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Seeking Feedback: Proposed Ireland Itinerary

We don't have as much time for this trip as others. Would love comments about this proposed itinerary. TIA!

  • Friday - Depart USA

  • Saturday - Arrive Dublin 1200. Taxi to Dublin. Overnight Dublin. Walking/Siteseeing.

  • Sunday - Pick up car . Drive to Galway. Stay Galway x 2 nights

    • 2.5 hours without stops
    • Overnight Galway
    • Walk around Galway
  • Monday - Galway & Connemara National Park hiking. Overnight Galway.

  • Tuesday - Cliffs of Moher, Overnight Dingle x 2 nights

    • Drive to Liscannor
    • Possible sites along the way
      • Dunguaire Castle
      • The Burren
      • The Celtic Crosses at Kilfenora
    • Hike Liscannor to Cliffs visitor center and back (or take taxi)
    • Drive to Dingle
      • 3 hours
      • Long drive
    • Overnight Dingle
  • Wednesday - Dingle

    • Walking/Hiking/Sightseeing
    • Overnight Dingle
  • Thursday - Dublin x 2 nights

    • 4 hour drive without stops.
    • Drop car at airport. Taxi to Dublin.
    • Afternoon Dublin
    • Overnight Dublin
  • Friday - Dublin site seeing.

  • Saturday - Return to US

Posted by
6619 posts

You might save time and energy on your jet-lagged arrival day by taking an express bus directly from Dublin Airport to Galway, a 2.5-hour ride that will save you the first overnight in Dublin and the drive the next day. You may enjoy the scenery on the bus (coach) and/or fall asleep, but you'll wake up Sunday in Galway, with more time for your Galway-based sightseeing. You should be able to rent a car in Galway and return it to Dublin or DUB without a dropoff charge, or much of one. If you reorganize the following days, like doing the Connemara trip on Sunday instead of Monday, you could get another day in Dublin at the end -- i.e. two full days there instead of just one. Dublin is worth that and more.

The Slea Head drive, a loop west of Dingle, has great coastal scenery, lots of pullouts, and the Gallius Oratory, one of my favorite sights in Ireland. If the Blasket Centre has reopened (it was closed last spring) it would be worth a stop too along the way.

Posted by
7567 posts

For our 2019 trip, we flew in and out of Dublin, and took the direct bus immediately from the Dublin airport to Galway. That worked well, and we even got a needed nap enroute. The bus trip was closer to 4 hours, so I guess it wasn’t an “express,” although it didn’t make milk-run stops along the way. It had a very clean restroom, too. The route did pass through downtown Dublin, so we got a quick view of Dublin on the way. Would a bus help with your first day energy or timing, plus one less day paying for a rental car?

All this allowed us to rent our car from Enterprise in Galway, when we were ready to leave Galway. After touring around Ireland over the next couple weeks, we returned the car at the Enterprise office outside the Dublin airport, and we finished our vacation with a few days in Dublin.

Posted by
1449 posts

I agree with the suggestions above because then you can save Dublin for the end of the itinerary and perhaps add a day. Three consecutive days in Dublin will give you a real taste of the city which is the cultural
center of 🇮🇪 Ireland.

Posted by
1976 posts

Your driving times are looking a bit optimistic. Galway to Dingle is more like 3.5 hours plus - depending on route . Walking from Liscannor to Cliff Visitor Centre is going to take at least two hours to walk there and back. Any reason you are parking at Liscannor rather than the Visitor Centre`? You are also missing the best of the Burren.
Dingle to Dublin is more like 4.5-5 hours plus stops...

Don't underestimate driving times in Ireland. Distances may not look far on the map but can take a lot longer to cover than you might expect. A caravan or camper van on a narrow road, animals or even a funeral (big occasion in Ireland) can completley throw your timetable out.

Posted by
10334 posts

The Blasket Center on Slea Head Drive is open. I was there in August.

I agree with the others that the bus to Galway upon your arrival and picking up your car when you leave there makes the most sense.

Posted by
2873 posts

Another option to consider would be to continue to Dingle on your arrival day by booking the afternoon flight on RyanAir ( ) from Dublin to the Kerry Airport near Killarney, where there are several rental car outlets. Dingle is about an hour's drive from the airport.
A quick look at the schedule shows that the Saturday afternoon flight departs Dublin at 4:00 PM and arrives at 4:55.
Booking a one-way car rental from Kerry and working your way up the west coast to Galway (or Dublin) might ease your logistics a bit.

Posted by
10 posts

I thought I posted a reply but might have forgotten to hit the 'add' button. Thank you much for the replies. I'll look into the Ryan Air and bus options, as well as the rental car in Galway. Those both sound like a better plan.

Apparently the trek from Doolin to Liscannor is closed between Doolin and the Visitor Center. The VC suggested hiking from the VC to Hags Head round trip or from Hags Head to the VC and taking a taxi back to Liscannor if we don't feel like doing the return walk. We do a lot of hiking, so not concerned, but figured we'd leave the option open.

We actually prefer to do a lot of walking--this trip has far too much driving for us. But we are traveling with another couple and they only had 6 days in-country and wanted to see more. I'm going to check the Ryan Air flights as that seems really doable.

Thank you again! Really appreciate the advice!

Posted by
2391 posts

I personally think the first day to wait at airport for flight to Kerry, take the one hour flight then get a car in Kerry and drive over an hour or more is just too much. You really need to figure out how long a day you will have. We start calculating the hours spent traveling when.we leave our house, drive to airport, shuttle from parking lot to airport etc.etc.etc makes for a very long day.. Just our opinion but hope you can consider this especially starting a drive on the wrong side of the road. Galway to me seems the best option.