5 June days in Ireland

Dec 16th, 2007, 07:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 16
5 June days in Ireland

Hello Fellow Travelers:

My husband and I will be arriving late in Dublin after a quick flight from Sweeden in June and have 5 full days to explore. We are a young couple that wants to see as much of Southern Ireland as possible in our trip (including the must see sights). Based on my preliminary research, I have the following draft itinerary:

Thursday - spend night in Dublin

Friday -
Drive towards Kinsale
Rock of Cashel
Blarney Stone (tourist trap?)
Tour Charles Fort
Sleep in Kinsale

Drive towards Killerny
Rock of Cashel
Sleep in Killerny

Saturday -
Drive to Kerry
Ring of Kerry (half day)
Ring of Dingle (half day)
* If have to pick, heard to do just Dingle and take the Slea Head drive Sleep in Dingletown

Sunday -
Drive toward Galway
Dromoland Castle - have breakfast/tea (any castles that you would suggest in place of this one?)
Drive through Limerock
The Burren
Cliffs of Moher
Aran Islands (climb up Dun Aengosa)
Sleep in Galway or outskirts of town

Monday -
Drive to Dublin
What to see in Dublin (if time permits)?
Stay up late and head to the airport for early AM flight to the States!

If you know anything about the travel time between the places on our draft itinerary, please let me know.

Also, I welcome any suggestions on what to cut out or add along the way! (especially regarding Friday)
country2country is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 08:58 PM
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By my count you do not have 5 full days to explore. You arrive in Dublin late. Discount that day. You spend half a day driving from Galway to Dublin. That leaves you 3 1/2 days. On the other days you will do hardly anything but drive.

You have fallen into the typical "see it all" tourist delusion about Ireland. You may even think you can drive from Galway to Dublin in half an hour. For a reality check: http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes/ Add time to the estimates because they are extremely optomistic.

Choose one area to see and delete the rest. Then you will have a trip to remember. There is no way you can do everything on your list without a Star Trek teleporter.
IrishEyes is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Your plan is totally unrealistic. Have you booked all your flights already? If not, I'd fly home from Shannon. That would at least save traveling all the way back to Dublin.

I know there are limited flights from Sweden into Ireland - but if you could connect somehow into Cork or Shannon it would be easier to see the W/SW in your very short timeframe.

Do realize that on many of the roads you will be traveling, you will be lucky to average 35 mph.
janisj is online now  
Dec 16th, 2007, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 342
I just returned from a "long weekend" in Ireland.

I don't think you can do the Ring of Kerry in half a day. We left Killarney at 10 a.m. and only made it to Sneem before it got dark. Granted, you will have longer days in June than we did in December, but a half day won't cut it, and you'll be in a very inconvenient location to just call it good and go to the Dingle Peninsula.

We flew into and out of Shannon. It was very easy, and probably would fit better with what you want to see/do, but can't comment on driving to/from Dublin as we didn't do that.

If you're going to go from the Killarney area to Galway, depending on how you got to Killarney, you'll be backtracking. If you want to see more of the countryside, go from Killarney toward Listowel and take the Tarbert/Killimer car ferry. It's a 25(ish) minute crossing and is pretty cheap.

We did spend most of our time in the car, but we wanted to drive around the countryside and find old castle ruins. We found quite a few and, in spite, of spending most of the time in the car, it was a great trip. It all just depends on how you want to travel. The roads are very narrow and slow going - and we didn't have much traffic as it was off-season. That said, we did purposely try to avoid major thoroughfares and stay more in the countryside.

IMO, your Sunday itinerary is too much. We left Galway at 11 a.m, went to the Cliffs of Moher, crossed the Burren and did a couple little detours for castle ruins, and didn't get back to Shannon until about 6 p.m. It was also a Sunday, and we had very little traffic that day. Again, YMMV due to longer daylight hours, but also might encounter more traffic due to higher season.

