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Itinerary & Lodging Help for Southwest Ireland

We will be traveling to Ireland in June and I would LOVE some help figuring out our itinerary from people who have already been there. Not sure if we are staying too long or not long enough in each location. We are very open to suggestions or changes and would love some advice on where to stay. We don't have anything booked yet. We like to stay in nice B&B's or Inns, moderately priced.

We will be flying into Cork around 11am on Day 1 and renting a car. Here is our plan so far:
Day 1-Drive from Cork to Cobh. Stay in Kinsale.
Day 2-Explore Kinsale. Drive to Kenmare and stop at Macroom along the way. Arrive and stay in Kenmare.
Day 3-Do Ring of Kerry. Stay in Dingle.
Day 4-Explore Dingle Peninsula. Stay in Dingle.
Day 5-Drive to Galway. Stop to see Cliffs of Mohr. Stay in Galway.
Day 6-Explore Galway. Stay in Galway.
Day 7-Drive from Galway back to Cork. Fly to London.

We'd love any and all input. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
9363 posts

It looks like you are doing a lot of backtracking in your itinerary. If you drive to Kinsale, you'll backtrack past Cork to get to Cobh. Your Day 2 is confusing. Kenmare is at one end of the Ring of Kerry, but Muckross House is near Killarney. Then you say you want to stay in Kenmare and do the Ring the next day, which essentially means you're driving in a big circle. You might want to take a look at a map and consult for driving times. I'd be happy to help you work it out if you want to message me privately.

Are you committed to flying back out of Cork? If you flew out of Shannon instead you would have more time to see things in the Co. Clare area and save yourself a long boring drive back to Cork.

Posted by
3 posts

You are right--I've edited my entry to account for the changes you mentioned. Yes, we do have to fly in and out of Cork unfortunately. If you feel like we've left out some good spots on our itinerary, please let me know. Does anyone know if Cobh is worth exploring?
Thanks! Susie

Posted by
9363 posts

Cobh is great -- very cute, and there is a nice museum there called The Queenstown Story that is about Cobh's shipping history, including emmigration, and its status as the last port of call for the Titanic. There is also a beautiful cathedral there. A visit to Cobh should probably take no more than half a day.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Susie,

Sounds like a lot of fun. We toured SW Ireland and Dublin last fall and loved it.

Kenmare was a cute town and a nice stop after the ring of Kerry (or before in your case). Nice selection of Pubs and restaurants. Can't remember the name of the B&B we stayed in but it was in the 2007 Rick Steves book. We just showed up and booked it on the spot...

If I remeber right Macroom was tiny...

We stayed at the Lighthouse B&B in Dingle which was very nice, reasonably priced and well located an easy walk to town but away from the noise with lovely bay views.
(much better in person :) )

I was worried about planning out every detail but my friend convinced me to leave 2 days open and book it as we went and I was glad we did...have fun!

Posted by
67 posts

Cobh is definately worth seeing. I liked it better than Kinsale. A picture from the harbor of the beautifully colorful houses is great.

The highlight for me (a lifelong Titanicophile)
was to stand on the currentdocks and look over to
the last remnants of the dock used for the young Irish persons leaving for a "better" life in America. They left everyone and everything behind - it is understandably called "Heartbreak Pier". You can imagine the tenders loading up to take them out to the Titanic moored out in deeper water for it's only tragic voyage.

Also be sure to see the memorial to the Lusitania which sunk just off the Ireland coast in 1914 (I think)

Lastly, in June the Ring of Kerry will be mobbed with tour buses. Maybe consider the Ring of Beara which is wilder and less crowded and the next peninsula to the east?

Leave plenty of time for Dingle - 2 days would be best.
Have a GREAT trip! You will love Ireland wherever you end up.

Posted by
194 posts

I second Cobh and the Queenstown Story--it was one of my favorite exhibits on our 10-day trip.

I would also second Beara Peninsula. We drove through part of it and went over Healy Pass. It was beautiful.