Please sign in to post.

Arrive Shannon/Depart Dublin - 5 days & 5 nights

Best Itinerary?

My husband and I are arriving Shannon on May 16 (early morning) and are considering the following itinerary:
1st Day - Bunratty Castle and Folk Park - stay 1st night in Limerick
2nd Day - Drive around the Dingle Peninsula and stay 2nd night in Killarney
3rd Day - Visit Blarney Castle and continue on to Rock of Cashel - stay 3rd night in Cashel
4th Day - Drive to and visit Glendalough and then continue on to Dublin
4th and 5th nights in Dublin
5th Day - Visit sites in Dublin
Does this itinerary seem reasonable? Enough time for each area? Too little time? If possible I would really like to add the Cliffs of Moher to our itinerary. I very much appreciate any words of wisdom as this is our first trip to Ireland!!!

Posted by
190 posts

I think you need to rethink the amount of travel time. It takes MUCH longer to drive distances in Ireland than in the US. Your plan for the 2nd day is pretty much impossible. It seems to me from my experiences in Ireland that you have planned just about double what you will be able to do.

I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but it is better to be realistic about the drive times than to get there and be really disappointed. When I estimate 30 miles per hour, I have a comfortable trip. It took me 7+ hours to drive from Dingle to Dublin and 5+ hours from Dublin to Derry. And I lived in the UK for 7 years so there was no issue with driving on the other side of the road.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the feedback. Do you know where, specifically the town of Dingle is located? Would it make more sense to spend our second night in Dingle? Day three stop and visit Blarney Castle?

Posted by
9363 posts

Your itinerary is very much like ours on our first trip to Ireland. We flew into Shannon, did Bunratty Castle, and then drove to a B&B in Liscannor five minutes from the Cliffs of Moher. Day two was the Cliffs, the Burren, then a drive down to Killarney taking the car ferry at Killimer/Tarbot to save the drive around Limerick. (We didn't do the Dingle Peninsula, so I have no idea how long that would take.) Because of foot and mouth disease precautions at the time, Killarney Natl Park was closed, so Day Three was a drive to Kenmare, doing part of the Ring of Kerry (we gave up because of fog), then on to a B&B near Cork. Day four was Blarney Castle, shopping, and on to Cahir Castle, staying in Cashel. Day five we saw the Rock of Cashel, saw Kilkenny, headed to a B&B near Waterford. Day six was Waterford, and a stop along the east coast at Courtown. We stayed near there and drove into Dublin the next morning.

Posted by
9363 posts

cont.... We had an afternoon flight, so just took a quick hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Dublin, did a little shopping, and headed for the airport.

While there are differences, our routes were pretty much the same. We had one extra day, and we didn't want to spend time in Dublin. Aside from the Dingle Peninsula, which I haven't driven through, it looks to me like your itinerary is very doable. You didn't say what you intend to do in Killarney. If you want to spend any time there (as opposed to just spending the night) you might have to skip Dingle to make it work. It DOES take much longer to drive anywhere in Ireland than the distances would indicate.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you, Nancy, for your reply. I'm torn between the Cliffs of Moher and Dingle Peninsula. I definitely want to visit Blarney Castle and Rock of Cashel. The other stops just looked like they made sense based on travel time/route. Also, we need to spend the last two nights in Dublin with friends. Any other recommendations are welcomed!!!

Posted by
484 posts

Sandi, I personally feel that Dingle deserves,and would take longer,than the part of one day you are allowing.The drive from Limerick to Dingle Town will take you almost three hours. You might think about staying in Tralee the first night,that would take about half the time off the drive to Dingle.

Of course at that time of the year sunset is approx.10:00P.M. so the days will be longer for travel.

Maybe just stay one night in Dublin?

