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Ireland-7 Days

I will be going to Ireland for the first time next month, because I got such good airfare I couldn't pass it up. We only have 7 days and since we just returned from a European trip over the holidays we will be on a tight budget. I bought Rick's book yesterday and have started looking through it. I would like to know what some of you veterans think of my proposed schedule.

Arrive early Friday morning, get rental car and drive to Kilkenny. Spend night 1 there. The next day drive to Dingle, by way of the Rock of Cashel (is it worth going to?) and spend 2 nights there. Night 4 is up in the air. Another night in Dingle? Doolin with a trip to the Cliffs of Maher? Any other suggestions would be welcome. Then back to Dublin for nights 5-7. I would prefer to end the trip in Dublin for two reasons, it will be less expensive to be there on weekdays as opposed to the weekend, and I would rather not stress about something happening further away and not getting back in time to fly home. We have to fly in and out of Dublin and the tickets are already purchased. Any suggestions are welcome, both with the itinerary and with lodging suggestions or things to do that may not be covered in a guidebook. Thanks!

Posted by
9363 posts

It's too bad that you're not flying into Dublin and out of Shannon, but what's done is done. The Rock of Cashel is definitely worth visiting! I would suggest spending night 4 someplace like Lahinch or Doolin. The Cliffs of Moher are between the two, and there is a beautiful new visitor center there. I'm not sure you're right about things being cheaper in Dublin during the week than on the weekend, though. Certainly prices at restaurants, attractions, and local transportation don't change - maybe you'll save a little on lodging? The last couple of days in Dublin will give you a good chance to see the city and maybe take a day trip to Newgrange (assuming you might be visiting Glendalough on your way to Kilkenny).

Posted by
10215 posts

I looked into flying to Shannon, but the very cheap airfare wasn't available for that airport. As I mentioned before, the only reason we are going at this time is because I was able to get roundtrip tickets from Sacramento to Dublin for about $420. I had to do it ! We just got back from Europe in January and we have a 3 week trip to New England planned for the fall, hence the short trip. And yes, the lodging in Dublin is less expensive during the week. I realize the cost of other things will be the same. We need to try to do this trip as economically as possible. Thanks for your imput.

Posted by
8700 posts

Adding to Nancy's suggestions. When you leave Dingle, take the Killimer-Tarbert ferry across the Shannon River and take the coastal route to Lahinch. Spend night #4 there or in Doolin. The next day see the Cliffs of Moher, go east a little way past Kilfenora, then drive north through the Burren to Ballyvaughan on R480. Then head for Dublin.

Posted by
2712 posts

I agree with the previous posts. I would give some thought to spending two nights in Doolin/Lahinch and cutting back a night in Dublin. Dublin is just another big city IMO and while it does have some interesting sights, you can see them all in a day or day and a half.

Posted by
10215 posts

Here's what I am thinking now: Night 1 - Kilkenny, then take our time driving to Dingle via the Rock Of Cashel. Nights 2 & 3 (maybe 4 too??) in Dingle. If we only spend 2 nights we will really only have one day there. Is that enough? If night 4 is in Dingle we will drive back to Dublin for nights 5,6,& 7, then go home. If we only spend 2 nights in Dingle we will probably spend night 4 in the Doolin area. Maybe we will not reserve anything for that night so we can just wing it. I would like to see as much as I can, but I don't want to short change the Dingle area just to try to get to another area for a brief time. Is Dingle worth 3 nights/two days?

Posted by
9363 posts

If you go straight from Dingle to Dublin you'll miss the Cliffs of Moher and the Co. Clare area altogether. Save one night for Lahinch or Doolin before heading back.

Posted by
10215 posts

Nancy - I considered just what you said, but I don't want to short change Dingle just to see the other area that I would really like to see too. I wish I had more time. I am trying to decide between seeing as much as possible, or going with the attitude that I will be back some day to see the other places I am interested in. I have already reserved a B&B in Dingle for 2 nights. I might just not make a reservation anywhere for the following night. That way, if we have seen enough of Dingle we can head up to the Cliffs, or we can stay the extra night in Dingle. It's a weekday the last week of April, so I hope finding a place last minute won't be a problem. If we decide to stay in Dingle and our B&B doesn't have a room for us that night we can just move to another place.

Posted by
2712 posts

Andrea, I think either option is a good one, so maybe your idea to keep one night open is a good one. You can drive around the Dingle loop and see the town in one day. But Dingle is the kind of place you just feel like settling in for a while. Two other reasons you might want another day are: 1) the weather could be really gray and rainy one day and 2) it would give you time to visit the Great Blasket Island, which was my very favorite place in Ireland. It's only good if you are able to walk alot and climb hills, but it's beautiful and fascinating.

All that said, I think you would also enjoy the Cliffs of Moher and Burren area. So again, there are no bad choices here.

Posted by
113 posts

Andrea,
First, just a quick general note. April is not a high season IMO and there are lots of B & B's in Ireland. I don't think you will have any trouble finding one if you want to keep a few nights open. (If you need a suggestion for Kilkenny, try Hillview B & B)

Depending on what you're wanting to see and do, 2 nights might be enough in Dingle. You might have a few hours of daylight after arriving then a full day to tour and maybe 2-3 hours the next morning.

If you plan to take the ferry as Tim suggested, keep in mind that if the weather is bad and they have choppy water, they might not be running. We ran into that situation in '05 except we got on the last trip before they shut it down.

Without knowing what you want to accomplish in Dublin and what time your flight leaves, I'd say 2 nights would be sufficient. If you find you have extra time driving back to Dublin from the west and you like monastic sites, consider a stop at Clonmacnoise.

No matter what you do, you will have a fantastic experience.

Posted by
10215 posts

Our flight arrives at 9:25 a.m. on a Friday. We leave the following Friday at 10:55 a.m. I thought if we arrive back in Dublin late on the Tuesday that really only gives us two days there. We obviously won't have time the last day to do anything but get to the airport. I think the best option at this point is to leave the Monday night free and figure out what we want to do after we are there. I don't want to rush off and not see all we want to see of Dingle, but I also don't want to have to stay in Dingle if we are done with it, if you know what I mean. My brother was over today and he suggested that instead of heading north after Dingle, that we should head south and go along the coast on our return to Dublin. He seems to think that it would be more like the equivalent of driving on Highway 1 (beautiful coastal route for those who don't know) as opposed to Interstate 5 (not so beautiful valley route). I must mention that while in Ireland, he traveled by train and bus. Looking at the map, the southern route doesn't appear to really parallel the water. Has anyone done that? Thoughts? Thanks for all your replies. I appreciate everyone's input so far.

Posted by
6 posts

In one day, we drove from Kinsale along the R600 & N71 cutting north to Balleylickey to Beara Peninsula, across Healy's Pass,through Kenmare to Caherdaniel. We spent the night there. It was not the coastal drive we expected but we were not disappointed. It was a long travel day but our host in Kinsale suggested Healy's Pass and it turned out to be one of our favorite sites. Accommodations are plentiful so having no specific plan shouldn't be a problem. Try Dublin's Maldron Hotel Parnell Square.