With 12-days in Ireland, you can embark on an ultimate road trip and split your time between the bustling cities of Dublin and Galway and the picturesque villages in between, or stick to the northwest and hike your way around County Mayo, County Sligo, and Glenveagh National Park. If you prefer to explore on two wheels, opt for a self-guided cycling tour, and if you're a foodie, tempt your tastebuds on an authentic Ireland culinary trip.

Itinerary #1: Road Tripping in Ireland: Dublin, Killarney, Doolin & Galway

Discover Ireland's traditional charm and beautiful forests and lakes on this well-rounded road trip, perfect for first-time visitors who want to explore the countryside and city life. With visits to Killarney and Connemara national parks and overnight stays in Doolin and Blarney, you'll soak up the small-village culture and lively pub life Ireland is renowned for. Of course, no trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery, and with three nights in Dublin, you can tick off both of those and more.

Traveler admiring the views of Ireland's coastline
Stand at the edge of the famous Cliffs of Moher for those impressive snapshots
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Guided Walking Tour  Dublin
Day 2 Guinness Storehouse, Dublin's Historic Pubs Dublin
Day 3 Drive to Cork, Blarney Stone & Castle Blarney
Day 4 Drive to Portmagee, Skellig Ring, Killarney Killarney
Day 5 Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney Boat Tour  Killarney
Day 6 Drive to Lahinch, Doolin Village & Caves Doolin
Day 7 Free Day in Doolin, Cliffs of Moher Sea Cruise Doolin
Day 8 Drive to Galway City, Explore Galway Galway
Day 9 Day Trip to the Connemara Region Galway
Day 10 Drive to Birr, Haunted & Historic Castles  Birr
Day 11 Drive to Dublin, Jameson Distillery Dublin
Day 12 Kilmainham Gaol, Depart Dublin  

Welcome to Ireland! Settle into your adventure with two days in Dublin, joining a guided walking tour of the Medieval Quarter, visiting the famous Guinness Storehouse, and experiencing the city's nightlife on a historic pub crawl. Then, it's time to pick up your rental car and begin your road trip with a drive to Blarney, stopping in Cork and at the ruins of Dunamase Castle along the way. Continue your road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way to Killarney, where two days will quickly disappear as you explore Killarney National Park's trails and waterfalls and cruise lazily along the three Lakes of Killarney.

There's plenty more in Ireland to discover, so you'll again hit the road, this time to Doolin. This lively port town is the perfect place to spend your days discovering vast cave systems and your nights enjoying live music and traditional Irish fare. Recharged from your time in nature, head up the coast to the bustling city of Galway for a quirky day strolling High Street and joining in on the live music camaraderie at Taaffes Bar or The Garavan. Before packing your bags, embark on a must-do day trip to Connemara National Park; after an overnight in Birr and a final day in Dublin, it'll be time to catch your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Ireland's Wild Northwest

Pack your hiking shoes and sense of adventure for this 12-day nature-packed trip, covering Ireland's scenic northwest. Ideal for those who want to explore at their own pace and get among Ireland's dramatic coastlines and picturesque bays, each day is filled with memorable hikes and awe-inspiring castle visits. This ultimate road trip comes complete with a visit to Harry Potter's library and a king-ruled remote island.

The Slieve League, Irelands highest sea cliffs
The Slieve League, Ireland's highest sea cliffs
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Dublin Walking Tour Dublin
Day 2 See the Book of Kells & Trinity Long Room Dublin
Day 3 Drive to County Mayo, Visit Rathcroghan Mayo
Day 4 Explore Ballycroy National Park, Stargaze at Dark Sky Reserve  Mayo
Day 5 Sligo's Ancient Sacred Sites: Knocknaree & Carrowmore Sligo
Day 6 Explore County Sligo & Leitrim Sligo
Day 7 Drive to Ardara: Sliabh League Pilgrims Path & Ardara Waterfalls  Ardara
Day 8 Drive to Dunfanaghy, Visit Glenveagh National Park & Castle Dunfanaghy
Day 9 Boat Trip to Tory Island Dunfanaghy
Day 10 Visit Grianan of Aileach, Drive to Carlingford Carlingford
Day 11 Discover Legends of "The Wee County," Drive to Dublin Dublin
Day 12 Visit the Guinness Storehouse & Depart  

Your wild Ireland adventure begins in Dublin, where you'll get your first taste of the country's rich history on a walking tour and spend a day embracing the world of "Harry Potter" at Trinity College. Then, hop into your rental car and begin your road trip with a scenic drive to Mayo, stopping by the ruins of Rathcroghan and island-filled Clew Bay. Embark on a coastal hike in Ballycroy National Park the following day and admire the Milky Way in the Dark Sky Reserve, then continue north to Sligo, your home for the next two days and the perfect base to explore Slieve League Peninsula and the dreamy Largy Waterfall.

