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Goldiept May 8th, 2005 06:30 PM

arriving Dublin May 20 - need help
I don't understand why my questions haven't been posted so here goes again. We will be driving from Dublin to Galway to Dingle and hopefully to Kinsale before leaving from Shannon. We have 10 days there. Does anyone have any suggestions about interesting stops on the way to Galway? Is there a ferry going south from the Aran Islands and which one of them is the most interesting? PLEASE HELP. Is 10 days enough time to cover this territory without being stressed for time? Thanks in advance for your help.

Edward2005 May 8th, 2005 07:16 PM

At the risk of offending someone who lives between Dublin and Galway, there is nothing of much interest in that area. I would take the train from Dublin to Galway and then rent a car.

Yes, you can take a ferry from Kilronan south to Doolin, but according to my guidebook it is often cancelled due to rough weather. The ferry from Kilronan to Rossaveel seems more reliable. Keep in mind Aer Arann has 3 flights a day between the Aran Islands and the Conemarra airport.

10 days should not be too stressful for where you want to go. I suggest 3 nights for Dublin and sights in that area.

Galway does nothing for me whatsoever*, so I would take the train to Galway, rent a car and drive to Doolin, touring the Burren along the way. Spend a 2 nights in Doolin with a day trip to the Aran Islands (weather permitting). Catch the Cliffs of Moher on your way south to Dingle.

Doolin to Dingle will be roughly a 5 hour drive, but Dingle is worth it. Spend 2 nights there.

Dingle to Kinsale is another 5 hour drive, but you can break that up with a stop at the Muckross House near Killarney. Kinsale is my favorite Irish town by far. You can see its sights in a day, but it's worth another 2 just for the atmosphere and relaxation value.

Kinsale to Shannon should not be a problem since Cork and Shannon are connected by the N20 and are 80 miles apart. Once you get from Kinsale to Cork, you should be at the airport in less than 2 hours. To recap:

3 nights in Dublin
2 nights in Doolin
2 nights in Dingle
3 nights in Kinsale (or 2 in Kinsale and one near Shannon if your flight leaves early).

* Galway has almost no historic value and everything it offers in terms of cuteness, Irish trad, and pubs can be found in much higher quality in any number of small Irish towns such as Kinsale.

JOHNOD May 9th, 2005 04:31 AM

There is nothing wrong with Edwards plan. I will offer a different suggestion just for fun. Two nights in Dublin. This will give you plenty of time to visit the historical sights and sample the Temple Bar at night. Traffic congestion in the city is horrible. Park you rental car for the two days and take the bus. Drive to Doolin for two nights. Along the way wander through the Burren and enjoy the unique scenery. Visit the Cliff of Mohr and then arrive in Doolin. Plan on a long day for this ride. Doolin is not my favorite place but it is the shortest ride out to the Arran Islands. Go the the large island and rent a bike for the day. Have a cup of coffee and let the mini buses clear out. The ride around the island is quite pleasent. Be sure to visit Dun Aengus the view is great as is the view of the Cliffs on the boat ride back to Doolin. Spend another night in Doolin. Drive to Dingle via the Tarbert Ferry and spend two nights in Dingle drive around the peninsula and drive the Connor Pass. Leave Dingle and drive to Kenmare. Thre are two option for this drive. Do the Ring of Kerry counter clockwise or drive through Killarney and stay on the N-71 thought the National Park and then into the Mts. I think the ROK is overrated but others love it. My favorite drive is through the Nationl Park and through the Mts. Kenmare is lovely little town with nice Pubs. One night in Kenamre. Next day stay on the N-71 through the Mts. Stay along the coast and arrive in Kinsale. This is not the shortest route but there is nice scenery. Stop in Clonkilty and visit the Mick Collins museum. Kinsale is my wifes favorite village and you will see why. We will be there again this year in June for 2 nights. Take the walking tour out of the Tourist office in the morning and take the Ghost tour out of the Tap Tavern at night. Be sure to walk around the harbor and up the stone steps and vist the Spaniard Inn. On a good day you can get to Shannon from Kinsale in three hours but you have to drive through Cork City. I would leave Kinsale and drive to Bunratty for the last night and you will only be 20 minutes from the airport. The Castle and Park are a bit touristy but its good for an afternoon. There are three good Pubs within walking distance and good shopping across the stree from the Park. Having said a mouthful I will say that if this was my first trip to Ireland I would skip the Arran Islands, stay one night in Doolin and use the extra day driving around the Sheepshead or Mizen pininsula. Feel free to disregard all of this and HAVE FUN.

Edward2005 May 9th, 2005 05:56 AM

I also think the ROK is overrated, but if you do it I suggest going clockwise, not counter-clockwise. First, most people (and tour buses) take the counter-clockwise route, so you will encounter more traffic going that direction. Second, you will have to look across a lane of traffic to see much of the scenery, a lane which will often be clogged with buses. Remember they drive on the left over there, so by going clockwise you will have less traffic and not usually have to look across a lane of traffic for the scenery.

bucky May 9th, 2005 05:56 AM


I was dismayed to see you estimate a 5 hour drive between Doolin and Dingle. Is that actual driving time or are you including sightseeing stops as part of the time?

The AA route planner listed it as 3.5 hours, 102 miles. I know those estimates can be low, but 5 hours is longer than I was expecting. I don't mind it taking 5 hours if we're stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery, but I'm hoping it won't be 5 hours of actual driving time.

chirogirl May 9th, 2005 08:33 AM

My husband and I travelled to Ireland last October. We flew into Dublin and stayed 2 nights. We were able to see and experience a lot of great sites. If you like history, go to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. Very cool. We then travelled south to Kinsale and stopped in Waterford. Wow, that was a great tour and worth the stop!
Kinsale is a very neat town as well. Great food. I would recommend Max's Wine Bar! We then went up to Blarney Castle (which was neat but a little disappointing) and shopped at Blarney Woolen Mills. They can ship your purchases home so fairly inexpensively so that you don't have to drag it all back. Definitely stop in Dingle and tour the penninsula. Great history to be found! DEFINITELY see the Cliffs of Moher! Beautiful and magestic! I agree about Galway, not much to see. Ireland is still in the 19th century re: their roads. It takes a long time to get anywhere and there are no super highways. Even though it is the size of Maine, travel there is very tedious and time consuming. We went for a week and felt that we saw most of what there was to see in that area. I would recommend a night in Dingle at the Milltown House. It is right on the water and the innkeepers are wonderful! Have a great trip and don't worry about being stressed. Most of all, be patient with the traffic situation. You will finally get there!

Edward2005 May 9th, 2005 09:50 AM

Yes, the time I gave for Doolin-Dingle includes time for the Cliffs.

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