Take travelers of all ages around the Emerald Isle with this week-long itinerary. You'll spend 7 days experiencing the highlights of Ireland from the seaside town of Kinsale to the Killarney Lakes, then up to Limerick to live like a lord of the manor and over the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands off the coast of County Clare.
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Ireland's influence on global pop culture is undeniable—it's the land of "40 Shades of Green" and Guinness beer, after all—but this little island off the west coast of Europe also holds centuries of history, creating a curious blend of old and new in one compact destination. The rugged southwest is any traveler's dream—think golden beaches, vertical rock cliff faces, and mountains hugging the coast—while the "Ancient East" is home to ruins dating back thousands of years. See the highlights in a few days, or take your time getting to know the many hues of the Emerald Isle.
When is the best time to visit?
Ireland is best visited between March and October. June, July, and August are the busiest months for international travel, due to the increased chance of dry weather. That said, rain isn't as persistent or frequent here as you might think—the Irish climate is actually quite mild, with average temperatures only changing by a few degrees from March to October. This makes it ideal for active travel, with world-class hiking and cycling throughout the country. Learn more
Where should you go in Ireland?
Southwest Ireland is a must for first-time visitors. Killarney, which sits on the eastern end of the Iveragh Peninsula, is a good jumping off point to explore the world-famous Ring of Kerry. It's also on the outskirts of Killarney National Park, a stunning natural landscape of 26,000 acres.
From here, you can take your pick from locations dotted all along the Wild Atlantic Way, a 1,500-mile driving route running from Mizen Head in the southwest to Malin Head in the northwest. The west coast boasts the iconic Cliffs of Moher, charming towns, and traditional Irish music, while further north lies the bohemian city of Galway. Venture west from here and you'll get to boggy and mountainous Connemara, home to Ireland's most unique landscapes. Learn more
How many days do I need?
Ireland may be small, but it's not a country to be rushed. If you only have a week, immersing yourself in one small region is the best way to see what makes the Irish tick—consider spending 2 nights in Dublin and taking a few days to explore the rural west coast. To experience multiple regions, you can easily fill 2 (or even 3!) weeks of well-spent travel. For an active trip, you might take a few days to relax in the countryside before a week of hiking or cycling on the west coast, followed by cultural exploration in one of Ireland's urban areas.
Getting Around Ireland
Self-driving in Ireland is popular, and major roadways connect Dublin to cities including Galway, Cork, and Limerick (and Shannon Airport). Some road trips do rely on rural roads, like the famous Wild Atlantic Way and the Ring of Kerry. Trains serve the bigger cities, and Aer Lingus offers direct flights from Dublin to smaller, regional airports. Learn more
Take a 10-day tour through some of the highlights of Ireland with travelers of all ages on this itinerary. Start in Dublin before heading down the coast to County Cork, where you'll bike through a medieval city and hear the haunted and natural history of Killarney. Experience a classical manor in Limerick, followed by the landscapes of the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, and Aran Islands before you return to Dublin for 1 more full day of urban exploring.
Ireland at its best is wild and windswept and absolutely made for hiking. On this 9-day trip, you can go horseback riding on pristine beaches and walk the length of the Cliffs of Moher. Spend the night in cozy pubs and village guesthouses, visit lively Galway, and experience the unsurpassed beauty of the Emerald Isle.
Traverse the spectrum of the Irish landscape with this 8-day walking excursion. You'll go from the lunar rocks of the Burren to the coastal routes of Connemara and the Cliffs of Moher out to the remote wildlife of the Aran Islands. Whether you're taking in medieval fortresses, waving grasses, or cozy villages, you're sure to find your perfect site to stop and sit a while.
Walk the highlights on this trip around two spectacular regions of Ireland's southwest coast: County Kerry and County Cork. This 8-day itinerary will take you along the craggy cliffs and hidden coves formed by the wild Atlantic, to historic islands, and across lush, rolling hills. Enjoy the peaceful, pristine landscapes of this corner of the Emerald Isle.
Explore the Emerald Isle's beauty and historic villages by bicycle on this 8-day trip. Mórchuaird Chiarraí (Ring of Kerry) is a 111-mile circular route on Ireland's southwestern coast, encompassing Muckross, Killarney National Park, and picturesque Kenmare. Discover local treasures as you cycle in and around the eastern part of the Iveragh Peninsula.
One of the best ways to experience Ireland's remote corners is with a multi-day walk through the heather-covered hills, stretches of unspoiled coast, and sheer cliffs that the...
Ireland is full of kid-friendly outdoor adventures, fun ways to interact with ancient history, and cultural activities from falconry to farming. Chase the leprechaun legend in...
Continued rainy, windy weather this month means that by now the Irish are likely heartily sick of winter. Perhaps this is why February is full of brilliant festivals everywhere...
July is a sunny and comparatively dry month to visit Ireland. Water temperatures reach their annual maximum, increasing the temptation of activities like kayaking, while the...
Explore villages, islands, peninsulas, and coastlines on this weeklong Irish family adventure through Kinsale and Kenmare. Learn about ancient pirate legends, smugglers, and monks of times past, from Charles Fort to the Skellig Islands. Your personal guide will help you to make the most of your journey by sharing ancient myths and legends and introducing you to local characters. Experience an authentic, off the-beaten-track version of Southwest Ireland together.
The ultimate self-driving tour of Ireland is filled with adventures through historic towns and scenic coastlines. Start in Dublin before exploring the villages of Laragh, the medieval Rock of Cashel in Cork, and the hiking trails in Kinsale. Then, tour Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, and Inch Beach off the Dingle Peninsula. The final leg of the road trip takes you to the must-see Cliffs of Moher, bohemian Galway, and two historic national parks before a final night in Derry.
Kerry may very well be a walkers paradise, with routes traversing one of Ireland's most treasured peninsulas. This tour combines the charming Irish towns of Dingle, Killarney, Sneem, and Kenmare with stunning walks along Slea Head, Kenmare Bay, and the famous Dingle Way. You'll discover "beehive" huts, cycle in Killarney National Park, take the ferry to the Blasket Islands, and stroll through oak forests, all while enjoying views of grassy bogland, dramatic cliff drops, and the picturesque Slieve Mish Mountains.
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Buffett plus · Ireland - Sep 22 - Sep 28, 2019
Our guide Maurice from Ireland Walk Bike Hike was very helpful both before and during our recent trip to Ireland. He and a woman from their office (whose name I don't recall) called twice in our 7 day trip to make sure all was well. Galway was a good base for excursions. Westport was a lovely little town. We heard the best Trad music there and on my husband's birthday too! Ballina was a fun. We tried the traditional hot seaweed baths since this wasn't something we could do in the US. It was... read more
Self Guided Hiking Tour · Ireland - Sep 13 - Sep 24, 2019
I had a really great trip with Kimkim. Everything was so easy all the way through and the team was always a phone call away if I had any questions or needed some help.
Dean was fantastic and even dropped in for a face to face half way through to check in. I received phone calls from the team during the trip which was really comforting as I was travelling alone.
Petrina was also always close by when I needed anything and responded very quickly to any questions I had.
The hosts at each of my... read more
Ireland · Ireland - Sep 16 - Sep 26, 2019
Our trip to Ireland was memorable and we will use kimkim and Ireland Walk Bike Hike again to plan new adventures. Although we did not bike at all we had many walks and shorter hikes in beautiful places. Our windy, rainy excursion to the Aran Islands was warmed by an Irish Coffee at a small island pub followed by a boat trip around the Cliffs of Moher. Our itinerary was ambitious and we will spend more time in fewer places next visit. Many thanks to trip planner Dean from Tralee who was... read more