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.

Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Val d'Or, Canada
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Topic
Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Will be heading to Ireland on the first of June 2014 and we've been looking to gather up as much information on 'cant miss' and 'the feasibility of our itinerary' as we can. Any opinion would gladly be welcomed.

Budget is 2500$ each

We like nice sceneries, nature, good people and history.

We arrive in Dublin at around 10am and we are renting from Avis (do they have a good reputation?).

Day 1: Dublin to Killarney with a stop at Cashel and Cahil

Night in Killarney

Day 2: Ring of Kerry (How much time should we plan for the ring of Kerry? Do we have time for both Kerry and Dingle in day?)

Day 3: Dingle/Denmore/Connor Pass or Limerick

Night in Limerick

Day 4: Limerick to Doolin/Cliffs of Moher/Burren National Park

Night in Galway

Day 4-5: Connemara/Clifden/Skyroad/Kylemore Abbey

Night in Derry

Day 6-7: Derry/Giant's Causeway/Carrick-a-rede/Dunluce/Marble arch caves

Dark Hedges in Antrim

Night in Belfast

Day 8: Belfast/Dundalk/Monasterboice/Malahide Castle/Titanic expo

Night in Belfast

Day 9-10: Dublin and surroundings

Guiness Museum, Temple Bar, Trinity collège, Jameson distillerie, Killmainham prison, St Stephen Park, Glendalough, Howth, Powerscourt, Lough Tay

We have an extra day we could fit somewhere in there but the trip must start and end in Dublin. Should we spend more/less time somewhere? Are we missing a 'can't miss' somewhere? Pretty sight along the road? We'd enjoy spending part of a day with locals, helping on the farm or something..

Any information will be greatly appreciated! :)

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
Level Contributor
27,027 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Hi, I'll try to break down your points and comment on as many of them as I am able to

(1) Budget is 2500$ each

We use Euros here, prices are in Euros. You don't specify if this is Canadian or US or even Australian Dollars and even if you did, most of us wouldn't have a clue how much this is in Euros. Easiest thing is to put your currency in Euros. You do the conversion.

(2) We like nice sceneries, nature, good people and history.

This will cover most of the country!!

(3) We arrive in Dublin at around 10am and we are renting from Avis (do they have a good reputation?).

Do a search on this forum. Car Hire is a minefield. You'll find as many happy as totally disappointed people.

(4) Day 1: Dublin to Killarney with a stop at Cashel and Cahil

This is a LONG day if you're coming off a red eye flight and driving on the "other" side of the road. The Canadian Government had a campaign several years ago about tiredness being a big killer on roads. The points made therein are still valid.

(5) Night in Killarney.

Where are you planning on staying?

(6) Day 2: Ring of Kerry (How much time should we plan for the ring of Kerry? Do we have time for both Kerry and Dingle in day?)

You will need a full day for the Ring of Kerry assuming your journey starts and ends in Killarney. You can only do Dingle and the Ring of Kerry in a day using time travel. However if you stayed in the region for two nights you could visit Muckross House and Gardens and Ladies View and Torc Waterfall in the morning and Dingle in the afternoon. Its a good compromise.

(7) Day 3: Dingle/Denmore/Connor Pass or Limerick

Don't know where Denmore is. Is it Kenmare? Limerick is off the radar here.

(8) Night in Limerick. Dolans Pub is great for music www.dolans.ie and there are some lovely restaurants here.

(9) Day 4: Limerick to Doolin/Cliffs of Moher/Burren National Park

Good but I think Doolin is vastly overrated and the Cliffs are difficult if its very wet or very windy - in fact they can be closed on very windy days for safety reasons. The Burren is superb. Consider visiting the Poulnabrone Dolmen and The Burren Perfumery as well.

(10) Night in Galway

I'd suggest if you're driving Connemara next day, you go as close to Clifden as you can that night.

(11) Day 4-5: Connemara/Clifden/Skyroad/Kylemore Abbey

Try to take in Killary Harbour (Ireland's only Fjord) as well in this drive. Its lovely and is manageable within the trip if you get to near Clifden

(12) Night in Derry

I hope this is a typo. It will take you nearly 5 hours to drive from Clifden to Derry straight. Again the time travel thing will be needed.

FOR THE BALANCE please let us know how you managed with the time travel thingy.

