Road Trip of a Lifetime to Ireland

  Family of 4 visited Ireland in July 2018

“Beautiful countryside, historic sites, quaint hotels, walkability, luxurious but affordable, trip of a lifetime, elder friendly, explore cities, fun nightlife, delicious food, good beer, true irish experience, sexy irish brogues, premiere shopping, unknown treasures, off the beaten path, coastal views, castles.”

Maurice Whelan, a local specialist from Ireland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

32 messages exchanged
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Highlights of the South

Day 1: Arrive to Dublin
Day 2: Discover Dublin
Day 3: Visit The garden of Ireland
Day 4: Coast to Coast
Day 5: Kinsale and the surrounding region
Day 6: The Ring of Kerry
Day 7: Skellig Michael

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Maurice Whelan

My name is Maurice and I am the owner of Ireland Walk Hike Bike. We are a specialist Active holiday provider here in Ireland and for the past 25 years we have had the pleasure of welcoming guests to Ireland to discover this magical country. 
All of what you have outlined in your request is here waiting to be found and now all you need is the perfect itinerary to discover it. 
Just so I am clear could you please clarify if you would like a guide during your holiday ? 

If you would like a self drive holiday I would be happy to design the itinerary and I just need to know if you want any activity's included as you use the word "walkability", or would your trip be primarily sight seeing and leisure time?

I look forward to hearing from you and as soon as I have a clearer picture of what you want I will send you a sample itinerary.


Thanks Maurice! My sister and I will be traveling with our parents who are in their 70's. They're both in excellent shape and able to travel, but we will want to consider their needs when hitting all the spots we want to see. We are flying the redeye to Dublin on 7/21. The flight information says we arrive in Dublin at 2:05 pm, I'm assuming on Sunday 7/22. We will want to spend the first 2-3 nights in Dublin so we'd love to stay in a cute/quaint hotel right in the heart of the city. We would like to rent a car when we leave Dublin and hit the following areas/spots spending a night or two in the areas you think are best:

Stop in Kilkenny on the drive to have a look see & rock of cashel & Hore Abbey 
Ring of Kerry - we'd love to see Skellig Michael 
Dingle Peninsula 
Cliffs of Moher 
Aran Islands 
Back to Dublin

We fly out on August 2nd at 3 pm.

If I've missed a "must see" spot, please let me know! I'm trusting you will know what are the best spots we should hit during our visit. In terms of where we stay, we would love smaller-side quaint hotels/bed and breakfasts in cute idyllic towns.

Thank you!

Maurice Whelan
Thank you for the great information as this is very helpful when I am designing your trip itinerary. I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about how best to structure your itinerary and the following is a rough outline of what I feel will work best. Once we agree on the structure and if you are happy with the price then we can put in a lot more detail as to what is possible in each location. See below the structure I felt will work best. Of course as you will be driving yourself you will have complete control over every days itinerary but we will need to book all of the accommodation as July is the busiest holiday month in Ireland and already it is getting difficult to find accommodation in some locations.

22nd July - Arrive to Dublin Relax, recover from jet lags & maybe a Bus tour of Dublin in the late afternoon. 

23rd July - Discover Dublin in more detail. Maybe a Walking tour and visit some sites. 

24th July - Drive to the Connemara region which is west of Galway City. One of Ireland's most unique an beautiful regions. Tonight stay in the village of Roundstone. One of my personal favorite villages in Ireland 

25th July -Today you take to the seas and take a boat to the Aran Island "Inis Mor". Lots of ways to explore the island including a guided driving tour, horse and carriage ride, cycling or walking. You have two options tonight. You can return from the Island on the late afternoon ferry and drive to Galway or my recommendation would be to spend the night on the island as it is a very different place once all the day trippers leave on the last ferry. Overnight on Inish Mor or in Galway 

26th Today you can spend the day in Galway City and enjoy this wonderful city- Overnight in Galway. If you dont fancy spending time in the city then my recommendation would be to drive South to the village of Doolin which is very close to the Cliffs of Moher. The area around Doolin is called the Burren and is a fascinating landscape which is home to 75% of Irelands wildflower population which will be in full bloom when you visit. I am not a city person so this would be my preferred choice. If you choose this option then you could also visit the cliffs of Moher for Sunset which is truly magnificent. 

27th - Drive to Dingle today with a few possible options en-route to visit. Overnight in Dingle 

28th - The region west of Dingle town is called Slea head and it has to be seen to be believed, the natural beauty of the rugged landscape. you can chose to drive this region yourself, cycle the route or take a guided tour where your guide can introduce you to the many sites of cultural significance some dating back over 3,000years. Overnight in Dingle 

29th You head south today and drive to Waterville town which sits on the western tip of the famous Ring of Kerry Driving route - A visit to Derrynane house & gardens is a must. Another nice experience is to accompany a local seaweed farmer as he introduces you to this amazing plant and its many uses. You can even enjoy a tasting menu of delicious foods made from seaweed. Overnight in Waterville. 

30th - With a little luck today you will visit Skellig Michael island. Sitting 7 miles out to sea this jagged outcrop of rock is home to one of the most wondrous monastic sites you will find anywhere in the world. Along with a vibrant seabird colony it is a truly magical experience. This trip is very much weather dependent and is not suitable for those with weak sea legs!! Please note that there are over 600 steps to be climbed to reach the monastic site. Following your trip to the Island you will drive to Killarney for your overnight. 

31st - Enjoy a relaxing day in Killarney town. A visit to Muckross house and gardens in the national park is a great option. Overnight in Killarney 
1st August - Today you Drive to Dublin with a stop in cashel en-route to visit the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey. Overnight in Dublin 

2nd - Today you bid farewell to the emerald Isle until next time.

I hope you like what I have outlined and look forward to hearing from you.

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Traveler Review

Our trip was thoughtfully planned to provide us with the opportunity to drive to many unforgettable places and sights in Ireland.