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Need 5 day itinerary help

My husband and I are going to Ireland in August, and we have 5 full days, 6 nights. Here's what I was thinking, and I'd love some advice.

Day 1: Arrive Dublin around 5pm, probably just eat and try and get adjusted to local time.
Day 2: Sight seeing in Dublin, night in Dublin
Day 3: Sight seeing in Dublin, night in Dublin
Day 4: Rent car, drive to Rock of Cashel, spending the night in Dingle
Day 5: The Burren? Cliffs of Moher? Spending night at Ballynahinch Castle in Recess
Day 6: Explore around Ballynahinch, arrive Dublin late and just spend the night there as a stopping point until we leave the next morning.

I realize that's a very general plan, but I left it vague so hopefully I can get some advice on what is realistic to do. I feel pretty good about 2 days in Dublin, and the Ballynahinch I definitely want to do - the Castle was once owned by a great great...(lots of great's!) grandfather, so it's a bucket list item for me! Is Cashel a must do? Have I left out anything that is on the way on this route that I should do? Completely open to suggestions, I'm learning from my research that there just isn't enought time to do everything. Should I remove one of the Dublin days to fit in other places? Thanks for any advice you can provide.


Posted by
591 posts

Lots of things to see between Dingle and the Castle but not enough time allowed to stop and see much. I'd cut the 2nd day in Dublin and add a night between Dingle and the castle at 'Doolin', near the Cliffs of Moher. This would give you more time to explore the Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs and the Burren.
The Rock of Cashel would add another hour to your trip from Dublin to Dingle..... not worth it to me, but others would disagree.

Posted by
1827 posts

If you don't have airline tickets yet, suggest you fly into Dublin and out of Shannon. You could see what you want in Dublin in a day and a half and on the second afternoon, head down to Cashel and eventually head towards dingle, maybe staying halfway between Cashel and dingle.

Posted by
57 posts

Thanks so much. Unfortunately we do have our tickets booked - we are flying to Nice afterwards so flying in and out of Dublin was the best option price and time wise.

So now I'm thinking:

Day 1: Arrive Dublin around 5pm, probably just eat and try and get adjusted to local time.
Day 2: Sight seeing in Dublin, night in Dublin
Day 3: Rent car, go to Dingle, do the Slea Head drive
Day 4: The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, spend the night in Doolin
Day 5: (I'll reserach what to see on way from Doolin to Recess), spending night at Ballynahinch Castle in Recess
Day 6: Explore around Ballynahinch, go to Newgrange before arriving in Dublin late and just spend the night there as a stopping point until we leave the next morning.

Sounds like adding the Slea Head drive is a must, and from the pictures I've seen I'd agree.

Sound better? Feasible?

Posted by
199 posts

We were just there this past August. I think a full day in Dublin is enough. Trying to drive from Dublin to Dingle and drive the loop all in one day is too much. We spent two nights in Dingle and spent most of the day driving the loop. That gave us time to walk on the beach, visit the Blasket Island Center, have a nice dinner, and listen to music in the evening.

Posted by
57 posts

I'm hoping the people who have already replied to this will read this and reply again, and/or get new feedback! I'm thinking of changing things up completely and wanted opinions again. If we did 2 nights in Dublin, went to Ballynahinch for the 3rd night, that leaves the 4th and 5th night up for grabs, and now I'm thinking Mayo County and Galway area? It sounds like Dingle is just going too far down if we need to eventually head way back up to Recess for Ballynahinch. Thoughts and suggestions about what is to see and do in those areas, and if that's too much driving still.

Thanks again - I'll stop posting now!

Posted by
9361 posts

Just a few comments.

With such a short time frame, I would save Dingle for another time. Rock of Cashel is one of the iconic sites of Ireland, and it is easily fitted into your drive west. In August, you aren't likely to be successful at seeing Newgrange if you don't arrive until afternoon. August is still peak tourist season, and tour buses often grab all of the available spots on the shuttles. If you want to see it for sure, you need to arrive in the morning.

Posted by
237 posts

As others have said your time is short so don't try to cram in too many things. You haven't really stated what your main interests are but here are some alternatives and ideas.
If you want two days in Dublin you are going to have to sacrifice something on your itinerary. If you do one full day in Dublin you could add a rural day. If you stay both days in Dublin I recommend the Trinity College tour, Christchruch was really striking (don't miss the crypt underneath), the Archeological museum was great and wandering around we found the George’s Arcade which is an enclosed old cast iron market worth a look if you're over there. If you're not an Irish history some of the sights in Dublin will probably disappoint since many are tied to "the troubles" and Ireland's independence struggle and seem less important without context.

The best place to rent a car is the Dublin airport so take the airport bus and get a car there. This puts you north of the city and near the amazing prehistoric sites at Knowth and Newgrange as well as the castle at Trim - seen in Braveheart with a good local tour. But those sites together are the better pat of day on their own. If you trim a day off Dublin these might be doable and then drive to Cashel that night but it would be a long day.

Cashel is good site but very touristy. There is nice ruin of an abbey you can see from the Rock and explore on your own and the castle at Cahir is very close to Cashel and people rave about it. There isn't any real reason to drive all the way to Dingle (3-4 hours from Cashel) just to stay the night there without a day to explore. I would drive to Doolin instead which cuts probably at least an hour off your drive time, several hours off the next day and puts you near the cliffs and other sights you've mentioned.
So maybe drive to Cashel, tour the rock and then to Cahir to see the castle and then to Doolin. The next day see the cliffs and tour the Burren and then the coast road towards Galway and Recess. If you're not interested in really seeing Galway avoid driving through the older section where a lack of street signs, and medieval roads make driving and parking difficult.

You haven't said what your interests or goals are so it's a little hard to recommend specific sights but those are my suggestions.

Have great trip!

Posted by
123 posts

This is what I'd do. I'm mixing it up on you, only because I think this route would give you more of a insight into the area your family is from.
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin
Day 2: Dublin
Day 3: leave Dublin and head for Silgo (this is such a great town, so much to see in this area)
Day 4: leave Silgo and head for Westport. This drive is so fantastic. So much wonderful things to stop off and see.
Day 5: Connemara. Spending the night at Ballynahinch Castle.
Day 6: Drive back to Dublin on the M6

Most tourist only see the southwest area of Ireland and never see the wonders in the northern areas if the Republic of Ireland. If you tried to do the original route you were thinking of, yes you'll see things but always be rushing through it in order to see everything.

Posted by
123 posts

Nancy - ya typo......I have not yet mastered my iPad. It wants to keep changing everything I'm typing into some other word. :-( Apples hate me.