Please sign in to post.

9 Days in Ireland

My husband and I are going to Ireland the first week of April and have 9 full days there (not including 2 travel days). We have a rough itinerary but I wanted to get some input as to if it is reasonable. We are renting a car. We fly into Shannon and out of Dublin. 1. Arrive Shannon-drive up to GalwaySleep Galway 2. Aran Island (Inishmore)Sleep Galway 3. Drive to Dingle stopping at Cliffs of Moher and The BurrenSleep Dingle (or Doolin?) 4. Dinglesleep Dingle 5. Dinglesleep Dingle 6. ?? Either stay 1 more day in Dingle, see some Ring of Kerry or head out to Rock of Cashelsleep Kilkinney ?? 7. ?? Kilkinneysleep Kilkinney or head to Dublin ?? 8. Dublin
9. Dublin Does it make sense to go all the way north to Galway from Shannon airport or should I stop at places along the way instead? Is Galway/Inishmore worth experiencing? Also what are your thoughts on seeing both Dingle and Ring of Kerry? I've heard spending more time in Dingle is better. Finally is it better to make B&B reservations ahead of time or just "wing it"? Sorry so long. Thanks in advance for the advice!!

Posted by
9363 posts

"All the way north to Galway from Shannon" is about a 90 minute drive. Likewise, Galway to Doolin is the same length of drive, just a slightly different route. But you have allowed no time to actually see Galway. In April you could probably access the Aran Island ferries from Doolin instead and save part of the drive if you have no desire to actually see anything in Galway. Personally, though I like the area, I would be bored silly spending four days in Dingle. Whether or not you will enjoy the Ring of Kerry will depend on the weather. We tried to drive it on an April trip, but the day we planned for it turned out misty and foggy. We saw nothing, and ended up spending the day in Kenmare, which we loved. I'm also not a big fan of Kilkenny (not Kilkinney). It might help you to take a good look at a map, and at drive times between places on www.viamichelin.com. There is so much more to see in Ireland than just Dingle, Kilkenny, and Dublin! Look at a few guidebooks to get some idea of what else is in the areas you plan to visit. In April it won't be necessary to book B&Bs ahead. You might be more comfortable book a place in Dublin, though, and perhaps your first night as well.

Posted by
11 posts

I would suggest 2 days in Dublin, 1 day to Aran Islands (see Cliffs of Moher in the way back), 2 nights in Dingle and 3 somewhere in Ring of Kerry. Kilkenny is nice, but the others I mentioned are far better in my humble opinion. We went for the 2nd time last year for 2 weeks, and wished we had stayed longer around Ring of Kerry, so many wonderful views/towns, recommend at least 3days there, my favorite part in all Ireland.

Posted by
94 posts

I've just been putting together a very similar trip although reverse itinerary Dublin to Cashel to Kerry to Doolin to Galway/Aran Isles. . . . Be warned that getting affordable lodging in Galway is difficult if you want to walk to things rather than get the car out each time, and especially on weekends. After several days of searching I finally found a 3-for-2 priced bargain (still averages out to 65 euros a night) on Irish Rooms. There were just a few other options, but I wanted non-smoking and quiet. Parking in center of Galway is all paid parking, but my hotel offers a discount so I'm leaving the car there and taking bus service out to ferry dock (round trip ferry with bus transport was 29.50 euros with online booking discount). There are also other bus trips from Galway to Connemara and to Cliffs although I may do both of those on my own.

Posted by
11 posts

I am planning a similar trip and I have seen a few comments from people saying that Kilkenny is not a favorite spot. I plan on seeing the Rock of Cashel when I am on my way from Dublin to Dingle, is there somewhere near or in between that someone has a recommendation to stop and stay a night?! Or does someone have an all together different opinion of a way to break up the voyage from Dublin to Dingle? I personally have 1 to 2 nights to help break up the drive.

