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Is this enough time in Killarney?

We are still planning our trip to Ireland....thanks to Covid I have more time to plan. Its now grown to 34 days in total.

We have a section that I worry is not enough time.

We leave Kinsale and take our time and drive to Killarney and see the city after checking in. The next day is a stop in Kenmare and drive the ring of Kerry. The next day is Ross Castle and Killarney National park. and we leave for Dingle the next day......

We are not hikers. We are driving and have my 76 year old mom with us. We love scenic drives and pretty little towns with cute shops.

Is this enough time? Or should we add a day? We have the next morning when we could add a stop or see something before we drive to Dingle. Please let me know your thoughts.

I really appreciate this. By time Covid lets us go, I want to be COMPLETELY prepared.

Posted by
365 posts

Keep in mind that Killarney is a very touristy town catering to those traveling by bus in large groups, of which there can be many. It's certainly attractive enough with a variety of shops, etc. to see, but I'd give it but one day and one night at most. The one pub there I make the rookie mistake of patronizing on my first trip that draws the bus crowds features nightly group singalongs of the tired, old familiar Irish tunes (Danny Boy, etc.). Lively but, well, shopworn and loud.

If you want to experience some genuine Irish culture up close, then go to pubs with informal "trad" (traditional) music sessions at night, starting around 9:30 pm. You can have a good dinner (pub grub) beforehand, all while scoring a prime table, ready for the music to begin. Look for sandwich boards out front announcing "Traditional Music Tonight" or something similar. Trad is soothing and finger-tapping enjoyable, as well as a great way to meet the locals. Most pubs across Ireland host sessions most every summer evening.

In lieu of Killarney then, spend your time in pleasant, vibrant Dingle town (two or three nights - with numerous options for trad) and on the peninsula, where you'll derive much more from the pre-historic beehive huts, a famine cemetery or two, settlements dotting the far western coast and fantastic scenery. A ferry runs from Dunquin at the peninsula's western end to the Blasket Islands, and another service offers various tours from Dingle town. Check them out here:

[https://dingleboattours.com/][1]

https://www.blasketisland.com/

I hope your time in Killarney National Park includes the Gap of Dunloe and Moll's Gap, both offering magnificent views and scenery.

Slainte!

Posted by
754 posts

Thanks David....

We are not Pub People.... Since I'm allergic to alcohol we tend to eat and then clear out when the groups get in. We probably won't do more than 2 pub nights in our whole month stay. I was more worried about the time to see the sights. For those you mentioned, should I add time to see them or do you think I have enough time in my itinerary ?

We head to Dingle after this stop and have 4 full days and nights there.

I appreciate the info. I can't wait.

Posted by
365 posts

I'm sorry to hear you'll miss one of the most fun experiences travelers can have in Ireland. Alternatively, you'll likely come across occasional street buskers, but it's not the same as trad in a pub.

The distances you describe are rather short and sound quite doable. Are you spending those four nights in Dingle town or on the Peninsula as a whole?

Posted by
754 posts

David we will do a few nights at the Pubs to get a feel for it but not many. We will be staying just outside of Dingle town and traveling all over the area to see the sights. One day in Dingle is scheduled rest day and laundry with a restaurant supper and shopping.

Posted by
9 posts

You don’t have to drink in a pub. I had tea, had a delicious meal and listened to some great music. I also loved staying in Kenmare. I would definitely add a day or two or three.

Drive through Bantry and stop at: https://www.bantryhouse.com/
And then have lunch at : https://thefishkitchen.ie/
* It was one of the best meals that we had in Ireland.

We stopped at a great pottery place while doing the drive around the Dingle peninsula.
https://louismulcahy.com/

Have a great time.

Posted by
821 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,

Your first responder is correct. Killarney is a heavy tourist town. I would skip this place unless you need a "Kiss me, I'm Irish" T-shirt. And now onto the Ring of Kerry. The early rail service of Dublin to Killarney turned the Ring in to a 'special' place. Kerry built roads for tourists and to this day is included in organized tours as the other two peninsulas' roads are too small for big busses. The tall hedges along the Kerry's road around the ring make viewing the scenery difficult unless you are in a tall bus with a side seat. Dingle has gotten popular and for good reason. It will feel crowded as the roads are narrow and parking is sparse. Don't skip Conor Pass.

The next three are worth a visit. Beara Peninsula is smaller, I would make sure to see it. Gougane Barra is a polished site that oozes peace and spirituality. The Black Valley near the Gap of Dunloe.

Rather than Killarney...Kenmare, Bantry, Glengarrif, not Tralee.

I congratulate you on how many days you are going to be there. I am envious. A warning to you about 30+ days of travel. Moving every day or even every other day gets old quickly. See if you can find a central spot for 4 days or more. The time saved by not having to pack and unpack everyday can be used to drive out a different spoke each day to new territory. A repeat to a good restaurant also slows things down for a weary traveler.

Enjoy.
wayne inWI

Posted by
754 posts

Thanks Wayne.... Absolutely. We plan on most stop being 3-4 or 5 days long. We did 36 days in the UK in 2017 and though we had lots of 2 and 3 night stays as well as some 1 night stays, we thought they were a little short. I prefer 4-5 nights somewhere and doing day trips.

we have stops as follows with daily side trips.
4 in Dublin
5 in Kilkenney
3 in Kinsale
3 in Killarney area
4 in Dingle
3 in Galway
2 in Clifden
2 near Slieve League (not sure where yet)
4 in Portrush
and 2 in Trim
+ 2 travel days

Posted by
9 posts

We just got back from spending 3 weeks in Ireland.

We spent 2 nights in Clifden. I loved that area. I could have spent more time there. The town was cute, walkable and friendly.

We also visited Killary Sheep Farm. Loved visiting with the owner, Tom Nee. The farm is located on the slopes of the Killary Fjord and has been in Tom's family for 5 generations. Tom gave us insight into the current situation with small sheep farms in Ireland, had Holly (his Border Collie) round up about 30 sheep (she drove them through paddocks along the fjord), helped us hand shear a sheep, let us feed a baby sheep and introduced us to Jesse's (Holly's mom) two day old pups.

Then we drove through the Connemara National Park. Absolutely beautiful scenery.

I do wish we could have spent another day there exploring the coastal area. Two nights was not enough time to explore the stunning area.

Have a great time! You will love it!

Posted by
754 posts

Barbara that sounds like fun, especially the dog. I unfortunately, am deadly allergic to wool. I would love to see it and I think sheep are so darn cute but i can't be anywhere near wool. I wonder how much benadryl I would need ? LOL

Posted by
260 posts

Killarney is touristy as all here have suggested - but depending upon when you visit that can be a good thing. We visited in March (pre-pandemic) and the town had the virtue of all the transport links, pubs/restaurants and hotels of a busy summer time destination without any of the crowds or intensity. At the right time of year, it can be a very good home base for lots of great scenery and places to visit (including Killarney National Park, Muckross House, Gap of Dunloe, etc.) all of which sound like they'd be exactly what you're looking for. There's lots to do in the immediate area for sure.

I'd add a day if it's off-season, and consider avoiding (based on others' comments) at peak or even shoulder season.

Posted by
754 posts

Steve, great advice.

We are planning on being there the last week of October to maybe the first week of November depending on flights.