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The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Planning the perfect Ireland road trip itinerary does not have to be stressful or overwhelming. No matter where you choose to visit in Ireland, whether it is the whole Emerald Isle or only a piece of it, you are in for a real treat. We have explored Ireland from top to bottom and have yet to be disappointed by a single place! Ireland is a diverse country that offers something for everyone and this ultimate Ireland itinerary hits it all.

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Map | Inspiring Map Of Ireland | Pin this map of Ireland to inspire you to plan your trip to Ireland! | This cute Ireland map will get you excited for travel to Ireland! #ireland #map

Our Ireland road trip itinerary is written in a clockwise manner around the island, but feel free to modify in any way or go completely against the grain and go counter-clockwise if you are a true rebel!

For this Ireland road trip itinerary, we are not specifying an amount of time so that you can make the drive as time allows for your schedule. If you have 5 days for your Ireland itinerary, then modify this Ireland road trip route to fit that length of time. If you have two weeks, consider spending a few days in each location to really take in what Ireland has to offer. No matter what amount of time you choose to explore the country, your Ireland road trip will not disappoint.

Read more: What To Pack For Ireland

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Begin Your Ireland Road Trip By Flying Into Dublin Airport

You will begin almost any trip to Ireland by flying into Dublin Airport. Dublin Airport is a major international airport and flights into Ireland are often relatively affordable. In fact, the reason we went to Ireland on our very first trip was that it was so cheap to fly into! We had no clue how amazing the country really was and are very glad we went on a whim!

Alternatively, you could fly into Belfast Airport in Northern Ireland and being this Ireland itinerary from there. Otherwise, flying into Dublin airport is the perfect place to begin your Ireland road trip as it is affordable and there are tons of car rental options on airport property so you can easily pick up your rental and get going.

We recommend checking out Skyscanner to find the best and most affordable flights into Ireland. We use this tool to discover the best flights for our trip because you can easily compare rates. We also suggest booking your Ireland road trip on a travel credit card so you can earn points towards future travel! These are the travel credit cards we personally use! 

Search Flights To Ireland

visit temple bar on your ireland road trip after you fly into dublin

Stop 1: Spend Time Exploring Dublin To Begin Your Ireland Road Trip

Dublin is the largest city in the Republic Of Ireland and has a lot to offer. We will be honest, we recommend a quick stop in Dublin and then getting out to visit the rest of what Ireland has to offer. No Ireland itinerary would be complete without a stop in Dublin, but the rest of Ireland is much less expensive and way cooler as you will see! Spend as long or as little as you like in Dublin but we recommend 1-2 nights.

Noteworthy Things To Do In Dublin:

  • Have a Guinness in the Temple Bar area. Temple Bar is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Dublin. It is bustling and lively and the perfect place to experience your first Irish pub! Temple Bar is a great place for dinner and a pint and even though it is “touristy” it is still a cool thing to visit in Dublin.
  • Walk through St. Stephens Green. We love nature and St. Stephen’s Green is sort of like the Central Park for Dublin! It is so relaxing and pretty with lots of nature and flowers and walking paths.
  • Visit Dublin Castle. Dublin Castle is a real castle located in the heart of Dublin and the perfect introduction to castles in Ireland!
  • Visit Trinity College and the Book Of Kells. You must pay Trinity College and the famous library a visit when you are in Dublin! It is stunning and unlike anywhere else in the world!
  • Experience The Guinness Storehouse. If you love beer, then visiting the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin will be the best possible way to start off your Ireland itinerary. You get beer included and will learn about the history!

Where To Stay In Dublin On Your Ireland Road Trip

Dublin is experiencing a shortage of hotel rooms and as a result, prices are sky high! As a result, we recommend spending a shorter amount of time in Dublin to leave time for the rest of your Ireland road trip itinerary.

Trinity College Dublin Ireland road trip itinerary must see

Stop 2: Enjoy Rock Of Cashel And Hore Abbey

We did Rock Of Cashel as a day stop on our way from Dublin to Cork, but you can totally spend the night in the area if you want even more time to explore during your Ireland road trip. Rock Of Cashel is hugely touristy, but for a good reason! It is an epic ruin set on the top of a hill surrounded by sheep, does it even any more Irish than that?

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

There is an entrance fee to visit Rock Of Cashel and in all honesty, the inside wasn’t all that! The outside is the best part and a dream for photographers. If you are looking to get off the beaten path, visit the nearby Hore Abbey instead. You can see Hore Abbey from Rock Of Cashel and while Rock Of Cashel has tour buses and hundreds of people visiting at the same time, Hore Abbey had maybe 4 people there at the same time when we were visiting during our Ireland road trip.

Hore is Gaelic for grey, which is the color the nuns wore back in the day. The abbey ruins are magnificent and you will have the whole place to yourself! The view of Rock Of Cashel from Hore Abbey and the field beside it is totally worth making this a stop on your Ireland road trip itinerary.

