Help with Driving/Ferry Itinerary

Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53
Help with Driving/Ferry Itinerary

My husband and I will be going to Ireland for our honeymoon in late April. Our funds are very limited and we plan on booking double rooms in hostels most of the trip. I've traveled extensively there before, but he's never been, and I've never gone by car, so I'm not 100% sure about how long things will take--when you go by bus, everything takes all day! =)

Here's the current itinerary:
Day 1: arrive Kerry airport in the evening, drive to Kenmare for dinner and sleep.
Day 2: drive to Caherdaniel for ferry to Skelligs--I've read that 10:30 to 2:30 is the general timetable for the ferry trip if you plan on exploring Skellig Michael on foot. Anyone been?
In the afternoon, drive N around the ROK, sleep in Cahersiveen.
Day 3: Drive up through Inch to Dingle. Ferry to Great Blasket, explore the island. Overnight in Dingle.
Day 4: Drive around Dingle Peninsula and then on through Limerick to Cashel to sleep (nothing we want to see in Limerick per se, but it's the way the road goes). How long does it take to see the Rock? I've heard Cashel doesn't take too long, so we were really planning on simply sleeping there if there isn't much to see.
Day 5: Down to Cahir to see the castle in the morning, on to Kilkenny in the afternoon to see the castle and sleep.
Day 6: To Glendalough in the morning. Return car in Dublin in the evening.

We definitely want to see Skellig Michael and the Great Blasket, and we'd like to see some great castles and ruins. Glendalough is a must for us as well. Do you think this is too much? Or, alternatively, are Cahersiveen and Dingle so close, for example, that we would be better served to press on to Dingle to sleep on Day 2 and maybe go up to the Cliffs of Moher on Day 3 as a side trip on our way east? Any thoughts, advice, or reccommendations would be much appreciated!
thursday is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
Hi Thursday:

You have a pretty busy trip planned though it can certainly be done. Figure your drive time based on a 35MPH average.

The only problem that you may face is that it is not unusual for the boats to cancel due to bad weather on either of the trips. The boat trips to Skellig are notorious stomach churners, so be prepared for that if the boats do run. Since you only have one day in each area, you'll have to rely on the luck of the weather to make the trips.

Start times for the trip to the Skelligs range from 10-11 and the boat trip itself is anywhere from :45 - 1:15, usually with a couple of hours scheduled on the island. The boats are quite small by the way, so again, be prepared to get tossed about and get wet

Cahersiveen is a short trip from either of the two harbors that the boats leave from. If you wanted to make it to Dingle so that you would have more than one night at a location, that would probably be a good idea.

The Blaskets provide some nice hiking trails from what I understand. The boats leave regularly, or so they say. I've heard complaints that sometimes they fail to show up to pick you up for quite a while if there are no more passengers coming from the mainland. This is second or third hand info, so don't take it as gospel. I think trying to fit the Cliffs of Moher in on day 3 of this trip is too much. Since day 3 is currently your Blasket day, I'm not sure how tyou could fit that in. You certainly can't do the Skelligs and Blasket in the same day.

If I were going to from Dingle to Cashel, I'm not sure I would go via Limerick. That sends you through Tralee also and you are likely to get lost in one of the two, most likely Limerick. It's not a terribly interesting drive, especially west to east because the mountain of Kerry are in your rear view mirror. I'd probably go through Mallow.

Figure a couple of hours at the Rock of Cashel. It could be less or more depending on your level of interest. Nothing less than an hour.

This really is a very full trip and would not be my choice for a honeymoon. That said, many people like to travel this way. Ireland is a land of slow pace and, to me, that is the way to enjoy it, but many like to hit as many spots as possible on a trip. However you approach it, I'm sure you'll have fun.

wojazz3 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53
Thanks for the advice, Bill-

Just thought I'd clarify a typo--I meant we might do the Cliffs of Moher on Day 4, not Day 3, since Day 4 at this point is just driving and possibly seeing the Rock of Cashel. We definitely do like to be on the move, but we don't want to rush through...a difficult balance sometimes.

Is Cashel a good city to stay in, or would we be better off staying somewhere more less touristy? It's just a place to sleep and get a few pints, but we'd like to enjoy it obviously.
thursday is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
We took the boat out to the Blaskets, and it was the biggest mistake we made.

The boats only hold 12 people at a time, then you have to take a little dingy into the pier. The dingy holds only 6 people, so he made 2 trips.

There are several boat companies that transport you out to the Blaskets, and you have to return with the one you came on.

We went out at 11:00am and wanted to return at 2:00pm and set this up with the boat Captain. We got down to the pier at 1:45, and no boat. The boat didn't show up until 3pm. At 3pm, there were about 24 people wanting to go back at the same time, but the boat could only take 12.

We were 2 of the lucky ones to get on the boat for that trip, but the remaining people would have to wait a minimum of another hour or more for the boat to come back for them.

Lots of unhappy people, and there is nothing to do out there but wait on an empty pier.

It was our biggest waste of time on our 10-day trip. My recommendation, if you are interested in the Blaskets, go to their Heritage center.

Budman is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 794

THe Blaskets are really beautiful, i remember going there and spending a glorious sunny day on the island when i was 16 ( many moons ago)! Its where the movie Ryans Daughter was filmed.

I did the Skelligs last year, and I was as we say in Dublin " dog sick" its a rough journey, i wouldnt do it again, but my hubby loved it. The puffins are delightful, and its so nice to see dolphins other than Fungi in Dingle ( he's old hat at this stage)! Caherdaniel is lovely in the summer, I've never been in spring, but if you have time visit Derrynane its very quaint. Glendalough is one of my favourite places in my own country, its really beautiful and unspoilt, I hope you get a nice day there weather wise as its even more magical when the sun shines ( which doesnt happen too often in Ireland)!
Hope you have wonderful honeymoon, Congratulations and I hope you have a wonderful married life.

lucielou is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 102
I definitely wouldn't miss the Rock of Cashel. I loved it. And there are the ruins of a friary down the hill behind it. My family walked through the pasture to it, picking our way through black and white cows. We took a lot of photos with the crumbling, ancient arches as backdrops and could look up at the hill to the Rock and know we definitely weren't "in Kansas" anymore. You definitely don't need to spend the night in Cashel and two hours is long enough to be there.

I wouldn't go to two islands. I'd pick one and skip the other. They are interesting, but if the weather is not good, they can feel very bleak. It was the small towns and walks through the countryside that made my spirits soar.

My day at Glendalough was one of the best of my life. Had a great tour guide, though, so that made a difference. I regret not having gone to Powerscourt Gardens, also south of Dublin. You might want to check into that.

Across from Kilkenny Castle is a great craft center for shopping.
brewlew is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
Hi thursday:

I would think going up to the Cliffs and then back down to Cashel would be too much for a day. I think one way to look at it is to do what you can do, and if you don't get everything in, don't worry about it. You can always come back again sometime. You may want to try not making reservations. April is still fairly low season and you should be able to find rooms, though finding double rooms at a hostel might be a little hard at the last minute. You could always call ahead to a town you knew you were staying in on the next night.

wojazz3 is offline  

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