Day 6-7: Derry/Giant's Causeway/Carrick-a-rede/Dunluce/Marble arch caves

Dark Hedges in Antrim

Night in Belfast

Day 8: Belfast/Dundalk/Monasterboice/Malahide Castle/Titanic expo

Night in Belfast

Day 9-10: Dublin and surroundings

Guiness Museum, Temple Bar, Trinity collège, Jameson distillerie, Killmainham prison, St Stephen Park, Glendalough, Howth, Powerscourt, Lough Tay

We have an extra day we could fit somewhere in there but the trip must start and end in Dublin. Should we spend more/less time somewhere? Are we missing a 'can't miss' somewhere? Pretty sight along the road? We'd enjoy spending part of a day with locals, helping on the farm or something..

BEING REALISTIC YOU NEED AN EXTRA FORTNIGHT, NOT AN EXTRA DAY.

Any information will be greatly appreciated! :)

Val d'Or, Canada
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

(1) Budget is 1800-2000 euros each ;)

(4) Day 1: Dublin to Killarney with a stop at Cashel and Cahil

This is a LONG day if you're coming off a red eye flight and driving on the "other" side of the road. The Canadian Government had a campaign several years ago about tiredness being a big killer on roads. The points made therein are still valid.

I have a 10h flight from Canada to Ireland and have no trouble sleeping on airplanes, should be rested enough to handle a 4h drive? I'm used to 4-6 hour drives here in Quebec. How long should it take to visit Cashel Rock and Cahil Castle?

(5) Night in Killarney.

Where are you planning on staying?

Hotels mostly, haven't booked anything yet, any suggestions?

(6) Day 2: Ring of Kerry (How much time should we plan for the ring of Kerry? Do we have time for both Kerry and Dingle in day?)

You will need a full day for the Ring of Kerry assuming your journey starts and ends in Killarney. You can only do Dingle and the Ring of Kerry in a day using time travel. However if you stayed in the region for two nights you could visit Muckross House and Gardens and Ladies View and Torc Waterfall in the morning and Dingle in the afternoon. Its a good compromise.

Thanks, I'll be doing it in 2 days and explore a little more!

(7) Day 3: Dingle/Denmore/Connor Pass or Limerick

Don't know where Denmore is. Is it Kenmare? Limerick is off the radar here.

Had Denmore in my notes, could it be Dunmore?

(8) Night in Limerick. Dolans Pub is great for music www.dolans.ie and there are some lovely restaurants here.

Great i'll be sure to pass by

(12) Night in Derry

I hope this is a typo. It will take you nearly 5 hours to drive from Clifden to Derry straight. Again the time travel thing will be needed.

As stated earlier, a 5h drive is a common thing for me

FOR THE BALANCE please let us know how you managed with the time travel thingy.

Thanks a lot this is helpful!

Guernsey, United...
Level Contributor
5,199 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

I agree with Bean A - even with 14 nights, you'd be "on the go" the whole time - and honestly, this really isn't the best way to enjoy Ireland. Many first-timers come back to the Forum and state that they wish they'd stayed in 1 location for 2-3 nights (or even longer) and not spent so long in the car driving between places.

Please do have a look at these itineraries and see what can be comfortably achieved in your time-frame:

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i22174-Irelan…

This is a 12-night northerly route which could be altered to 10-night by omitting time in Donegal or Mayo:

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i30139-Irelan…

And it is advised that folk start with a night or two in Dublin, get over the jet lag/travel before renting a car. Your proposed day 1 involves over 4-hr drive, plus allow min. 1.5hrs each in Cashel and Cahir.

You can gauge distances, plot routes here, but be advised that the quoted drive times are "Minimum" and in some cases journeys could take up to 20% longer:

http://www.theaa.ie/routes/#

Val d'Or, Canada
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Thanks for all the info, I'll try to tone it down a little. Maybe spend my first day in Dublin city center.

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
Level Contributor
27,027 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Sarnia has referred you to the AA Route planner. Please look at this carefully and use it when plotting your visit. If you don't believe it use www.viamichelin.com as a reaffirming mechanism.

##I have a 10h flight from Canada to Ireland and have no trouble sleeping on airplanes, should be rested enough to handle a 4h drive? I'm used to 4-6 hour drives here in Quebec. How long should it take to visit Cashel Rock and Cahil Castle?##

You aren't taking account of the Jetlag. You are crossing a number of time zones. Your circadian rhythm will be out of kilter. The roads are different here. While it will be motorway to Cashel, Cahir is on smaller roads. Cahir to Killarney will involve a lot of "off motorway driving". Its challenging for those of us living here.

