We will be going on a 7-day trip to Ireland next week and just trying to finalize our route around the South/Southwest corner. We would like to do the following sites: Dublin (Guiness, Book of Kells), Waterford Crystal, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry, and Cliffs of Mohr. What towns/cities should we stay in to hit all our sites? Also wondering if we could do Waterford and Rock of Cashel all in one day? What about Blarney Castle and Ring of Kerry in one day? We're staying the first and last nights in Dublin. The rest of the nights will be in B&B's. Thanks for any help you can give us!!!!
For Waterford and Rock of Cashel, if you do Waterford early in the day you can get to Cashel. The drive is about 2 hours (see http://www.viamichelin.co.uk for driving times and distance -- be sure to add at least .5 more in Ireland) The last tour of Waterford is at 4 and we arrived at 4:01 after driving all day. I can't tell you how disappointed we were! The Rock of Cashel is open until 7:30 and the last entrance is 45 minutes before that, but it deserves more time.
If you want to avoid the tourist crowds, stay in Kenmare rather than Killarney when you drive the Ring of Kerry. Either Lisdoonvarna or Ballyvaughan would be good places to stay after you go to the Cliffs of Moher. Or stay in Ennis on the way to the cliffs (unless you take the coastal route).
I would suggest skipping the ring of Kerry and spending a day on the Dingle Peninsula.I have done both and liked the Dingle much better.
Rita, I would suggest using the hop on,hop off bus tour in Dublin. It includes all the major Dublin sights and your ticket is good for 24 hours so if you start at say 2:00 p.m. you can pick up again at 10 the next morning and not have to cram everything into one day. A lot of people find the Guinness tour disappointing,especially at 14 Euros. It is a self guided tour and you see none of the actual brewing process.
Also at this time of year it does not get dark until about 10:30 and sunrise is 5:00.
I would agree with skipping Guinness in Dublin. Waterford and Cashel can be done in one day if you start early in Waterford. Blarney to the Ring of Kerry, though, is a fairly long drive. It's a good highway, but it still takes longer than you'd think. We stayed in Kenmare and loved it. The drive from the Kllarney area to the Cliffs of Moher is a very long one. You can take a car ferry across the River Shannon at Killimer to cut some of the driving time but you're still going to spend most of the day driving. You might consider flying into Dublin but out of Shannon instead. It's very close to the Cliffs of Moher.
We stayed in a wonderful B&B called Moher Lodge just down the road from the Cliffs. It's in Liscannor, on the coast road just before you get to the Cliffs.