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Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

Chicago
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Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

Hi all,

I'm going to Ireland in mid july, so right smack in the middle of high tourist season. I'm planning on spending a day exploring the Dingle Peninsula. I also am spending two nights in Kenmare, which is a good base for the Ring of Beara or the Ring of Kerry. I'm torn between the two. Everyone I know who has been to Ireland raves about the ROK, but they all went in October, not July. I don't want to feel like a lemming in a herd of tourists, but I also don't want to miss out on something amazing. So what do you think? Brave the hordes and do the ROK, or skip it and do the Ring of Beara?

Also, I was hoping to have a chance to go to Skellig Michael. Is that doable if you're staying at either Dingle or Kenmare? Can you easily drive to where the ferries leave, or do you have to be staying somewhere on the Iveragh peninsula in order to make that work?

Thank you in advance!

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Limerick, Ireland
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1. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

Mid August is more touristy than Mid July. And tourist numbers appear quite significantly down, so the numbers may not be as busy as you think.

I really can't call it for you. Both are beautiful.

The Ring of Kerry has the added advantage of Skelligs Chocolates www.skelligschocolates.com and also you don't have to adhere to the Ring route exactly. Take time off as we do. Visit Rossbeigh Beach and Ballinskelligs Beach and St. Finians Bay, and Valentia Island which are all off the main route.

I haven't been to Skellig Michael so I can't help you there.

But if you look at www.aaroadwatch.ie/routes you will be able to get a good idea of the best way to get from where you are staying to the ferry.

Western Ireland...
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2. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

This is a no brainer Beara every time. you will find a dozen coach tours for ROK the tours you find for Beara are walking and Cycling tours. You could even do a bit of sea canoeing.

If you decide on ROK set off early and go clockwise you should aim to be well on your way before the coaches leave Killarney around 10am. Skellig Michael is reached off the ROK and could be incorporated into this.

http://www.bearatourism.com/

http://www.skelligexperience.com/

Cork, Ireland
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3. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

If you want to do Skellig Michael, I recommend you stay at Portmagee (where the ferries are based), or nearby Valentia or 7 miles away in Cahersiveen. All are on the ROK aka Iveragh Peninsula. This is a stunning part of the world and if you can get out to Skellig then you will have done something very special and visited a place that not a huge number of people have experienced.

To answer your question about braving the tourist hordes, while we have our challenging traffic days here during peak season, it's never as bad as it's made out. The only time it does get a bit manic is at weekends when the weather is excellent and as you may have found out by now - our 'excellent' weather days here are few and far between !!!

Enjoy being a lemming, it will be worth it for a while.

Cáisc shona dhuit (Happy Easter to you)

ireland
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4. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

i wouldn't worry - you will be fine. As for the "hoardes" of tourists, I'm afraid that is a thing of the past - if it is anything like Galway, we went from having bus loads of Americans doing the Galway walking tour - you couldn't get through them on the street, to barely seeing one or two of them PER year now.

so yes, you will have tourists, but you won't have them on the scale as we did ten years ago - do the ROK if thats what you want. You will love it.

Scunthorpe, United...
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5. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

My vote would be for Beara rather than ROK. There are no coaches and scenically it is as good.

Does the Dursey Cable car still run?

Limerick, Ireland
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6. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

The Dursey Cable Car was out of action for repairs but afaik is now back running as usual.

Waterford, Ireland
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7. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

There is No Way you would persuade me to get on the Dursey cable car. I admit to being a total wimp.

Scunthorpe, United...
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8. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

It's good fun to watch though....especially when they are using it to transfer cattle.

Eleanor

Co. Kildare
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9. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

"Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK"

Moxie, aren't you one of them...?

Yes, the ROK is beautiful (and should be done anti-clockwise, the views are better that way). You shouldn't worry about the tour buses. I can't even remember how many times we've been around the ROK and buses never seemed to be a problem. If you want to see the Skelligs you should stay around Portmagee, as Bryno suggested. To drive to the Skellig ferry from Dingle would be too far a drive, it's longer than you might think.

The Beara peninsula is also stunning but there will also be a fair amount of tourists there (fewer than on the ROK, though). Beara it would be for me. But if we keep pushing the Beara peninsula on this forum it will soon become a second ROK...

Indianapolis
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10. Re: Ireland in July - Do I brave the tourist hordes at ROK?

My feeling exactly, Clauds. Don't tell anyone else about the Beara. Everyone - stick to the ROK - it's the only scenic place in Southwest Ireland. Drive the Ring! Drive the Ring! lol