With 13 days in Ireland, you can visit at least five destinations. First-timers can hit the highlights of Western and Northern Ireland—music enthusiasts should choose the route that includes Ardara, Westport, and Killarney. Couples and travelers seeking elevated experiences will appreciate the private tours and five-star stays on the Luxury Road Trip. At the same time, families and those keen on culture and cuisine can enjoy a sheep farm visit, the gourmet capital Kinsale, and a choice of activities in Killarney and Limerick. 

Itinerary #1: Best of Northern & Western Ireland

This best-of itinerary leads visitors to the highlights of Western and Northern Ireland. With historic sites in Dublin and Belfast, traditional music in Sligo, dramatic views along the Antrim Coast, hiking in Ballycroy National Park, a fjord boat tour in Killary, and castle visits throughout, it's ideal for first-time visitors to Ireland that are seeking a balance of nature, culture, and adventure. The inclusion of a day trip to the Isle of Islay also makes it appealing for those interested in popping over to Scotland.  

Immerse in nature at Glenariff Forest Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Historic Walking Tour Dublin
Day 2 Drive to Belfast, Walk to Cave Hill Country Park Belfast
Day 3 Explore the Causeway Coast, Visit the Waterfalls of Antrim Ballycastle
Day 4 Day Trip to Scotland's Isle of Islay Ballycastle
Day 5 Explore the Inishowen Peninsula, Visit Glenveagh National Park & Castle Letterkenny
Day 6 Visit the Slieve League Cliffs Letterkenny
Day 7 Explore Sligo Sligo
Day 8 Hiking at Ballycroy National Park, Stargazing at the Dark Sky Reserve Westport
Day 9 Explore the Connemara Region, Visit Leenane & Killary Harbour Galway
Day 10 Hiking at Maumeen Mountain Pass Galway
Day 11 Walk the Cliffs of Moher, Explore the Burren Region Galway
Day 12 Hiking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Return to Dublin Dublin
Day 13 Depart Dublin  

Join a local historian for a walking tour of Dublin before driving to Belfast, where you can shop at St George's Market, stroll the Cathedral Quarter, and climb Cave Hill for views over the city. See the sites along the Antrim Coast—including Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and Giant's Causeway—on your drive to Ballycastle. Take a day trip to Scotland's Isle of Islay for hiking, bird-watching, and whiskey tasting. Once back in Ireland, head off on a scenic drive along the Inishowen peninsula, visiting Glenveagh Castle and scouting red deer in Glenveah National Park en route to Letterkenny

Walk along the Slieve League Cliffs, then enjoy Irish music in Sligo (or, if the weather is suitable, visit one of the area's beaches). Continue to Westport, stopping for a hike in Ballycroy National Park en route, then experience stargazing in the Dark Sky Reserve. Take a fjord boat tour in Killary on your way to Galway, and after a good night's sleep, hike the Maumeen Mountain Pass on Day 10. Capture photos on a coastal walk at the Cliffs of Moher, visit the castles and abbeys along the Burren Loop, then settle into Dromoland Castle for the night. Hike in the Slieve Bloom Mountains before returning to Dublin for departure. Learn more 

Itinerary #2: Northern Ireland & the West Coast

Another great option for first-timers to the Emerald Isle, you'll cover a lot of ground on this self-drive itinerary as you loop around the island to and from Dublin, starting with Northern Ireland. This trip is particularly suited to music enthusiasts and those keen on seeing Blarney Castle and the Rock of Cashel and spending time in Killarney National Park. Music-loving travelers will appreciate the abundance of opportunities to enjoy live Irish music in Ardara (for a real treat, plan to visit in May for the Cup of Tae Irish music festival), the pubs of Westport, the bars of Killarney, and Dublin's Temple Bar district.

Cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Ballycastle
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Tour of Dublin Dublin
Day 2 Drive to Belfast, Visit Titanic Belfast & Cave Hill Belfast
Day 3 Explore the Causeway Coast, Visit the Waterfalls of Antrim Ballycastle
Day 4 Discover the Inishowen Peninsula Buncrana
Day 5 Drive to County Donegal, Tour Ardara's Waterfalls Ardara
Day 6 Visit Glenveagh National Park & Castle Ardara
Day 7 Drive to Westport, Ferry to Clare Island Westport
Day 8 Hike in the Burren & Explore County Clare Ballyvaughan
Day 9 Drive to Killarney, Discover Killarney National Park Killarney
Day 10 Killarney Lake Boat Trip & the Black Valley  Killarney
Day 11 Drive to Cashel, See Cork, Blarney Castle & the Rock of Cashel  Cashel
Day 12 Drive to Dublin, Guinness Storehouse, Book of Kells & Trinity Long Room Dublin
Day 13 Depart Dublin  

Refuel with an Irish meal and music in Dublin's Temple Bar district. Then it's off to Belfast, where you can learn local history at the Ulster Museum and the Titanic Experience. Tour the waterfalls of the Antrim Coast and visit the basalt columns of Giant's Causeway on your way to Ballycastle. Watch the sunrise at the Grianan of Aileach before cruising the Inishowen Scenic Drive. Continue to Ardara, where you can enjoy traditional Irish music, visit Maghera Beach and Caves, and hike to McBric's Church. Explore Glenveagh National Park on foot or by bike, visit Glenveagh Castle, and take a boat ride around the lake. 

