We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Self Driving trip

LIncoln, NE
Level Contributor
815 posts
147 reviews
Save Topic
Self Driving trip

Ireland Itinerary this October 8th -23rd. I’ve revised per previous TA suggestions. Ready for more opinions. .

Dublin – (2 full days) with hop on hop off or other tours – Pick up car rental

Glendalough, and Wicklow – (1day) – Two choices, do these as a day tour with a touring company out of Dublin and back to Dublin, or pick up our car rental and head out ourselves.

Rock of Cashel – If this is a “do not miss”, suggestions on where to fit it in with above sightseeing choice.

Kinsale, and Cobb – (2days) – overnite in Kinsale

Bear Peninsula -( 2days) - overnite in Kenmare

Killarney, National Park – (1day) - still need an overnite choice

Now both of these next area look great from the internet and wondered, if with driving time of my tentative itinerary, could I do both?

Doolin and the Cliffs of Mohr - - overnite in Doolin

Galway and the Connemara area drive (3 days)– I’m leaning toward this and spending about three days - overnite in Galway

Drive back to Dublin – ½ day

Each area I’ve researched seems to have a “castle” to visit. Any suggestions from TA on them. We can’t stop at all.

After spending two whole days in Dublin (which too is up in the air), we would have 12 days to sightsee but need to have travel time too . I realize that’s not much, so am eager to hear from you. Since we come from the middle of the USA, the coastal areas would be my choice. I have cut out the Ring of Kerry, which I know is a popular tourist attraction. Based on other recommendations, I did so.

The only thing set so far is our air travel. I haven’t pre-booked a car rental or lodging, sightseeing tours, etc. We will do mostly B&B's but not vouchers. Still need sightseeing suggestions, other than driving, in the areas I've chosen. Thanks again in advance for all your help.

Level Contributor
516 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Self Driving trip

I'd self drive everywhere but Dublin. You have no need to do bus tours. Walking tours are great. Dublin is a great way to kick off your visit. As far as your itinerary, I'd skip the Kinsale/Cobh leg.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
Level Contributor
18,926 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Self Driving trip

I would use Clifden as a base for the Connemara.

Guernsey, United...
Level Contributor
5,199 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Self Driving trip

Ok, assuming you leave home 8th, arrive in Dublin 9th October (??):

9-10 October - Dublin

The hoho bus is a great way to see the city - but as beamish12 has mentioned, it's also easy to explore on foot. Maybe a day of hoho and a day on foot?

11 October - Glendalough

Recommend you collect rental car (maybe Hertz in the city??) and drive through Wicklow to Glendalough, then on to Kilkenny or Cashel for the night. Think I'd opt for Kilkenny overnight.

This is enough distance to cover in 1 day.

12 October - Cashel and Cobh

It's abour 1hrs drive from Kilkenny to Cashel. You'll probably spend a couple of hours in Cashel.

On your route from Cashel to Cobh/Kinsale, you'll pass by Cahir, where there is a very fine ruined Castle; maybe play it by ear, see how much time you have:


What exactly do you want to see in Cobh??



The total drive Kilkenny to Kinsale will take around 3.5-4hrs, so you'll have to make some choices as I don't think you'll have time to visit Cashel, Cahir and Cobh in a day - unless you spend 2 nights in Kinsale, which would free up a full day to see Cobh and environs.

13 October - Kenmare

This is a really scenic route taking in the south coast of Cork:


14-15 October - Kenmare

Spend a day exploring Beara Peninsula: a great area for hiking/walking and discovering prehistoric sites:




and a day in Killarney National Park:


if the weather isn't nice, then you could opt for Muckross House, possibly Ross Castle:



16 October - Kenmare to west Clare (for Cliffs of Moher)

It's about 4hr drive to the Cliffs. Your route will take you past Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which you might like to visit for a couple of hours; I find it really interesting:


Doolin is a very popular destination for tourists - but be aware that the village is very small and comprises a few pubs plus tourist accommodation and a couple of shops (and no atm). That's it! I've stayed there twice at the Roadford end of the village, which has a nice rural feel to it.

Another option you might like to investigate: Ballyvaughan which is about 35-40 minutes drive up the coast from the Cliffs:


There's alot to see in this area (the Burren), so you might like to spend 2 nights in west Clare:





17-19 October - Galway

Here are a couple of places/activities you may/may not have found:



20-22 October

If you've added a further night to Kinsale and west Clare, you'll have about a day left to plan. You might like to drive across to co. Meath and see some of the sights in the county; I highly recommend Newgrange:


and Trim Castle is another fine example of a medieval castle:


If you intend visiting lots of "heritage ireland" sites, then it will be worth buying the heritage card (note: not all heritage sites have credit card facilities, so best take some cash, just in case):


You'll find this road map invaluable: you can order online, or buy in Dublin:


and this is a good web-site for gauging distance and plotting routes - but we recommend adding a furthe 20% to the quoted drive times to allow for possible delays and driving on unfamiliar roads:


For accommodation, I like to look here first, and compare with reviews here on Tripadvisor:


Some nice places here too:



4. Re: Self Driving trip

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 June 2013, 21:42