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Ireland in February!

Hi Everyone!
I've been reading the amazing guidance you've been giving to others here and I really appreciate it. I'm already revising my thoughts about our 6 day trip this February as a result of what you've shared with others. Thinking of cutting things so we can show down and enjoy.
We are flying into and out of Dublin, and our rough plan was Dublin-->Galway-->Cliffs of Moher-->Dingle-->Dublin. Now I'm thinking maybe we should just do Dublin and Dingle, and skip Galway and the cliffs. However, I'm not sure my teenage daughter will be OK with that.
What do you all think?
I'm also not sure yet about renting a car. I sort of want to go without because of the added stress, but I see that the Dublin-->Dingle route is not super accessable by other transport. I tried to find a train and maybe there is one to Tralee, but I am not certain.
I'd love any and all thoughts and recommendations!
Thank you and hope you all are well!

Posted by
5704 posts

Weather in February will be in the 40’s.

Travel time by car is the best way to see Eire with the exception of Dublin. Thus use public transport into Dublin. After seeing the sites, head back to the airport and rent your car.

6 days is a short amount of time and personally I’d not bother with Dublin but you have your itinerary so no need to change it.

Do know that driving times will be longer than what Google Maps or Michelin say and MOST importantly, seeing and experiencing Eire is about slowing down.

The West Coast of Eire is gorgeous but I’m not certain the Cliffs of Mohr are any more impressive than the Kerry Cliffs at Portmagee which are closer to Dingle.

Don’t miss the Gap of Dunloe or Killarney National Park.


Posted by
1980 posts

Good advice from Claudia.
My suggestion is to consider basing yourselves in Killarney rather than Dingle, which would be much more central for explorations around both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle too. Though most here on the forum are not big fans of Killarney during the summer months, basing yourselves there in February is another matter entirely. You can get there from Dublin on the train - only takes about 3.5 hrs. from Dublin thus saving you a bit of the stress of driving. Once there you could rent your car locally for a few days exploring the attractions in the area, including the exquisite Gap of Dunloe and the beautiful Skellig Ring Road and the Kerry Cliffs as Claudia has suggested.
For info, Dingle town and Slea Head drive are only about an hour by car from Killarney.
And good for you in electing to trim down your proposed itinerary to something more manageable and much more enjoyable.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you so much Claudia and Robert! I really appreciate this information. Back to my books and maps to rethink things again!

Posted by
4 posts

Robert are you saying that Killarney may be nicer than Dingle in the winter because it is not on the water and may be less chilly?

Posted by
1980 posts

Certainly not nicer - just more central for use as a base for your 3 or 4 nights exploring the area.
Dingle is everyone's favorite for good reason - it's beautiful. It's just that you can pretty much see what there is to see and do what there is to do in a day. The Slea Head Drive loop from Dingle town is only about 35 miles in length. Even with numerous stops along the way for photo ops, short hikes, and maybe lunch in a tea room it'll only take half a day to complete. It's a bit isolated at the end of the peninsula, so using it as a base would be a little more logistically challenging for explorations further afield by car.
Killarney on the other hand has many more things to keep you occupied in the immediate vicinity (the National Park, Muckross House, etc.). Though most here on the forum criticize it as something of a tourist trap during the high volume summer months, my thinking is that February would probably an exception in your particular case - fewer crowds, less traffic, less hassle in general, etc. And basing yourselves there would provide more alternatives in the event of a bad weather day which you're likely to encounter during a February visit.
Also, what tours are operating that time of year will be operating out of Killarney, so you'd have the option of ditching the car (if driving is a concern) and relying on day trips to tour the ROK, visit Dingle, etc.

No matter how you choose to organize it you'll have a great trip.