Nine days in Ireland affords you enough time to explore the natural highlights, including the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, and the Ring of Kerry, as well as the city hotspots in Dublin. Spend less time in the Republic of Ireland and concentrate on the dramatic scenery of Northern Ireland. Visit Giant's Causeway and see Ardara's waterfalls along the Wild Atlantic Way. Choose a historic route that covers Kilkea Castle, Leap Castle, and Blarney Castle, or spend a few days hiking along the Wicklow Way and cover trails in Glenmalure, Glendalough, and Roundwood.

Itinerary #1: Southwest Ireland Road Trip: Cliffs of Moher, Dingle, Ring of Kerry, Dublin

In just nine days, you'll admire the mighty Cliffs of Moher, the spectacular scenery of the Dingle Peninsula, and the dramatic landscapes along the Ring of Kerry before heading to Dublin to explore its highlights. This self-drive itinerary is perfect for travelers looking to immerse themselves in nature before taking in the history of Ireland's capital.

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at Shannon Airport, Pick Up Rental, Drive to Adare Adare
Day 2 Drive the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren via the Wild Atlantic Way Adare
Day 3 Drive to Slea Head & the Dingle Peninsula Killarney
Day 4 Drive the Ring of Kerry Killarney
Day 5 Discover the Lakes of Killarney - Boat Trip and Jarvey Ride Kinsale
Day 6 Cork City & Cobh Kinsale
Day 7 Drive to Dublin Dublin
Day 8 Guided Tour of The Capital Dublin
Day 9 Depart Dublin  

Land at Shannon Airport and immediately collect your rental car for your trip. Drive to Adare, renowned for being one of the prettiest villages in Ireland, via Bunratty Castle. Head for the Cliffs of Moher, where you can enjoy impressive views from the 702-foot (214 m) clifftop. Continue along the Wild Atlantic Way to the Burren to visit Doolin Cave for an exciting adventure. Make your way to Killarney via the Dingle Peninsula. Stop at Slea Head to admire the views of the Blasket Islands, then see a crystal cutter in action at Dingle Crystal. Day 4 takes you on a scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry.

See the Kerry Cliffs in Portmagee, visit Skelligs Chocolate, and spend a few hours hiking or admiring the scenery in Killarney National Park. Take a boat ride on the Lakes of Killarney, then stop for lunch at the historic Lord Brandon's Cottage or Kate Kearney's Cottage. Journey to Cork to take a tour of the city. Wander around the English Market, learn about the Titanic at the Cobh Heritage Center, and conclude with an afternoon at the Jameson Distillery in Midleton. Travel to Dublin and spend an entire day touring the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and Grafton Street before departing. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Northern Ireland & The West Road Trip

This fast-paced self-drive adventure loops from and to Dublin, covering Northern Ireland and Ireland's west coast highlights. You'll follow in the footsteps of giants at the Giant's Causeway, see the beautiful waterfalls of Antrim and Ardara, and step back in time at the Clonmacnoise Monastery and the abandoned town of Rindoon from Dublin.

See Dunluce Castle on a road trip in Ireland
See Dunluce Castle on a road trip through Northern Ireland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Drive to Belfast & Explore the City Belfast
Day 2 Antrim Causeway Coast, Giant's Causeway, Waterfalls of Antrim Ballycastle
Day 3 Isle of Islay (Scotland) Day Trip Ballycastle
Day 4 Londonderry (Derry), Grianan of Aileach Hill Fort Londonderry (Derry)
Day 5 Donegal's Ardara Waterfalls, Sliabh Liag Hike Teelin
Day 6 Wild Nephin National Park, Downpatrick Head & Mayo Dark Sky Park Blacksod
Day 7 Connemara National Park & Galway Galway
Day 8 Athlone, Clonmacnoise Monastery, Abandoned Town of Rindoon  Dublin
Day 9 Free Morning in Dublin & Depart  

Begin in Northern Ireland's capital city of Belfast. Stroll through the gardens at City Hall, check out the Peace Wall, and visit the Titanic Belfast, then head for dinner at Howard Street Restaurant or John Long's Fish & Chips. Journey along the North Causeway Coast and the Antrim Coast, stopping at Glenoe Waterfall, Cranny Falls, and Dunluce Castle, and drive through the eerie Dark Hedges. Finish the day at the magnificent 40,000 interlocking rock columns known as the Giant's Causeway. Take a day trip to the Isle of Islay in Scotland. Go whiskey tasting or enjoy the dramatic landscapes before heading back to Ballycastle.

