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Trip List by Sarnia G

Itinerary: 7-Nt Fly-Drive ex Dub: Kilkenny, Cashel, Dingle, West Clare, Galway

Jun 19, 2012  I Heart Ireland
4.0 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

A 7-night fly-drive itinerary starting from and ending in Dublin, visiting the medieval city of Kilkenny, the Rock of Cashel, Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, and Galway city.

This could be altered to a 9-night itinerary by spending a further night in Dublin in order to take a day-trip to Newgrange and Hill of Tara in co. Meath, or Glendalough in co. Wicklow, plus an extra night in Galway in order to visit Connemara or take a day-trip to one of the Aran Islands.

  • 1. Dublin

    Day 1

    Arrive Dublin airport, take taxi or aircoach to city centre. Drop bags and explore the city. It's easy enough to explore on foot, as Dublin city is fairly compact. Alternatively, take the HoHo bus if you wish to explore further afield, ie Phoenix Park.

    Overnight Dublin.

  • 2. Kilkenny

    Day 2

    Collect rental car, either from Dublin airport office, or a city centre office. Many folk prefer to return to the airport to avoid driving in the city, however, I found it an easy drive from the centre to the motorway.

    The drive to Kilkenny will take around 2-2.5hrs and once in the city you will discover some interesting medieval buildings: St Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower; Shee Alms House; the Tholsel, and Kilkenny Castle. Opposite the Castle you will find Kilkenny Design Centre where you can purchase quality items designed and made in Ireland.

    You might want to call into Kyteler's Inn for a drink or meal; it has an interesting past.

    Overnight Kilkenny.

  • 3. Rock of Cashel
    Rock of Cashel, Cashel

    Day 3

    Get an early start in order to visit the Rock of Cashel before the tour buses arrive. The drive from Kilkenny will take around 60-70 minutes.

    There is a carpark at the foot of the Rock, and then it's a short but fairly steep walk to the entrance. Expect to spend between 60-90 minutes at the Rock.

  • 4. Dingle
    Dingle, Dingle Peninsula

    Day 3 continued . . .

    Continue to Dingle; after an hour's journey (approximately), you will reach the pretty town of Adare, where you might like to stop and stretch your legs, maybe get a bite to eat.
    Continue to Dingle town (approximately 2-2.5hrs).

    You will be spoilt for choice regarding accommodation and places to eat in Dingle town. There is something to suit all budgets: from hostel to luxury guest house, simple pub supper to high quality restaurant.

    My favourite eateries: Goat Street Cafe; Global Village; Ashe's Pub and Restaurant; Fenton's; An Canteen (no credit cards).

    Dingle Peninsula is growing in popularity amongst tourists and it's not difficult to see why: stunning scenery and gorgeous beaches; opportunities for walking/hiking, horse-riding, kayaking, surfing and boat trips, plus family favourites like the Aquarium, Seal Sanctuary and Indoor Climbing Wall. Dingle has something to offer everyone.

    The Town has some super shops selling quality items designed and made on the Peninsula: Dingle Crystal; jewellery (Nu Goldsmith; Brian de Staic; John Weldon); paintings; ceramics and pottery; knitwear.

    Overnight Dingle.

  • 5. Dingle Town and the Slea Head Drive

    Day 4

    Take a full day to drive out beyond Dingle town, around Slea Head, where you will discover a wealth of sites dating back to prehistory, plus beautiful sandy beaches, pretty villages and stunning scenery.

    Click on the above "GoListDetail" link for a detailed route.

    Overnight Dingle.

  • 6. Dingle to the Cliffs of Moher and Burren

    Day 5

    Time to depart Dingle and head for West Clare: the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.

    Click on the above link for a full day's itinerary, travelling via Tralee and Listowel to the car ferry at Tarbert, which will carry you across the Shannon to Killimer, co. Clare.
    Optional side-trip to Loop Head before continuing up the coast to the Cliffs of Moher and onwards to Doolin or Ballyvaughan for your overnight stay.

    Overnight Doolin or Ballyvaughan.

  • 7. Burren Highlights

    Day 6

    The Burren is a fascinating limestone landscape scattered with villages and farms, and historic sites dating back to Neolithic times.

    In spring/summer the limestone pavement is covered in beautiful flowers that can be found elsewhere at the seashore and at alpine level: a unique feature of this area.

    Favourite sites: Burren Birds of Prey, near Ballyvaughan; Burren Perfumery, near Carron; Caherconnell Fort (R480).

    Details of sites can be found on above "GoList" link.

    Continue around Galway Bay, through Kinvarra and Kilcolgan to Galway for the night.

    Overnight Galway.

    Option: you may wish to spend a 2nd night in Clare if you wish to avoid changing accommodation.

  • 8. Galway

    Day 7

    Spend the morning strolling through Galway city centre; it's a compact city, easy to walk around. Final opportunities for shopping:

    Charlie Byrne's Bookshop recommended for great range of books of Irish interest.

    Brown Thomas is Ireland's premier department store and has a small branch in Galway.

    Pippa Blue on Middle Street for needlework, yarn and material plus craft gifts.

    Kilkenny Shop (not to be confused with Kilkenny Design Centre) for clothing, glass and pottery.

    O'Maille's for quality Aran Sweaters and Irish clothing, plus yarn.

    Depart after lunch for Dublin airport environs.

    The drive from west to east should take around 2.5-3hrs.
    Tip: be sure to have some euros in change for the two motorway tolls along your route.

    You may wish to drop off car this evening at the airport depot, then use a shuttle bus to an airport hotel if you have an early departure the following morning.

    Overnight Dublin Airport Hotel.

  • 9. Clonmacnoise
    Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

    Day 7 - Alternative Route

    If you are staying a 2nd night in co. Clare - or spending a night in Galway and don't wish to go shopping, you might like to stop at Clonmacnoise : a peaceful monastic settlement overlooking the River Shannon, a few mile south of Athlone.
    You will find Clonmacnoise clearly signed off the M6 Galway-Dublin Motorway.
    From west Clare drive via Kinvarra to Kilcolgan (N67), turn left onto N18, direction Galway and join the motorway (M6) at junction 19 on the outskirts of Galway.

    Alternative to Dublin airport hotel: if your flight departs late morning/lunch time, instead of staying near Dublin airport, you could stay in the harbour town of Malahide, which is approximately 20 minutes drive from the airport. A popular choice is the Grand Hotel, Malahide.