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.

First timer itinerary

Level Contributor
20 posts
51 reviews
Save Topic
First timer itinerary


We are a group of 4 adults planning our first trip to Ireland. We will be going in early June 2013 flying into SNN out DUB. We will have a car rental for most of the time. Trying to keep everyone happy in a short amount of time :)

Our interests: me - ancient sites, nature - the least crowded the better

Sister - must do's : Blarney and drive by of Bono's (from U2) neighborhood

Hubby - just does not want to be in the car driving the whole time - no backtracking

Cousin- just happy to be going,as we all are!

Sun jun 1 - arrive on different flights from US. Pick up car, explore And overnight Ennis

Mon- spend whole day exploring the Burren region. Any suggestions on short <3 miles hike? Overnight Doolin

Tues- explore Cliffs Moher then likely down coast to Kilkee, ferry over the Shannon. Overnight B&B in Castlemaine. I understand there is not a lot of action in Castlemaine, but we don't mind that....I assume there is at least one place to eat;)

Wed- whole day on Dingle peninsula, doing the slea head drive, then seeing a bit of the town. Overnight Castlemaine again

Th- explore Killarney Nat Park and a little of the town. Late afternoon drive to Blarney and overnight there at castle hotel

Fri- first thing in am Kiss the stone and explore the gardens, drive to Rock of Cashel and explore for a bit, then on to Dublin to ditch the rental car. Is this day doable?

Sat- guided tour Wild Wicklow tour to Glendalough . Would like to have guided tour for this one

Sun- some fly home, rest tour Dublin and surrounding areas by guided tour or public transport for a couple of days

Dublin- is Ballsbridge area good for tourists? I have read not to stay in Temple Bar. We don't mind a little bit of walking, or taking the bus,but don't want to spend too much time "commuting".

Thank you in advance for any comments!

We are trying to see a lot, without spending the whole time in the car. Hopefully this itinerary hits some of the highlights, and allows time for unplanned surprises!

Level Contributor
299 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: First timer itinerary

Delighted to hear you are coming over:) I think your itinerary is doable and doesn't seem too frenetic. As for your day in the Burren, check these sites for information on hiking routes: www.burrenwalks.com or www.heartofburrenwalks.com.

When you are in Killarney, I'd suggest you to make a jaunting car tour of the National Park, one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery and relax at the same time.

Regarding the day you are planning to visit Blarney Castle, you could spend the morning there, kiss the stone, take a tour of the castle and explore the magnificent gardens. From Blarney to Dublin it would be around 3 hours drive taking the M8.

As for guided tours to Wicklow\Glendalough, there are plenty of companies operating the service: www.coachtoursofireland.ie, www.daytoursunplagged.ie and www.dublinsightseeing.ie are all good options. I hope you all will enjoy your adventure in Ireland!

Level Contributor
1,850 posts
159 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First timer itinerary

Thurs: When in Killarney, if time permits, I would suggest that you visit Ross Castle and take the guided tour, which gives a great insight as to how the medeival nobels lived. the tour lasts about 45 minutes, but you may have to wait for a tour - heritageireland.ie/en/south-west/rosscastle/

Fri: Again, I recommend you avail of the guided tour for the Rock of Cashel, as it will make it a much more interesting visit. Tour takes about 40 minutes, and you may have to wait for an English spaeking one, but I think it'd worth it. On your way to Cashel, you pass by Cahir, where there is a very interesting castle to visit(but by then you might have seen enough castles). Also, just a very short distance outside Cahir, is the Swiss Cottage, which is also very interesting - heritageireland.ie/en/… . Dublin is easy two hour drive on motorway from Cashel

I would avoid staying in Temple Bar, but there is a good choice of hotels in the city centre, to suit all budgets, and would be within walking distance of many of the sights, and therefore avoid commuting. Ballsbridge is just that bit further out - 10/15 minute bus ride, 30/40 minutes walk. Here's two hotels in the city centre that would be well located - http://www.brookshotel.ie/ and …jurysinns.com/jurysinn_christchurch and there are many others.

For those staying on in Dublin, a nice trip to consider would be out to Malahide/Howth, which are nice coastal villages, with a wide variety of reastaurants and coffee shops, and some beautiful walks. You could get the DART from the city centre to Malahide, and then from Malahide get the #102 bus, which goes along the coast, to Sutton DART station and from there get a connecting DART to Howth village. In Howth you could get the #31 bus up to Howth Head for great views of Dublin Bay, and the 31 would also take you back into the city centre.

I'm not sure that driving through Bono's neighbourhood is worth going to the trouble for!

Level Contributor
4,828 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First timer itinerary

You say hubby doesn't want to spend the entire time driving but that is what you are doing everyday- driving from place to place, trying to squeeze in all the very crowded tourist sites. Why don't you plan 2 day bases at least?

Level Contributor
20 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First timer itinerary

Thanks very much for your insight and comments. These forums are so helpful!

Yes, one of the guided tours I looked at (Wild Wicklow I think it was) said it drove you "near the houses of the rich and famous". My sis was interested in doing this, and we were all interested in going to the Wicklow Mountain area, even if just for a little bit, so hopefully everyone will be happy :)

Thanks also for the reference for some walks in the Burren area.

5. Re: First timer itinerary

-:- 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: 24 January 2014, 05:15