Best Itinerary for 13 days

January 14, 2009

Question:

My wife, daughter (23) and I are planing a 13 day trip to Ireland June 19 to July 2nd. I would like to concentrate mostly in the south and west. We land and leave from Dublin. Frist two days in Dublin are booked. We are driving.

Would like to include Kilkenny, Cork Kinsale, Kenmare, Ring of Kerry and/or Beara Penn, Skellig Michael, Galway, Connamara, Cliffs of Mohr, The Burren, Killarney.

We have B&B vouchers. Any help on route and “must sees” or “must avoids” would be appreciated. Is the Heritage Pass worth it? We all like small and unassuming as opposed to big and bustling. People ,pubs, craic, music and scenery…

Thanks, Fred

3 Answers

  • glenn mcguinness says:

    My wife and I are in Ireland from sept 3 to Sept 12. We are in Dublin for the first 3 nights and then are hiring a car to do a trip around the south and west caost. We are looking at staying at places such as Galway and Doolin, Ring of Kerry. Any suggestions for an itenary would be welcome.
    Thanks Glenn
     

  • Fred says:

    Katherine,
    Thank you so much for your prompt response and your additional suggestions.  I can see several places where we might put one of those extra days.
    You have a very informative webite.

    Thanks again,
    Fred

  • Katherine says:

    I think a fairly logical progression for your route would be something like this, after Dublin:

    Kilkenny (1 night) I suggest going via Kildare and seeing the National Stud and its gardens on the way.

    Kinsale (1 night) From Kilkenny go via Cobh (worthwhile visitor centre, Fota nearby), Middleton (visit distillery), Cork City.

    Kenmare – (2 or 3 nights) Via West Cork, a lovely drive, it will take the whole day, lots of places to stop.

    Do the Ring AND Beara from Kenmare – since you want to see Skellig Micael and it’s at the outer end of the Ring, although it will be pretty crowded at the time you are here.

    You will need to allow about 5 hours for the Skellig visit, so may need an extra day for this. As it’s high season you definitely need to book well in advance, as access is very limited, and then cross your fingers that the weather is good on the day! I highly recommend the Lavelle’s trip – you can email them from their website to book.

    Cliffs/Burren (1 night)

    On the day you leave Kenmare, you could make a side trip to Dingle, and then just go as far as Kilrush for the night. Or head straight on to the Cliffs/Burren and spend the night in Doolin. Either way you’ll need a second day to look around here, so will get to the next stop just in time to sleep!

    Galway (1 night)

    Quick look around the city, then on to Connemara.

    Westport (1 night)

    Rather than doubling back to Galway, head on upwards. You’ll arrive in Westport in the evening, the best time to see Clew Bay and its islands – especially if you are a photographer! Great traditional music in the pubs here at night (Matt Molloy’s pub).

    Athlone (1 night)

    Go via Castlebar and see the Museum of  Country life and Castlerea for this amazing railway museum. Athlone is underrated – take a walk out along the banks of the Shannon, it’s lovely.

    Finally, back to Dublin, with a side trip on the way to Celbridge for Castletown House.

    That is only 8/9 nights, which is not to say that I think you should add extra places – instead, think of staying more than one night in some of the places along the way and seeing things at a more leisurely pace. It could be done in 8 nights, but I’d go slower!

    An extra night in Kilkenny would be good, maybe in Galway or Westport also. Or somewhere in West Cork, or maybe add a night in Dingle. Or perhaps come back from the West via Longford/Navan and add a trip to Bru na Boinne  – you get the idea!

    I’ve mapped this route for you so that you can play around with options on it.

    YES get a Heritage card – it is the greatest bargain in Ireland and you will more than get value from it.

    Have a great time!

    Katherine

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