Ireland Itinerary...too far?

Dec 26th, 2005, 01:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 35
Ireland Itinerary...too far?

Hi, I've revised my 11 day itinerary to try to include Giant's Causeway, and Slieve League. ANY comments are appreciated.

Day 1. Arrive in Shannon 8am rent car,
to NewGrange. Stay in Navan or

Day 2. Drive to Giant's Causeway. Stay in

Day 3. Drive to Donegal. Stay in

Day 4. After touring Slieve League Drive
to Westport

Day 5. Westport

Day 6. Drive to Clifden. Stay in Clifden

Day 7. Drive to Cliffs of Moher. Stay in

Day 8. Drive to Dingle. Stay in Dingle.

Day 9. Drive to Kenmare. Stay in Kenmare.

Day 10. Hike Gap of Dunloe. Stay in

Day 11. Tour Beara Peninsula and Mitzen
Head. Stay near Shannon for
morning flight.


Drive to Rock of Cashel. Stay
near Shannon.

By the way, my wife and I live in Roanoke Virginia, and this is our first trip to Ireland. We are particulary interested in scenic drives, hikes, and small towns. Someone asked me if my name refers to Labrador Retrievers. Yes it does. Unfortunately, "Ripley" won't be traveling with us.


loves_labs is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Hi Love Labs (I love labs too!!),

Is it possible for you to fly into Dublin and out of Shannon?

Your first few days are all very long drives. By flying into Dublin it is a short distance to Newgrange and you could stay overnight at Trim or Slane. Don't forget you will be very very tired. From there it is a good 2.5 hour drive to the Giants Causeway and I would recommend you take the coast road from Larne which would add another 15 - 30 mins but worth it for the wonderful scenery and views.

I personally don't like Ballycastle and think there are much much nicer areas to stay in the vicinity but perhapes you have your own reasons for staying there. The road from Coleraine to Donegal town is good but from there to Killybegs is very narrow. However, it is also very scenic and definetly worth the drive. Should take about 1 hour to Donegal and anything from 30mins to 1 hour to Killybegs.

After that everything looks fine to me but there are much better people than me to advise on the West Coast.

Have a good trip

cambe is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 374
First may I welcome you to the land of welcomes and I trust you will have a most enjoyable and plesent trip.
As you are anxious to travel northwards could I commend the suggestion of flying into Belfast International Airport and start your journey from there and then make your way southwards to arrive at Shannon for your return journey.
I know Continental Airlines started flying into Belfast direct this year. They also have flights from Dublin and Shannon direct back to Newark with many connections in America.
Examine the situation from your end and also the hiring of a car in Belfast and leaving it off at Shannon.
For such a lot of driving do not hire the cheapest car as you will end up with a small car that may not be that comfortable on the long journeys.
Your journeys down the west coast are fine. When you leave Doolin for Dingle go via the Shannon Ferries (20 minutes) It will spare you a lot of driving.(
Also look at and
For the North Ireland
CU is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 04:02 PM
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Posts: 35
Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately, I've already booked our air. We'll definately try the coast road from Larne. I'll try to find another town than Ballycastle to stay at.
loves_labs is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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IMO I think you have too much driving planned. The drive from Doolin to Dingle, even taking the ferry will be 4-5 hours. Not enough time to enjoy any one place.....
What about choosing between Westport and Clifden so you can add an extra night farther south?
zaneyjaney is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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Hi zaneyjaney, Which would you chose, Westport or clifden? Where do you think I should spend the extra day?
loves_labs is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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If you are flying into Shannon, I would stay on the west side of Ireland. Your original itinerary has you criss- crossing the country! Exhausting! If you've never been, your average speed is 30 mph!!!!!!!!!!So here's my two cents worth.
Day 1 After arriving, drive up to Clifden. It will take @ 3-4 hours. Enough driving for a jet lagged day.
Explore Connemara the next day and stay another night in the area.

Day 3 Drive to Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher, stay one night checking out the pubs.

Day 4 Using the ferry at Killimer drive to Dingle and spend 2 nights there.

Day 6 Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe, Ring of Kerry, etc 2 nights there.

Day 8 Kenmare. Beara Peninsula, etc. for 3 nights.

Day 11 Drive to Bunratty or an area close to the Shannon airport for the last night.

Save Giant's Causeway, Newgrange and even Donegal for another trip. You will see the most beautiful country and be rested and happy that you took the time to enjoy it!
zaneyjaney is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 06:12 PM
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Thanks, Z.J. You make good sense.
loves_labs is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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zj's proposed itinerary is a good one. We spent 10 days just doing the SW Peninsulas and still felt rushed.

Don't miss Mizen Head -- Maybe look into adding a day or so in Kinsale.
Budman is offline  
Dec 27th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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Zaney offers good advice. Her itinerary would work well. Since you are from the east coast, the jet lag won't be quite as bad (hopefully) and 3-4 hours is what I consider maximum. Some people like to see as much as possible and we sometimes get scolded when we suggest that slowing down is a good idea, but I agree that seeing the northern half will just turn into a drive fest. Slow down and enjoy. I think you'll be happy you did.

wojazz3 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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I agree that you were hoping to 'see'too much. To get an idea of routes and time and click on 'routes'.
You will miss a lot but what you will see will be worth seeing.
CU is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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Thanks everyone for the good advice. I'm redoing my itinerary.
loves_labs is offline  
Dec 29th, 2005, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 331
I can recommend a hotel and restaurant in Leenane, Connemara for you.

Blackberry Cafe has the most wonderful mussels! And the Leenane hotel has wonderful views!

Have a look at for more detail.

Leenane is very quiet but right on the waterfront of 'Ireland's only fjiord' (?)
luckykat is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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Posts: 5
I am also planning a trip - but i would like to spend about 5 days in Ireland and 5 days in Scotland. we were thinking of flying to Shannon and drive from there towards Antrim (Giant's Causeway) and then take a ferry out to Scotland. On the way to Antrim, I wanted to know what stop are worth making - Hills of Moher, Connemara, Giant's Causeway? - Also, is the ferry trip worth taking? ANY COMMENTS are appreciated
nbny is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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nbny, I would recommend starting a new thread with your questions rather than piggy backing onto loves_labs'.
Budman is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 06:47 AM
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Budman, i did,
nbny is offline  

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