Ireland 2015 5/22 - 5/31 for the first time: itinerary help.

Hello Everyone,

Please see our tentative itinerary for a 10 day trip to Ireland. Is this a good route or should we make some changes?

Day 1: Arrive in Shannon at 6am, drive to Galway and stop at Cliffs of Moher on the way

Day 2: Drive to Clifden for the day or Stay in Galway

Day 3: Drive to Dingle leaving early in morning

Day 4: Dingle all day

Day 5: Drive to Kinsale and stop at the Muckross Abbey on the way

Day 6: Drive to Kilkenny and stop at Rock of Cashel on the way

Day 7: Drive to Dublin

Day 8: Dublin

Day 9: Dublin

Day 10: Flight home in the morning

Posted by Dave
Ventura, CA, USA
901 posts

You've got a lot of ground to cover from Galway to Dingle, and a lot of great scenery on the way that you won't want to fly through-not to mention smaller roads that won't allow you to fly. It's a solid three hours+ without stops, and you won't have much time in Dingle. I suggest minimum two nights in Dingle.

Edit-I re-read your post and see you have two nights for Dingle! I would simply encourage you to take time along the way, don't try to fit too much in. We loved Killarney National Park, it's worth a half day anyway.

Posted by Josh
Spokane, WA
42 posts

Planning our first trip to Ireland too! Looks like we may only miss you by a week or two. As we've never been there before feel free to disregard my advice if it's completely off base. I just think days 5 & 6 will be a lot of slow driving for only a few hours in each place. I ONLY say this because we chose to cut Kinsale from our itinerary so we could enjoy more time elsewhere. It's a bit of a detour for only a 12-18 hour stay. Dingle - Muckross House - Rock of Cashel - Kilkenny would (I'm assuming) be an ambitious day itself, but it would give you an extra night somewhere else. Just a thought. Have fun!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8278 posts

The Dingle-Killarney-Cashel-Kilkenny drive that the previous poster suggested would be about five hours with no stops. But, of course, you will want to stop at Muckross House and Rock of Cashel. It can be done, but would leave you little time to see anything in Kilkenny. Dingle-Kinsale would be not quite four hours. Allowing a stop at Muckross House, you could still get to Kinsale in time to see some things. Then the next day's drive, Kinsale-Kilkenny via Cashel, would be about 3.5 hours (plus time to stop at the Rock of Cashel). That day would also allow you to stop in Cahir to see the castle there before you get to Cashel. It looks like you have paced things pretty nicely as you have it.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
237 posts

Many people have commented on the later portion of your trip but looking at your early itinerary and my question is "Why Galway?" Is there something in Galway that you're really burning to see or do? It just seems like a lot of driving to go north all the way to Galway to come all the way back to Dingle the next day. I've done the drive from Galway with some Burren and the cliffs and stopped in Tralee rather than push all the way to Dingle and that was a full day.

What would you think of
Day 1 : Airport, Cliffs and then south to Dingle (take the ferry at Kilmer it's easy)
Day 2: Dingle
Day 3: Dingle
and then your itinerary from here. I would then either pad out your current itinerary by an extra day in the south or go Kilkenny to Galway and then onto Dublin the next day if you're determined to see it.

I assume you're actually heading to Dublin airport and returning your car and then taking the air porter bus into the city. Buy a roundtrip ticket and use the return on the way back in the morning. You don't need or want a car in Dublin.

My $.02, have a great trip,
=Tod

Posted by Charlene
Gilbert, AZ
10 posts

We just spent a few weeks in Ireland this past May. The highlights for us:

Dingle - two nights are a must to enjoy the town and drive the peninsula. This is by far the most beautiful part of Ireland. Castlewood House is a great place to stay; about a 10 minute walk to the center of town.

Rock of Cashel - another must see - especially nice if you have a misty rain!

Kilkenny - great spot, be aware that St. Francis Abbey is closed and the Smithwick brewery has been moved to Dublin.

I would pass on Galway unless you have a particular reason to go. It is basically a college town.

Most important….visit as many pubs as you can! The people, food and entertainment are fantastic.

Posted by Andrea
Spokane Valley, WA, USA
34 posts

I would suggest reversing your itinerary. Shannon is a terrific airport to fly OUT of because you go through US customs at the airport...no forms on the plane, no immigration lines, no collecting and re-checking your luggage when you land in the US. Also, I don't know the travel times of your town changes, but non-motorways are narrow, winding and slow in my experience (between Shannon and Doolin by the Cliffs) so make sure you are allowing plenty of time--you won't go 100 miles in 1 1 /2 hours! Also, Kilkenny is a great area and fun town (one of my favorites from my limited exposure) so I'd allow time there.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8278 posts

You will be better off landing in Shannon. If you have never driven on the other side of the road before, it's much easier to adapt at Shannon. It is a small airport out in the country. You can go miles before encountering traffic. In Dublin, the airport is on a very busy multi-lane street. Dublin also has US Customs before you get to your gate.