At a loss... 5 days in Ireland

Hello, My husband and I will be starting a long European vacation in Ireland with only 5 days on the Emerald Isle. Neither of us have been to Europe. The plan is to fly in to Dublin at 8am. Due to jet lag, staying in Dublin is probably the best for the first day- I'm guessing. We will be taking an early train to Belfast on the fifth day and flying from Belfast to Liverpool that evening. I am at a loss how to spend the rest of the trip (3 days)... any suggestions? I was thinking of arriving back in Dublin on the 4th day to make the early morning train the next day easier. We are savvy with public transportation, but are not apposed to hiring a car. Thanks!
Erin

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

hi, do you have any likes or interests you want to share so we may have a better idea on what to recommend. happy trails.

Posted by Erin
Orange, California, USA
10 posts

My husband and I are 30 and fairly active with lots of energy. Honestly, I would love to see some smaller towns and experience the people and some pubs. I had thought of hiring a car to make a loop seeing Rock of Cashel, Kinsale, Cobh and back up through Kilkenny. Not sure if this is too much driving?
Thanks!

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1202 posts

If you haven't already bought the plane tickets, fly into Shannon instead. Stay in the west where you will find the iconic Irish scenery. Good locations are Clifden (for Connemara), Kenmare for the Beara and Iveragh peninsulas, or Dingle. Research to see what you like best. Use your last day to get to Belfast if that is your requirement for a flight. With such a small amount of time, skip the larger cities you mention.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

You could easily do a loop through Cashel, Cahir, Kinsale, Cobh and back to Dublin in the time you have. But Kinsale and Cobh are fairly similar small coastal towns, so you might want to choose one or the other, and plan on stopping off at Glendalough on the way back to Dublin.

Posted by Erin
Orange, California, USA
10 posts

Thank you all for your replies and suggestions!

Posted by JANET
Westford, VT, us
27 posts

I was absolutely fascinated walking around North Belfast and spent hours and hours there. The murals tell the story of the recent history of the troublesno maps or history book required! Very poignant. Coming from CA, Ireland may seem pretty small to you. You might think about checking out Newgrange between Dublin and Belfaat. Ireland is wonderful, do enjoy ir.

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

My husband and I did a 14 day TAUCK tour of Ireland last June. It was beyond fabulous. We adored Ireland and its people. We want to go back. We very much enjoyed seeing the Ashford Castle. We stayed there for two nights. The grounds are gorgeous. It used to be the summer home of the Guinness Family. It was converted to a hotel. We would have loved to have spent four nights there. We also loved the Mount Juliet Hotel. The grounds there were just as picturesque.