Our itinerary (which was purposely, very fluid) ended up being:

Day 1 - Arrive SNN early morrning, drove to Killarney

Day 2 - Ring of Kerry

Day 3 - Killarney to Galway (via Tarbert/Killimer ferry) with reasonable detours and stops for castles along the way.

Day 4 - Galway to Shannon (via Cliffs of Moher and Burren) again minor detours and stops for castles.

Day 5 - Depart SNN late morning

If staying in Killarney, I can recommend the Rossarney House. Nice B & B, within walking distance to center of town. Triona (pronounced Trina), the host is great. She was very helpful with ideas of places to stop along the Ring of Kerry and places to eat. Very pleasant experience.

In Galway, we stayed at St. Jude's B & B in Lower Salthill. Beautiful big house, nice breakfast. Host(s) not quite as personable, but pleasant.

I guess I've sort of just written somewhat of a trip report. I'm sure I've forgotten something, however. Ireland is beautiful and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

going_2_africa is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Posts: 16
Thank you all for your tips/advice. Given our time restraints and our desire to see a lot, what do you think about the revised itinerary:

Thursday - spend night in Dublin

Friday -
AM flight to Cork (could be there before 10am)
Blarney Stone
Tour Charles Fort
Sleep in Kinsale - Ross Castle(less than 1 hour from Cork)

Saturday -
Drive to Dingle (4 hrs.)
Ring of Dingle (Slea Head drive)
Drive to Killarney (1 hr. from Dingle)
Sleep Killarney - Rossarney House

Sunday -
Dromoland Castle - have breakfast
Tarbert/Killimer car ferry
The Burren
Cliffs of Moher
Sleep in Shannon?

Monday -
Flight from Shannon to Dublin
See prison/museum
Stay up late and head to the airport for early AM flight to the States!

Any thing to add/take away? Any suggestions for sleeping near Shannon airport?

Thanks again!!!
country2country is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Maybe I'm missing something, but why are you driving from Dingle to Killarney just to sleep there? You won't get to Dingle till afternoon anyway, and it takes more like two hours to get from Dingle to Killarney (at least, it did for this tourist!). I'd just stay in Dingle for the night. Assuming your estimate of 4 hours for the drive to Dingle is accurate (I can't speak to that), if you arrive around early afternoon, it'll take the rest of the afternoon to do the Slea Head drive (if you have good weather). I'd just stay in Dingle and enjoy the pubs there for the night.

Also, going by the map on Dromoland Castle's web site (I haven't been myself), there's no point in backtracking and taking the ferry if you're set on having breakfast there. You could take the ferry from Killarney or Dingle TO the castle, avoiding driving through Limerick. It'll likely be more like lunchtime before you arrive at Dromoland, though, I'd think. You could probably still do the Cliffs and see some of the Burren that afternoon and evening, but it would be a very full afternoon.
jent103 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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If you're going to stay in Killarney on Saturday night, I would move Dromoland to the next day. Drive from Killarney to the Tarbert/Killimer Ferry, go to the Cliffs and the Burren and end up in the Shannon area. Have dinner at Dromoland rather than breakfast, then stay in Shannon. Or if your flight is not too early, have your Dromoland breakfast that morning, before you fly back to Dublin. As you have it now, your Sunday is a big GIANT circle, and your starting point of Dromoland is a couple hours (at least) from where you propose to spend the night on Saturday(Killarney)

In Shannon, we stayed at the Oakwood Arms Hotel. It is about 5 minutes out of the airport, right next to a gas station to refill your rental car tank. It was nice, a little pricier than I would have hoped for, but location was great for easy access to the airport. Probably could find a B & B for less $. Also, there is the Bunratty Castle and hotel. They have the medieval banquet twice every night. Didn't do it, but have heard pretty good things about it.

I really would rethink your revised Sunday itinerary. I dislike it when people just spout off that you're trying to do too much. It's your vacation, do it how you want. What I see, though, is your starting point being far away from your o/n location and then you're going back where you just came from to get on the ferry. Hope that makes sense.

going_2_africa is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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What do y'all think about Killarney versus Kinsale?

Also, any B&B recommendations for Dingletown?

