itinerary for 3 week tour

January 4, 2009


I’m planning a 3 week tour of Ireland with my young-adult nieces in early June, 2009. It’s my first trip to Ireland. I’ve outlined our general itinerary below and would welcome any comments.

Generally, we enjoy being outdoors and seeing historic sites and want to do walking and biking around an area to see the sights.

We’re planning to use train and bus for transport.

Day 1 & 2 Dublin
Day 3 Travel to Bushmills
Day 5 Giant’s Causeway/Belfast
Day 6 Kilkenny
Day 7-9 Cashel
Day 10–13 Kenmare (Day 11 Ring of Kerry Bus Tour)
Day 14-16 Doolin
Day 17-18 Glendalough
Day 19-20 Newgrange
Day 21 Dublin

Thanks for your feedback and help!

3 Answers

  • IrishFlair says:

    It’s hard to beat this itinerary , Pat, so I won’t even try.  I do have a couple of alternative suggestions for making day trips (or longer) out of Dublin if you’d like.

    Personally, I prefer Katherine’s suggestions for your trip rather than more time in/around Dublin.

    And, if it’s at all possible, please consider renting your own car and doing a self drive.  So much easier than using public transportation and a lot more freedom to come and go as you please.  You can still do the route laid out by Katherine, just use the extra time you will have to go on more horse or bake rides, hiking exploring, etc.

    Safe travels,


  • pat says:

    Thanks for the suggestions.  I’ve been pouring over bus and train timetables to try to find the best options.  We’d really prefer to stay in smaller towns rather than cities but it looks like we may have to make some compromises because of our travel restrictions.

  • DoChara says:

    I hate to say this, but your itinerary is simply impossible in parts. The fact that you have such a long time is a great help!

    When you decide to tour by public transport you have to approach your planning in a different way – you see what transport is available first and work around that, rather than starting from what you want to see.

    Your leap on day 5 from the Giant’s Causeway to Kilkenny for example. That would mean a bus or train from the Giant’s Causeway to Belfast (2 hours 20 mins), a train to Dublin (2 hours 10 mins), crossing Dublin by bus to a different train station (20 mins, more at rush hour) and then a train to Kilkenny (1 hour 50 mins).

    That’s almost 7 hours just sitting on buses or trains, and none of those are likely to smoothly interconnect, so you’ll have waiting time to add at each change of transport and the last train to Kilkenny leaves at 6.30. So if not impossible then at least very unpleasant.

    Here is how I’d change thing.

    1 -4. Dublin
    Staying in or near the city and taking day trips to Newgrange and Glendalough. You really don’t need to spend an overnight in either of those places.

    Dublin bus do guided day tours to both, taking in other places on the way that you simply would not get to by public bus, and would be far preferable to public transport as neither places are well served by buses and would not be practical by bike either.

    Days 5-6:  Kilkenny

    Day 6-9: Killarney

    Most of the first day will be spent getting there – you get a train from Kilkenny to Waterford then the bus to Killarney.

    From Killarney you can get tours of the Ring of Kerry and of the Dingle peninsula.

    Day 8-9: Limerick

    There is a direct bus from Killarney to Limerick. Spend the day in Limerick and overnight there.

    Day 10-12: Doolin

    A great bus leaves fom Limerick, which goes via Ennis (get off for a while and catch the next bus) via the Cliffs of Moher (again, get off) to Doolin. 

    Spend the second day in Doolin on a bike tour of the Burren.

    On the third day travel on to Galway

    Day 13-14:  Galway

    Do a tour of Connemara on one of the days. Leave early the last day for Derry, it’s a 5 hour trip  to Derry.

    Day 15: Derry

    Spend the day looking around the city and overnight there.

    Day 16-18: Belfast

    From Belfast do an organised tour to the Giant’s Causeway as it will allow you to see other places on the causeway coast also. I’d also recommend doing a tour of the Mourne Mountains from Belfast.

    I’ve only done 18 days deliberately – it leaves you scope to decide where you’d like to spend some extra time exploring either on foor or by bike and a day in hand to get back to the Airport.

    Hope this helps,


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