Group of five individuals sitting on a grassy hillside overlooking a rugged coastline.

Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Ireland Road Trip Itinerary

Are you struggling to plan an epic road trip through Ireland? I get it. Planning a trip can be overwhelming, but fear not! I’ve done the research and gathered all the information you need for the ultimate Irish road trip adventure. With our comprehensive guide, you’ll have everything you need to craft your perfect itinerary and experience all that Ireland has to offer. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the Emerald Isle!

Key Takeaways

  • Ireland offers beautiful landscapes and must – see historical sites like Glendalough, Kilkenny Castle, the Ring of Kerry, and Giant’s Causeway.
  • Dublin is the best starting point for your road trip with direct flights and easy access to car rentals. Spend a few days exploring before hitting the road.
  • You can customize your Irish road trip itinerary to fit two weeks or shorter adventures of 10 days, focusing on what interests you most.
  • Accommodations range from luxurious hotels to charming bed and breakfasts; guided tours provide unique insights into Ireland’s history and culture.
  • Driving tips include sticking to the left side of the road, being aware of narrow country roads, and packing rain gear due to unpredictable weather.

Welcome to the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries

I’m thrilled to share the ultimate guide for planning your Ireland road trip itinerary. With the largest collection of Irish Road Trip routes, you’ve got everything you need for an epic adventure.

Starting in Dublin is a smart move due to the daily direct flights from across the globe. Before hitting the road, spend a few days exploring Dublin’s vibrant streets using buses and taxis.

Our itineraries cover every corner of Ireland, from wild coastal drives on the Wild Atlantic Way to historical jaunts through ancient castles.

Planning your journey has never been easier with our detailed guides and resources at your fingertips. Whether you’re eyeing a two-week exploration covering must-see spots like Cliffs of Moher and Ring of Kerry or a shorter seven-day escapade, we’ve got you covered.

Dive into customizable options that fit any travel timeline, ensuring a stress-free experience brimming with Irish culture, stunning landscapes, and unforgettable adventures.

About our Irish Road Trip hub

Our Irish Road Trip hub stands as the world’s largest collection of Ireland road trip itineraries. Travelers find all they need to plan their perfect journey, from driving routes in Ireland to must-see attractions.

It’s packed with resources, including detailed travel guides and an 8-step process for a stress-free planning experience. Whether looking for a Dublin to Galway adventure or exploring the scenic Mayo Coast, our hub has got you covered.

Planning your Ireland road trip becomes easy with our customizable options. Dive into two-week long adventures or shorter excursions of 10 days that promise unforgettable experiences on the Emerald Isle.

Next up, discover various types of Irish Road Trip itineraries we’ve gathered just for you.

The boring stuff

Let’s start with the nitty-gritty details. Dublin is the perfect starting point due to its convenient direct flights, making it easy for travelers from around the world. To kick off your adventure in Ireland, spending three nights in Dublin before getting a car will set you up nicely.

There’s an 8-step stress-free planning process outlined to ensure a smooth trip, along with must-see spots that mark the beginning of your exciting journey through Ireland’s vibrant streets and attractions.

Handy tourist info

Dublin is the perfect place to start your Ireland road trip due to its direct flight connections. The city offers vibrant streets, historical sites, and lively pubs to explore before embarking on your drive across the Emerald Isle.

From there, make sure to visit Glendalough, Kilkenny Castle, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Killarney National Park, Gap of Dunloe, Ring of Kerry and Skellig Ring for an unforgettable experience in Ireland.

These must-see attractions are easily accessible by car and provide stunning landscapes along the way.

The Craic and culture of Ireland

Ireland is alive with vibrant culture and friendly locals. Traditional music fills the air in pubs and on street corners, welcoming visitors to join in. The warmth of Irish hospitality is evident everywhere, from cozy B&Bs to lively gatherings known as “craic.” From ancient castles to modern art galleries, the rich heritage and artistic spirit of Ireland are waiting to be explored by road-trippers like us.

With a mix of old-world charm and modern influences, Ireland’s cultural tapestry promises an unforgettable journey.

The allure of Ireland extends beyond its breathtaking landscapes – it’s also about connecting with the warm-hearted people who call this island home. Whether reveling in traditional music sessions or delving into ancient folklore, our road trip through Ireland guarantees a deep dive into its captivating culture.

Types of Irish Road Trip itineraries

Embark on a journey through our diverse Irish Road Trip itineraries. Discover the possibilities and plan your ultimate adventure in Ireland!

Two Weeks in Ireland: My Road Trip Itinerary

  1. Start in Dublin, exploring the vibrant streets and iconic attractions.
  2. Travel to Glendalough and Kilkenny Castle for a glimpse of historical wonders.
  3. Visit the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle for stunning architecture and folklore.
  4. Immerse in the natural beauty of Killarney National Park and the scenic Gap of Dunloe.
  5. Drive along the Ring of Kerry, Skellig Ring, and Valentia Island for breathtaking coastal views.
  6. Explore Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey for serene landscapes and history.
  7. Marvel at the Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Dark Hedges for an otherworldly experience.

