A painting of the cliffs of ireland.

Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Ireland Road Trip Itinerary

Embarking on a road trip across Ireland’s spellbinding scenery is an exhilarating challenge, filled with the promise of discovery. If you’re anything like me, you want to weave together that flawless itinerary, combing through the myriad of choices to unearth those hidden treasures.

Together in this guide, we’ll map out your perfect 10-day escapade brimming with must-see highlights from the vibrant streets of Dublin to Donegal’s untamed splendor – all meticulously curated and personally vetted for a journey that will forever be etched in your memory.

So let’s dive in! The allure of Ireland is beckoning.

Key Takeaways

  • Spring and fall are ideal times for an Ireland road trip due to milder weather and smaller crowds.
  • Driving on the left side of the road is a must in Ireland, with narrow and winding roads common in rural areas.
  • Booking accommodations early, especially during peak seasons, ensures availability and better rates.
  • Visiting places like Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Killarney National Park, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Westport,
  • Preparing for unpredictable weather by packing suitable clothing contributes to a more comfortable experience.

How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Road Trip Itinerary

Plan your Ireland road trip itinerary by considering the best time to visit, important factors like weather and driving tips, and must-see attractions along the way. With these essential tips, you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable Irish adventure.

When to go

Spring and fall are great times for an Ireland road trip. You’ll find fewer tourists and the weather is often mild. While rain is common in Ireland, these seasons offer a mix of sun and showers.

Summer brings warmer temperatures but also more visitors. This means popular spots might be crowded. If you don’t mind cooler weather, winter has its charm too! The landscapes look stunning, though daylight hours are shorter.

Choose the time that fits your schedule best. Consider what you want to see and do. If festivals or outdoor activities are on your list, check when they happen before booking your trip.

Each season in Ireland offers something special for travelers on their epic Irish road trip!

Important things to consider

When planning an epic Ireland road trip, there are important things to consider. Here are the key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Weather and Climate: Ireland has a temperate maritime climate, so be prepared for unpredictable weather, especially during winter months.
  2. Driving Regulations: In Ireland, driving is on the left side of the road, so familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and road signs.
  3. Accommodation Reservations: Book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to ensure availability and secure the best rates.
  4. Budgeting: Set a realistic budget considering fuel costs, accommodation expenses, dining out, activities, and any tolls or parking fees you might encounter.
  5. Duration of Stay: Determine how long you plan to stay in each location on your itinerary in order to make the most of your time while avoiding feeling rushed.
  6. Travel Insurance: Obtain adequate travel insurance that covers road trips and driving abroad for added peace of mind during your journey through Ireland.
  7. Preparing Your Vehicle: If using your own vehicle or renting one for the trip, ensure it’s in good condition with proper maintenance and valid insurance coverage.
  8. Mobile Connectivity: Check if your mobile service provider offers international roaming or purchase a prepaid SIM card upon arrival in Ireland for reliable communication.

Tips for driving in Ireland

Driving in Ireland requires some preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable road trip. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Drive on the left side of the road, and remember that the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.
  2. Familiarize yourself with Irish road signs and symbols, as they may differ from those in your home country.
  3. Be aware of narrow and winding roads, especially in rural areas, and exercise caution when driving.
  4. Take note of speed limits, which are typically 50 km/h in urban areas and 100 km/h on national roads.
  5. Keep change for toll roads, as some routes require payment for vehicle passage.
  6. Stay informed about potential traffic regulations unique to Ireland, including roundabouts and yielding to pedestrians.
  7. Be prepared for changeable weather conditions by packing suitable clothing and checking forecasts before embarking on each day’s journey.
  8. Plan rest stops along your route to prevent driver fatigue and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
  9. Obtain comprehensive insurance coverage for your rental vehicle to navigate unforeseen circumstances confidently.
  10. Remember to bring a valid driver’s license, car rental documents, and any necessary identification while driving in Ireland.

The Ultimate 10-Day Ireland Road Trip Itinerary

Experience the best of Ireland in just 10 days with a road trip that takes you from the vibrant city of Dublin to the stunning cliffs of Moher and beyond. Explore charming towns, scenic drives, and iconic landmarks for an unforgettable adventure.


Starting in Dublin, you can soak up the city’s rich history by visiting iconic landmarks like Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Dine at traditional Irish pubs, explore bustling markets, and experience the lively atmosphere of Temple Bar.

Immerse yourself in culture at the Guinness Storehouse and take a stroll through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest urban parks. Don’t miss out on the vibrant nightlife scene – there are plenty of live music venues where you can enjoy traditional Irish tunes.

From Dublin, I set off to Kilkenny, a charming medieval town with its well-preserved castle and cobbled streets. The journey was filled with scenic landscapes and picturesque views – a true taste of Ireland’s beauty.


Exploring Kilkenny is like stepping into a medieval wonderland, filled with cobblestone streets and historic sites. The stunning Kilkenny Castle is a must-see, offering insight into the region’s rich history.

You can also wander through the charming town center, visit St. Canice’s Cathedral, or take in the vibrant arts scene at the Kilkenny Design Centre. Don’t miss experiencing traditional Irish hospitality at one of the cozy pubs where you can savor some local brews and live music.

Next stop: Cork, Cobh, and Blarney Estate

Cork, Cobh, and Blarney Estate

I explored the charming city of Cork, known for its historic streets and lively atmosphere. The picturesque town of Cobh offered a glimpse into Ireland’s maritime history, with its colorful houses and the poignant Titanic Experience.

At the famous Blarney Estate, I kissed the legendary Blarney Stone for good luck and explored the beautiful gardens surrounding Blarney Castle.


