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trying to figure out transportation & tours


I have a few questions, any guidance is appreciated! Please note, to prevent bickering, stress, and anxiety, we (my husband & I) will not be renting a car. I know that driving on the left in an unfamiliar county will cause undo stress. We fully realize that not renting a car will be more challenging logistically, but renting one would be hell ;)

  1. We fly into Dublin and are heading directly to Cork, ... then Kinsale. Is it better to try to get a bus right from the airport to Cork or should we take a bus into the city center and then take the train to Cork?

  2. Any suggestions on how to get from Kinsale to Dingle?

  3. Any suggestions on a smaller tour group that does the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Slea Head... one that doesn't cost an arm & a leg?

  4. Any suggestions on a smaller tour group that goes from Dingle to Galway by way of the Cliffs of Moher?

  5. Any recommendations of tour companies that do day trips to the Aran Island and then the boat ride by the Cliffs of Moher? I saw a YouTube video on it, but there was no mention of the tour company.

  6. From Galway we're heading to Belfast. Should we take the train from Galway to Dublin & then another train up to Belfast, or is there a bus that goes from Galway to Belfast?

Any guidance is appreciated!!! Thank you!

Posted by
490 posts

We always rent a car, and although I enjoy driving in Ireland, my wife finds it stressful. Luckily, she knits.
The following is gleaned from other forum threads and a friend's experience.

1) If you're flying thru London, you could fly directly to Cork. The buses in Ireland are pretty nice, often looking more like airplanes (USB port, fresh air, comfortable). Google Maps will show you the best way.

2) Regular bus service

3,4,5) Look at TripAdvisor, as I always see tour package links when I'm poking around their website.

5) Doolin Ferry does all three islands and the cliffs in various combinations. The weather doesn't always cooperate as they use medium sized boats.

6) A friend recently traveled from Belfast to Galway, and she decided to overnight in Cavan, so I think the answer is "No, there are no direct routes". Again, Google Maps.

Posted by
1589 posts

Have a look at Paddywagon tours who get good reviews on Trip Advisor. They offer day trips from Cork or Killarney that cover some of the areas you want to visit.

Alternatively, Rabbies (who also get very good reviews on Trip Advisaor and also on the Scottish forum here) offer a series of short tours from Dublin. May be check these out?

Posted by
749 posts

You do not say how much time you have, but I did a three week trip several years ago using a bus/train pass and then took several day trips to see the sights . I started in Dublin for a few days, then took the train to Killarney. From there I did guided day trips to Dingle and the Gap of Dunloe. Then I took the train to Cork and a bus to Kinsale for a couple nights. From Kinsale I took the bus back to Cork and then the train to Kilkenny for a couple nights. Then Kilkenny to Galway for a few nights where I took day trips to Cliffs of Moher, Inishmor, and Connemara. Then I took the train to Belfast where I did a day trip to the Giant’s Causeway, and spent a couple days around the city before flying home. People will say that Killarney is touristy, but it really is a great, central hub if you don’t have a car and want to take some day trips. I did a lot of research on this trip as I was travelling alone, and it made the most sense to go straight to Killarney from Dublin and then make a couple stops on the way to Galway to break up the journey. Trying to get to Dingle by bus was going to eat up too much time so I decided to do the day trip from Killarney.