Itinerary #1: Irish Traditions Self-Drive Road Trip
On this road trip loop, first-time visitors to Ireland can hit the country's highlights, including Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher. The variety of activities, such as hiking in Killarney National Park and exploring Doolin Caves, and the ease of adjusting to a range of ages and abilities also make this itinerary an excellent option for families.
|Day 1||Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour & Kilmainham Gaol||Dublin|
|Day 2||Drive to Cork, Visit the Rock of Cashel & Blarney Castle||Blarney|
|Day 3||Drive to Killarney, Visit Skellig Ring & Portmagee||Killarney|
|Day 4||Explore Killarney National Park||Killarney|
|Day 5||Drive to Doolin, Hike the Cliffs of Moher||Doolin|
|Day 6||Cliffs of Moher Sea Cruise, Lahinch & Distillery||Doolin|
|Day 7||Ferry to the Aran Islands, Drive to Galway||Galway|
|Day 8||Day Trip to Connemara National Park||Galway|
|Day 9||Discover Castles of the Hidden Heartlands||Birr|
|Day 10||Drive to Dublin, Jameson Whiskey Tasting Tour||Dublin|
|Day 11||Depart Dublin|
Start with a walking tour of Dublin, passing by the Medieval Quarter and St Patrick's Cathedral before heading to Kilmainham Gaol for a peek into the city's political past. Drive to Cork with a stop at the Rock of Cashel en route. Visit Blarney Castle, then take your pick of an overnight in Killarney or Portmagee, a fishing village along the Wild Atlantic Way. Opt for a hike in Killarney National Park, a drive along the Gap of Dunloe, or a visit to Ross Castle. Head north to Doolin, where you can spend a couple of days experiencing traditional Irish music, exploring Doolin Caves, and viewing the Cliffs of Moher.
Take a surf lesson in Lahinch or try cheese or chocolate, and taste whiskey in County Clare, then check out the sacred sites on the Aran Islands before leaving for Galway. Hike to the peak of Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park, then take a dip at Coral Beach (during the summer months). Castle-hop through the Hidden Heartlands on your way back east—if haunted tours are of interest, stop by Leap Castle, the most haunted place in Ireland. Spend your final full day soaking up Irish food, music, and spirits with a tasting at the Jameson Distillery or Guinness Storehouse, followed by dinner at a local pub. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Ireland's Heritage & Legends
Sticking to Ireland's north, you'll touch three coasts on this itinerary, suited for travelers keen on history, spirituality, and local lore. You'll take a historical tour of Dublin, experience Neolithic and sacred sites in County Meath, visit castles in the Hidden Heartlands, and check out remnants of ancient settlements in Connemara National Park.
|Day 1||Arrive in Dublin, Introduction to Dublin Tour||Dublin|
|Day 2||Dublin's Medieval Quarter, Book of Kells & Trinity Long Room||Dublin|
|Day 3||Tour the Hill of Tara & Trim Castle||Dublin|
|Day 4||Drive to Boyle via the Boyne Valley & Ancient Sacred Sites||Boyle|
|Day 5||Drive to Sligo, Visit Castles Along the Way||Sligo|
|Day 6||Explore County Sligo: Beaches & Classiebawn Castle||Sligo|
|Day 7||Drive to Galway City via Knocknarea & Carrowmore||Galway|
|Day 8||Explore Connemara National Park||Galway|
|Day 9||Drive to Birr via Clonmacnoise & Castles of the Hidden Heartlands||Birr|
|Day 10||Discover Leap Castle, Return to Dublin & Tour Kilmainham Gaol||Dublin|
|Day 11||Depart Dublin|
Tour Dublin's Medieval Quarter and historic Trinity College, then pub hop around the Temple Bar neighborhood. Climb the Hill of Tara and visit Neolithic sites and Trim Castle on a tour of County Meath. Hit the road to Boyle with stops at sacred sites that include Brú na Bóinne and the hills and tombs of Slieve na Calliagh before arriving at Boyle Abbey, where you can wander the ruins. Tour McDermott Castle and Parke's Castle, then stop by Glencar Waterfall on your journey to Sligo. Visit the Yeats Building to learn more about the connection between this region and the writer WB Yeats.
Stroll one of Sligo's beaches, check out Classiebawn Castle set against Benbulbin Mountain, and trek up Knocknarea before you depart for artistic Galway. Walk the streets of Galway and enjoy live performances and distant views of the Burren. Then hike in Connemara National Park, keeping an eye out for remnants of ancient settlements and tombs. Set off for Birr, stopping at Cluain Mhic Nóis and your choice of castles in the Hidden Heartlands, including Glinsk Castle and Birr Castle and Gardens. Experience Ireland's most haunted castle, Leap Castle, before returning to Dublin for departure. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Itinerary #3: Northern & East Ireland Road Trip & Hike
Covering Ireland's east coast from Dublin, you'll cross in and out of Northern Ireland with ample opportunities to hike, including four days in County Wicklow on this road trip. You'll drive to Belfast and the sites of Antrim, including the impressive Giant's Causeway.
|Day 1||Arrive in Dublin, Drive to Cooley Peninsula & Carlingford||Carlingford|
|Day 2||Drive to Northern Ireland's Belfast, Explore||Belfast|
|Day 3||Drive to Giant's Causeway & the Antrim Coast||Portstewart|
|Day 4||Drive into Ireland's Donegal County Around Inishowen Peninsula||Letterkenny|
|Day 5||Explore Glenveagh National Park||Letterkenny|
|Day 6||Drive to Londonderry (Derry)||Londonderry (Derry)|
|Day 7||Return to Dublin, Bus to Laragh||Laragh|
|Day 8||Transfer to Roundwood & Hike||Laragh|
|Day 9||Glendalough Trail||Laragh|
|Day 10||Glenmalure Hike||Laragh|
|Day 11||Transfer to Dublin, Depart|
Hit the ground running—or, rather, driving—as you set off for the Cooley Peninsula on arrival. Enjoy the region's ancient sites and natural landscapes, including the Proleek Dolmen tomb and Slieve Foye mountain. Then, head north to Belfast, where you can visit the Titanic Belfast museum, sample local flavors at St George's Market, and experience nightlife in the Cathedral Quarter. Check out the highlights of the Antrim Coastline, including Dunluce Castle and the basalt columns of Giant's Causeway. Next, you'll drive the Inishowen Peninsula section of the Wild Atlantic Way until you reach Letterkenny.
Keep an eye out for red deer on a hike in Glenveagh National Park, then continue to Londonderry / Derry for a tour of the walled city. Return to Dublin and catch a bus to Laragh in the Wicklow Mountains for a few days of hiking. Trek the perimeter of the Barton Estate and climb to the top of Scarr Mountain. On Day 9, walk the forested trails to Glendalough, where you can see the old monastic town. Spend your final full day immersed in nature, passing waterfalls and lake views as you hike to the valley of Glenmalure, and finally reach a pub where you can celebrate with a pint and a hearty Irish meal. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Ireland's Food & Culture
Travelers that like to let their taste buds lead them will appreciate the variety of culinary experiences on this food-focused fast-paced itinerary. You'll sip whiskey in Dublin, sample from the food stalls at the English Market in Cork, taste gin at Beara Distillery, go seaweed foraging at Derrynane Beach, and dine at Ireland's only Michelin Star pub. There are also plenty of cultural activities and historical sites, including Kilkenny Castle, the Equine Museum, and the lively street culture of Galway.
