We are leaving Dublin for a 3 day excursion (morning of April 13 to evening of April 16). Is it too much to try and tackle Galway, Dingle and RIng of Kerry in that short a period? Any advice is much appreciated.
Yes. It is far too much, especially due to the distances from Dublin and from each other. Focus on one excursion - just Galway or just the Ring and be sure to actually calculate your driving times and add extra time as a buffer. Traffic around Dublin is notoriously slow and once you get off any major road and onto backroads, it can often be slow going. Even major roadways in Ireland are nothing like what you have out in California - the traffic just doesn't move that quickly.
I agree to taking one or the other, but would say Dingle rather than ROK. We made the mistake of doing ROK after DIngle and found it disappointing by comparison. As said, the rads are NOTHING like California freeways! Coincidentally, we were drove to San Diego last July then in Ireland in September, so the comparison was vivid!
If you have ever been over the Big Sur road, think of Western Irish roads as half the width and just as twistng, often with the camber going the wrong way on the corners! No hard shoulders!
Good advice and comments from Ceidleh and Iain. The comparison of driving the Big Sur road is a very real comparison.
Assuming that you have similar interests as most people that travel to Ireland, you will have a full 3 days just visiting Galway and Dingle areas. The Dingle peninsula is a shorter version of ROK and has enough sights that could take a full day. And you won't encounter all the tour buses that are on ROK. Unless you have a specific reason for going to Galway, you might be better off going directly to the Burren. You can spend a full day of touring it as well. Another reason to be very conservative on your driving time is to allow some time for those unexpected sights & scenery along the way.
Have a great trip.
I would go to Galway just for the fish and chips at Mcdonaghs! http://www.mcdonaghs.net/ We went to a bar next door to get Guinness with our dinner.
The Ring of Kerry is a lot of driving!! and like most of Ireland no real short cuts. I would certainly try to go to the Cliffs of Moher. Most of the major roads we were on were ok but it was usually slow going when we got in to a town. We did a short tour in Cobh the day before we went to the Ring of Kerry. Some of the other people said they went to the Ring and couldn't see much because the weather was not cooperating.
I'm in a similar situation as you Jeff. We have a little less time than you do though. We leave Dublin early on April 4th and need to be back on the 6th for an 11am flight. We really want to see the Cliffs of Moher so we're driving out the morning of the 4th and staying in Doolin that night to experience the music and the pubs. We're kind of at a loss as to what we should do on the 5th though. We've talked about Dingle or Rock of Cashel but to drive 2-3 hours to the site and then still have a 4 hour return trip to Dublin seems like an awful lot for one day. Does anyone have any recommendations for a day trip somewhat on the way back to Dublin from Doolin?
Thank you all for the good advice and recommendations. We were thinking of staying at the Parksanilla hotel at ROK. Is it worth the extra time?
Your last question is pretty much what you will have to decide. All of the replies so far seem to favor the Dingle/Galway area.
Does this mean you are going to ROK? If so, then that's about all you're going to get done in the time allowed. IMO, no it's not worth it. There is so much more to see and experience. I would suggest saving the ROK for another trip when you have more time.
I suppose alot depends on what you're after. Are you interested in just doing just a fast overview or are you hoping to really take in the whole affect?
Yes, I think it's too much to do each properly. I think you'd be disappointed to miss the opportunity to spend some quality time with this locations.
Distance would be a prime concern. Maybe do the ROK first and then Dingle, or just Galway - alot to do there.
My husband and I were going to do Ring of Kerry and Dingle but we just didn't have enough time. We were going to go from Dingle but the driving time is much longer than we had anticipated so we skipped it.
It takes longer to drive from one site to another AND when you come across ruins along the way and you want to stop that puts a big dent in your itinerary for the day. You can spend a day driving around Dingle and going to the interpretive center at the end of the road. Don't miss the evening music in the pubs in Dingle. Pub hop!!
If you want to do the Ring of Kerry - I'd skip Galway and concentrate on Dingle and ROK. Spend the night on part of ROK then you can get a head start in the morning rather than taking the time to drive there.
I would not advise trying to do the ROK and Dingle in only three days. It will take you most of a day to get to and from Dublin, leaving just two days for seeing stuff. You'll be in the car most of the trip. Skip the ROK and just do Dingle. I like the ROK, but Dingle is prettier and more relaxing, and the town of Dingle is a wonderful place to settle in.
You can't possibly do all three, and IMHO it would be a big mistake to try two. Just pick one place and enjoy it. I would say either Dingle or Galway. From Galway, you could do the Burren and Cliffs of Moher.
If you do get to the Dingle Peninsula, do try and take the Connor Pass at some point; it is a lovely drive!
Here's my suggestion for what to see on your way from Doolin to Dublin. Drive east from Doolin and pick up the R476 near Lisdoonvarn. Take it east until you get to the junction with the R480 east of Kilfenora. Drive north through the Burren on the R480, stopping to take a walk or two. Have lunch in Ballyvaughan. Work your way east until you can pick up the N6 to Dublin.