Five days in Ireland is just enough time to visit a few key destinations. Start in Dublin and road-trip to Cork and the Cliffs of Moher—or, alternatively, to Dingle and the magnificent Ring of Kerry—or opt for a hiking adventure in Donegal or Kerry, where you'll have the chance to meet local people and hear traditional Irish music and language. Another option is to start in Belfast and drive to the northern coast to hike and horseback ride around the Glens of Antrim.

Itinerary #1: Ultimate Ireland Road Trip

Hit the road to discover Cork, Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher, and Killarney National Park on this self-guided drive around Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland
Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin - Explore Dublin
Day 2 Cork & Blarney Castle Cork
Day 3 Discover Killarney National Park Killarney National Park
Day 4 Cliffs of Moher & Galway Galway
Day 5 Departure  

Welcome to Dublin—get into the swing of things with a pint at Temple Bar and a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. On Day 2, you'll pick up a rental car and drive to Cork. You'll have part of the day to explore the city, then venture out to Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone: kiss it to secure "the gift of gab," as the legend goes.

On Day 3, continue to the town of Killarney. Visit Muckross House, a beautiful mansion built in the 19th century, then go for a hike through Killarney National Park, stopping to enjoy views of three lakes: Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, and Upper Lake. The awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher await on Day 4: you'll get the best views during an easy hike. Then continue to bohemian Galway, where you'll sightsee, shop, and raise a glass in local pubs on the last night of the trip. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Ireland Self-Driving Tour

On this driving tour around Ireland, you'll explore the gorgeous landscapes and cultural highlights of the Emerald Isle, from the Rock of Cashel to the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Rock of Cashel
The Rock of Cashel
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Dublin Dublin
Day 2 Killarney via the Rock of Cashel Killarney National Park
Day 3 The Ring of Kerry Killarney National Park
Day 4 Dingle Peninsula Dingle Town
Day 5 Departure  

Touch down in Dublin. On Day 1, you'll visit Dublin Castle and Trinity College, then have a beer in a cozy pub with live music. Pick up your rental car on Day 2 and drive to Kerry, stopping to see the Rock of Cashel along the way. Ultimately you'll arrive in the town of Killarney, home to Ireland's first national park. 

On Day 3, you'll enjoy a world-famous 28-mile drive: the Ring of Kerry. Along the way, you'll see dramatic landscapes, golden beaches, green hills, and quaint villages. Squeeze in a hike on the Derrynane Loop if you have time. You'll explore Dingle on the last full day of the trip, stopping at Inch Beach and visiting Blanket Island before finishing the day—and the trip—in the charming seaside village of Dingle Town. Learn more

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

Itinerary #3: Self-Guided Donegal Hike

Hike through the mountains and stop for photo ops along the coastline on this self-guided tour of North Donegal, one of Ireland's most beautiful regions.

An old shipwreck at sunset in Donegal
An old shipwreck at sunset in Bunbeg, Donegal
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Bunbeg Bunbeg
Day 2 Gweedore to Dunlewy Dunlewy
Day 3 Dunlewy to Falcarragh Dunfanaghy
Day 4 Dunfanaghy to Horn Head or Bloody Foreland Loop Dunfanaghy
Day 5 Departure  

The adventure begins in Bunbeg, a village in the heart of the Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking area of Ireland. Take a boat trip out to Gola Island or Tory Island on the first day. On Day 2, hike from Clady Bridge along a forest path to Dunlewy Lake, where you'll enjoy sweeping views of Errigal Mountain.

Another great hike awaits on Day 3. After transferring to Dunlewy, walk along the foothills of Errigal, following the path of an old railway line that leads you to the coast. Overnight in Dunfanaghy. Choose between two hike options on Day 4: McSwyne's Gun Loop on Horn Head, which takes you from your hotel to Horn Head Bridge and back again, or enjoy the coastal hike around Bloody Foreland. You'll spend the last evening in Dunfanaghy before the trip comes to a close. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Guided Kerry Walk

Let a knowledgeable local guide lead you through the green pastures and picturesque villages of Kerry on this leisurely tour of the picturesque southwest region.

Kerry Cliffs, the most spectacular cliffs in County Kerry
Kerry Cliffs, the most spectacular cliffs in County Kerry
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Killarney Killarney National Park
Day 2 Lakes of Killarney Killarney National Park
Day 3 Derrynane Bay Hike Waterville
Day 4 Skellig Coastal Hike Waterville
Day 5 Departure  

Kick off the trip in Killarney. You'll dine in a local pub before the next day's hike to Ross Castle, the 15th-century seat of the O'Donoghue Clan, and a boat ride through the Three Lakes of Killarney. From there, you'll hike along the shores of the Upper Lake. On Day 3, you'll take a picnic lunch on a coastal hike that leads you over the foothills to the Ring of Kerry, where you'll be rewarded with stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean.

The best scenery—arguably—is saved for last. On the fourth day of the itinerary, your guide will lead you on a hike overlooking the Wild Atlantic Way and Dingle Bay. Afterward, have some cold drinks and locally made chocolate before returning to Waterville for one last night. After a classic Irish breakfast, your trip comes to a close. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Antrim Coast & Glens Hike

On this active itinerary, you'll drive, hike, and ride on horseback along the beautiful Antrim Coastline and the Glens of Antrim. 

Crumlin Glen in County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Crumlin Glen in County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Belfast Belfast
Day 2 Belfast to Ballycastle Ballycastle
Day 3 Rathlin Island Ballycastle
Day 4 Causeway Coast Bushmills
Day 5 Travel day to Belfast & Depart  

Start the adventure in Belfast. Pick up your rental car and spend some time exploring the city before the next day's drive to the northern coast and the Glens of Antrim. You'll stop for a horseback riding lesson at Laurel View Equestrian Center along the way, then continue on to Ballycastle. On Day 3, take the ferry to Rathlin Island on the Sea of Moyle.

Learn about shipwrecks off the island's shores at the Boathouse Visitor Center and go for a scenic walk before heading back to the mainland. On the last full day of the trip, you'll continue along the coast, visiting highlights like Dunluce Castle, Fair Head, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and the Giants Causeway. Then finish the trip with drinks at Bushmills Distillery, famous for its whiskey. Learn more

More Great 5-Day Ireland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ireland? Check out these other 5-day Ireland itineraries,with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 5 Days in Ireland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Ireland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas