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MitchGross Jul 31st, 2007 10:32 AM

Fodorites, please give feedback on proposed Ireland itinerary. Thanks.
My family (five adults) will be taking our first and probably only trip to Ireland. We are big hikers and enjoy being outdoors.

This is the itinerary I have proposed, but I am afraid some parts are too crammed. Any suggestions would be great. We could probably add one or two days if necessary.

Day 1
.Depart for Shannon, Ireland

Day 2
•Arrive in Shannon
•Drive to Clifden (2.5hrs)
•Explore Clifden

Day 3
•Hike Connemara National Park
•Depart for Doolin(2.5hrs)

Day 4
•Cliffs of Moher
•Explore Burren
•Depart for Dingle (3.5 hrs)

Day 5
•Explore/Hike Dingle Peninsula

Day 6
•Depart for Kenmare
•Stop to hike Killarney National Park

Day 7
•Depart for Kinsale (1.75 hrs)
•Relax in Kinsale

Day 8
•Drive to Cork (45 min)
•Drop car, catch early train for Dublin
•Arrive in Dublin

Day 9
•Explore Dublin

Day 10
•Depart for home

CowboyCraic Jul 31st, 2007 11:21 AM


That is a lot of ground to cover in 10 days, 9 actually. What time of year are you coming over? It is good that you are planning to arrive in Shannon and depart from Dublin. The only area in the North that I see you covering is Clifden, is there a particular reason for wanting to go to Clifden? I usually suggest a 2 night minimum stay in any given area. The areas of Dingle, Kenmare, Kinsale all beg for 3 night minimums but are feasible if you do two nights. There is excellent hiking in all of the areas which you have chosen but you might want to pare them down to allow the needed time to truly experience Ireland.

Your driving times are off a bit. If you were using driving planning sites such as Michelin or AAIreland, they are usually over optimistic in their time estimates. Take the distance, convert to miles (thanks, IrishEyes!) and then divide by 30 or 35 (your actual mph) to get your actual driving times.

Let us know when you are looking at traveling over and we can better help you iron out the lumps in your schedule.

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine

chatham Jul 31st, 2007 12:01 PM

I too think you have a lot of places for your 9 nights. I'm a fan of all the places you mentioned. Connemara is such a lovely place. Clifden is a good place to stay while exploring this area. As Bit said, you really need to spend at least 2 to 3 nights in one area. If you want to go both north and south, you might need to cut something out.

Good Luck, Joan

IrishEyes Jul 31st, 2007 12:56 PM

Totally agree that if you do not want a whistle stop tour of Ireland you should spend 2 - 3 days in each place.

MitchGross Jul 31st, 2007 07:22 PM

OK, I was afraid of this. We will be going over in early June. Any suggestions on what to cut out? Again, I could probably add a few days. Thanks for all of your help.

MitchGross Jul 31st, 2007 07:55 PM

I have added three days to our trip. How does this look. I still have some questions:
Is Westport or Clifden a better base for Connemara?
From what I have heard, I think I would like to avoid Doolin. Any suggestions for where to set up camp on day 4.

Thanks again, hopefully this looks better.

Day 1
Depart for Shannon, Ireland

Day 2
Arrive in Shannon
Drive to Clifden (2.5hrs)
Explore Clifden

Day 3
Hike Connemara National Park
Stay in Clifden

Day 4
Depart for Doolin (2.5hrs)
Explore Burren
Stay in Doolin

Day 5
Cliffs of Moher
Depart for Dingle (3.5 hrs)

Day 6
Explore/Hike Dingle Peninsula
Stay in Dingle

Day 7
Depart for Kenmare
Stop to hike Killarney National Park

Day 8
Drive Ring of Kerry
Stay in Kenmare

Day 9
Depart for Kinsale (1.75 hrs)
Relax in Kinsale
Stay in Kinsale

Day 10
Drive to Cork (45 min)
Drop car, catch early train for Dublin
Arrive in Dublin

Day 11
Explore Dublin

Day 12
Depart for home

chatham Jul 31st, 2007 10:19 PM


This looks much better. Clifden is a nice village but I've heard such good things about Westport, I don't know if it is too far for your first day drive. I've stayed In Lisdoonvarna twice. Two good hotels are Sheedys' Country House Hotel and Carrigan. It's well located for touring the Burren and seeing the Cliffs. It would be much quieter than Doolin. The rest of your itinerary looks great now.


IrishEyes Jul 31st, 2007 11:13 PM

If it is Connemara you are interested in then Clifden is a good place to stay. It is a smallish town with some good restaurants, pubs and good places to stay. It is not called the capital of Connemara for nothing.

Doolin is okay if it is not a weekend. It is very close to the Cliffs of Moher. Otherwise you could try Lisdoon as Joan suggested or Ballyvaughan or farther south to Lahinch. Too bad you will not have time for Loop Head:

Skip Kinsale and spend an extra day in Kenmare. The Beara Peninsula is marvelous. Hiking everywhere. I expect you to come back from your trip and thank me for mentioning Beara. ;)

Gleninchiquin Park:

You can drive to Killarney and take the train to Dublin from there.

Momof3sons Aug 1st, 2007 07:52 AM

On our recent trip with a group of 6 we stayed at the Ballinsheen House in Lisdoonvarna The Inn was lovely, the breakfast was probably the favorite of many in our group and the location was ideal for seeing the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren area. The owner was quite helpful and gracious and she had beautiful gardens all around the inn. I believe that I used a different, owner direct, email than the website noted above provides - the information for the Ballinsheen House is also in Rick Steves.

CowboyCraic Aug 1st, 2007 08:53 AM


This is definitely a better itinerary. I would add a day to Clifden though, as there isn't enough time on that first day to do it properly. I will add a voice for Lisdoonvarna. It is a lovely town and an excellent stopping place in between.

You can make it a leisurely drive up to Clifden, making stops at the Cliffs of MOher, a lite lunch in Doolin, a drive through the Burren and then from Galway up in to Clifden. It will be a longer drive taht way, but it will help you fight the Jet Lag by giving you plenty of opportunities to get out and stretch and breath in the air.

You had indicated on Day 3 that you wanted to hike Connemara National Park and drive south. The Park draws you in and holds you. You could easily spend most of the day there. That is another reason why I suggested adding the extra night in Clifden, as it will give you a relaxing evening before heading south.

Enroute from Lisdoonvarna or Doolin, which ever you choose,to Dingle, you can take the Killmer/Tarbet ferry,, and shave driving time, enjoy a nice 25 minutes on the water and give your driving legs a rest.

There is a lot to see and do on Dingle. Check out this site,, and you will get a better insight into what Dingle offers.

Two nights are Kenmare are good. You will want to do the Beara Pennisula instead of the Ring of Kerry on day 8. You are all outdoor enthusiasts so Beara is where you want to focus, IMHO. You can see a bit of the ring of Kerry on your drive from Dingle to Kenmare.

You can either drop your car in Cork as planned on the tenth day or you can do as IrishEyes also suggested and drop the car in Killarney and take the train from there.

Late May to Early June is a great time to head over. The tourist season hasn't exploded yet, the gardens will still have some of their blooms and the weather is, usually, on its best behavior.

Lodging Siggestions:

Clifden -
Dan O'Hara's

Lisdoonvarna - Ballinsheen, as another poster mentioned already

Dingle - Blooming Wildflower Cottage,

Kenmare - Annagry House

Dublin - Abberly House

I hope that this helps. You will have a grand time in Ireland. Just remember that the best memories are made when least expected.

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine

chatham Aug 1st, 2007 10:30 AM


We all have our favorite places to stay. If you want a list from a lady who stays in the accommodations she recommends, go to IrelandYes web-site. I haven't gone wrong with staying in places Michele Erdvig has recommended. Another web-site with a good and longer list , is IrelandExpert by Pat Preston.

I agree with IrishEyes about skipping Kinsale and adding a day to Kenmare. The scenery around Kenmare is outstanding while the village of Kinsale is lovely, it can't hold a candle to Kenmare-Killarney area.

Good Luck, Joan

MitchGross Aug 1st, 2007 02:24 PM

Thank you all for your wonderful advice, especially regarding the Beara Peninsula. We have added that instead of driving the Ring of Kerry.

My last question (for the moment) What is the best part of Dublin to stay in? For a reference point, when I am in London, I like to stay around Pimlico. I prefer to not stay in a tourist hub.
Thanks again for everyone's suggestions.

IrishEyes Aug 1st, 2007 03:45 PM

The Dublin 2 area just south of the River Liffey is the city center where you can walk to almost everything. It is the most expensive part of Dublin. The Dublin 4 area of Ballsbridge is a bit more suburban and quieter but you will have to walk 15 to 20 minutes into the city center for sightseeing or take public transportation. If you want something farther out I would recommend Malahide Village (a few miles north of Dublin). You can catch DART right into the city center from Malahide.

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