Where to stay near Rock Of Cashel:

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 3: Visit Cork, Cobh, And Blarney Estate In Irelands Ancient East

Cork is located just a few hours away from Dublin and is totally worth a stop on your Ireland road trip itinerary. It is centrally located to a lot of stops in Ireland’s Ancient East and you will not be disappointed.

Seeing Cobh During Your Ireland Road Trip

When visiting Cork, you must mak30-minute drive to visit the colorful nearby town of Cobh! Cobh is home to a Titanic Museum experience and is actually the last stop the Titanic made before crossing the Atlantic. While in Cobh, you will want to visit the church which is high on the hill and may want to explore the colorful local neighborhoods that are perched on a steep hill. The town is the perfect way to spend your morning and grab an ice cream if you want!

If you want to stop in Cobh, stay at the Commodore Hotel. It is centrally located and offers a wonderful location for exploring Cobh and the surrounding areas. We wish we could have spent longer in Cobh because it is so beautiful!

Check Rates On Booking.com

add cobh to your ireland itinerary

Kissing The Blarney Stone Is A Must On Your Ireland Itinerary

When we made the decision to visit Blarney Estate and kiss the famous Blarney Stone during our Ireland road trip, we thought you basically walked up to the castle, kissed the stone, and left. This could not be further from the truth! Blarney Castle is located on Blarney Estate which is a huge property right outside of Cork!

The Estate is massive and you could spend an entire day there. We recommend budgeting at least 3 hours to kiss the Blarney Stone in Blarney Castle, to explore the Blarney Manor where the family lived, and the explore the fabulously landscaped grounds. You could spend three days there but you have to keep your Ireland road trip itinerary moving along so stick to a few hours!

If you don’t want to drive and want to stay right in the thick of things, we recommend staying at Blarney Castle Hotel if you want to explore Blarney Castle before all of the crowds! It is mid-range and centrally located so you can easily walk around the town and even to Blarney Castle grounds should you desire!

Blarney Castle Hotel: Check Rates On Booking.com

If you are looking for a more local and affordable experience, the Maranatha Country House is just the place to stay for you. It is a little outside of Blarney but it isn’t that far at all! It is cute and affordable and traditionally Irish.

Maranatha Country House: Check Rates On Booking.com

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Where To Stay In Cork: Hayfield Manor

If you are looking to treat yourself during your Ireland road trip, Cork is the perfect place to do it! Hayfield Manor, an Ireland’s Blue Book property, is an old manor house converted into a hotel in the heart of Cork. The hotel is centrally located and it is easy to jump on the highway to visit Blarney and Cobh if they are a part of your Ireland itinerary.We loved the fact that Hayfield Manor transports you to a bygone era with their luxurious accommodations and perfect service. We stayed in a suite it was perfect for a romantic getaway. We were greeted with truffles and drinks upon our arrival and enjoyed a turndown service at night.

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Hayfield Manor has multiple on-site restaurants and we ate in the bistro which was located in a stunning all-glass room. The food was delicious and there were different pricing options. If you wanted to get all fancy, you could choose to eat at Hayfield Manor’s fine dining restaurant as well. Hayfield Manor boasts a lovely garden area and outdoor hot tub as well as a luxurious spa and warm indoor pool. Of course, we had to check out the pool and spa and enjoyed that Hayfield Manor had classical music playing in the pool and spa area which added to the experience.

Finally, the rooms at Hayfield Manor were decorated in such a romantic and classical way that we actually did a full-blown photo shoot of the property. You really get a feeling of how the family who once owned Hayfield Manor used to live and we think that a night or two at Hayfield Manor is the perfect luxury getaway experience for your Ireland road trip. We especially recommend it for couples on their honeymoon or anniversary trip to Ireland too!

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 4: Drive The Ring Of Kerry

No Ireland road trip itinerary is complete without a drive on the famed Ring Of Kerry. Please note that the Ring Of Kerry is quite a harrowing drive as roads are extremely narrow and thin and there are large tour buses that go by quickly so you must be very careful. If you see a car coming down the road, it is best to pull over if you are able and wait for them to pass you before proceeding. The narrow roads make this quite an interesting part of your Ireland road trip itinerary.

Visit Kerry Cliffs During Your Ireland Road Trip

Kerry Cliffs are basically a miniature version of the Cliffs Of Moher and they are located on the very middle of the Ring Of Kerry along the Skellig Ring. The Skellig Ring is a short circle drive that is at the end of the Ring Of Kerry and easy to see as there are many signs. You can even see the Skellig Islands, where Star Wars was filmed, from the Kerry Cliffs! It costs 2 euros per person to visit but it is a pretty cool stop to make during the Ring Of Kerry drive on your Ireland road trip. The Kerry Cliffs are home to many seabirds and make for a wonderful walk to explore the cliffs during your Ireland itinerary.

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Ride The Car Ferry To Valentia Island

Valentia Island is an island on the Ring Of Kerry road trip located right near the Kerry Cliffs. If you drive the Skellig Ring during your Ireland road trip, then Valentia Island is literally less than 2km away! The island is home to a stunning lighthouse that you can visit and explore as well as quaint seaside towns that are perfect to stop for an ice cream. Valentia Island can be accessed near Kerry Cliffs by a bridge and by a ferry on the other end of the island. We recommend getting onto the island by the bridge and exciting the island by the 8 euro car ferry. It is a fun and unique thing to do during your Ireland road trip!