Travel to Londonderry (Derry), then paddleboard on the River Foyle or cycle through the Foyle Valley. Visit Ardara's waterfalls, such as Assaranca Waterfall, Owenwee Waterfall, and the Secret Waterfall. Intrepid travelers will enjoy the 2.5-mile (4 km) hike to Sliabh Liag, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Explore Wild Nephin National Park in Ballycroy, then head to Mayo Dark Sky Park for an evening of stargazing. Spend a morning in Connemara National Park, then drive to Galway before visiting medieval Athlone Castle and Clonmacnoise Monastery on your way back to Dublin. Learn more

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

Itinerary #3: Ireland's Scenic Hikes & Drives

This nine-day itinerary is the perfect introduction to some of Ireland's best scenic hikes and drives. It includes several treks along the famed Wicklow Way, a scenic drive along the Ring of Kerry and the Skellig Ring, and even more hiking opportunities along the Cliffs of Moher.

Visit Slea Head in Ireland
Visit Slea Head in Ireland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Historical Walking Tour Dublin
Day 2 Wicklow Way Hike Laragh
Day 3 Glendalough, Rock of Cashel, Cork City Cork
Day 4 Killarney Town & National Park Killarney
Day 5 The Ring of Kerry & The Skellig Ring Killarney
Day 6 Dingle Town, Conor Pass & Slea Head Drive Dingle Town
Day 7 Doolin, Hike the Cliffs of Moher Doolin
Day 8 Galway City, The Aran Islands Galway
Day 9 Back to Dublin & Depart  

Arrive in Dublin and head for the Medieval Quarter to see the Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle. Drive to Oldbridge to begin a hike along a small section of the Wicklow Way. Explore the glacial valley of Glendalough, then visit the Rock of Cashel on your way to Cork. Meander through the Huguenot Quarter, learn about Ireland's butter trade at the Cork Butter Museum, and check out the City Centre Elizabeth Fort. Drive up mountains to see the Gap of Dunloe, Torc Waterfall, and Ross Castle on your way to Killarney. Navigate the 100-mile-long (179 km) Ring of Kerry scenic drive, with an additional drive along The Skellig Ring.

A jaunt along the Conor Pass takes you to the village of Ventry and on to Slea Head Drive, where you can enjoy views of the Blasket Islands and popular, sandy Coumenoole Beach. Listen to live music at Dick Mack's and overnight in Dingle. Embark on a coastal hike from Doolin Harbour up to the Cliffs of Moher, marveling at the views of Galway Bay and the Maumturk mountain range along the way. Drive via Galway City to Rossaveal, where you'll jump on a boat to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Trek to the prehistoric fort of Dun Aonghasa, then spend one last night in Galway. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Ireland Road Trip: Castles & Coast

This classic Ireland road trip showcases some of the country's best castles and coastal views, so it's an ideal route for first-time visitors wanting to experience a bit of everything. Visit iconic Irish castles such as Kilkea Castle, Blarney Castle, Leap Castle, and Ballyseede Castle, navigate the Ring of Kerry route, and journey to the Arran Islands for great coastal hikes.

