Please sign in to post.

Itinerary check!

We're taking a family vacation to Ireland in February. My husband has visited several times before for work and pleasure, but it's the first time for the rest of us. We've traveled extensively in Europe prior to this trip.

What about our itinerary? Any major changes we should make?

Day 1: arrive in Dublin, drive to Northern Ireland (4 nights total in N.I.)
Days 2-4: Belfast, Antrim Coast, Derry, Donegal
Days 5-6: Burren, Cliffs of Moher, etc. (2 nights)
Days 7-8: Dingle (2 nights)
Day 9: Kenmare and Ring of Kerry (1 night)
Days 10-11: Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel, etc. (2 nights)
Days 12-15: Dublin (3 nights)

It's a good bit of driving, but we've already knocked out Connemara and the Cobh/Kinsale area due to lots of car time and too many one-nighters.

Suggestions? Northern Ireland and Dublin are fairly inflexible.

Posted by
1994 posts

Suggest you look at one of the online driving time estimators and then add a 25-40% fudge factor (depending on weather, type of road, and your driving aggressiveness/adventurousness). I think I used one by Michelin when I planned. Driving in Ireland will, on average, take longer than you expect.

That looks like a lot of territory to cover, particularly with winter weather and short days. In the same number of days, in late May (better weather, longer days), we did the trip similar to the one you outline MINUS Dublin and N Ireland. (Added a couple of extra days in Kerry, for family, and 2 days for specific monastic sites) I'd suggest you calculate how much daytime you'll have left after you drive between destinations.

Finally, particularly in winter, it would be good to have alternate activities, in case the weather is particularly wretched. I got a guide to scenic drives that listed alternate indoor activities in each area. It might have been an Eyewitness guide.

Posted by
135 posts


as a previous poster has observed, the weather in February throughout Ireland is likely to be poor - almost certainly very wet on many days; cool if not cold; and with a potential for frost or even occasional snow in some of the higher areas. It also gets light quite late and dark early. Bearing this in mind, you should try not to make too many long drives, and try to avoid driving too much after 5pm.

As to your itinerary, the distance between Donegal and the Burren is quite a drive, so you might want to reconsider that a little. other than that it looks do-able, but again, bear the weather in mind - most of those places need to be appreciated outdoors, so you should bring appropriate clothing, especially to guard against rain and wind!