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Forums » Ireland » Leave for Ireland in One Week Help!


Leave for Ireland in One Week Help!

by /bio/katyg »


We will be visiting Ireland for 12 days with 2 additional travel days flying into Belfast and out of Shannon Airport.   Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.  This is more driving than we initially planned…..but here we are.


Day 1 - Arrive Belfast 9 AM, drive the Coast Road to the Giant’s Causeway and stay in Coleraine.

Where is the best place to pick up the Coast Road, if you don’t want to start the drive in Belfast and where is a good town/place to stop for lunch?


Day 2 - Visit Derry and drive to Donegal B&B by 5 PM.

Is Derry an easy place to tour on your own or should we get a tour guide. Lunch/cafe suggestions?


Day 3 - Visit Glenveagh National Park, stop in Ardara and take the boat ride at the Slieve League Cliffs.  Stay at Donegal B&B

Is this too much for one day?  Is Glencolumbkille worth a stop?


Day 4 – Donegal Town, Donegal Castle and drive to Westport.  Matt Molloy’s in PM.  Westport B&B


Day 5 - Drive to Cong through Conemmara and stay at the Ashford Castle.

Do we need to take the ring to Clifden to view the 12 Bens or can we cut off at the earlier pass?


Day 6 - Drive to Adare stopping in Galway.

Is parking difficult in Galway?  Any recommendations?


Day 7-Visit Adare and drive to Kenmare, stopping at the Muckross House and Sheep Farm.  Kenmare B&B


Day 8 – Visit Kenmare and drive the Beara Penisula or visit the Bantry House.  Kenmare B&B

Any preferences?


Day 9- Drive to Dingle. Dingle B&B

We are planning to skip the Ring of Kerry, as per everyone I know…but… if we left early morning, 8:00-8:30 and drove the Ring clockwise… I am hearing it’s doable and not to be missed.  Comments?


Day 10- Drive the Dingle Peninsula and visit the Blaskett Islands.  Dingle B&B


Day 11 –Town of Dingle.  Dingle B&B


Day 12 Dingle to Airport Hotel for early morning departure the next day.

We are considering driving to Doolin via Conor’s Pass catching the car ferry at Kilbrush for the Cliffs of Mohr and /or Aran Islands?  Is the Kilbrush Ferry the same as Kilmar? How crazy/doable is this on our last day in Ireland.  We would drop off the car at the airport by 10 PM.


We want to see Puffins.  Best places on our route for birding?


Any suggestions where to buy a gold charm for a vintage charm bracelet?


Any wonderful eating/drinking places in these locals?


Thank You…Thank You.


PS Hello Wendy!





RE: Leave for Ireland in One Week Help!

by /bio/pauline-frommer »

Wow, those are a lot of questions!

Some that I can answer: yes, it's very difficult to park in Galway. If I were you, I'd skip the city and spend more time in the country (in fact, I'd say that in general your itinerary is too jam packed; while Ireland looks small on a map, it's actually takes a long time to get from one place to the next because you're often driving on winding country roads).

Don't attempt the Ring of Kerry AND do Dingle. Really, you'll get everything the Ring of Kerry has in Dingle, with fewer crowds and a less touristy atmosphere. The main reason the Ring of Kerry is so well known is it has wide enough roads for tour busses and still gets the same types of sites you'll see in places like Dingle. Dingles roads are smaller, which is a blessing for the independent traveler. Truly, you're not missing anything by skipping the Ring.

Conor Pass is lovely, but trying to see it at the Aran Islands in just one day is pushing it. You can more easily do it and the Cliffs of Mohr.

As for Derry: I think you'll get more out of it with a guide, though you don't need a private one. There's a terrific walking tour that goes twice daily in Derry and will give you all the history of the Troubles and what led up to them over the centuries. Derry is a truly fascinating place: don't give it short shrift!

Have a wonderful time!


Pauline Frommer