Killarney offers a blend of natural beauty and rich history. A visit to Killarney National Park is a must, where you can explore the stunning landscapes, walk around the picturesque lakes, or take a jaunting car ride.

Muckross House and Gardens are worth exploring for their Victorian elegance and scenic surroundings. Don’t miss the opportunity to drive along the Ring of Kerry for breathtaking coastal views and charming villages.

Discovering Torc Waterfall‘s cascading beauty is an experience not to be missed when in Killarney. With its proximity to Dingle Peninsula, make sure to add it to your itinerary if time allows – this captivating area is renowned for its dramatic coastline and colorful towns like Dingle.

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula offers breathtaking coastal views and charming villages. Be sure to visit Inch Beach for stunning landscapes perfect for a leisurely stroll or some relaxation. With its rugged terrain, Slea Head Drive provides sweeping vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and is a great stop for photos.

The colorful town of Dingle boasts traditional Irish pubs where you can enjoy local music and fresh seafood. Keep an eye out for Fungie the dolphin – take a boat tour from Dingle Harbor to catch a glimpse of this friendly resident!

Cliffs of Moher

Visiting the Cliffs of Moher is an awe-inspiring experience, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands. The sheer height of these cliffs, reaching up to 700 feet above sea level, provides a dramatic backdrop for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Walking along the designated paths gives an opportunity to witness diverse bird species nesting in the cliffs – a paradise for birdwatchers. Additionally, with O’Brien’s Tower as a focal point, visitors can savor panoramic vistas that extend as far as Loop Head and the Blasket Islands on clear days.

The Cliffs of Moher provide one of Ireland’s most iconic landmarks with boundless natural beauty. Understandably popular among tourists or travelers seeking unforgettable scenery during their journey across Ireland’s western coastlines, this captivating destination promises an enriching experience that captures the essence of Ireland’s rugged charm and pristine landscapes.

Westport and Achill Island

Westport and Achill Island are two must-visit destinations on your Ireland road trip. Westport, with its charming town center and lively atmosphere, is perfect for exploring local shops and restaurants.

Don’t miss the stunning views from Croagh Patrick or a boat tour of Clew Bay’s 365 islands. Next, head to Achill Island for rugged coastal beauty and outdoor adventures. Hike or cycle the Great Western Greenway trail, take in the breathtaking cliffs at Keem Bay, or try water sports at Keel Beach if you’re feeling adventurous.

These locations offer a diverse range of experiences that showcase Ireland’s natural beauty – an ideal blend of history, culture, and adventure awaits you at Westport and Achill Island!

Co. Donegal

Co. Donegal offers breathtaking coastal drives and rugged landscapes, ideal for exploring by car. Don’t miss the stunning Slieve League cliffs and the picturesque Glenveagh National Park.

Experience the rich Gaelic culture in towns like Ardara and Glencolmcille, and savor fresh seafood along the coast. Exploring the northernmost part of Ireland provides a unique perspective on the country’s natural beauty.

Next, let’s dive into “Belfast and Causeway Coast” to discover more treasures along your road trip through Ireland!

Belfast and Causeway Coast

I’m excited to share the wonders of Belfast and Causeway Coast. The region is steeped in history and natural beauty, offering a mix of urban exploration and breathtaking landscapes.

In Belfast, be sure to visit the Titanic Quarter and learn about the city’s maritime heritage at the Titanic Museum. Then, take a drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, where you can marvel at the otherworldly Giant’s Causeway and explore medieval Dunluce Castle.

Don’t forget to hike along the stunning clifftop paths at Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge for an unforgettable experience.

Additional Places to Visit on Your Ireland Road Trip

Explore the stunning County Donegal and venture into Northern Ireland for even more breathtaking sights and experiences on your road trip. Read more to discover new places to add to your Irish adventure!

County Donegal

County Donegal, located in the northwest of Ireland, is a treasure trove of natural beauty. The county boasts rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Slieve League.

Adventure seekers can explore Glenveagh National Park or try their hand at surfing along the Wild Atlantic Way. Don’t miss out on the charming village of Ardara and its traditional tweed weaving industry – a perfect opportunity to pick up some authentic Irish souvenirs.

Donegal’s rich history is evident in its ancient castles like Donegal Castle and Doe Castle, offering visitors a glimpse into the county’s past. Trekking enthusiasts can conquer Mount Errigal for stunning panoramic views of this captivating region.

Northern Ireland

As I venture into Northern Ireland, I’ll uncover its rich history and breathtaking landscapes. From the vibrant city of Belfast to the stunning Causeway Coast, this region offers a diverse array of attractions that promise an unforgettable road trip experience.

Delve into the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, explore the iconic Giant’s Causeway, and wander through the enchanting landscapes featured in Game of Thrones. With its mix of urban charm and natural wonders, Northern Ireland is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking adventure and discovery.

Embarking on my journey through Northern Ireland will lead me to discover unique cultural treasures and awe-inspiring scenery. As I plan my itinerary for exploring this fascinating region, I cannot wait to immerse myself in its compelling history, diverse landscapes, and warm hospitality.


In conclusion, planning your Ireland road trip itinerary is an exciting adventure waiting to happen. With practical tips and easy-to-implement strategies, you can efficiently explore the stunning landscapes and rich culture of this captivating island.

Embracing these approaches could lead to significant improvements in your travel experience and create lasting memories. For further guidance on exploring Ireland by road, consider seeking additional resources or professional assistance to enhance your journey.

Let’s embark on this incredible adventure with confidence, knowing that a well-planned road trip will uncover the heart and soul of Ireland!

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