Posted by
9363 posts

Blarney, Kenmare, Kinsale are all good stops between Dublin and Dingle.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for the input everyone. We do plan on exploring the city of Galway itself on day 1. We arrive at 6:30 am and while yes, I realize we will be tired and jet lagged, we have traveled to Europe before and know what we can handle the first day. Weather permitting of course, I would love to get to Inishmore (? spend the night there too). We are also considering some time in Connemara. We just have to decide if we want to spend more time exploring the west or the south. In general do you think it would be more memorable to spend time in Connemara or Ring of Kerry (we are definitely doing Dingle Peninsula)? I realize much of this is personal preference. It would not be 4 days in Dingle, I was considering 2-3 full days there. And finally, I have been to Kilkenny before and thought it was rather quaint (my husband has never been to Ireland). I just thought it was a good overnight on the way to Dublin. Kinsale seems intriguing also but a bit further away en route to Dublin. My husband in particular would like to see castles. We are trying to find the delicate balance of seeing as much of this beautiful country as we can while still maintaining somewhat of a "relaxed" pace along the way. Thanks again.

Posted by
2732 posts

Inishmore is one of my favorite places in Ireland. If you can get there, I would not pass up the opportunity. However, the weather may not cooperate with your plans. Dingle is my very favorite place in Ireland, but for a first trip of just 9 days (plus travel days), I would not spend more than three nights there. I thought the Ring of Kerry was great, so if you can, I would do that plus the Dingle loop. I liked Dingle a little better, so if you can only do one, I'd choose Dingle. I also loved Connemara, so you might want to consider that in lieu of the Ring of Kerry. It's a toss up in my opinion. Kilkenny is a nice, but not great, town in my opinion. I think Kinsale is much nicer and worth driving a little farther to see. I don't wing it with B&Bs; it's just not my personality. But I wouldn't think you'd have any trouble finding places in April. I hope you have a great trip!

Posted by
53 posts

Tina, If you do end up going the Ring of Kerry, I'd suggest staying near in or near Kenmare. Not to be missed sites in the Killarney National Park are Muckross Abbey (amazingone of the most evocative places I've been in Ireland), Muckross House (Victorian manor house), Torc Falls (if you like hiking), and Ross Castle. If the weather isn't good for views on the Ring, these are especially handy to know about. Tara

Posted by
52 posts

We have daytripped 3 different times to Inishmore. Every time, I wish we had planned to stay the night. Galway has been sort of a disappointment at every visit. Dookin....music good....BUT...bands are set on selling their CD's, so you won't hear lots of trad. Best castle stay....Cabra Castle in Cavan...north of Dublin. B &B I'd probably reserve....but don't overestimate your comfortable driving distance. The choices are hard....but almost every place is worth seeing and will be a good memory.

Posted by
11 posts

Hi Tina! My mom, two sisters, and I are doing a similar trip in June. It will be our first time to Ireland. We are going to be really ambitious. The goal is to see and do as much as we can to get a great feel for the country. Here is our initial itinerary (which I too could use some help with too!): Day 1: Dublin Day 2: Dublin Day 3: Wicklow Mts/Glendolough/Kilkenny Day 4: Rock of Cashel/Waterford Day 5: Cobh/Cork/Kinsale (still trying to decide where we will all go this day, b/c I know all three will be impossible to see) Day 6: Blarney/Killarney/Muckross House (Sleep in Kenmare) Day 7: Ring of Kerry Day 8: Dingle Peninsula
Day 9: Cliffs of Mohr/Shannon I don't know if this helps, but hopefully it will give you an idea of a similar route to take. Also, I found it was easy to go online to get an idea of how long it will take you to get places, which helps you plan your day a little bit more. Good luck! Kari

Posted by
2388 posts

Rock of Cashel is great. We never had problem with getting a B&B, we liked being flexible. We also stopped each day by 4-5 PM. I don't think you need the extra day in Dingle. Am not sure what you mean in number three drive to Dingle and sleep in Doolin? From Aran Islands, sleep in Doolin then travel on to Dingle. We also did what you suggest, we went from Dingle and then only what I guess would be the first half of Ring, seeing Ladies View and then ended up in the lovely town of Sneem.