6 day trip across Ireland

Hi, My husband and I are planning a 6 day trip across Ireland. We're planning on renting a car (since I understand that's recommended) and want to see as much of the rural and beautiful Ireland as we can during out time here. We are travelling with our 2 year old, so please keep that in mind :). Looking for recommendations for the trip. What to do, what to see, recommendations on stay and others. Thanks for your help!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8393 posts

You really should start by looking at a variety of guidebooks to determine what you might like to see. There are any number of possible routes you could take if we knew what you wanted to do or see along the way. What is your budget? Do your six days include the day you arrive and the day you leave? Where are you flying into/out of? The more specific you can be, the better our recommendations can be.

Posted by Divya
san francisco
10 posts

Hi Nancy, Thanks for your response! It has to be a budget trip of course :). I am flying into Dublin and out of Dublin to go to Scottland. So itinerary has to include that as the start and the end point. I want to not spend a lot of time in Dublin either, would rather spend more time exploring the rest of Ireland!

Posted by Jerry
Carrollton, Texas, USA
76 posts

I'm pretty sure that Nancy and I would both recommend you fly into Shannon - tour western Ireland and then finish in Dublin. I've done that in and out of Dublin trip and it is a lot of unnecessary driving. You can break up most of the driving in 2 hour or so increments. I don't have a lot of recommendations for a 2 year old except maybe Bunratty Park and Castle in Shannon. Nancy comments?

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1672 posts

Agree, fly into Shannon and out of Dublin. Start west and then south eventually into Dublin. Do not need car in Dublin at all. Whatever you do, it is great country.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

The OP said Dublin and Dublin were the requirments. What's with the Shannon business? Besides, they're only a couple of hours apart. Map study will follow reading lessons.

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1270 posts

I would suggest splitting your time between Dingle and Kenmare. These two towns put you into a good location for seeing lots of the beautiful green scenery for which Ireland is famous and will also give you a good contrast to Scotland.....You might also consider Connemara (basing in either Clifden or Roundstone) instead of either Dingle or Kenmare......You don't say what time your planes arrive and depart from Dublin, but if you need to spend the first or last night closer to the airport, consider either Drogheda (near New Grange) or Glendalough. Driving from Kenmare to Dublin you will pass near the Rock of Cashel if that interests you. With only six days, I would skip Dublin.....The route I suggest is about 550 miles which shouldn't be a problem over 4-6 days. We were in Ireland last April and traveled at a leisurely pace - usually about 150 miles a day.

Posted by Warren
Castlegar, BC, Canada
218 posts

Hi Divya, I had posted a similar question a few months back and was given a very nice itinerary. So, upon their advice, I will be flying into Cork (from Amsterdam), driving down to Kinsale for a few hours, then up to Kenmare for the night. Morning start around the Ring of Kerry, ending up in Dingle for 3 nights. Then on to Galway, driving thru Cliffs of Moher. Dropping the car off at Galway, hoping to make it to the Aryn Islands while there, and then train it to Dublin for 3 nights.

Posted by Divya
san francisco
10 posts

Thanks for all those great suggestions! Please keep them coming if you have more since I will be travelling in June.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8393 posts

Ordinarily I would agree with Jerry's suggestion. However, since the OP specified that they are flying into and out of Dublin, I would not suggest she fly into Shannon instead.

Posted by tom
Ithaca, NY, USA
30 posts

Once again, I agree with Cynthia's response. Fly into Shannon and tour the west, especially Dingle and Kenmare. Connemmara is also great and The Burrens and Cliffs of Moher are good. Take boat out of Doolin to see Cliffs. Try Castlewood House in Dingle- modern with wonderful breakfasts and great hosts. Also, Shelbourne Lodge in kenmare. We skipped Dublin and felt we really saw the true Ireland of the West with small towns and majestic scenery. Great food, people and pubs/music.

Posted by Gerard
Temora, NSW, Australia
226 posts

This is a similar post that has been regularly coming up, the replies favor into Shannon and out of Dublin. I understand the logic, however, you should be aware that if you are coming from elsewhere in Europe, flying into Shannon is not always an option.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
821 posts

My husband and I did a Tauck 14 day tour of Ireland, last June. We added two additional days to our hotel near Shannon airport (The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis). We loved Ireland. We suggest, if you have time, to go and visit the Ashford Castle. We stayed there for two nights and it was way too short. The castle used to be the sumMer home for the Guinness family. The castle and the grounds, plus being over the water, is fabulous. You can look up the Asford Castle on-line. We had a gorgeous view over the water.

Posted by Kathy
West Chester, OH
3 posts

In Kenmare, Virginia's Guesthouse was very nice. Right in town, great breakfast (my husband has been making Neil's Zingy, a very tasty juice drink, for the past 2 years), fabulous hosts. Parking is iffy, but we got lucky and got a spot just down the road a bit. We flew into Shannon and out of Dublin. Like other posters said you don't need a car in Dublin. We rented our car in Dublin, dropped it off at the Dublin airport and then took a taxi to our hotel which was near Dublin Castle. We were able to walk everywhere. We did take the hop-on hop-off bus our first day in Dublin to get a quick tour. We are planning on going back next year.