On Day 7, drive the Wild Atlantic Way to Westport, stopping for a headland walk in Mullaghmore. Catch the ferry to see the castle on Clare Island, then take your pick of Westport pubs for a night of live music. Trek the otherworldly landscapes of Burren National Park and take a boat tour to the Aran Islands. Continue to Killarney, where you can check out medieval Ross Castle and immerse in nature at Killarney National Park. Continue to County Cork on Day 11 to visit Blarney Castle and the Rock of Cashel, followed by sunset at Hore Abbey. Toast your Irish adventures with a tour and tasting at the Guinness Storehouse once back in Dublin. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Ireland's Luxury Road Trip

Consider this luxury road trip to Ireland if seeking private and elevated experiences, like a private boat ride in Killarney, a spa treatment in Connemara, and an overnight at five-star Domoland Castle. Given the inclusion of several boat excursions, including a boat tour of Skellig Michael and a sea safari in County Cork, it's best for those comfortable on the water and not prone to seasickness.   

Spend a night at this five-star hotel in County Clare
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Historical Walking Tour, Exclusive Whiskey Tasting Dublin
Day 2 Visit the Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo, Stay at the Lough Rynn Castle Drumshanbo
Day 3 Explore Connemara National Park, Stay at a Coastal Cottage Ballyconneely
Day 4 Golfing at Connemara Isles Golf Club, Spa Treatment Ballyconneely
Day 5 Horseback Riding on the Beach, Explore Inis Mór  Inis Mór
Day 6 Walking Tour of Inis Mór  Inis Mór
Day 7 Visit Dromoland Castle & the Cliffs of Moher Kenmare
Day 8 Private Boat Tour in Killarney, Drive the Ring of Kerry Kenmare
Day 9 Tour of Liss Ard House & the Irish Sky Garden, Visit Gougane Barra Skibbereen
Day 10 Sea Safari in West Cork Skibbereen
Day 11 Discover Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, Guided Tour of Leap Castle Birr
Day 12 Return to Dublin, Book of Kells & Trinity Long Room Dublin
Day 13 Depart Dublin  

Start in Dublin with a visit to Dublin Castle, a walk across Ha'penny Bridge, and a whiskey tasting at Jameson Distillery. Hit the road, stopping for a tour and tasting at The Shed gin and whiskey distillery in Drumshanbo before overnighting at Lough Rynn Castle. Hike the Diamond Hill trail in Connemara National Park, then play a round of golf and indulge in a spa treatment at Connemara Isles Golf Club. Experience the Trá na mBán shoreline on horseback before heading to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands. Grab a bike and cruise the island, then take a walking tour with a picnic at Dun Aonghasa

Walk the famed Cliffs of Moher trails on Day 7 before visiting the Ailwee Caves and Burren landscapes en route to Dromoland Castle. Take a private cruise on the Lakes of Killarney next, then enjoy a scenic drive on the Ring of Kerry and a boat tour around the sixth-century monastic site, Skellig Michael. After a bike ride in Gougane Barra Forest Park, retreat to Manor House for the Irish Sky Garden experience. Spot dolphins, whales, and other wildlife on a Country Cork sea safari before setting out for the castles and forests of the Hidden Heartlands. Celebrate with one last day of Irish food and music in Dublin. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Southern Ireland & Dublin Grand Tour 

Including cultural and culinary experiences such as sheep farm and farmers' market visits and a stay in foodie favorite Kinsale, this itinerary is especially suited to travelers keen on culture and cuisine. Focusing on southern Ireland, you'll Walk over vast swaths of Irish woodland at Avondale Forest Park, drive through the stunning Gap of Dunloe, and hop on a bike to explore some of County Kerry, and uncover the dramatic history of Limerick. 

Enjoy the scenery as you drive along the famous Ring of Kerry
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Drive to Laragh & Glendalough Hike Laragh
Day 2 Treetop Walk in Avondale Forest Laragh
Day 3 Visit a Wicklow Sheep Farm Wexford
Day 4 Drive to Wexford, Visit Hook Head Lighthouse Wexford
Day 5 Drive to Kinsale, Optional Activities Kinsale
Day 6 Kinsale Walking Tour Kinsale
Day 7 Drive to Killarney, Optional Activities Killarney
Day 8 Bicycle Tour of County Kerry Killarney
Day 9 Drive the Ring of Kerry & Skellig Ring Killarney
Day 10 Killarney Lake Boat Trip & Black Valley Killarney
Day 11 Drive to Limerick, Optional Activities Limerick
Day 12 Drive to Dublin, Whiskey Tour Dublin
Day 13 Depart Dublin  

Head for Laragh on arrival and enjoy a hike in Glendalough, passing Poulanass Waterfall on the way up Spinc Ridge. See the Avondale Forest from above on a treetop walk, then take a day trip to a sheep farm in the Wicklow Mountains, where you'll meet the shepherd and sheepdogs and learn about daily life. Take a tour of Hook's Head Lighthouse on Day 4, the oldest working lighthouse in the world, then spend an evening strolling and shopping in the cobbled streets of Wexford. Break up the drive to Kinsale with stops in coastal villages, including Cobh (the Titanic's last port of call), en route. 

You'll join a walking tour of Kinsale's sites on Day 6, including Charles Fort, and spot seals and other wildlife from the High Road before dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Tour County Kerry by bicycle, stopping by Ross Castle, Muckross Park, Muckross Abbey, and Killarney National Park. Drive the Ring of Kerry and Skellig Ring, passing Torc Waterfall and stopping in villages such as Sneem before hiking the Skelligs Monks Trail. Finally, before returning to Dublin, spend a day touring Limerick, including King John's Castle (if you're in Limerick on the weekend, the Limerick Milk Market farmers' market is a must). Learn more

More Great 13-Day Ireland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ireland? Check out these other 13-day Ireland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 13 Days in Ireland - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 13 Days in Ireland - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas