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Shannon to Dublin in 8 days itinerary help

We’re flying into Shannon and out of Dublin in March 2022 for eight days. Help with our itineraries would be greatly appreciated. We enjoy hiking, nature, sightseeing, pubs, castles. Don’t want much touristy stuff. My initial plan is:

Night 1- Doolin - cliffs, Aran islands (can this be done in a day?)

Nights 2,3- Dingle

Night 4- Cork or Kinsale. Suggestion? My husbands grandparents/ family came from Cork so a day and night in the area is a must.

Night 5- Kilkenny

Night 6- ??

Nights 7,8- Dublin

We have a night that isn’t accounted for- is Kerry a good spot? Anywhere else a good spot? Also, is Galway a better base for the ArannIslands and Cliffs or Moher?

Thank you!!

Posted by
914 posts

Suggest you cut back a bit or you're going to spend a lot of your time driving, checking into lodging, etc. How about picking either Dingle or Cork/Kinsale for 2 nights, double back to the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin for 1 night, then on to Galway for 2 nights, then to Dublin for 3 nights? I haven't been to either Dingle, Cork or Kinsale but have visited the Cliffs, Doolin and the Aran Islands. The Cliffs take about 2 hours and Doolin is fun. The Aran Islands are great but the ferry at Doolin is weather dependent (we got lucky going to Inis Oirr) so I'd go to Galway to ensure you can get out there. Between Doolin and Galway is The Burren with a few castles and great scenery. Ennis, between Shannon Airport and the Cliffs, is also worth a stop. Kilkenny is worthwhile but an outlier. Dublin has interesting sites and a lot of great pubs. Sláinte!

Posted by
364 posts

I'd vote for Kinsale over Cork, unless you prefer big cities. It's in a beautiful location, is easily walkable and boasts a number of nice eateries and B&Bs. Kilkenny, despite its grand old church, comes in second or third to other quaint, coastal towns and villages such as Baltimore and those on the Beara Peninsula.

Posted by
233 posts

We did the Aran Islands from Galway and it was very easy. Although we drove to Rossaveel to catch the ferry to Inishmore I understand that there is a shuttle service in Galway that will take you to the ferry if you'd rather not drive. The ferry from Galway is also less likely to be canceled on account of choppy seas than the ferry from Doolin. A trip to the Aran Islands is really a whole day expedition--I don't think that you should expect to get in other sightseeing on that day.

We loved Kinsale! It's a small town compared to Cork (though Cork is hardly a large metropolitan area itself). It has some very good restaurants (or it did back in 2015) and The Old Presbytery is a lovely B&B. Previous posters have said that there is some good hiking in the area though I have no first-hand knowledge about that. We really enjoyed exploring nearby Charles Fort though.

Posted by
336 posts

It looks like a great trip! A couple of things to keep in mind:

Cork is the name of a city as well as the county it's in. When someone says they (or their ancestors) are from Cork, it may be the city, but it may also be somewhere in County Cork, outside the city. Maybe you can do a bit of further research to pinpoint where your husband's family is from, so you can make your visit most meaningful?

Likewise, Kerry is a county and not a city or town. (Dingle is in County Kerry, and so is Killarney and the Ring of Kerry.)

Depending on how much you want to pack and unpack, you could spend a night near Killarney National Park (after Dingle but before Kinsale/Cork), or stay an extra night in Kilkenny, and visit the Rock of Cashel and similar sights from there.

As for Galway vs. Doolin for visiting the cliffs and islands, it's possible there are more options from Galway since it's a city. Double check that there will be boats going out from Doolin in March.

Have a wonderful time!