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Which of these two itineraries is better?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Ireland for his sister's 30th birthday. We will be there for a week in May and will arrive and depart from Dublin. This is her first time to Ireland and her only request was to go hiking. My husband and I enjoy scenic drives, and good food and drink. We would prefer to visit less touristy, historic towns. We are renting a car for the duration of our trip. Below are two itineraries that I've come up with. Any feedback on which route is better? TIA!

Itinerary 1-
Day 1: Dublin
Day 2: Kilkenny
Day 3: Rock of Cashel, stay in Kinsale
Day 4: Kinsale
Day 5: Beara Peninsula, stay in Kenmare
Day 6: Killarney National Park or nearby hike, stay in Kenmare
Day 7: Return to Dublin

Itinerary 2-
Day 1: Dublin
Day 2: Galway
Day 3: Aran Islands or Cliffs of Moher, stay in Galway
Day 4: Connemara National Park, stay in Clifden
Day 5: Westport
Day 6: Achill Island, stay in Westport
Day 7: Return to Dublin

Posted by
1779 posts

I have been to Ireland twice. I like the second itinerary a bit better, but I have not been to Kinsale. First trip was 2nts Dublin, 3 nts Westport, 3nts Clifden, 3 nts Ennistymon.

Second trip was 7 nts in County Kerry with 3 nts Dingle and 3 nts in Killarney. I think the Connemara area is the most beautiful area of Ireland that I have seen so far.

Posted by
228 posts

My preference is for the second itinerary too and I think it will give more chance for walking. Connemara is wonderful and I much prefer it to Kerry or Dingle. I'd almost be inclined to forgo Westport and spend all the time in and around County Galway. This means you could do Aran Islands (and even think about an overnight on one of them?) as well as Cliffs of Moher. The limestone scenery of the Burren is also wonderful and worth spending a day exploring that. There is easy walking along the green roads as well as the Burren way. Make sure you do the Sky Drive from Clifden. On a sunny day it must rank as one of the best short drives in the world. Also make sure you visit Roundstone with its small harbour and views of the Twelve Bens.

Posted by
31 posts

I am doing a similar itinerary in July. but flying into Shannon and spending 3 days each in Galway, Clifden, Westport and then Dublin.

Posted by
918 posts

While I have not been to all of the destinations on your list, I can address the following: Dublin is a great pub crawl, Kilkenny is a fun, touristy town, the Rock of Cashel is impressive, the Cliffs of Moher are beautiful and dramatic, and the Aran Islands are a great adventure.