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Where To Stay On The Ring Of Kerry: Parknasilla Resort And Spa

We really can’t say enough about Parknasilla Resort and Spa located right on the Ring Of Kerry. We visited during high season during a holiday weekend and the resort was full of guests and we don’t blame them! The property and hotel is stunning! Parknasilla Resort is located in the northeast corner of the Ring Of Kerry, right by the town of Sneem. It is the perfect place to spend a night or two and right on the Ring Of Kerry so you can easily drive and explore the nearby beaches and cliffs and come home to a restful night sleep.

Parknasilla Resort’s best feature is it’s location and view, not to mention the fact that it looks like a literal castle! The view from Parknasilla Resort offers unobstructed vistas out over the Kerry mountains and the ocean. There are on-site walking trails as well as a golf course and kayak tours. Parknasilla Resort boasts multiple restaurants and even an in-house coffee shop so you can get your java fix.

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Our room was located on the top floor of the “castle” portion of the resort and had multiple windows overlooking two different views of the ocean and mountains. The room was decorated in a classical fashion with pastel-colored walls, carpet, and bedding. The bathroom came complete with a rain-shower and pedestal sinks. The atmosphere of the resort was relaxed luxury without feeling stuffy. The resort was very family friendly and couple friendly as well.

If you visit Parknasilla Resort, make sure to spend time in their pool and spa. The pool and spa both offer panorama views of the mountains and water outdoors with floor-to-ceiling windows. You can even use the thermal circuit for free in the spa area if you are a hotel guest and the pool is heated to a nice temperature. To top it all off, Parknasilla Resort also has an outdoor hot tub overlooking the stunning scenery nearby.

Check rates for Parknasilla Resort On Booking.com

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 5: Explore Killarney For Some Of The Best Drives Of Your Ireland Road Trip

Killarney is one of our absolute favorite places to visit in Ireland! The city of Killarney is so vibrant and welcoming and the nearby scenery is just breathtaking. Killarney is a wonderful place to stop on your Ireland road trip because the area is so diverse and truly has so much to offer!

Noteworthy Things To Do In Killarney:

  • Visit Muckross House And Killarney House. Killarney House and Muckross House are located in the Killarney area and are both fascinating places to visit during your Ireland road trip. Muckross House is located a bit out of the city and can be quite busy. The grounds are stunningly beautiful! Killarney House is located in the heart of Downtown Killarney and you are free to walk in and out of the grounds as you please!
  • Torc Waterfall. Torc Waterfall is a unique stop on your Ireland road trip because you would not really think about waterfalls being in Ireland! The waterfall is located right off the main road and is just a quick and easy walk to visit. It is a must-see on your Ireland itinerary because of how unique it is!
  • Ross Castle. Ross Castle is the perfect stop on your Ireland road trip itinerary because it is beautiful and easy to get to. It is located in the heart of Killarney on a lake and it is completely free to visit the castle and view it from the outside. There is a fee if you want to go inside, but we think you get the best views from the outside near the lake!
  • Killarney National Park. The town of Killarney is located right on Killarney National Park and there is so much to see and do. We recommend driving through the Gap Of Dunloe and to see Ladies View during your Ireland road trip stop in Killarney.

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Where To Stay In Killarney On Your Ireland Road Trip:

Killarney is one of those places with plenty of lodging options! It is quite a popular town and for a good reason! We love Killarney and here are some of our recommendations of where to stay in Killarney during your Ireland road trip itinerary!

  • The Brehon. The Brehon is a popular hotel located in the heart of Killarney right near Ross Castle. It is moderately priced and located perfectly for visiting Killarney National Park. We stayed in a lovely suite at the Brehon with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains! Check Prices: Hotels.com | Booking.com
  • Aghadoe Heights. Aghadoe Heights is one of our favorite hotels in the entire world and we spent four days there when speaking at a conference in Killarney. The hotel offers stunning views of Killarney Lakes and the national park and offers a world-class spa. We highly recommend this for your luxury stay in Killarney! Check Prices: Hotels.com | Booking.com
  • Airbnb In Downtown Killarney. This Airbnb location is perfect for exploring downtown Killarney and all the cute bars and ice cream shops! It is a private room and perfect for a couple or solo traveler. Check availability here! Don’t forget that you can get $40 off here!

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 5: Visit The Breathtaking Dingle Peninsula, One Of The Best Ireland Road Trip Drives

As we said above, we have done multiple Ireland road trips around the entire country on multiple different trips and the Dingle Peninsula is one of the most spectacular places to visit. It will meet and beat all of your prior expectations and the views go for miles! We only spent 24 hours on the Dingle Peninsula but plan to come back and spend at least 2 nights. This is one area that you will want time to enjoy everything so you should listen to us because we didn’t listen to those who told us to extend our Ireland road trip for longer in Dingle!

While you are on the Dingle Peninsula during your Ireland itinerary, there are so many things to see and do! Here are our recommendations!

Must-See Stops On The Dingle Peninsula:

  • Slea Head Drive. This is the most epic thing you will do during your Ireland road trip [okay, one of them!] Slea head drive is a loop that starts and ends in the town of Dingle. It offers stunning cliff views, Star Wars movie locations, mountains, quaint towns, and breathtaking views as far as the eye can see.
  • Dunquin Pier. Dunquin Pier is an iconic ‘postcard” destination on the Dingle Peninsula. It is located in the town of Dunquin on the Slea Head Drive loop and is actually a ferry pier. It is quite a good photo location for catching the sunset and you will have lots of fun walking down to the water.
  • Connor’s Pass. Connor’s Pass is the highest pass in Ireland and a wonderful addition to your Ireland itinerary. If you make this drive part of your Ireland road trip, be prepared for slow driving and very narrow roads. Conner’s Pass is beautiful but the roads are quite thin so be sure to pull over well in advance for any oncoming traffic.
  • Dingle Town. The town of Dingle is a must-see on your Ireland road trip because it is so cute and centrally located. It is right at the start and end of Slea Head drive and has so much to see and do! Make sure to walk around the shops and grab an ice cream while you enjoy the waterfront.

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Where To Stay In Dingle On Your Ireland Road Trip:

Luxury Option: Dingle Benners Hotel

If you are planning a luxury Ireland itinerary, the Dingle Benners Hotel is the perfect place for you to stay on the Dingle Peninsula. Dingle Benners Hotel couples traditional Irish hospitality with modern day amenities. The 52 rooms are luxurious and beautiful and the hotel is small enough so that you still get the boutique luxury experience. Dingle Benners Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Dingle and is just steps away from all the shops and local attractions you will want to experience during your Ireland road trip.

The luxury hotel offers multiple dining options as well as a spa for when you want to wind down at the end of a busy day in Dingle! Make sure to check out their Afternoon Tea for a fun and totally Irish experience!

Check Prices: Booking.comHotels.com 

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

 Moderate Option: Dingle Skellig Hotel

The Dingle Skellig Hotel is located right on the waterfront and within walking distance of Downtown Dingle. This option is more affordable than Dingle Benners Hotel but doesn’t sacrifice service, style, or location. In fact, it is one of the only waterfront properties in such close proximity to Dingle Town! You can walk to the heart of Dingle Town in less than 10 minutes.

Dingle Skellig Hotel offers a relaxing pool and spa as well as outdoor hot tubs overlooking the bay. There is a pub and two on-site restaurants. When we arrived back later than we thought, the staff at Dingle Skellig Hotel graciously cooked us a delicious meal, even though the kitchen had just closed. The rooms at Dingle Skellig are relaxing and many have views of the bay or Downtown Dingle.

Check Prices: Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 6: Check The Cliffs Of Moher Off Your Ireland Itinerary Bucket List

Is there anything more iconically Irish than the Cliffs Of Moher? Even if you don’t generally like to do “the touristy” things, the Cliffs Of Moher are a must-see on your Ireland road trip itinerary. We recommend budgeting at least 2 hours to see the Cliffs Of Moher, although we have spent even more there ourselves! Seeing the Cliffs Of Moher in person will blow your mind and exceed all of your expectations!

During your time at the Cliffs Of Moher, you can visit the Visitor Center for some education and also grab a bite to eat before heading out to the views! You can stay on the Cliffs Of Moher visitor center property, or you can go outside of the property and walk on top of the Cliffs themselves. This is one of the more dangerous things you will do on your Ireland road trip, so make sure that you practice extreme caution!

Check Prices For Cliffs Of Moher Hotels: Booking.com | Hotels.com 

visit the cliffs of moher at sunset on your ireland road trip

Stop 7: Drop By Doolin For Picture Perfect Irish Charm

Doolin is an adorable town located just 10 minutes north of the Cliffs Of Moher. If you are already visiting the Cliffs Of Moher on your Ireland road trip, we recommend a quick stop in Doolin too. Doolin is such a cute little town, with iconic pink houses, an adorable downtown, a castle turret, and a cute harbor.

While you are in Doolin, you can also take a day trip to the nearby Aran Islands. We have never done the Aran Islands before but they are high on your Ireland road trip bucket list for next time! You can catch an affordable ferry from Doolin and it is a short boat ride to the islands!

Check Rates For Doolin Lodge: Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 8: Experience Westport And Achill Island On Your Ireland Road Trip Itinerary 

We love getting off the beaten path and there is no better place to do that than Westport and the nearby Achill Island. Westport is an adorable town located in Co. Mayo that has so much to offer. You can choose to visit Westport House and see their falcon demonstration or take a bike ride on electric bikes through neighboring towns. Westport House is where famed pirate Grace O’Malley lived and you can even go into a real dungeon too!

We highly recommend taking a day trip to the nearby Achill Island or even adding extra time to your Ireland road trip to stay on Achill Island. Achill Island is pristine Irish beauty at its best, with white sand beaches, mountain lakes, and cute towns. You can even go surfing, paddle boarding, or snorkeling on Achill Island if you want a more adventurous Ireland itinerary!

Read more: The Ultimate Guide Of Things To Do In Co. Mayo

The Ultimate Guide Of Things To Do In Mayo Ireland | Things To Do In Westport | Top Ireland Attractions

Best Accommodations And Hotels In Westport Ireland

Suggested Achill Island Hotels:

Stop 9: Explore The Slieve League Cliffs And Bad Eddie’s Boat In Co. Donegal 

Co. Donegal, Ireland’s Northernmost county is known as it’s most “wild.” This isn’t a place most people visit on their Ireland road trip, but we have gone and we highly recommend it. This is “real” and unspoiled Ireland, far away from any tourists. This is where you will find sheep wandering in the road and no fences to keep the animals in.

Things To Do In Co. Donegal On Your Ireland Road Trip:

  • Slieve League Cliffs. You have to put the Slieve League Cliffs on your Ireland road trip itinerary because they are one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe [second only to the cliffs on Achill Island]. The cliffs are located in the southern end of Donegal and you can drive to them and walk the rest of the way. The views are incredible and you will hardly see another tourist in sight. After the busy Cliffs Of Moher, this is a more relaxed portion of your Ireland itinerary to enjoy. Check Rates Slieve League Bnb: Booking.com | Hotels.com
  • Bad Eddie’s Shipwreck. Once you leave Slieve League, make your way up to the town of Bunbeg, where you will find a shipwreck right on the beach. This isn’t any old boring shipwreck, this is an old wooden shipwreck located on a beach that you can drive on! This is such a cool part of your Ireland road trip itinerary because you can get up close and personal with an actual shipwreck on a beach! Check Rates For Bunbeg Lodge: Booking.com | Hotels.com
  • Glenveagh National Park. Glenveagh National Park is the epitome of wild Irish landscapes and if you love mountains, this is the place for you! Make sure to leave time to either drive through the national park or take a walk up one of the mountains! This is another one of the lesser-known things to do on your Ireland itinerary that you will just love!
  • Malin Head. Malin Head is the northernmost point in all of Ireland. If offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and there are many sea cliffs and beaches to explore. Malin Head is also a Star Wars filming location so if you love the movies, this will be a must-see stop on your Ireland road trip itinerary and you won’t regret visiting! Check Rates For Malin Head View Bnb: Booking.com 

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

Stop 10: Finish Your Ireland Road Trip By Exploring Belfast And The Causeway Coast

Northern Ireland is much less visited than the Republic Of Ireland but the country is so beautiful you must make it a stop on your Ireland road trip itinerary. Belfast is located less than 2 hours away from Dublin, so if you are flying out of Dublin after your Ireland road trip, you can spend a night or two in Belfast or Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

Exploring The Causeway Coast On Your Ireland Road Trip

Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast is a stunning coastal drive that offers everything from pristine white sand beaches to castles perched high on the edge of cliffs! The stops listed below are all very close to one another so all of these locations can easily be seen in one day. There is so much to see and do on the Causeway Coast, but here are a few things you must make sure to see during your Ireland road trip:

  • Dunluce Castle. Dunluce Castle is an age-old castle ruin perched on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Could it get any more stunning than that? The castle is steeped in history and bloodshed, and it makes for fantastic photos!
  • Giant’s Causeway. Giant’s Causeway is a spectacular ode to nature with basalt rocks pushing up from the ocean in the shape of hexagons. If you are making this part of your Ireland itinerary, make sure to go early in the morning so you beat the tour buses.
  • Dark Hedges. The Dark Hedges is simply a hedge row leading up to an old manor house, but they became popular from being featured in Game Of Thrones. Like Giant’s Causeway, if you aim to stop here on your Ireland road trip, make sure to go early or late to beat the tourists.
  • Mussenden Temple. Mussenden Temple is a temple perched on a cliff in Northern Ireland overlooking a perfect stretch of white sand beach! It is a fantastic place to catch the sunset and a wonderful stop on your Ireland road trip itinerary.
  • Game Of Thrones Doors. If you are into Game Of Thrones, you are going to want to pop into a pub or local hotel and see some of the Game Of Thrones Doors! There are many located along the Causeway Coast. You can read more about the Game Of Thrones Doors here! 

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

What To See And Do In Belfast To Conclude Your Ireland Road Trip

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and is located under 2 hours away from all the best nature that Northern Ireland has to offer. If you visit Belfast during your Ireland road trip itinerary, and we think you should make sure to check out the Titanic Museum Experience and walk around the Titanic Quarter. Did you know that Belfast is actually where the Titanic was built and originally set sail from? Now you do!

Belfast is also home to the buzzing Cathedral Quarter, which is the perfect place for a bite to eat and a visit to one of the many pubs. If you have time, you can even take a pub tour or walking tour around Belfast.

Check Hotel Prices In Belfast: Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

End Your Ireland Road Trip By Flying Out Of Dublin Or Belfast

Sadly, at one point or another, your Ireland road trip must come to an end. You will either be flying back out of Dublin or Belfast. If you fly out of Dublin, we highly recommend staying outside of Dublin City and then driving in on the day your flight leaves. This will save you from having to go back to Dublin and will save you money on a hotel as well.

Ireland Road Trip Map

In case you want to see what it all looks like on paper, here is your Ireland road trip map! Unfortunately, Google Maps only lets us put 10 destinations, so we weren’t able to capture all the small stops like Cobh or Slieve League Cliffs. This is the general idea of where our route will take you and the driving time for the total Ireland road trip. Feel free do an Ireland road trip in a circle from the bottom of Dublin and Cliffs Of Moher or from the top to modify and save time!

A map of your Ireland road trip itinerary

This Ireland road trip itinerary showcases the best of what Ireland has to offer, from the touristy things to the lesser-known things to do! There is something for everyone and we purposefully didn’t put times or days so that you don’t have to limit yourselves! If you have two weeks, then modify this Ireland itinerary to fit your schedule and if you only have a few days, pick which stops are most important to you and go from there! Either way, Ireland is waiting for you to come visit!

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Please Note: For the purpose of this post, we have partnered with Tourism Ireland, Parknasilla Resort, Hayfield Manor, Killarney Tourism, and Dingle Benners Hotel. All opinions are our own and we were not paid for this post. Affiliate links may be used in this article which means we make a small portion of the sales. 

 

70 thoughts on “The Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary You Should Steal

  1. Mike Aspan

    I’ve followed you away for several years now and I think this is the best one yet. Be safe while traveling.

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          You can do it in 10 days if you spend one day in each. I would recommend skipping Ring Of Kerry and Donegal if you want this itinerary in a more relaxed time frame!

          1. David Messier

            We will be there for 10 days and will need to return to Dublin

            Any specific landmark/ site that are a โ€œmustโ€ is appreciated.

            Also want to see a few of the Great Lighthouses

  2. Joan E

    Victoria, this is the most comprehensive list Iโ€™ve ever seen. Will refer to it if I ever have the opportunity to travel to Ireland. Thank you for this.

  3. Jack

    Great trip , but you should visit Bunratty Castle for a medieval banquet and folk park a great nights entertainment

  4. David

    Have always wanted to tour Ireland. Your list is great, I know it will come in handy once i get the chance to visit. Amazing photos too.

  5. Mona

    Awesome! I wish I knew more about Ireland to know for sure where to go, but I thought this definitely helped for my future road trip! ?

    1. Lian kai

      I am landing in Dublin on 26 Dec and leaving on 11jan. My gf wants to stay in a city until 1jan so I was wondering if the itinerary can be completed in 10 days? Especially with daylight hours being so short. And is it advisable to stay in Dublin for 5 days? Thank you!

  6. Karen

    Great blog. We loved Kerry and Dingle although didn’t know about Cobh. A definite visit next time. Thanks for sharing your itinerary.

  7. Leigh

    I did an Ireland road trip in 2003 with my mom and have been wanting to return ever since! Dingle was my favorite!

  8. Amanda

    This is a great itinerary! And very similar to the road trip I just did in Ireland last week with my mom and sister! Our favorites were the Rock of Cashel and Cobh, I think, along with having tea at Ashford Castle!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      We LOVED Cobh and Rock Of Cashel too! And Dingle! We really wanted to do Ashford Castle but didn’t get around to it!

  9. Sarah Cummings

    I’ve always wanted to do a trip to Ireland. I will surely have this one on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your itinerary! Definitely one to steal ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Patti Achenbach

    Fabulous itinerary!!! This is pretty much what we will follow for our second trip to Ireland. Two things you could include that are not to be missed: Kylemore Abbey which is just stunning and staying at Ballynahinch Castle which was also incredible and surprisingly inexpensive. Thank you for all of the tips!

  11. Maggie

    Hi! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about your trip. I will be traveling to Ireland this summer. I was wondering, is it necessary to rent a car to do a trip like this? I’ve heard mixed reviews about car rentals in Ireland and am unsure what to do! There will be 4 of us going. Any advice is appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello! Thank you! Sadly yes, to do this trip you must rent a car. That being said, there are some day tours from Dublin that go to many of the areas in this list except Donegal. They are pretty affordable and we recommend some here: https://www.followmeaway.com/day-tours-from-dublin/
      Renting a car allows freedom BUT if you do we recommend taking pictures and a walk around video when you get the car so you aren’t taken advantage of by the rental companies. The driving on the “wrong” side of the road really isn’t that difficult and you will get the hang with slow and cautious driving!

  12. Heather

    Hi! This trip looks amazing,do you have a link you re able to provide to the google maps screen shot you posted? My family and I are looking to do an 8 day road trip in August.

  13. Kathleen

    My friends and I will be visiting Ireland in March and would like to do a road trip. Can you provide me with a link to the google maps screen shot you posted? If not, maybe a list of places you stopped?

  14. Ashley

    This was super interesting and informative- thank you! My partner and I are considering this trip in the Springtime, does anyone have insight as to what we can expect budget-wise?

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  17. Denise Pender

    I’ve been trying to plan a trip of a lifetime my husband & I will be taking in October…right after he retires on the 1st. We have purchased our plane tickets & plan to stay for 3 weeks. How do we plan reservations for lodging, without staying at 21 places & keeping a strict schedule? Is there a way we can plan to do it in segments, staying in one place & making day trips for several days & then moving on to the next section of the trip? Is there someone you can recommend that could help us do This? I don’t want to blow this special trip because of poor planning…I want no regrets! Your blog is the most concise & so enjoyable-any help would be so appreciated!

    1. Hannah

      Hi Denise,

      I can help you out.

      I ran into your comment here and think your post is so nice and am really happy your going to spend some time in Ireland. Its really beautiful here. I am a Canadian living in Belfast currently and have been doing a lot of research on travel around Ireland and have covered most of the island already. I can make you an itinerary tailored to things you might like no problem let me know.

      Maybe leave your email here that way i can get in touch with you if you would like the help.

      Best, Hannah

  18. Subin

    Hi, Super post. We are planning a trip this June and would highly appreciate the link to the Google maps itinerary. Many thanks.

  19. Rose Bacchini

    We are planning to spend about 3 weeks (August 20-September 6) and this itinerary is incredibly helpful. Thanks so much! My husband’s great-great grandfather is from Newry, County Down in Northern Ireland, so we will add that to the trip, and maybe find more information…Americans hunting for their Irish roots.

  20. Lori Pakulak

    thanks for the wonderful information and it will be most helpful in September when I travel with my Mom for a 2 week Ireand/Scotland trip. I am starting to get excited now. flights are booked and have booked a B & B for our first couple of nights in Dublin,

    Your map and itinerary is so spot on and has helped immensely with my plans for Ireland. I will most definatley be visiting Norther Ireland after reading your information.

    Do you have any suggetions for a similar trip to Scotland? 5-6 days?

    1. Shelly

      Lori… just saw your post… my husband and 2 adult daughters are looking to travel to Scotland/Ireland in September… are you traveling to Scotland first? Iโ€™m just in the beginning stages of planning our trip… wondered what you have found? Places to stay?

      1. Lori

        Shelly. I am sorry it took so long to reply! We are traveling to Ireland first. Round trip to Dublin was cheaper from Canada. We will take a quick cheap flight to Edinburgh for the remainder of the trip.

        I have been booking B&B through Booking.com and finding an average of $120 Canadian per stay. What have you planned so far for Scotland?

  21. Donna Brown Tompkins

    Could you post a map or directions leaving Dublin working up to Derry and back down to Dublin? I have enjoyed your blog and will be reading for new helpful hints. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello Donna!

      We have never been to Derry in Ireland just yet so we can’t share a post featuring that location. Hopefully we will visit soon!

  22. Jean

    Hi this itinerary is wonderful and very detailed. My husband and I are traveling to Dublin in late November for 7 days. I read that during winter a lot of attractions are closed. Any recommendations for us of places not to missed and how can we do a shorter itinerary since be have to flight back home from Dublin.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello!! Sounds like an amazing trip! I would recommend doing a loop of the southern Irish coast and western. So essentially when you get to the “cliffs of moher’ section of this itinerary that is when you are done and you head back to Dublin. So for 7 days in winter we recommend to stop on this itinerary at Cliffs Of Moher. That should be plenty to see and do and still have things that are open!

  23. Angela

    What a great itinerary! Our family is having a debate about our December Christmas holiday and it’s between Ireland (my choice) and Estonia (my husband’s). Armed with this wonderful road trip, I have a much better idea of where to go, stay and what sights to see. I even have to prepare a PowerPoint presentation to win the debate, so this helps me soooo much! We have two teenage daughters so we will be looking for family type accommodation. Any recommendations on what type of vehicle to hire that will be suitable for 4 people, luggage and the roads in Ireland?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      We recommend renting a hybrid SUV. Just toggle that “on” when searching for a car. Tell your girls this is an EPIC place to visit, especially for teens! The sights are totally amazing and you guys should 100% go to Ireland! There is something for everyone

  24. Ella

    Hey! I am hoping to visit Ireland next year. I will have graduated from college but will only be 18. I understand that I can’t rent a car until I’m older. Are there any bus lines I can take? Hoping to spend 2 weeks there.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Sometimes you are able to rent a car under 25 and just pay a higher fee than anyone else. Have you checked into that option? There are a variety of tours and also trains that go around Ireland! So you do have options. It isn’t the most public transport friendly place in the world but there are options

  25. Mathew Thomas

    Hello there,

    thoroughly enjoyed reading your itinerary. Can you please let us know which all cities/places you have opted to stay in the nights and what was the duration of each stays? if you can provide some tip on recommended hotels that would be great.

    we are having a trip coming up in next 10 days, with two toddlers

    your help is really appreciated.

