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Post Info TOPIC: GPS in Ireland - and Dingle Suggestions


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GPS in Ireland - and Dingle Suggestions

Michele, You created a custom itinerary for me back in 2013 on my first trip to Ireland, and it was so helpful, but driving was difficult because we relied on directions/maps rather than GPS.  Big mistake! Hoping that planning ahead will make things better/easier this time - especially since I will be driving myself for the first time!

1) What is the easiest way to get directions while driving in Ireland?  I do have an iPhone, so maybe google maps?  Do rental cars have standard USB ports in them that I can plug my phone into?  I have also heard that purchasing a Tesco card would work.  I would like to be able to make some local calls while there, but the main thing I need is GPS help while driving.  Ideally, it will have voice, e.g. someone to tell me to "take the 2nd exit off the roundabout".  Many thanks for any suggestions you can provide on that! 

2) Secondly, we want to go back to Dingle, which would be a day trip from Adare.   We would head out in the morning and would want to be back in Adare before dark.  I would appreciate any suggestions for things to see along the way (to or from), and also whether anyone is familiar with a place called McCarthy's Bar in Dingle (it says Upper, Maint St., Grove).  That is our family name so it would be fun to stop in there.  My notes from 2013 include Slea Head Scenic Drive and Conor Pass, but I just googled Conor Pass and I'm not sure I have the nerves for that.  Is Slea Head a little safer to drive around?  Thanks very much! 

-- Edited by Yankeesmama on Monday 14th of March 2022 10:32:41 PM





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Welcome Back!  Michele will likely respond soon, but in the meantime --

A Tesco (or other) SIM card will only work if your current iPhone is UNLOCKED -- and accesses GSM networks (as opposed to CDMA).  Your provider can advise as to your particular situation.  Alternately, most North American providers offer a 'Roaming' package that allows you to utilize various Irish networks.

A third option is to download Google Maps' map of Ireland, place your phone in Airplane Mode (to avoid charges) and access the GPS built into your phone.  Irish Fireside offers an excellent YouTube Video on how to do this:  Downloading Offline Google Maps to Navigate in Ireland - YouTube

Traveling from Adare to Dingle and back in a day is definitely 'doable'.  We did it in Late-March / Early-April a few years back.  Know that the Connor Pass road is only particularly 'chancy' over a VERY short stretch along the Northern section between the parking area at the top and the Waterfall pull off.  From Dingle Town, you could drive up to the car park and then evaluate your comfort level for the remainder -- as you can actually SEE the questionable stretch from there.  If you DO find it too unnerving, simply turn around and head back into town and return to Adare from there.  Personally, I think the visuals from the drive into Castlegregory is WELL worth it.

When driving Slea Head, there are a couple of sites that I find under-visited and yet, extremely interesting:

Reask Monastic Ruins: Reask Monastic Site (

And, whilst EVERYONE streams to Gallarus Oratory, there is another -- St Brendan's, St Brendan's Oratory, Kilmalkedar, Kerry (

Located opposite the 'New' cemetery just before the turn off to Kilmalkedar Church.

These sites are located along the following maps:

If you follow through on Connor Pass:

If you avoid he FULL Connor Pass: 



Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!


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Great to hear you are planning on visiting Ireland again.

Bob has given you a very comprehensive answer. Another option for GPS is to rent one from your car company.

A tip for Gallarus Oratory: drive past the parking area where they ask you to pay to see it (down a little lane) and you can see if for free.

Off the beaten path in Dingle is Minard Castle. Not much left of it but such a scenic area with a small boulder-strewn storm beach.

Minard Castle

Take a look at Ireland Travel Kit for some good ideas: 

You might also enjoy my Facebook group Postcards From Ireland: 


"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.


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Thanks so much, both of you. I will look forward to checking out the information and the links you provided!




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