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March Itinerary

I have been relying on travelers' great insights on this blog, so before I start making reservations wanted to reach out and run the following itinerary by readers. We are so excited to visit this wonderful country!

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin
Day 2: Tour and Stay in Dublin
Day 3: Drive to Doolin area; stay night (visit Cliffs of Moher)
Day 4: Travel around the area; using Doolin as home base (visit Aran Island)
Day 5: Travel to Dingle; travel around area
Day 6: Travel around area; use Dingle as home base
Day 7: Travel to Kenmare; Ring of Kerry
Day 8: Fly out of Shannon

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!

Posted by
3537 posts

Your itin sound vg. It is similiar to what I did. The only unknown is the weather. We had a torrential downpour in dingle and missed a day of sight seeing. But that is ireland.

Posted by
4 posts

thank you! yes, march is probably not the most ideal month to travel but don't want to pass up an opportunity to visit!

Posted by
590 posts

Hi Julie!

We did a very similar trip this spring with just a few more days on our trip. We flew into Shannon airport (our flight also ended up being delayed) and we ended up losing a half day in Doolin, since we got in at night. That left us one full day to explore the area. We did the Cliffs of Moher in the morning and a walking tour of the Burren in the afternoon, and a cruise of the Cliffs in the evening. We did not go to any of the Aran Islands. I wish we would have had one more night in Doolin because we would have loved more time at the Cliffs, more time in the Burren, and a visit to the islands.

We then drove from Doolin to Dingle. We came in on Conor's Pass, which was a lot of fun (some people don't like it) but my husband picked up driving quickly and was comfortable with it. We spent some of the afternoon seeing some of the historical sights that weren't on the outer area of the Slea Head drive and then we spent a quiet evening in town. We made a very full day the next day driving the Slea Head drive, doing some hiking on some of the beautiful coastline and stopping in and seeing the sights (there are a LOT in the area). There is a really neat stop, the Blasket Island Center, that I would also recommend.

The next day we went on to spend 3 nights in Kenmare, and on went our trip...So from my trip perspective, I'll try to give you some insight on yours.

I'm guessing that your Day 3 will be a big day of driving and you may end up wanting to make stops along the way? The Cliffs close down at 6pm in March -- you will definitely want to plan to leave early enough in the day so you can spend a few hours at the exhibit and on the Cliffs. We spent probably 2-3 hours at the Cliffs and I wish we would have had more time, personally. If you enjoy hiking and the outdoors, you may feel the same way.

We didn't make it out onto any of the Aran Islands, but I believe there is an an option for when you sail back from the islands for them to sail under the Cliffs. We took a boat out under the Cliffs and really enjoyed it. I would recommend it if you have time. We also really enjoyed a guided hiking tour in the Burren. There are other historical sights in the area that we didn't have time to see that I think we would have enjoyed. Though, if you are going out to the islands, you will not have time for that though with your current itinerary.

When will you fly out of Shannon? It's a bit of a drive from Kenmare to Shannon and I think it would be nicer to be closer to the airport unless it's a really late flight. You will have to have time to get your rental car dropped and then get checked in for your flight. I'm thinking a few different things here:

Posted by
590 posts

1: Since you will only have one night in Kenmare, I would actually recommend that you consider dropping that from your itinerary and adding that day to the rest of your trip, either Doolin or Dingle. There is a lot to see and do in both Doolin and Dingle areas and I would really investigate what those areas have to offer since you may end up wanting more time there. You could even make your way up to Galway if you wanted to from Doolin.

2: The Ring of Kerry is fantastic but it takes one very full and busy day, especially if you want to make stops along the way (which of course you will!). If you do decide to drive it, I would consider finishing the ROK and overnighting in Killarney. That way you complete the ring and are closer to Shannon. Though the distance between Kenmare and Killarney is short on the map, it is a twisty bit of road and it goes fairly slow.

3: You could also consider the option of not driving the entire ROK and just driving part of it. There are a lot of great things to do and see in the Killarney area like Muckros House and the Ross Castle. We really enjoyed both of those stops and it gives you a break from all the driving. Food for thought, unless you are sharing the driving responsibilities, the driver will get tired. I know my DH did. :)

So...I basically am recommending three different choices for your last day. I am worried that it will be a very, very busy last leg of your trip. A lot depends on when your flight is out to Shannon. Is there anything in particular you wanted to see in Dublin? Since all of your sight seeing is centered on the west coast of Ireland, I would really recommend that you consider flying in and out of Shannon if you haven't bought your tickets. It's super easy to do and it will allow you more time where you want to be and save all that drive time!

Posted by
4 posts

Julie,

Thank you for the fabulous suggestions! I think what we may do is change the first leg of our trip and spend 1 not 2 nights in Dublin. I am curious to visit the city.

Julie