Next up on your road trip is a drive to Dunfanaghy, where you'll get immersed in the wild landscapes of the Derryveagh mountain range and board a ferry over to Tory Island—a remote island complete with its own king. Leaving Ireland's west coast behind, you'll first stop by Grianan of Aileach on the Inishowen Peninsula, then continue east until you reach the medieval village of Carlingford. Visit King John's Castle and roam the narrow streets of Drogheda in "The Wee County" before arriving back in Dublin. Spend your last day at the iconic Guinness Storehouse until it's time to catch your onward flight. Learn more

Plan your trip to Ireland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #3: Ireland Self-Guided Cycling Tour: Dublin, Galway, Doolin & Dingle

Perfect for travelers who enjoy the freedom and rush of exploring by bike, this 12-day Ireland trip will have you cycling along the Atlantic coastline, through otherworldly archaeological sites, and into unspoiled mountain scenery. Between rides, get to know Ireland's rich culture through visits to quirky cafés in Galway, lively pubs in Dingle, and the elegant Trinity College in Dublin. Plus, with a rental car on hand, each day is yours to bike, relax, and explore as much or as little as you please.

Cycle around the rugged coastline of Ireland's Aran Islands
Cycle around the rugged coastline of Inishmore (Inish Mór), the largest of Ireland's Aran Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Free Day Dublin
Day 2 Drive to Galway, Explore Galway City Galway
Day 3 Drive to the Aran Islands, Cycle on Inishmore Galway
Day 4 Drive to Doolin, Hike the Cliffs of Moher Doolin
Day 5 Cycle the Burren Loop  Doolin
Day 6 Drive to Loop Head, Cycle or Hike Tralee
Day 7 Drive to Dingle, Cycle Slea Head  Dingle Town
Day 8 Drive the Ring of Kerry, Cycle, or Visit the Skellig Islands Cahersiveen
Day 9 Drive to Kenmare, Cycle the Beara Way Kenmare
Day 10 Drive to Killarney National Park Killarney National Park
Day 11 Visit the Rock of Cashel, Drive to Dublin Dublin
Day 12 Depart Dublin  

Starting in Dublin, your Ireland trip is off to an exciting start with an evening soaking up the lively atmosphere of Grafton Street and the Guinness Storehouse, but be sure to get a good night's rest, as the following morning, its time to pick up your rental car, collect your bikes, and head west to Galway. Over the next three days, you'll get your first taste of Ireland's fairy-tale-like trails as you bike along the perimeter of Inishmore (Inis Mór) searching for dolphins, hike the goose-bump-inducing Cliffs of Moher, and work up an appetite cycling through the lunar-like landscapes around Burren

With the first half of your trip complete, it's time to pack up the car and drive south to Loop Head. Choose between a relaxing afternoon or a 34-mile (55 km) bike ride, then continue your drive to the Dingle Peninsula—the perfect base to cycle the Slea Head coastal road. You'll keep on the move over the next four days, cycling along the ocean in Cahersiveen, enjoying mountain views on the Beara Way & Bonane Heritage Park Loop, and taking in the vast forests of ​​Killarney National Park. With time running out, pack in a tour of Trinity College before catching your flight home from Dublin. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Culinary Trip Through Ireland

Ireland is known for its simple yet flavorful cuisine packed with locally-sourced meats, seafood, and produce, and this 12-day culinary trip will have you sampling the very best of it. Leave no smells nor tastes uninvestigated as you follow the Old Butter Roads Food Trail, sample seafood straight off the boat in Dingle, and dine at Ireland's only Michelin Star-rated pub. In between, stretch your legs on a scenic hike in the Aran Islands and stroll through the charming cities of Galway and Dublin.

Soak up innovative cuisine and great craic on a tour of Ireland's best foodie hotspots
Soak up innovative cuisine on a tour of Ireland's best foodie hotspots
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Whiskey Tasting Dublin
Day 2 Drive to Kilkenny, Visit the Rock of Cashel & McCarthy's Bar Tipperary
Day 3 Drive to Cork, Jameson Whiskey Tour  Cork
Day 4 Tour of the Old Butter Roads Food Trail Kinsale
Day 5 Explore the West Coast, Visit a Gin Distillery Bantry
Day 6 Kenmare Food Tour, Ring of Kerry & Seaweed Foraging Dingle Town
Day 7 Dingle Tasting Tour & Experience Dingle Town
Day 8 Dingle Peninsula: Archaeology & Distillery Tour County Clare
Day 9 Burren Food Trail & Live Music in Doolin Doolin
Day 10 Boat Trip to the Aran Islands, Hike on Inishmore Doolin
Day 11 Explore Galway City, the European Gourmet Capital Galway
Day 12 Depart from Shannon or Dublin  

Right off the plane, you'll kick off your Irish adventure in Dublin, taking in the vibrant atmosphere of the Temple Bar district and touring the James Whiskey Distillery. Once you've gotten a taste of the city, pick up your rental car and head south to Kinsale, stopping by Cork for a guided food tour and a bus trip along the Old Butter Roads Food Trail. Continuing along the southern coast, you'll soon find yourself admiring the famous lighthouse of Mizen Head, driving the scenic road around Sheep's Head Peninsula, and foraging for seaweed on Derrynane Beach before settling in for two nights in Dingle.

Perched on the edge of a peninsula, Dingle is the perfect place to spend a day sampling fresh produce and seafood alongside an experienced guide and to learn the art of Irish whisky making at the Dingle Distillery. Full of delicious food, you'll once again set off, this time north to the limestone landscapes of Burren. Experience live music in the coastal village of Doolin and hike around Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Before your culinary adventure ends in either Shannon or Dublin, spend a day in Galway, the Gourmet Capital of Europe for 2020, for one last mouthwatering food tour. Learn more

More Great 12-Day Ireland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ireland? Check out these other 12-day Ireland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 12 Days in Ireland - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Ireland - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas