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5days in Ireland

My husband surprised me with 5 days in Ireland in July. He was told to stay in Dublin and do trips from there but I am thinking that may not be practical. We probably will tour dublin area the first and last day, but am thinking I'd like to at least see new grange, cliffs of moher, and dingle peninsula. Is this practical and any tips or thoughts?

Posted by
29 posts

Absolutely! Take the non-stop train from Dublin Heuston to Galway City (2 hrs. 45 min.) or Dublin Heuston to Killarney (3.5 hrs.with one change of trains), rent a car and see some of Ireland's most dramatic scenery. The website with an easy-to-use timetable and reservation system is: irishrail.ie. If you plan to spend two days seeing Dublin, I'd opt for the Cliffs of Moher and a bit of Connemara over the Dingle Peninsula. The scenery in Connemara (west of Galway City) is grander, with the cloud-shrouded Twelve Bens mountains and lots of painted sheep for company. If time allows, spend a night in the village of Leenane at the tip of Killary Harbor, which has Ireland's only fjord. In my experience, it's the most beautiful location in Ireland. The Dingle is also quite nice, more remote and replete with centuries' old beehive huts. Both are Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks so much! Will plan it that way. I would have loved to have some time to spend leisurely but the leisure will be the drives.

Posted by
9363 posts

I agree, Connemara is closer and more beautiful than the Dingle Peninsula. You will want to go to Newgrange as early in the day as possible, particularly since you are going in July. They only allow so many people per day, and you want to get there before the day's allotment of tickets is gone. Do your five days include the day you arrive and the day you leave, or do you have five full days to sightsee? If your five days include arrival and departure, you will have to plan very carefully to be able to fit in what you want to see because you will actually only have three full days. Arrival and departure day (particularly departure day) are kind of unusable for anything much.

Posted by
7 posts

We have an overnight flight that gets in early in Dublin so I added that day as Dublin. We leave out in Dublin early, i think 10am, on the 6 th day, so I used the 5 Th day as Dublin. So the three days in between can be used for wherever else we should go. But if it is better to do something different in order to see more, then there's no problem doing that. I'm all ears, thanks.

Posted by
9363 posts

Do you already have accomodation booked for that first night? If not, you might want to consider what I did on one of my trips. Arrive DUB, pick up rental car and head to Newgrange. By the time you get your luggage and the car and get going, it will mid-late morning, and Newgrange is about 45 min. away. After you see Newgrange and Knowth, you could drive out to Monasterboice to see the high crosses there. I stayed in Navan because I was headed south the next day, but you might want to head west if you are going to Galway. It will be light until very late, but you will be tired early, so don't plan to drive too far. Day 2-3 you could go toward the Cliffs of Moher or up through Connemara. Then you would have Day 4-5 to drop your car off in Dublin and see the city.

Posted by
7 posts

Actually, he booked the hotel for 5 days in Dublin, but we are going to change it depending on what we decide to do. I think we arrive at 8am, so by the time we get the luggage and car and go to newgrange, will it be too late to get in? That is one that you said to go early, but not sure how early.

Posted by
9363 posts

Go as early as you can get there. From the visitor center you have to take a shuttle bus to the actual site. They will give you a sticker that tells you what time you can get on the bus. Until then you can check out the little museum or have a coffee at the little snack bar. When I went straight from the airport, I had to wait through two buses before my time came around.

Posted by
42 posts

we are going to the southwest area in july with a car. If you get a car, get an automatic, and get the super CDW insurance; pay for as much as possible before you go. get rick's books on europe through the back door and his book on ireland. if you are planning on dingle pennisula, his book recomends good itineraries, has maps and drive times.
The book on ireland also has a map and other important suggestions. Europe through the back door has a lot of tips and money saving ideas. I am so glad I bought them. The books give you so many safety tips for travel too that are priceless advice for any trip.

Posted by
7 posts

Have several books lol, thanks. I couldn't find info for just the 5 days that included a couple of places I don't want to miss and then actual drive times, so thought id see what advice people could give for specifics and advice for the short period. I bought the books instead of putting on my iPad because I really wanted the map, lol, but did put a couple on my iPad. Will use your advice on insurance. Do you know if the water is warm and calm enough to swim in?

Posted by
9363 posts

Pam, you can look at www.viamichelin.com for drive times. Driving in Ireland can be slower than you can imagine, so add about 25% to their estimates, and remember that it doesn't take into account stops for photos, snacks, herds of sheep on the road, etc.

Posted by
69 posts

If you're really lucky with the weather you might go for a swim. My kids think it's warm enough! The weather has been horrible though.... So much rain in Cork that lots of places flooded...

Posted by
1804 posts

"Do you know if the water is warm and calm enough to swim in?" Ireland is not Mexico or California. While there are some spots you can get in the water which are calm, the water is very chilly and many parts of the coast tend to draw surfers in wet suits, not so much recreational swimmers in bikinis. If you surf, you'll love it. Bring your wetsuit because even in July & August the water is pretty cold. Now my Irish relatives think the water temps are just fine, but I'm used to New England waters which I find chilly until July & August (ocean temp last weekend at our beach was 58 degrees) and the water over in Ireland always feels a good deal colder to me than New England.

Posted by
9110 posts

Dubin's at about the same latitude as the southern tip of Alaska, if that helps.

Posted by
7 posts

Probably won't be swimming then. So excited to get to go there. Will be driving, so looking for that to be a big experience.

Posted by
69 posts

Weather improved yesterday! Kids went swimming and I just put my feet in but wasn't bad. It was warm and sunny here but 20 miles away it was raining so you never know. You might get lucky. Enjoy your trip!