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A week in Ireland: is this too much driving?

Hi everybody! I am SO excited for my trip to Ireland in October. I'll be in Dublin for a few days before my bf arrives. Here's what I'm thinking for an itinerary for us. I'd love ANY input! We are late 20s and are interested in a romantic trip full of enjoying nature and relaxing -- good food and interesting history are great, too! We'll be renting a car. My questions: are we trying to do too much? Is this going to feel like a lot of driving? I'd rather cut something out to make it more relaxing and get a better feel for the local culture. If so, what should I cut? Fri: BF arrives / overnight Dublin Sat: Drive Dublin to Kenmare (4-5 hours) / overnight Kenmare Sun: Killarney National Park / overnight Kenmare Mon: Drive Ring of Kerry to Dingle (4-8 hours) / overnight Dingle Tues: Dingle / overnight Dingle Weds: Drive Dingle peninsula to Ballyvaghan (4 hours + 3 hours) / overnight Gregans Castle Thurs: Cliffs of Moher (35 mins) / overnight Gregans Castle Fri: Ballyvaghan to Dublin (3 hours) / overnight Dublin
Sat: Depart Dublin Thanks so much for reading, and for any insight you can provide!

Posted by
9363 posts

I think it looks pretty nicely paced, but I like to move around a lot, too. One thing I might suggest is to have a "Plan B" for your Ring of Kerry day in case the weather doesn't cooperate. On our first trip, the day we planned for the Ring turned out rainy and foggy, and there was nothing to see. We ended up spending the day in Kenmare.

Posted by
30 posts

If you want to stay another day in Dublin or see something you'd like to see/do around Kenmare, it really wouldn't kill you to skip the Ring of Kerry and just do the Dingle Peninsula. While it won't be as crowded in Oct. as in the summer, it can still be crowded. I was in Dingle last Sept. and had the road pretty much to myself and the views were amazing. Just sayin. Have a great time!

Posted by
234 posts

I agree with Dan. Skip the Ring of Kerry and just do Dingle. Maybe add a stop at the Rock of Cashel on way to Killarney. Ireland is a wonderful place, you will love it.

Posted by
655 posts

I think your plan is solid. I would try to keep the Ring of Kerry in but, if you can only do one, the Dingle peninsula combined with the charming town is the winner. I imagaine you will need a little more than 35 minutes for the 'cliffs'. It takes a few minutes just to walk up there. Also, you have not included the Burren which is less than an hour away. It is uniquely Irish so you may want to explore it by car if you have the time.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all so much for the replies! I really appreciate all your tips. I think that we will skip the Ring of Kerry and add in Glendalough instead. My bf loves history, and we both love to hike. Here's our new itinerary: Fri: BF arrives / overnight Dublin Sat: Drive Dublin to Glendalough (1 hour) / overnight Glendalough Sun: Free day / maybe Glendalough or drive to Killarney via Cashel Mon: Drive to Dingle (5 hours) / overnight Dingle Tues: Dingle peninsula / overnight Dingle Weds: Drive to Dromoland Castle (3 hours) / overnight Dromoland Thurs: Cliffs of Moher (1 hour) + Burren / overnight Dromoland
Fri: Dromoland to Dublin (4 hours) / overnight Dublin Sat: Depart Dublin Thanks again for all your suggestions. You guys rock! PS. @George - the 35 minutes for Cliffs of Moher was the driving distance to them. Haha. Don't worry -- I'll spend some time there!

Posted by
9363 posts

@George, if they are spending the night in Ballyvaughan before the Cliffs, they will be driving through the Burren on the way. Not sure where you are getting your timing for Wed. Driving the route from Dingle to Ballyvaughan through Limerick is going to be close to five hours. Going via the Killimer-Tarbert ferry will save you about forty miles, a little bit of time and the aggravation of dealing with Limerick traffic.

Posted by
349 posts

I did this almost exact route a few years ago, but in reverse. Yes, it can be done and yes, it is a very pretty drive. Here are some things to be prepared for that caught me off guard: 1. The roads are very narrow with rock fences on both sides 2. Cars will zip past you with very narrow clearance (6-12 inches) 3. I drove it all and wished I could have traded off with someone, so if you can trade with your partner, you should do it so you can both enjoy the scenery
4. The roads switch back and forth and the speed limits are lower so it takes longer than you think to get from point A to B. Having said all that, it was a very pretty drive and loved the scenery. Have a good trip!!

Posted by
11 posts

I've been to all the areas you're talking about many times. The Wicklow Mts are lovely and the driving fun. When at Glendalough take the time to walk the whole trail back past the lake. Easy walking and lovely scenery. I would stay at the Woodenbridge Hotel, which is about 20 minutes down the road. It's Ireland's oldest hotel (1620) but it has been more than updated. As the Irish say,"The craic is massive". I know your trip will be pure fun. You're in Ireland!