Posted by
9363 posts

Cliffs of Moher are only about 35 minutes or so from the airport. It definitely would be a shame to be so close and not see them. Perhaps it would be better, as another poster suggested, to skip Dingle until you have enough time to do it justice. I could recommend a wonderful B&B five minutes from the cliffs that you could use your first night instead of going into Limerick (which isn't fun to drive into). Then you could take the car ferry across the Shannon and go on down to Killarney the next day.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks, Pat and Nancy, for the suggestions. I would love to have the name of the B&B near Moher. Let's try this for the second "kick at the can" ... arrive Shannon day one and head to Moher (stay 1st night), day two head to Dingle Town (is it possible to visit this town without driving the entire Dingle Peninsula?) and stay 2nd night in Dingle, day three head to Blarney Castle and then on to Rock of Cashel (third night in closest town) day four head to Glendalough and on to Dublin for Fourth and Fifth nights. We leave early day six to fly to London (We really need two nights in Dublin as my husband wants to visit friends). In all honesty my husband and I are pretty high energy and would like to see as much as possible in this short time but would also like to wrap up each day at a reasonable hour to enjoy dining and cocktails in the local pubs. Glendalough isn't really high on my list but it seems to be on the way to Dublin. Would another route be better?

Posted by
9363 posts

We stayed at Rahard Lodge just outside of Cashel. It's a sheep farm, and they had lambs when we were there in April. Cashel has a nice pub built into a Norman tower house right in the center of town. Your driving might be broken up better, though, if you stay in Blarney that night. There is a really nice B&B almost within walking distance of the castle, called The White House. The host there will be happy to direct you around Cork traffic to the north so that you can head up to Cahir and Cashel.

Posted by
45 posts

Whatever you decide to do - be sure to see the Cliffs of Moher and the Rock of Cashel. When you are in Dublin see the Book of Kells, and if you have time, take a Mary Gibbons tour to Newgrange (it guarantees you will get into Newgrange, not the replica).Your plan sounds full but doable.

Posted by
511 posts

Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Rock of Cashel, Book of Kells, are all great things to see. You ARE putting a lot into 5 days. As others have noted, it takes much more time to drive any given distance than you expect. Estimate the time based on a map, multiply by two, add 10%, and then add in rest stops and meals because the result of this formula results in lots of hours on the road.

The drive through Glendalough is nice. To visit it properly takes time.

Skip Blarney Castle. Total waste of time and money. I "kissed the stone" 29 years ago and am still waiting for the gift of eloquence to arrive. Maybe I didn't kiss it lovingly enough.

Posted by
67 posts

here are a few thoughts about your trip -

the Dublin "hop on hop off" tour is great. You can stop anywhere you like and get back on. Guinness tour is expensive tho.

We took an all day bus tour to Glendalough which was terrific. Even got a shot of Jameson's whiskey.

It does take much longer to go places than I thought. Double plus 10% sounds about right to me.

I, too, would skip Blarney castle - they don't clean off the stone very often - it's pretty wet.
The steps to the top are carved out of stone in a very narrow circular staircase. Thank goodness they had rope handrails most of the way.

Dingle peninsula and Cashel by far the best part of my trip tho Cliffs of Moher are stunning. To go to Dingle and not see the peninsula is, to me, to miss the very essence of Dingle. We did Dingle P tour in 1/2 day and then went to great live traditional irish music at night.

There really are 27 shades of green in Ireland.

Have a great trip

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you, all, for the feedback. Based on what you've shared with me and further research I think we've revised our itinerary ...
Day 1 - Cliffs of Moher (not sure where to stay and would appreciate any recommendations keeping in mind that we'll probably have some jet lag)
Day 2 - Drive to Dingle and overnight in Dingle
Day 3 - Drive/bike Dingle Peninsula and stay another night in Dingle
Day 4 - Visit Muckross House and overnight in Cobh
Day 5 - Visit Rock of Cashel and continue on to Bunratty - overnight in Bunratty.
Day 6 - Depart Shannon to London.
After all the feedback it sounds like we may want to plan to visit Dublin on our next trip. Is this itinerary a little more realistic? Again, not sure where to stay our first night after visiting Cliffs of Moher so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
9363 posts

There is a wonderful B&B just five minutes down the road from the cliffs, called Moher Lodge. It was recommended to me and I have since recommended it to several others. The hosts are wonderful.

Posted by
511 posts

There are several places to stay in Lahinch, just south of Cliffs of Moher. Nice little seaside "resort" town. You can drive there from the cliffs along the coastal route.