Dublin to Killarney and back

We are looking for advice on our plan: We plan to leave Dublin via rental car early on Sat Apr 13 en route to Killarney. We thought to drive along the coast through Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, then head to Killarney. Is it reasonable to assume we can do that in one day, just stopping to see places that interest us? We want to arrive in time for a late dinner at our hotel (the Killarney Park Hotel). We will stay in Killarney Sat and Sun evenings, and return to Dublin on Monday via a more central route (e.g., through Limerick). Any advice on this plan? Also any advice on what to do / see on Sunday and / or Monday on our trip back to Dublin? Thanks!

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1255 posts

We have visited Ireland four times. IMHO the west coast of Ireland is the most scenic part. I would suggest going directly to Killarney so you have more time to see the peninsulas: north side of the Beara, south side of the Inveragh (Ring of Kerry), possibly Dingle or use your time to enjoy the "jaunting car through the Gap of Dunloe / return by boat through the lakes" trip which you can book in Killarney. Save the other area for a future trip. (I would visit Connemara and Donegal before the southeast of Ireland.)......For drive distances and times, use the route planner at theaa.com or use google maps. Distances are accurate, take estimated times with a grain of salt!

Posted by Carol
Fairfield, OH, USA
9 posts

Thanks for your response. How long would the drive be straight to Killarney from Dublin? How about the one we are thinking about (along the East coast)? Thanks!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8272 posts

Driving straight to Killarney from Dublin will take about 5 hours with NO stops. Driving the route you propose will take more like 8 hours (again, with NO stops). It actually could be slower, because the section of coast road south to Arklow can be VERY slow because it is narrow. (If you are talking about taking the highway along that section, it is nothing special.) When do you plan to stop along the way? It doesn't seem that you would have time to stop and see anything at all if you tried to take the coast route.

Posted by Carol
Fairfield, OH, USA
9 posts

Thanks for the helpful advice. We have decided to drive straight from Dublin to Killarney and not try to see the southeast coast. Instead, we'll concentrate on the Kerry area, and hopefully Dingle. Is the crystal factory there good (I sort of had hoped to go the the Waterford facility but that is now out...)?

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
237 posts

It's not quite the same Carol, but if you get to Dingle there is a guy there with a crystal shop that worked at Waterford for a lot years. He does some Waterford-like cuts and some of his own patterns now. I don't think he does demos but he has a nice little showroom (with a coffee shop in the back) and is more than happy to talk about Waterford and his craft. Have a great trip,