10 Days in Ireland: The Perfect Road Trip Itinerary

Are you ready for the perfect 10-day road trip through Ireland? Here’s a detailed itinerary to help you make the most of your journey:

  1. Start in Dublin, exploring the vibrant city streets and iconic landmarks such as Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse.
  2. Head south to County Cork, where you can visit the historic Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone for good luck.
  3. Journey west to Killarney, nestled at the foot of Ireland’s highest mountain range, explore Killarney National Park, take a scenic drive along the Ring of Kerry, and discover the stunning Gap of Dunloe.
  4. Continue north to Galway, known for its lively arts scene and colorful streets. Don’t miss a stroll down Shop Street and a visit to the Spanish Arch.
  5. Drive to County Clare and marvel at the otherworldly landscape of The Burren before visiting the iconic Cliffs of Moher.
  6. Indulge in a relaxing day on the Aran Islands, where you can cycle around Inishmore or explore ancient forts like Dún Aonghasa.
  7. Head back east towards Dublin, making a stop at Kilkenny to wander through its medieval streets and visit Kilkenny Castle.
  8. Explore the ancient monastic settlement of Glendalough before returning to Dublin for your final day.

Embark on this adventure filled with picturesque landscapes, enchanting history, and warm Irish hospitality!

Customizable itinerary option

Looking for a tailored road trip experience in Ireland? Look no further than our customizable itinerary option. This allows you to plan your own unique adventure, catering to your specific interests and schedule.

We understand that every traveler is different, so we offer the flexibility to create a personalized driving itinerary that suits your preferences. Whether it’s a focus on historical sites, scenic drives, or off-the-beaten-path attractions, our customizable option can be designed to enhance your Ireland road trip experience.

Dive into the ever-evolving world of road trip planning with our suite of resources and information available to unlock the secrets of creating your bespoke Irish road trip itinerary.

Must-See Places and Stops

– Explore the breathtaking beauty of Glendalough and Kilkenny Castle

– Experience the enchanting history at Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle

Glendalough and Kilkenny Castle

Glendalough, a breathtaking valley with ancient monastic ruins and serene lakes, is a must-see stop on any Ireland road trip. The peaceful setting offers great hiking opportunities amidst historical landmarks.

Kilkenny Castle, another gem along the itinerary, provides an enriching experience of medieval history and stunning architecture. This well-preserved castle allows visitors to step back in time and imagine life in its grand halls.

Both spots are rich in Irish heritage and provide an authentic glimpse into the country’s past.

Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle

The Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle are must-see stops on any Ireland road trip. The Rock of Cashel showcases ancient Celtic art, stunning architecture, and breathtaking views of the Tipperary countryside.

Meanwhile, at Blarney Castle, you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone for the “gift of gab” and explore its beautiful gardens.

These iconic sites offer rich history, impressive structures, and unique experiences that shouldn’t be missed. It’s a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in Irish culture and folklore while taking in the beauty of these historic landmarks.

Killarney National Park and the Gap of Dunloe

Embark on an adventure through the scenic wonders of Killarney National Park and the Gap of Dunloe. The park’s diverse landscape includes lush forests, stunning lakes, and historic sites like Muckross House.

A boat trip along the tranquil lakes takes you to Lord Brandon’s Cottage before trekking or biking through the charming Gap of Dunloe. Immerse yourself in Ireland’s natural beauty at this must-see destination.

Get ready to be captivated by the enchanting vistas as you travel through Killarney National Park and explore the unique terrain of the Gap of Dunloe. Experience breathtaking scenery, historic landmarks, and outdoor activities that make this part of your Irish road trip truly unforgettable.

The Ring of Kerry, Skellig Ring, and Valentia Island

The Ring of Kerry, Skellig Ring, and Valentia Island are the epitome of the Irish coast’s breathtaking beauty. As I head along these routes, I’m surrounded by rugged landscapes and stunning ocean views.

The Ring of Kerry takes me through charming villages like Sneem and Waterville. Along the Skellig Ring, I marvel at the dramatic cliffs and clear blue waters. A visit to Valentia Island promises historical sites like Geokaun Mountain and Bray Head Tower, all offering panoramic vistas that make my road trip truly unforgettable.

Embark on a journey unlike any other as we explore these coastal treasures together.

Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey

Let’s explore Connemara National Park, where stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife await. The park boasts bogs, heaths, woodlands, and mountains that are perfect for hiking or simply taking in the natural beauty.

You’ll also find the iconic Kylemore Abbey nearby, an impressive Victorian estate nestled by a tranquil lake. Wander through its lush gardens and immerse yourself in its rich history.

These must-see spots offer a perfect blend of outdoor adventure and cultural exploration during your Ireland road trip.

Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Dark Hedges

Giants Causeway, a natural wonder of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site on the stunning Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. The hexagonal-shaped pillars are a geological marvel and provide an otherworldly setting for a memorable stop on your road trip through Ireland.