|Day 1||Arrive in Dublin||Dublin|
|Day 2||Drive to Kilkenny, Visit Rock of Cashel & McCarthy's Pub||Tipperary|
|Day 3||Cork Food Tour & Blarney Castle||Cork|
|Day 4||Old Butter Roads Food Trail||Kinsale|
|Day 5||Old Head Boat Trip, Local Markets & Drombeg Stone Circle||Skibbereen|
|Day 6||Explore the West Coast, Visit a Gin Distillery||Bantry|
|Day 7||Kenmare Food Tour, Ring of Kerry & Seaweed Foraging||Dingle Town|
|Day 8||Dingle Peninsula: Archaeology & Distillery Tour||County Clare|
|Day 9||Burren Food Trail & Live Music in Doolin||Doolin|
|Day 10||Explore Galway City, the European Gourmet Capital||Galway|
|Day 11||Depart from Shannon or Dublin|
Go for a tasting at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery or Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, then dive into some Irish food and pub culture in the Temple Bar neighborhood. Tour Kilkenny Castle and buy artisan-made souvenirs from Kilkenny Design Centre. Continue to County Tipperary and learn about horses at the Equine Museum, then sit down to a pint at McCarthy's Pub. Your next stop is Cork, where you can taste your way around the cafés and bakeries of the Huguenot Quarter, join a Slice of Cork tour and sample local favorites at the English Market, and nibble artisan foods on an Old Butter Road Food Trails tour.
Cruise around Kinsale on a wildlife boat excursion where you may spot dolphins and seals. Time your trip to Clonakilty for a Friday for a chance to experience the Country Market. Continue to Mizen Head for seafood, followed by a gin tasting at Beara Distillery. Next is carrying on the Ring of Kerry, where you can take a food tour of Kenmare and then go seaweed foraging at Derrynane Beach. Join an archaeology tour around Dingle Peninsula and taste whiskey at Dingle Distillery. Visit the Cliffs of Moher, then dine at Ireland's only Michelin Star pub. Fill your belly with Irish eats on your final day in Galway. Learn more
Itinerary #5: Ring of Kerry Self-Guided Hike
Follow the Ring of Kerry on foot with this self-guided itinerary. Daily hikes take you through forested trails, rural villages, and along the coast. You'll also have opportunities to connect with local history and culture, including visits to Cahersiveen Castle, archaeological sites in Sneem, and plenty of traditional pubs.
|Day 1||Arrive in Killarney||Killarney|
|Day 2||Hike Killarney to Kenmare||Kenmare|
|Day 3||Hike Kenmare to Sneem||Sneem|
|Day 4||Hike Sneem to Caherdaniel||Caherdaniel|
|Day 5||Hike Caherdaniel to Waterville||Waterville|
|Day 6||Hike Waterville to Cahersiveen||Cahersiveen|
|Day 7||Hike Cahersiveen to Glenbeigh||Glenbeigh|
|Day 8||Hike Glenbeigh to Glencar||Glencar|
|Day 9||Hike Glencar to Black Valley||Black Valley|
|Day 10||Hike Blackvalley to Killarney||Killarney|
|Day 11||Depart Killarney|
Start with the Kerry Way trail through Killarney National Park, followed by a walk along Old Kenmare Road. If you've got the energy, check out the Bronze Age stone circle outside Kenmare. Your next hike takes you along the Iveragh Peninsula, through woodlands and villages, to Sneem, where you can explore archaeological sites and refuel at a local pub. Continue to Caherdaniel, passing quiet beaches and views of the Caha Mountains. Then it's on to Waterville, with coastal views of the iconic Skellig Islands en route and a seafood feast on arrival, followed by a stargazing tour in the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve.
Head for Cahersiveen, where you can explore the 19th-century castle, then enjoy views of Dingle Bay as you continue to Glenbeigh. Follow the Caragh River, cross the Blackstone Bridge, and travel the forested trail to Glencar. Continue over the varied terrain of the Bridia Valley to Black Valley with a stop for refreshments at Cooky Monsters Café. On your final full day, follow a pilgrim path along the Upper Lake of Killarney, paying a visit to Derrycunnihy Church before reconnecting with the trail on which you began in Killarney National Park. Celebrate the journey's end with a night of Irish food and music. Learn more
More Great Ireland Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ireland? Check out these other Ireland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.