Explore the magic of Ireland on this week-long self-drive adventure, starting with a pint of Guinness in Dublin. You'll dive into the Emerald Isle's kingly past with a visit to the Rock of Cashel, spend two nights in the famous heritage village of Killarney, and drive along the Wild Atlantic Way to explore the Dingle Peninsula. Cap off your trip with a trek to the majestic Cliffs of Moher before returning to the capital.

Highlights

  • Drink Guinness at the source in Dublin
  • Wander the Rock of Cashel's 1000-year old buildings and cemetery
  • Cycle through Killarney National Park to Lough Leane
  • Trek part of the Ring of Kerry for stunning views of County Kerry
  • Walk to the world's edge at the Cliffs of Moher

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin Dublin
Day 2 Pick up rental car - Drive to Cork via the Rock of Cashel Cork
Day 3 Explore Killarney National Park Killarney
Day 4 Trek along the Ring of Kerry Killarney
Day 5 Drive to Dingle - Explore Dingle Peninsula & Slea Head Dingle Town
Day 6 Drive to Doolin - Walk to the Cliffs of Moher Doolin
Day 7 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin

Ha' Penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
Stroll across the Liffey River on the Ha' Penny Bridge

Welcome to Dublin! Transfer from the airport to your first nights’ accommodation in the city center. After checking in, set out to explore the steeped-in-history capital. Explore Dublin at your own pace or join a comprehensive walking tour to visit the highlights. Either way, you'll want to find your way to St. James' Gate brewery to visit The Guinness Factory because no trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to this must-see attraction.

Day 2: Pick up rental car - Drive to Cork via the Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel, Ireland
Spend some time wandering the Rock of Cashel's 1000-year old buildings and cemetery

This morning you'll pick up your car rental and drive south to Cork, Ireland's "Second City." Along the way, stop at the historic Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary to wander a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on a limestone outcrop, once home to the High Kings of Ireland. From there, you will continue your way to Cork, taking the rest of the afternoon to spend as you choose. 

Duration (Dublin - Cork): 3 hours
Distance: 162 miles (261 km)

Day 3: Explore Killarney National Park

Ireland - Kilarney - Ross Castle and Lough Leane in Kilarney National Park
Discover the 15th-century ruins of Ross Castle on Lough Leane

After breakfast, drive across the mountainous terrain that separates Cork County and the Kingdom of Kerry, until you arrive in the town of Killarney. After settling into your hotel, switch gears and either lace up your hiking boots or rent a bike to explore the country's oldest national park. Discover Killarney National Park's iconic landscape as you set out to its three lakes, Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, and Upper Lake. If you're up for it, you can join a kayaking tour of Lough Leane, though there is the option to take a boat cruise.

The park is home to a number of noteworthy historic buildings and monuments, including a 15th-century Franciscan friary known as Muckross Abbey and Ross Castle a structure that sits stoically on the eastern edge of Lough Leane. Consider staying in the park long enough to take in the sunset before finding a pub for your dinner.

Duration (Cork - Killarney): 1.5 hours
Distance: 54 miles (87 km)

Day 4: Trek along the Ring of Kerry

Derrynane Beach, Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Admire views over Derrynane Beach

Considered one of the most beautiful destinations to explore in Ireland, today sees you discovering the real beauty of the world-famous Ring of Kerry. Take in sweeping views of the wild, rugged coastline, golden beaches, glistening lakes, picturesque villages, and spectacular mountain ranges.

A nice walk along the Ring of Kerry is the Derrynane Mass Path Loop Walk, which is a moderate 6 mile (9 km) route around Derrynane National Park near Caherdaniel and takes about 3.5 hours to complete. Enjoy trekking through hillside woodland with sweeping views over Derrynane Blue Flag Beach and Derrynane House.

Day 5: Drive to Dingle - Explore Dingle Peninsula & Slea Head

Ireland - Kerry - Dingle Peninsula - Slea Head + road along western edge
Drive along Ireland's western edge to Slea Head 

Leaving your accommodation behind, drive west to explore the most westerly peninsula in Europe, Dingle Peninsula. Along the way, you will see Gallarus Oratory, ancient beehive huts, the Blasket Islands, and much more. Following your drive to Slea Head, you will spend the night in the coastal town of Dingle.

Duration (Killarney - Dingle): 1.25 hours
Distance: 40 miles (64 km)

Day 6: Drive to Doolin - Walk to the Cliffs of Moher

Ireland - Clare - Cliffs of Moher
Discover the majestic Cliffs of Moher

Today you will drive along the edge of Europe to the colorful coastal town of Doolin. After checking into your hotel, set out on foot to the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher—the best way to experience their towering dominance. There's also the option to take a boat to the cliffs for an alternate perspective.

Duration (Dingle - Doolin): 3.5 hours
Distance: 139 miles (223 km)

Day 7: Depart

Ireland - Clare - Cliffs of Moher -
Enjoy one final view of the Cliffs of Moher

After breakfast, load up the car and make your way back east toward the capital where you will return your car rental and bid farewell to the Emerald Isle.

Duration (Doolin - Dublin): 3.25 hours
Distance: 163 miles (262 km)

Map

Map of Self-Drive Ireland: Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher - 7 Days
Map of Self-Drive Ireland: Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher - 7 Days