days based in a spot like Castlemaine......Dingle, the ROK/Skellig Ring, the sights near Killarney.

There are many variations of this plan.... but bottom line enjoy Ireland, it's history, scenery and INCREDIBLE people.....don't race around driving many hours each day ...... pick a couple spots and explore leisurely from there. It is so worth it.

Posted by
5401 posts

I agree, too many one-night-stands - in fact, that's all you've got.

I tend to travel fast (way too fast for most folks here) and this looks too fast even for me. The problem you're going to have is that your destinations are separated by a full day driving. You spend all your time driving to somewhere, you get there at dinner time, you eat, sleep, then get up and move on...you'll have no chance to spend time in any place other than short leg-stretch stops as you drive from one stop to another.

Start by being honest with yourself - you're engaging in some willful self-deception above...you say "Day 1... through Day 7". That's nonsense. You have just FIVE days in Ireland, so stop kidding yourself by referring to "Day 7".

With just 5 days to work with, you need to limit your itinerary, and avoid spending most of every day in a car and never actually being anywhere. I'd either stick to Dublin as your base and do a couple day-trips, or pick Dublin plus one other location for a couple nights. Don't think you really have enough time for the west coast stuff.

Posted by
2926 posts

I agree with the others. Your goal is to experience Ireland, not the interior of a car, is that right?

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all the feedback! I’ve modified the itinerary to have three nights in Dublin and four nights in Killarney. We’ll do day trips from Killarney to Dingle and the Ring of Kerry.

Posted by
2195 posts

One suggestion: consider staying somewhere outside Killarney, which can be quite crowded even in April. When the tour buses start to roll in the morning it can make it a real pain just trying to get out of town. Better (IMO) to consider staying in the vicinity of Castlemain or Glenbeigh, from which you'll be a bit more strategically located for easy explorations of the ROK, the Gap of Dunloe, the National Park, Valencia Island, and Dingle without the hassle of fighting traffic and tour buses trying to get in and out of Killarney.

Posted by
359 posts

Just wanted to reinforce Robert's always excellent advice. Avoid Killarney. Rick Steve's has it among the top ten tourist traps in all Europe. It's very busy, tourist overrun and not representative of wild magical Ireland. Castlemaine we loved staying in and is super convenient to everything in that area. You'll get far more exposure to Ireland and its people in a place like that.

Have a great trip !