Ireland Itinerary, June 2011

Jan 15th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 179
Ireland Itinerary, June 2011

I would appreciate any help/input on this itinerary! My husband and I will be going on our first trip to Ireland this June. We are planning to rent a car and already bought our tickets to fly in and out of Dublin. Originally we had wanted to fly into Dublin and out of Shannon but we could not use our AA miles at the Shannon airport.

June 16: flight gets into Dublin in the morning, explore.
17: Dublin
18: Rent a car drive to Belfast, night in Belfast.
19: Drive the Antrim coast, specifically to see Giant's Causeway, stay in Belfast.
20: Drive to Clifden, with a stop in Galway.
21: Connemara
22: Connemara, possibly a trip to Aran Islands.
23: Drive to Doolin, explore Cliffs of Moher, Burren. Stay in Doolin.
24: Drive from Doolin to Dingle.
25: Slea Head Drive in Dingle.
26: Killarney National Park, stay in Kenmare.
27: Ring of Kerry, Skellig Michael, stay in Kenmare.
28: Drive back to Dublin, with a stop at Cashel and Kilkenny on the way.
29: flight leaves in the morning to return home.

I would specifically like to know:
1. If anyone else has driven from Belfast to Galway? I am aware it will be a long trip, may take the whole day and that is ok with me. What is the best way to go? AAIreland says to go through Dublin.
2. Where should we stay in Dublin? We are trying to keep it under 100 euros, and because we are staying in B&Bs at all of our other destinations Dublin does not have to be a B&B.
3. Is Belfast a feasable base to drive the Antrim coast?
4. Would you stay an extra night in Dingle and forego one of the nights in Kenmare?
5. Keeping in mind the limited amount of time we have, is there a better route you would suggest?
nspotz is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 27
It appears you will only have one night in Dublin? If so, when you arrive in Dublin, you may want to drop the rental car at the airport, then you could get an airport motel, esp if you get in late and/or have an early next morning flight. However, if you get into Dublin with some time to sight-see that evening or even the next morning(if you have a late morning flight), you could still drop the car at the airport(Dublin is awful to drive around in) and take an airlink bus to a downtown that we are using close to a bus stop is the Monte Clare....under 100 Euros/night when we booked. If you have 2 consecutive nights in Dublin, definitely stay downtown.

As for Dingle/Kenmare...we really liked both towns and I think a 2/2 split would be ideal especially if you want to do Killarny Nat'l Park, R.of K. and Skellig Michael using Kenmare as a base. cheers Dan
rvflyer is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 04:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,214
When I travel from Belfast to Clifden I go through Enniskillen and Sligo. I think it is more direct and slightly quicker. You could visit Galway on your way from Connemara to Doolin. Allow about 6 hours for the journey. If you really want to stop in Galway on the way there I would go via Monaghan.

Belfast is fine for a driving to the Antrim coast and a better starting point for your travel to Connemara. Make sure you go from Belfast to Causeway via the coast road and come back inland. The coast road is longer but very picturesque.
cambe is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 50
I also recommend you avoid driving into Dublin citycentre, but there is a really pleasant hotel on seafront in Sutton, a Dublin suburb, which is 20 mins drive from the airport, on DART (commuter train into city) and I think its a great base for exploring Dublin if you wanted to.
The Marine Hotel is very well run, has a reasonably priced restaurant and is very comfortable. I have enjoyed my stays there and we use it to meet family when I travel to Ireland.
Patricia1066 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 50
The Marine Hotel often has special weekend offers, but at the moment for June the cost of one night Double room with breakfast is €75
Patricia1066 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 05:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
nspotz-- you do have put together a nice Windshield Tour of Ireland....a lot of driving. A word of warning posted repeatedly on this forum: estimate time and a half for all distances on Ireland roads. For example DAY 28: start very, very, very early if you really want to stop in Cashel and Kilkenny.
Viajero2 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 50
The route Belfast to Galway takes you to the ringroad around Dublin. You will pay a toll (ask the car rental company how to arrange payment) and you avoid Dublin citycentre.
You can drive there in 5 hours, or get stuck in traffic and take considerably longer.
You have picked wonderful places to visit, hope you enjoy every part of the holiday.
Patricia1066 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,214
Good point made by Patricia1066 about the toll on M50 and M1. If you register beforehand the toll co. will deduct (I think) 2.50 euro from you credit card but make sure you are registered as it is a barrier free area and they take a photograph of the number plate. You can pay later (at a cost) but it is complicated.

This is why I suggested going through Monaghan - no tolls, OK no motorways either but it is hassle free if not a regular user.
cambe is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 03:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 179
Thank you to everyone for your replies! I am willing to endure a few long days of driving in order to be able to visit northern ireland as well as the west and southwest coast! I am planning on 30 miles an hour at the very least... do you think this is a good estimate? My husband and I are kind of fast-paced travelers, we don't really like to stay more than two nights in one place on these kind of trips. We would rather see more places for a shorter amount of time than one place for a longer stay.

rvflyer-i actually have two nights in dublin at the very beginning of the trip and one night at the end, i think i might take your advice and stay near the airport on the last night.

cambe-thanks for the tips! I will stick with Belfast.

Patricia1066- I will check out the Marine hotel!
nspotz is offline  

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