##Hotels mostly, haven't booked anything yet, any suggestions?##

Lots of places to stay in Killarney. Is this a splurge or a practical night? Some fabulous splurge hotels in Killarney. Some lovely non-splurge places too.

##Had Denmore in my notes, could it be Dunmore?##

The only Dunmore I'm aware of in Kerry is Dunmore Head near Slea Head. Its a bit off the beaten track. Kenmare is lovely, a nice town on the Ring of Kerry. Other than Dunmore Head, there are lots of Dunmores in Ireland. Its literal translation is "Big Fort".

##As stated earlier, a 5h drive is a common thing for me##

But on CANADIAN roads not Irish Roads. And remember your plans for the day will take up most of the day.

Guernsey, United...
Level Contributor
5,199 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Or maybe Dunmore Cave in co. Kilkenny???

http://www.kilkennytourism.ie/dunmore_caves

To give you some idea of the roads in rural areas:

flickr.com/photos/…

My photos include some of the Connor Pass and roads through the Burren region.

Val d'Or, Canada
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

I use google maps for my itineraries, I've check out AA and the distances and time frames are very similar.

If we take off for the Ring of Kerry at around 8AM, will we have time to see a lot and be back in Killerney for 5-6PM?

How much time to tour the Dingle Peninsula? The Burren? Connemara?

Lots of helpful information on here, again thanks a lot!

Val d'Or, Canada
Level Contributor
21 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Have to admit those roads look a lot like the one we have in rural Quebec lol

They seem narrower, but I live far from big centers like Montreal and some of our roads are quite dangerous.

Stunningly beautiful though

Guernsey, United...
Level Contributor
5,199 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Yes, 10hrs will give you time to see a few sights and sites on the Ring of Kerry - we spent several days exploring the area when we rented a house near Kenmare some years ago :

ringofkerrytourism.com/ring-of-kerry-attract…

heritageireland.ie/en/…

www.stonepages.com/ireland/staigue.html

http://www.skelligschocolate.com/

http://www.kissanesheepfarm.com/

Then in/around Killarney, which lies on the Ring of Kerry :

http://www.killarneynationalpark.ie/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_of_Dunloe

heritageireland.ie/en/South-West/RossCastle/

http://www.muckross-house.ie/

Dingle : the very minimum a full day from Killarney, better still a couple of days/nights based in DIngle. In a day you'd be able to look around Dingle town, then head west out around Slea Head to enjoy the scenery and discover sites 100s, 1000s of years old:

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19068-Best_o…

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19854-Dingle…

flickr.com/photos/…

The Burren - again, a full day and night in the area will give you time to see a few sites, but 2-3 days, you could visit caves, take a guided walk or go for a hike, take a hawk walk, visit a farmers market, take a stroll along a beach . . . .

tripadvisor.co.uk/GoListDetail-i19855-Burren…

flickr.com/photos/…

This is an excellent site for information on the area:

http://www.burrenbeo.com/

Connemara - same goes for Connemara. You can see a few sights in a day's excursion from Galway city:

http://www.connemara.ie/

http://www.roundstone.ie/index.php

http://www.oughterardtourism.com/

http://www.connemaranationalpark.ie/

http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/

http://www.corribcruises.com/

http://glengowla.goegi.com/

I've only driven through Connemara on two occasions and by no means know it well. I'm planning on heading up to the area from co. Clare for a visit to see more and won't consider staying for less than 2nights, 3 days. . . .

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,387 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Planning 11 day trip in Ireland

Way too much driving for my liking too. You have the advantage of long days but don't ruin that by being too tired to have time to sit back and soak up the scenery and atmosphere.

I was going to comment on the northern section but to be honest, I don't fully understand it as it isn't clear where you were planning to overnight on which nights so I'll hold fire until you come back with a revised itinerary:)

The thing with the roads here is that they are winding, narrow and so demand concentration. Then we have the sheep rambling by, tractors and other vehicles crawling merrily along and slowing you down, confusing signs, roadworks, potholes - ah the list is endless. But on the plus, there is such great scenery that you will also want to stop for photos or detours - you'll see an interesting sign and you'll want to explore.... This is all why less is more in Ireland:)