I'll have a revised itinerary in the next day.

Thanks again for all your advice and Shane, thanks for the support (planning our 52 day trip has been a challenge so it was VERY much appreciated)!

country2country is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 159
Unfortunately, I don't have time to repost the information today. However, I have a detailed description (including time it took to do things) for our 5 night/4 day visit to southern Ireland this past June.

Here is the link to my trip report (not quite finished with it yet ).
If you look at the end of the entry I made on Aug. 28th, 2007 (describing our trip day of June 20th) - that is where the description of our time in Ireland begins.

You will have very long days (sunny until 10pm) working in your advantage. However, all here are correct about the fact that some travel in Ireland is much slower than you would think.

Have a wonderful time on your trip!
Momof3sons is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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I haven't been to Kinsale, but the town of Killarney itself was not all that exciting. The attraction is the surrounding area - the national park and the Ring of Kerry. Which is why it didn't make sense to me for you to drive from Dingle back to Killarney to sleep: you wouldn't be able to see any of the things Killarney is really known for.

Shane makes several good points. I also like to pack my trips fairly full (more full than a lot of posters would recommend), so I understand your wanting to do all the things on your list, but the last version of your itinerary just has a lot of backtracking. I like his idea of doing dinner or the next day's breakfast at Dromoland.

We stayed at Emlagh Lodge in Dingle and thought it was fabulous. (By the way, it's just "Dingle," not "Dingletown" - just wanted you to have the most valuable search term! The peninsula is called the Dingle Peninsula, but the main town on the peninsula is also called Dingle in English.)
jent103 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Wow...52 days...sounds like a great trip you have coming up. Hope it's everything you dream it will be.

Happy Holidays

going_2_africa is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2007, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 16
VERY helpful - thanks everyone!

Thursday -
Sleep in Dublin (arrive midnight)

Friday -
Depart Dublin and arrive Shannon by 9:30am.
Drive by (through) the Burren
Cliffs of Moher
Drive to Dingle (assuming daylight until 10pm as mentioned above)
Sleep in Dingle

Saturday -
Ring of Dingle
Blarney Stone/Castle
Drive to/Sleep in Kinsale
*If Ring of Dingle takes longer, will sleep over in Killarney (or outskirts) and continue drive to Blarney and Kinsale following morning.

Sunday -
Kinsale - spend day and stay the night in

Monday -
AM flight to Dublin
Spend day in Dublin

Tuesday - early AM flight to States

Any further fine-tuning?
country2country is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2007, 07:14 PM
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Posts: 4,514
What time are you leaving Dublin to get to Shannon by 9:30 am after a midnight flight? That's just crazy. That is also just sooo much driving. We covered that much ground in three weeks!
MonicaRichards is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Yes, you would be getting up VERY early to drive to Shannon by that time, but since you're flying to Dublin Monday I'm guessing (hoping! ) you plan to fly from Dublin to Shannon. Otherwise, your itinerary looks very, very full but doable. Many posters say to skip the Blarney Stone, as they believe it's an overrated tourist trap; my suggestion would be to do some thorough research (if you haven't) and make sure it's really something you want to see before taking the time to do it.
jent103 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Posts: 16
Yes, we are flying from Dublin to Shannon. The flight leaves at 8:25am and arrives 9:05am in Shannon.

Blarney Stone - I have read the same and questioned it as well, but my husband wants to do it and my dad actually said it is a nice castle.

Any castles in route that anyone suggest that we check out? (if time permits of course)?

Any B&B suggestions in Dingle or Kinsale?

Thanks again!!!
country2country is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2007, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 185
If interested, you may want to check out this website: www.irelandyes.com. Marilyn is an Ireland travel expert, and could make suggestions for most if not all of your trip. She helped me when I was planning an Ireland trip, unfortunately I had to cancel. Have a great trip, Greg
gregs317 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 149
We stayed in Greenmount House in Dingle. It was expensive, but nice.
Dingle was my favorite part of our Ireland 2006 trip. I especially liked the Oratory.
krisz is offline  

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