  26. Supratik

    Hey ! enticing write up ๐Ÿ™‚
    I just booked a 5 day trip for July. Wonder if you could help with a crash course here to plan my route. We will self drive, and I have Belfast on my mind followed by the expansive ocean drives. So mostly chasing vistas and landscapes (don’t mind the occasional historic sites en route)
    Many thanks in advance.

  27. Katherine

    This looks amazing. Unfortunately, we arrive in Dublin on Monday and fly home via Dublin the following Tuesday early morning. Would you recommend an abbreviated itinerary? My husband was thinking we should spend Monday night and Tuesday night in Dublin, heading out for our drive early Wednesday morning, returning to Dublin on Monday night (late is ok).

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello!! YES! A good shorter itinerary is to simply cut off at the Cliffs Of Moher! so do the entire itinerary from the beginning and after COM you just return back to Dublin. So you leave Dublin, head down to Cork and Cobh, then over to Killarney, then Dingle, then Cliffs Of Moher. If you have to shorten this even more I recommend leaving off Killarney and heading straight to Dingle. It is TRUE Ireland and you will love it!

  28. Joan

    Hello, thank you for this itinerary. I am thinking of a surprise trip for my husband to Ireland.
    Question – when is the best time to plan a road trip like this for weather and can this be done in two weeks and not feel too rushed .
    plan is for year 2020.
    Thank you again for posting this

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      We personally LOVED fall in Ireland! September and October were wonderful. Spring is also a great time, Late March and April. We recommend avoiding the end of May and early June as there are multiple bank holidays in Ireland and the UK and it makes things crazy busy! Just look up the bank holiday schedule for 2020 and avoid that time. Ireland is amazing all year!

  29. Shari Renda

    Hi. Your itinerary is a great help. We are traveling in July and are flying into Dublin and driving straight to Kilkenny..1 night, Blarney..1 night, Killarney..2 nights, Galway..3 nights and back to Dublin..3 nights. Are those good places to stay for the nights?

  30. Alicia Bailey

    Ireland is on top of my bucket list. Even though I couldn’t make it yet, I’m pretty sure to visit it in the nearest future. Looks stunning in pictures, so I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is in reality. Thank you for sharing your amazing experience. I’ve just lived through your travels.

  31. Rita

    Thank you SO MUCH for this itinerary! My traveling partner and I were spending hours searching for things to see as we began mapping out a plan when I decided to Google “Ireland mapped trip”. What a find!
    By the way, do you know you have two Stop 5s?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      UGH!!! no i didn’t know that! I will go fix straight away! And this is amazing to hear I’m glad we can help! We totally LOVE Ireland so much!

  32. Shelley Theise

    Iโ€™m an American driver. How difficult is it to acclimate to driving this suggested itinerary ?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      It isn’t too difficult at all! You begin on the interstate which is actually easier than on the 2 lane roads so you can get a gist of it. JUST GO SLOWWWWW. If you are traveling with someone else task them to remind you when it comes to turning and such. Otherwise just be careful and think. You just have to get back in the mindset of when you were learning to drive. You had to think about each step. That is how it is here for a day or two! But it is easy you got this!

  33. Rani R

    Hi – This itinerary is really helpful, appreciate your efforts. I plan to visit Ireland this August. My cousin lives in Cork and we plan to stay there towards the end of our trip.Do you see any issues taking the reverse route…Dublin, Belfast, Cork back to Dublin. Please let me know. Thank you.

      1. Rani R

        Thank you, One more query – if I have 3 nights to cover from Dublin to Dingle via Belfast/cliffs of Moher etc, which are the best places/towns to stay to be able to cover the best along this route ? Please suggest, thank you again.

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          If you have three nights we recommend possibly skipping Belfast and going straight to Cliffs Of Moher and staying nearby Cliffs of Moher then possibly staying in Limerick which is a really cute area!!

  34. Savi

    This looks amazing we are crossing by ferry from Liverpool on 10th of July and returning 23rd July 2019. Looking forward to doing most of these places.

  35. PRIYA KALOKHE

    It will be our very first trip to Ireland. I checked out quite a few ideas for Ireland but yours was the best I have come across. But we have only 8 days from Dublin to Dublin. I am a bit confused as to what we should drop and what is a must do. I do want to visit Doolin, Dingle and even Westport but how do i plan it. Can you suggest some tweaks. I am really looking forward to a great time.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hey Priya!

      That is a great itinerary! I would recommend going:

      Dublin> Cork

      Cork>Dingle

      Dingle> cliffs of moher and doolin

      Cliffs of Moher to Westport

      Westport back to Dublin

      That is how I would space it out and you will see A LOT! So on the way down SKIP ring of Kerry and Killarney!

  36. Julie

    My husband and I will be going to Ireland in August and have given ourselves 3 weeks approximately. Staying in Meath for 4 days for a christening. Twhile there were going to visit Donegal area etc. we have booked Kilkenny for a couple of nights before heading off, where would you suggest next? We leave the 13th Aug so I need to book ASAP

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