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Help with Republic of Ireland Itinerary please!!

Hello, my husband and I are going to Ireland in August. We have both already been to Dublin and plan to spend two nights there at the end of the trip with friends who are meeting us there. My question is, is the following itinerary for the remaining days crazy if we want to move at a somewhat leisurely pace and immerse ourselves in the places we visit? We don't want to spend the whole time driving instead of experiencing. And are there any changes you would suggest? Perhaps cut out the days in Cork/Kinsale/Cobh (saving them for another trip in which we fully do the East) and instead spend more time in County Clare?

Thurs: arrive in Dublin, stay near Dublin to recover from redeye flight from USA
Fri: Cork (stay in Cork)
Sat: Kinsale/Cobh (stay in Cork)
Sun: Ring of Kerry (stay in Killarney)
Mon: Dingle Peninsula (stay in Killarney)
Tues: Drive from Killarney to Cliffs of Mohr (stay in Galway City)
Wed: Stay near Connemara and explore surrounding areas
Thursday: Stay near Connemara and explore surrounding areas
Fri-Sun: Dublin

Thank you!!

Posted by
35 posts

Way too busy. You cant drive the ring of Kerry in a day if you start from Cork. Plus, you are missing all of the things in Killarney! I havent been there but I do frequent the TripAdvisor boards and so I know that the posters there always say that its not possible to stay in Cork and drive the RoK in one day. Plus you are leaving out time for Killarney National Park, Muckross House, etc...etc...
Maybe skip Dingle and drive the RoK after your 1st night in Killarney? That would leave your first day to see some sites in Killarney.

If this was me I would probably skip Cork and add a day in Killarney (then maybe you could do Dingle?) and maybe that 2nd Cork night could be an overnight in Clare so you can have the time for the Cliffs and maybe the Burren on your way to Galway.

I've only been to Ireland once in April 2019 and spent 2 nights in Kinvarra Galway, and 4 nights in Fanore Clare. Then my last night near Dublin. I'm going again in July and I plan to fly into Shannon this time and have 3 nights Galway, 3 nights Clifden, 3 nights Westport and then 3 nights near or in Dublin.

Long driving days sort of kill me so I am trying to avoid alot of those.

Posted by
1978 posts

Suggest reversing your order for starters.
Rather than overnighting in Dublin upon arrival, why not catch the bus or train to Galway, check into your accommodation, and pick up your car the next morning? Would save a day and still address your concerns about driving the first day.
Three nights in Galway/Connemara looks fine.
The rest of your plan looks pretty busy to me too. Rather than running yourselves ragged trying to include Dingle, Kerry, and Cork/Kinsale in one gulp, my suggestion would be to delete one (Cork probably) and concentrate on doing justice to the southwest by adding the time there.
Most here consider Killarney to be the biggest tourist trap in Ireland. Better (IMO) to base yourselves in the countryside, half-way between Killarney and Dingle in the vicinity of Castlemaine. You could then unpack once, settle in for 3 or 4 nights, and be within an hour's drive of Killarney (if you must), the Gap of Dunloe, the Skellig Ring Road and the northern half of the ROK, as well as Dingle and Slea Head Drive.
The tour buses start to roll out of Killarney around 9 AM which tends to clog traffic getting in and out of the town. The best strategy we've found to avoid the worst of the traffic & crowds at the more popular attractions is to get an early start every day.
If you'd rather not drive all the way back to Dublin you could drop your car in Killarney or Cork and catch the train back into Dublin.

Posted by
6 posts

Based on these suggestions I have a modified itinerary (may switch the order but that is based on hotel availability).

3 nights in County Kerry
1 night in County Clare
1 night in Galway City
2 nights in Connemara

Or, should I skip the night in Galway city and instead do two nights in County Clare, so that it would look like this?

3 nights in County Kerry
2 nights in County Clare
2 nights in Connemara

We are most interested in scenic countryside and nice small towns but I hear that Galway is a great city so I at least want to spend some time there but I am not sure how much is best/if it requires an overnight. Also if you have thoughts on where to stay in County Clare I am all ears! Thanks again folks!!

Posted by
273 posts

We did not stay in Galway so I can’t comment on that. But we did spend three nights in Lahinch and really enjoyed it. Good base for exploring County Clare. We stayed at Craglea Lodge B&B which we like a lot. Edel is a wonderful hostess https://www.clareireland.net/craglea/

In Connemara we based in Clifden, a good central location for exploring the area. Wished we had spent more time there.

Posted by
6 posts

I thank everyone for their very helpful tips! We ended up settling on:

3 nights County Kerry (outside of Killarney)
1 night County Clare
3 nights Connemara

Of course we wish we had more time in County Clare but we are prioritizing getting to know the places we are most excited about! Thanks again to all, it was hugely helpful!