Hello all! I am hoping to return to Ireland this June w/ my boyfriend this time and was wondering if anybody had any creative towns to visit. I don't want a typical crazy filled trip. We are most likely flying in/out of Cork and for sure want to stay 4 nights in Dingle. Everything else is open for discussion. Would like to do the Ring of Kerry this time...perhaps stay in Kenmare, and/or better yet, Valentia Island, one night on the way to Dingle. My thought was to maybe stay 2-3 of nights in Cork first, to wait out jet-lag and do some day trips, Cobh/Kinsale/Killkenny/Old Midleton Dist. Drive thru Macroom and then arrive in Kenmare? Thanks!
Sounds like you have a plan already! Staying to a smaller area, like you have planned, will be a lot more relaxing than trying to see the whole country in nine days. Kenmare is a nice little town, and well-situated for the day trips you mention.
Along the south coast of Ireland, I'd recommend the lovely harbor town of Cork. Our son is studying at the University College Cork (UCC), and we just spent 4 days with him over spring break at the River Lee Hotel (used to be called the Jury's Cork Hotel - not to be confused with the Jury's Inn chain). Gorgeous hotel overlooking the river, with a room for 3 for only 79 euros a night. The hotel was between UCC and Cork's downtown. Recommendations in town: for food: the English market for bread & cheese and the best almond croissants you've ever had; and an incredible vegetarian restaurant, Cafe Paradiso (across the street from the River Lee Hotel). Day trips to Killarney, Kinsale (the Sausalito of Ireland), the Rock of Cashel, even Waterford are possible from Cork if you make it your base along the south coast.
since you will be so close to kinsale...i feel kinsale is a must...luckily i have been to ireland four times and kinsale and dingle are my two faves...
spent two weeks in ireland in september. my favorite next to dingle was killkenny. i would make the time to spend a couple of nights there. prior comment about kinsale is dead on. beautiful, great food, even better music. have fun again.
I'm going for two weeks in May and my favorite little town is Portmagee. If you're going to Valentia Island, you'll pass through it. I've stayed at the Moorings B&B there and it was nice. Have a wonderful time!
Our favorite 2 smaller towns are: (1) Kenmare, and (2) Westport. Both are great to spend 2-3 days/nights in and then numerous day trips that are outstanding from both locations.
I would also recommend Kinsale, but would probably miss Kilkenny on this ocassion, based on your itinerary - it is taking you in the wrong direction.
West Cork has beautiful scenery to enjoy on the way to Kerry. Also agree that Valentia Island, Portmagee, Waterville, Caherdaniel are worth visiting / staying for a couple of days. Lots to see and do in the area - Skellig Michael - UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth a visit - boats leave from Portmagee / Waterville - you will need a full day for this trip.
Great plan to spend a few days in Dingle also. The best way to enjoy Ireland is to base yourself in an area and explore. You can enjoy the nightlife and get a real sense of the place.