Doonagore Castle, near Doolin
Doonagore Castle, near Doolin
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Introduction to Dublin Tour & Kilmainham Gaol Dublin
Day 2 Visit Kilkea Castle & Falconry Castledermot
Day 3 Drive to Kinsale, Visit the Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle & Cork Kinsale
Day 4 Killarney Lake Boat Trip, Black Valley Walk & Kells House  Tralee
Day 5 Drive the Ring of Kerry, Ballyseede Castle Stay Tralee
Day 6 Arrive at Doolin Village, Tour a Goat Farm in Clare Doolin
Day 7 Ferry to the Arran Islands, Hike on Inishmore Island Doolin
Day 8 Discover the Castles of the Hidden Heartlands, Guided Tour of Leap Castle Birr
Day 9 Explore Clonmacnoise Monastery & Dublin's Medieval Quarter, Depart  

Commence this itinerary with a tour of Dublin's best sights. Wander down O'Connell Street, check out the Temple Bar district, then tour the former prison of Kilmainham Gaol. Venture to Kilkea Castle in Castledermot on Day 2, then continue to Kinsale via the Rock of Cashel and kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. Visit Desmond Castle next before taking a stroll on the Old Head of Kinsale Loop, and kayak, canoe, or swim from Oysterhaven Beach. Continue to Tralee, learn about Irish history at the County Kerry Museum, then divert to the Lakes of Killarney for a peaceful boat trip.

Drive the Ring of Kerry route on Day 5 around the Iveragh Peninsula, and stretch your legs at Cahergall Stone Fort before spending the night as a royal in Ballyseede Castle. Devour Irish potato cakes and stew to prepare for the 9-mile (14 km) round-trip hike along the famed Cliffs of Moher. Tour the Saint Tola Goat Farm in County Clare before catching a boat to the Aran Islands. Choose from several hiking trails on Inishmore Island, then board the ferry back to Doolin. Spend a final day exploring Kinnitty Castle, Glinsk Castle, and Birr Castle and Gardens in the Hidden Heartlands before leaving Ireland. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Hiking the Wicklow Way

See Ireland's countryside in depth on an active holiday that follows the famous Wicklow Way from Clonegal to Dublin. You'll trek through Wicklow Mountains National Park, see ruins in the Glendalough Valley, check out an ancient ring fort, then spend a final night in Dublin to recover from all the hiking.

Hike along the path to the ruins of Glendalough
Hike along the path to the ruins of Glendalough
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bunclody Bunclody
Day 2 Transfer to Clonegal, Hike to Shillelagh Shillelagh
Day 3 Explore an Ancient Ring Fort, Hike to Moyne Moyne
Day 4 Hike to Glenmalure Glenmalure
Day 5 See the Monastic Ruins of Glendalough Glendalough
Day 6 Explore Laragh, Continue to Roundwood Roundwood
Day 7 Tour Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, Hike to Enniskerry Enniskerry
Day 8 Hike to Marlay Park, Continue to Dublin Dublin
Day 9 Depart Dublin  

Head straight to Bunclody in County Wexford to explore the town at your own pace. Transfer to Clonegal to begin your walking holiday along the Wicklow Way. Follow the Derry River toward the Stanakelly Crossroads, where you can enjoy a pub meal before retiring for the evening in Shillelagh. Journey the 11 miles (19 km) to Moyne along Muskeagh Hill, then venture off the trail to explore an ancient fort ring. Back on the trail, you'll walk through Ballyteige, into the Carrickashane woods, and the Aghavannagh Valley toward Slieve Mann Mountain to descend into Glenmalure for the night.

Tour the monastic ruins of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Trinity Church, and St. Kevin's Kitchen, then overnight in Glendalough. Stop for lunch in the village of Laragh before continuing your journey to Roundwood via the area's boreens (country lanes), forest paths, and mountain trails. Hike to the ridge around Lough Dan ("Lake Dan") and head for the Lough Tay ("Lake Yay") viewpoint. Trek through the forest over White Hill and Djouce Mountain and conclude with a tour of the Powerscourt Estate and Gardens. The trail leads from the top of Two Rock Mountain and into Marlay Park in Dublin where it ends. Learn more

More Great 9-Day Ireland Itineraries

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


Map of 9 Days in Ireland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Ireland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas