Along the way, take a break in Kilkenny. Enjoy lunch here and take a stroll along this town’s medieval streets. If you’d like suggestions on what to do while you are there, you will enjoy reading through How to Spend a Great Day in Kilkenny Ireland. If it’s a nice day while you drive west, you can also meander on the grounds of the Rock of Cashel. If you have enough time, you can go in and explore further. The views are wonderful from this medieval fortress, with origins back to the 4th or 5th century.
It’s nice to be able to stay in one place for several days and unpack your bags, so you can really settle in. It also gives you a better chance of feeling more like a local than when you change accommodations every night. So, we recommend staying 3 nights in either Dingle or Kenmare. This will give you a home base from where you can explore either the Dingle Peninsula or the Ring of Kerry. If you want to split the difference between the two, stay in Killarney.
It’s a difficult choice because each of these peninsulas has its own appeal and natural beauty. Know that the Ring of Kerry is larger and busier than the Dingle Peninsula. Remember that you really can’t make a bad choice here. Plan to return. My pick is to stay in Dingle and get to know the town. While you lodge there, spend an entire day touring the Peninsula and exploring Dingle itself. On your second day here, head over to Killarney for lunch and then explore the beauty of the National Park. But whatever you do, take your time and soak it all in.
Your time here will likely be spent driving the coast, maybe hiking some incredible trails, perhaps biking through beautiful scenery, or watching sheep dogs do what they do best. You’ll also have a chance to get a feel for a true Irish Music session in some of the pubs. Your 3 days here will fly by. Our Western Ireland blog mentioned earlier has more recommendations.
SPEND 3 NIGHTS IN GALWAY
Head north from Dingle toward Galway. Again, you want to take your time and see some of the amazing sites along the way. One of these is the iconic Cliffs of Moher. I have been there in the sun, in the rain, and in a howling wind, and the Cliffs are glorious in each setting.
It will take you about 3 hours to reach the Cliffs if you take the ferry from Tarbert across the Shannon River. If you want to save some money, book your ferry in advance, but know that this will not guarantee you a spot when you get there. Be sure to arrive early.