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Adam
Mississippi

Adam from Mississippi asked

Wild Atlantic Way Peninsula's to visit

I'm planning an 11 day end of june trip to the southern half of Ireland with my brother and mom.  Budget isn't a problem.  We have already planned nights in/out of Dublin, with a week to hopefully see Cork, Galway, and as much of the peninsulas as we can manage without too much driving.  We are also debating hiring a car versus doing a bus.  I am curious which of the peninsulas are typically recommended, especially if we had to choose 2 to visit.  We like to relax and stay a night or 2 in a place, instead of rushing to see every castle and spot.  I keep reading dingle and the ring of kerry are very popular.  I prefer less crowds, no interest in shopping/overly touristy stuff, and more remote scenic areas (probably the reason for tourists though).  Where we stay around cork and galway is open for suggestion.  Any tips would be appreciated.

Ireland

2 Answers
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answered first by
Maria from Dublin

Hi Adam,

Firstly I would definitely hire a car to make the most of your trip. Bus routes are limited throughout Kerry and Cork. The Dingle Peninsula is really beautiful with drives out along the coast to Slea head and its rugged scenery and beautiful white beaches. The Beara Peninsula is also stunning and pretty unspoilt. One of my favourite places to go is Burren in Co. Clare where you can take a boat out to see the Cliffs of Moher and drive through the Burren mountains (hills really!) to Galway Bay 

Where you stay depends on your budget and whether you like to be close to restaurants, bars and venues or whether you like water sports etc. Cork is a nice small city to stay in for a night or two, especially if you intend to visit the towns of West Cork (BantrySkibbereenSkull Castletownbere) I would recommend The Kingsley Hotel which is pretty good and just on the outskirts of Cork city.

Dingle is also a good place to stay when visiting the Dingle peninsula. If you decide to visit the Burren you could go upmarket and stay in Dromoland Castle Hotel or, at the other end of the scale Kinvara Guesthouse is a pretty comfortable place in a lovely small town in Co. Galway, north of The Burren.

Take a look at Airbnb and also check out www.irelands-blue-book.ie for some very nice places to stay. Have a great trip and safe driving!


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Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Dingle Peninsula (attraction)
  2. Beara Peninsula (attraction)
  3. Burren (city)
  4. Cliffs of Moher (attraction)
  5. Galway Bay (attraction)
  6. Cork (city)
  7. Bantry (city)
  8. Skibbereen (city)
  9. Skull (attraction)
  10. Castletownbere (city)
  11. The Kingsley Hotel (attraction)
  12. Dingle (city)
  13. Dromoland Castle Hotel (restaurant)
  14. Kinvara Guesthouse (hotel)
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answered by
John

1st Issue - Driving vs Bus: I always drive, BUT I only recommend this if you are a very good driver. Driving on the left can be tricky and the roads are very bad. The potholes will destroy a tire as both I and a good friend of mine can both attest. In Ireland you must buy the insurance from the car rental agency and you will want to get the $100 deductible on CDW because almost everyone damages their car (mirror torn off, tire rim bent, etc.). It is a favored topic at B&B's when Americans get together. The best deal is Dooley Car Rentals. Others will appear cheaper but not when you add in the insurance. I would Dan Dooleys rather than book through the internet. They are very helpul. The only complaint I have with them is they are slow in processing and there can be a line. I always go straight to the desk while my family collects the baggage. Also get the smallest car you can based on your size, luggage, group size, etc. It will help on the narrow roads.  

 

When navigating in Ireland, double the amount of time it takes to get somewhere. It might take 90 Minutes to go 100 in the states, but in Ireland it can easily be a three hour trek. Also, few rental cars have auto transmissions and air conditioning. If you can't drive a stick, make sure you pay extra for an automatic. 

 

The buses in Ireland are very nice. They have wifi. They are on time. They are inexpensive. I never use them, but my daughter does. 

 

If you do the Ring of Kerry, start early before the tour buses and go in the same direction (i think it's counter-clockwise). You don't want to run into them going the other way. You must stop to allow them to get around hairpin curves, and it you go clockwise this will happen about a dozen times.  

 

There is a smaller loop on the far end of the Ring of Kerry. The roads are too narrow for buses, but a car can make it just fine. I recommend it. Look on a map and it goes from Knight's Town to Portmagee, to Ballinskelligs and back to the Ring of Kerry. 

 

11 Days is not much time to see and do everything. I will give you the places I like best: GalwayCong (This is where they filmed the Quiet Man. It is in the Connemararegion just north of Galway, which I consider the most beautiful part of Ireland), Clifden and the Skye Road, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, and Kinsale

 

Full Disclosure, I have never been to Cork, but I hear it's nice.


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Mentioned in this answer:

map
VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Ireland (attraction)
  2. Dooley Car Rentals (attraction)
  3. Ring of Kerry (attraction)
  4. Knight's Town (city)
  5. Portmagee (city)
  6. Ballinskelligs (city)
  7. Galway (city)
  8. Cong (city)
  9. Connemara (city)
  10. Clifden (city)
  11. Skye Road (attraction)
  12. Dingle (city)
  13. Kinsale (city)
  14. Cork (city)
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