Ireland, 13/14 nights

DayStart pointEnd pointDistanceDrive timeSpeedLeave start pointTime at stop 1Time at stop 2Time at stop 3 Arrive end pointExplore end pointComments/stopsLodgingMap
1Dublin airportDublin45 kms1.75 hrs26 kph12:00 PM1.5 hrs1 hr1.5 hrs5:45 PMFly in. Rideshare via Malahide, Howth, Natl Botanic Gardens. Stop at Gravedigger’s Pub after Botanic Gardens (quiet, favorite of Anthony Bourdain).map
2 Dublin DublinWalk around central Dublin, see historic sites. Non-touristy pubs: The Capstan Bar, The Cobblestone (no food), The Long Hall, Idlewild, The Beer Market (90% of beers on tap can only be found there), McNeill’s, The Boar’s Head (good food)map
3 Dublin Glendalough73 kms2.5 hrs29 kph10:00 AM1 hr0.5 hrs1.5 hrs3:30 PM4.5 hrsRent car; via Powerscourt House & Waterfall, Wicklow Mtns NP. Hike at least to Tonelagee NE Top (2.6-mi round trip, full summit is 4.2-mi). Eat at The Conservatory?map
4Glendalough Cork244 kms3.75 hrs65 kph10:00 AM2 hrs3:45 PM6.25 hrsvia Rock of Cashel. In Cork, English Market & St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral. Drink at Callanan’s Bar.map
5 Cork Killarney126 kms3.5 hrs36 kph12:00 PM2 hrs5:30 PM3 hrsIn Cork before leaving: UCC & English Market. Via Killarney NP. Dinner at Bricin Restaurant & Boxty House, or Quinlan’s Fresh Fish Shop.map
6 Killarney Killorglin179 kms4 hrs45 kph10:30 AM2 hrs4:30 PM3.5 hrsvia Ring of Kerry & Skellig Ring – various short stops en route. Dinner at Kingdom 1795 or Quinlan’s Fish.map
7 Killorglin Adare224 kms4.25 hrs53 kph10:00 AM2 hrs1 hr5:15 PM2.25 hrsvia Dingle Peninsula – various stops including Dingle. Dinner at Carriage House at Adare Manor?map
8 Adare Gort174 kms3.5 hrs50 kph9:30 AM1.5 hrs0.5 hrs3 hrs6:00 PM1.5 hrsvia Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin Cave, Dolmen, Burren NP. Dinner at Cassidy’s Pub & Restaurant?Naomh Colman B&Bmap
9 Gort Ardara323 kms5.25 hrs62 kph9:30 AM1 hr1.25 hrs0.5 hrs5:30 PM4.5 hrsvia Glencar Lough, Slieve League, Glen of the Swans. Eat at Nancy’s or Mickalene’s.map
10 Ardara Gweedore110 kms2.75 hrs40 kph12:00 PM0.5 hrs0.75 hrs4:00 PM4 hrsGweedore is the heart of the Gaeltacht. Eat at Leo’s Tavern, Sharkey’s Bar, or Auntie Anne’s Cafe.Teach Tassie? Glen Heights B&B?map
11 Gweedore Bushmills152 kms3 hrs51 kph10:00 AM2 hrs1.5 hrs1.5 hrs6:30 PM0.5 hrsBushmills is in Northern Ireland (the UK). Via Glenveagh NP, Dunluce Castle, Giant’s Causeway.The Bush-mills Inn Hotel?map
12 Bushmills Carlingford208 kms3.5 hrs59 kph9:00 AM1 hr3.75 hrs0.25 hrs5:30 PM3.5 hrsvia Glenariff Forest Park, Belfast, Flagstaff viewpoint. In Belfast: park on west side, see Peace Wall & murals, Clonard Monastery, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, eat/drink at Crown Liquor Saloonmap
13Carling-ford Kells100 kms2 hrs50 kph11:00 AM2 hrs3:00 PM6 hrsvia Newgrange burial site. In Carlingford: King John’s Castle, Carlingford Priory, Folklore Park. Dinner at Amore or Gin Ban.map
14 Kells Dublin74 kms1.25 hrs59 kph11:00 AM 1.5 hrs1:45 PMvia Hill of Tara. Return rental car. In PM in Dublin: EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Whiskey Distillery. In evening: Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.map 1

map 2
15 DublinhomeFly out.
totaltotal 2031 kms41 hrs
averageaverage 156 kms3.15 hrs50 kph10:30 AM4:38 PM3.61 hrs

Total accommodations cost: $1680
Total food cost: $420
Total rental car cost: $360
Total gas/petrol cost: $508
Total cost minus plane tickets & entry fees: ~$3000

You could easily shorten this trip to 13 nights by eliminating the night in Kells and driving from Carlingford to Dublin in one day and merely stopping at Newgrange, Kells, and the Hill of Tara along the way. This would still be quite a doable day, but would sacrifice time to sightsee in Carlingford in the morning as well as in Dublin in the afternoon.

Alternatively, you may wish to spend an extra night in Dublin at the beginning of the trip, and then simply drive from Kells (or Carlingford) directly to the Dublin airport on the last day. This would keep the number of nights the same but save having to drive back into Dublin city center on the last day. However, my itinerary assumes that you rent the car in central Dublin and it’s more expensive to return it elsewhere, e.g. the airport.

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