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Best 9 night Ireland Itinerary

My wife and I will be traveling to Ireland in October. We are flying into Dublin on Oct 12th and out of Shannon on the afternoon of Oct 21st. We have planned so far to spend the 12th and 13th in Dublin and then pick up the car on the 14th and head out to see the rest. What would be a good itinerary for the rest of the trip? We can piece together a basic one from the RS guidebook, but I am looking for suggestions from others who have done the trip. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
8700 posts

If you're planning to drive to the southwest, don't miss the Dingle Peninsula. Spend at least two nights in Dingle.

Posted by
6 posts

Just some ideas - I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of places.

When you leave Dublin, you might want to head for Glendalough in Couty Wicklow. Beautiful area. Plan to spend at least 1 day & night. On your way to Dingle Peninsula (a must-see) you should stop at the Rock of Cashel - really interesting. Muckross House & Abbey just west of Kilarney is also interesting. A good B&B in Dingle is Heaton's - great breakfast. Up the west coast are the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren. You can take a day trip to the Aran Islands from several places on the west coast, including Galway. North of Galway is Cong (the Abbey ruins & grounds are lovely) and Westport. The coast road is really beautiful.

Hope you have a great trip!

Posted by
520 posts

We did a nine night trip last year, flew into Dublin and out of Shannon. Spent the first two nights in Dublin (at the Morrison Hotel on the north bank of the River Liffey - highly recommended).

Our plan was to drive from Dublin through Tipperary (look up some family info) then through Kilkenney and down to the Dingle Peninsula, then up to Galway (more family research in the Connemara) and back to Shannon for the flight home. This was too ambitious.

Once we reached Kilkenney it was obvious we could not fit in both the Dingle Peninsula and the Galway leg. We had to give up on Dingle.

If you have no interest in seeing Galway (nice city), by all means take in the Dingle Peninsula, ring of Kerry, etc. Skip Blarney castle.

Our trip this year will focus on Munster; future trips will focus on other areas.

Just realize it takes much longer to drive anywhere in Ireland than you ever thought possible. Take in the scenery and enjoy the ride.

Posted by
934 posts

I think Kilkenny is Ok and the Ring of Kerry is nice.However Dingle is far better then either.Stay 2 nights to give yourself a full day.Also Galway is a great place.

Posted by
13 posts

I stayed for a week in a cottage in Oughterard on Lough Corrib. My favorite part was Connemara and the Rinvyle Peninsula. Well, I also loved riding a bicycle around Inishmore (one of the Aran Islands). Although the Aran Islands could be cold in October.

This year we stayed in a cottage for a week in Lisdoonvarna, which is just down the road from Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Burren.

Ireland is not Paris. It's not about hitting all the sights. As another poster said, driving is slow. The roads are narrow and under construction and populated with sheep and cows. (We actually had to wait for a farmer to herd a cow and her calf off the road near Doolin.) Ireland is about the people, the place, and the pace.

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Posted by
147 posts

Mike is correct. Driving is an adventure and it takes a lot of time from point A to B. 60 miles is 2 solid hours. You can make some plans but the mistake I think we all make is not factoring in the drive time, unpacking, stopping to eat etc. Best approach I think is to get self-catering lodging in a central area, then you can venture out on day trips. Cut the island into 1/4ths and do it 4 years. You save big $$ on food and you have 35% more time to explore. I've seen too many folks blur their way through the EU like this and it's more work than vacation. I like at least 2 days in each stop, except the tourist places. And get out of Dublin as soon as you can. It might as well be Chicago or New York or San Fran. Expensive and full or tourists. The best of Ireland is in the small places.

Posted by
2 posts

We just got back from Ireland and were very happy with all but one place. We stayed in Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle, Doolin, Galway and Dublin. Dingle was fabulous. The Slea Head drive is a must--bring lots of film and/or memory cards! Doolin was a really sweet little town and a great base for the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, etc. Kinsale and Kenmare were great too. Spent way too little time in Dublin, I would schedule at least days there. Galway was a huge disappointment. It's a small college town but seems to be very overpopulated judging from the traffic. Not many interesting sights to see either. To it's credit, the people were very friendly. If you stay there, stay in town and not in Salthill. It's too far to walk and because of the traffic, a real pain to get into town. We ended up taking a cab. Ouch.

Don't miss Dingle! And stay at the Milestone House, it's the best.

Posted by
8 posts

Dublin, 2 days, then south to Powerscourt/Glendalough (don't forget the Military road since you're driving). Maybe take a half day for Newgrange. Then to Doolin/Galway for the Aran Islands (we liked Doolin)
Down to Dingle (2 nights minimum) Do not miss Dingle. Then ring of Kerry, Kenmare, Cashel.

Posted by
2 posts

What are your suggestions for things to do and see in Dublin for 2 days? Sharon

Posted by
55 posts

last month we did a northern swing from Dublin. In Dublin we took the hop on hop off bus-theirs is great for the price-saw the Book of Kells at Trinity College and the Gaol, Post Office plus at least saw the other sights ( this was my 3rd trip to Dublin )-the Dublin Castle is also neat.Had lunch at Gallaghers Boxty House in the Temple Bar area.Then we picked up our car and headed to Trim-Trim Castle was nice. Went in to Northern Ireland-saw the Dunluce Castle,giants Causeway and crossed the rope bridge at Carrick-on -Reed.Down from there to Donegal, Sligo ( Yeats burial place ),Cong (neat little town ),day trip to Aran Islands,then Dulin,Dingle and back to Shannon.Dingle is a MUST-stayed at Dunlavin House-what a great place and wonderful breakfast-Denise is a great hostess and place was spotless with fantastic views of the Harbor (she is on the Slea Head Road-10 minute walk to town ).We got lost- A Lot-but didn't let it bother us-saw things we had never seen while being lost ! Kathy