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russ_in_LA Nov 2nd, 2017 08:42 PM

7 days in the Southwest in late September
We are going to be passing through Ireland next summer on the say to and from France. We will spend 3 nights in Dublin in late June, and 7 nights in the countryside in late September. Below is what I was thinking for the 7 day portion, picking up car at Dublin airport and returning to same. Our goal is less than 3 hours in the car per day, if possible. We'd like to see a varierty of countryside, towns and villages, castles, and prehistoric or other cultural sites. Here are my questions:

1) Would Ennis be a good place to spend the night and if not, what nearby would you recommend? I don't know much about it, but I chose it based on being the halfway point between the night before and after.
2) Our flight home is from Dublin is at 12:30pm on a weekday. I thought if we left Galway by 8am we'd be in the terminal by 10:30. Does that seem reasonable? Should we give ourselves more time?
3) Would it be better to reverse the trip order so we have a shorter drive back to the airport on your last day?

Any other suggestions for things to stop and see en route would be appreciated. Thanks!

Visit Kilkenny Castle Drive time 1:24 Sleep at Kilkenny

Visit Rock of Cashel, Ross Castle Drive time 2:52 Sleep at Killarney

Visit Ring of Kerry Drive time 3:26 Sleep at Killarney

Visit Dingle Pennisula Drive time 2:20 Sleep at Dingle

Visit Adare, Bunratty Castle Drive time 2:30 Sleep at Ennis or ?

Visit Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Dunguaire Castle Drive time 2:21 Sleep at Galway

Visit Aran Islands, Clifdon, Connemara NP, Drive time 3:23 Sleep at Galway

Depart Dublin Airport Drive time 2:10

Tony2phones Nov 3rd, 2017 07:27 AM

The most annoying thing I find on the forums is Time. sorry but it is. Your times won't work. You have a bit too much on your wish list for 7 days.

Galway to Dublin Airport can be done in 2 1/2 hours, I might hypothetically have done it in 2 to make a flight in an emergency but scrapped the car when I got home.

You need to be at Dublin Airport 3 hours before your flight, especially if pre clearing US customs and 3 hours drive time is more comfortable. To be honest, Dublin/Howth/Malahide/Trim/Kells would be better for your last night.

I would have 2 nights in Killarney as a touring base and drive the Dingle figure of eight on a long drive between Killarney and Ennis. Yes Ennis is a good option.

You can easily find the distance between points. 35 or 40 MPH is a good non motorway average anything better is a bonus and if you average 30 mph for your 7 days you will have done well including motorways.

russ_in_LA Nov 3rd, 2017 09:26 AM

Thank you for your reply! I already have Killarney for two nights listed, so I assume no need to change that. The times I indicated were from Google maps, but I prefer to rely on knowledge from people such as yourself for refining that, so I'll update my times accordingly. It might be better if I reverse the trip so my last night is Kilkenny (or between there and Dublin). If I do drive from Kilkenny to the airport, I'll be sure to leave by no later than 7am, just to be safe. Thanks again!

Tony2phones Nov 3rd, 2017 01:54 PM

Sorry, saw the 2 nights Killarney. I was saving a night to use somewhere closer to DUB before departure. Taking the night from Dingle is the logistical option to do that although Dingle does have a protected (you must stay) status on a couple of forums.

Google maps are better than they used to be on times but don't factor for the inevitable delays.

russ_in_LA Nov 3rd, 2017 06:14 PM

Since it would be about 180 miles from Killarney, through the Dingle Loop to Ennis, that would be 6 hours in the car (at 30 MPH average speed) which my back won't be able to handle, so here is one more option that perhaps gives a bit more breathing room. If you don't mind, please let me know if this looks more realistic (or if you think I should cut out something else instead of what I have elminated). Thanks!

Arrive at Kerry airport, pick up car, drive to hotel Drive time :18 Sleep at Killarney

Visit Ring of Kerry Drive time 3:26 Sleep at Killarney

Visit Dingle Pennisula Drive time 2:20 Sleep at Dingle

Visit Adare, Bunratty Castle Drive time 2:30 Sleep at Ennis

Visit Cliffs of Moher, Burren, (Dunguaire Castle?) Drive time 2:21 Sleep at Galway

Visit Clifdon, Connemara NP, (Ashford Castle?) Drive time 3:36 Sleep at Galway

Visit Aran Islands (fly if possible in late Sept) Drive time 2:34 Sleep at Dublin area

Depart Dublin Airport Drive time to airport :30

Bette Nov 6th, 2017 08:17 AM

We have been to Ireland several times and always use this AA site to plan our route and time. Take note, the time is for "local" drivers well use to the narrow roads. The rule of thumb is to add at least 25% to drive time for visitors.

I think you have way underestimated your drive time on each day.

russ_in_LA Nov 6th, 2017 02:47 PM

Hi Bette, thank you for the useful information. I checked the AA site versus Google and they seem to agree within 2 to 3 minutes for most routes. However, I will take your advice to add 25% to all of my drive times. Fortunately that still leaves five of my seven days under three hours. The other two longer days are loops, so if we get tired we can always cut some of it out. Thanks again !

paulg Nov 6th, 2017 07:34 PM

Yes, Google Maps will predict the same time as every other site now. You will hear all kinds of recommendations for other sites/apps, but just use Google and you'll be fine ... they have the biggest database in the world (disclaimer, I do not work for Google :) ). We didn't have to add 25% to the times, but we had good luck with fairly open roads everywhere we went in July. Where you should add overhead to the drive time is for stops to see things, but that goes without saying in places like this.

Be aware that, depending on what you do on the RoK, it can be an all day affair. We spent 11 hours on it and didn't see everything, but we did spend a lot of time at several beaches because the weather was so nice that day.

And yes, you need 3 hours at DUB. That gave us less than 30 minutes to spare due to all of the US customs stuff to go through.

Have a great trip!

russ_in_LA Nov 7th, 2017 06:37 AM

Thanks for the info, paulg. In case it wasn't clear, I have no intention of doing any of these drives in one continuous shift. I expect to take 10 to 12 hours each day completing these drives, including stops. Less time in the car means more time to explore. I'll be sure to give myself 3 hours at the airport. It looks like my second itineary above will better allow for that.

Thanks everyone for your input!

russ_in_LA Nov 7th, 2017 06:41 AM

By the way, we both have Global Entry, which allows us to use the kiosks when re-entering the US, which cuts our wait time to just a few minutes. I just read that they have this at the CBP preclearance at the Dublin airport as well. Does anyone have any experience with this at DUB? Thanks!

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