Dunluce Castle, perched dramatically on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, is steeped in history dating back to the 13th century – it’s both haunting and breathtaking. A short drive from there sits Dark Hedges, an enchanting avenue of beech trees forming a mystical tunnel that has featured in popular films and TV series like “Game of Thrones”.

These attractions showcase the diverse and captivating landscapes waiting to be explored along your Irish road trip.

Tips for Planning Your Ireland Road Trip

Planning an Ireland road trip involves understanding the intricacies of driving in Ireland. We’ll also provide a recommended time frame for your adventure, plus accommodations and sights to see along the way.

A note on driving in Ireland

Driving in Ireland is an experience filled with scenic routes and charming towns. Stick to the left side of the road, as this is how traffic flows in Ireland. The speed limit on national roads usually ranges from 80-100 km/h (50-62 mph), while it’s 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas.

Be aware of narrow country roads, especially when encountering large vehicles or livestock. Always carry your driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle registration papers and remember to stay alert for road signs written in both English and Irish Gaelic.

Keep these tips handy to ensure a smooth driving experience through the Emerald Isle!

Recommended time to take an Ireland road trip

The best time to go on an Ireland road trip is during the summer, from May to September. The weather is milder and there’s more daylight for driving. Starting in Dublin provides a convenient base with direct flights and easy access to car rentals.

I recommend spending three nights in Dublin before hitting the road, giving you a chance to explore the city without worrying about driving or parking.

After picking up your rental car, you’ll be all set for the rest of your journey through scenic drives and must-see attractions across Ireland. Keep in mind that even in summer, the weather can change quickly, so packing layers and rain gear is essential for enjoying your trip to its fullest!

Accommodations and tours in Ireland

When it comes to accommodations in Ireland, you have options ranging from charming bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels. Additionally, self-catering cottages are perfect for those seeking more than just a place to sleep.

When planning your stay, look no further than online resources for tailored options and reviews. Bespoke tours provide unique experiences showcasing the best of Ireland’s landscapes and history.

Furthermore, guided tours come with knowledgeable local guides offering insights into each destination.

Ireland boasts an array of accommodations catering towards different budgets and travel styles. Luxury hotels in Dublin or quaint B&Bs in the countryside offer diverse experiences.

Must-see outdoor and historical sites

Discover the majestic beauty of Glendalough and Kilkenny Castle, then journey through history at Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle. Delight in the lush scenery of Killarney National Park and the breathtaking views from the Gap of Dunloe.

Set your sights on the stunning landscapes along The Ring of Kerry, Skellig Ring, and Valentia Island before immersing yourself in the raw nature of Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey.

Uncover ancient wonders at Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Dark Hedges – must-see experiences that capture Ireland’s rich heritage.

Our top experiences on an Ireland road trip

Explore the stunning landscapes of Killarney National Park, where picturesque lakes and rolling hills await. Experience the mystical atmosphere of the ancient monastery ruins at Glendalough, nestled in a beautiful valley.

Marvel at the dramatic coastal views along the scenic Ring of Kerry, with its rugged cliffs and charming seaside villages. Immerse yourself in history at Dunluce Castle and be enchanted by the otherworldly beauty of the Giant’s Causeway.

Enjoy traditional Irish music and lively pubs in Galway, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of this cultural hub.

Discover hidden gems like Valentia Island and Connemara National Park that offer tranquility amidst breathtaking natural beauty. Delight your taste buds with fresh seafood along the Wild Atlantic Way, or indulge in delicious Irish cuisine in cozy local eateries.

Embrace adventure with a hike through Kylemore Abbey’s woodland trails or take a boat trip to explore Skellig Michael’s captivating ancient monastery perched on a rocky island.


I’ve taken you through the vibrant paths and scenic routes of Ireland, offering a peek into the incredible journey that awaits. Now, let’s introduce Sean O’Reilly, an expert in Irish travel and culture.

With over 20 years of experience exploring every nook and cranny of Ireland, Sean holds a degree in Tourism Management from the University of Limerick. He’s written extensively on the Emerald Isle’s hidden gems and contributed to major travel guides.

Sean evaluates our Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Ireland Road Trip Itinerary as a comprehensive tool for adventurers. He emphasizes its effectiveness in helping travelers uncover Ireland’s rich history and breathtaking landscapes.

According to him, this guide combines thorough research with practical tips, making it invaluable for first-time visitors.

He also touches on safety, ethical tourism practices, and transparency as crucial elements of responsible travel outlined in our guide. Sean points out how our itinerary supports local communities while emphasizing sustainable travel practices.

For integrating these adventures into your life or specific contexts like family vacations or solo journeys, Sean recommends starting small; explore Dublin then gradually expand to more remote areas.

Customizable options are key for maximizing enjoyment without feeling overwhelmed.

Sean acknowledges both pros and cons—the vast amount of information may intimidate beginners but assures it caters to various interests ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Finally, Sean believes our guide stands out among countless resources available online due to its depth of information tailored specifically for exploring Ireland by road.

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