The perfect 2-week roadtrip itinerary for Ireland

If you have decided to visit Ireland, prepare for an adventure like no other! You must be a nature lover, looking to get away from big cities and explore the bucolic countryside, laidback lifestyle, acres and acres of green lands, beautiful coasts and fresh, crisp air. Ireland is fascinating, there is magic and romance at every turn and the country is steeped in rich history. The Irish are musical people, they’re warm and welcoming, they’re fun to chat with and they know how to have fun. Your itinerary for Ireland will be packed with sublime, postcard-perfect beauty, dramatically wild countryside, lyrical evenings, excellent whiskeys, gins and beers, well-preserved historical ruins, and of course, the ‘craic’.

A few things to keep in mind, to be well-prepared for your trip:

  • Renting a car is the best way to explore the country. Any itinerary for Ireland is incomplete without some stunning coastal and rural drives in the world. Besides, it is the best & fastest way to get to the remote areas, untouched wilderness and rugged landscape.
  • It has been said enough times, but Ireland’s weather is notorious for being unpredictable. It is rare to see bright blue skies and sunny days, even during the summer, for a long duration. It rains often and can be extremely breezy most times. When breezy and rainy, the temperatures can drop drastically.
  • You’re unlikely to have a downpour, however. A rain spell is most likely to last a couple of hours in one go and it’s not uncommon to have gloomy, dark days.
  • During such rough weathers, the sea activities such as boat trips, whale watching tours, etc can be cancelled. This means, you’ve to be very flexible with your itinerary for Ireland and it’s best to have a backup plan for the day, in case the weather doesn’t improve.
  • Needless to say, warm and water-proof clothing & shoes are essential to carry, to be able to make the most of your trip. Layer up, rather than carrying thick clothes (in the summer). On sunny days, the temperatures can go as high as 25 degrees so T-shirts could be helpful to beat the heat.

Itinerary for Ireland

  • Try to look for hotels or BnBs with free onsite parking. Most accommodations outside bigger cities will have ample parking available on-site but it’s always sensible to keep in mind while working on your itinerary for Ireland.
  • Ireland has some of the best liqueur chocolates in the world! Do not forget to stock up. Also, the Hot Chocolate you’ll get (mostly with marshmallows) is absolutely heavenly!
  • Teelings Whiskey, Jameson Whiskey and Guinness Beer are home-grown brands and they go really well with the authentic Fish & Chips which you won’t find hard to get almost anywhere you go and are a must-include in any itinerary for Ireland.
  • Irish people are musical. Don’t forget to visit the local pubs for live music, traditional Irish dance and ‘craic’. That's one more thing that any itinerary for Ireland is incomplete without!
  • During the summer months, Ireland has long days (with the sunset at 10 pm). However, most tourist sites close between 5 - 6 and markets also shut down by 6 pm in most towns. This leaves you with only one choice - hit the pubs!

Itinerary for Ireland
Irish landscapes

Drives can be longer than GPS will tell you. This is not only because some of the roads are narrower and not easy to speed on but also because you’ll want to stop very often to enjoy the beauty. So, keep a relaxed schedule and enjoy the journey!

Click here to book your car.

Day 1 & 2: Dublin

My suggested itinerary for Ireland begins at Dublin because this is where most flights arrive. The Irish capital makes for the perfect introduction to Ireland - it has palpable energy, great music, and some really cool museums. History meets vibrancy and ancient architecture blends with the modern lifestyle in Dublin. The markets and exhibitions here are unparalleled, as is the decadent, trendy and spirited nightlife scene.

Dublin in 48 hours
St Stephan's Cathedral

I've written a detailed post for a 2-day Dublin itinerary that includes a visit to the key places within Dublin which include historical sites such as Dublin Castle, Trinity College and Book of Kells; streets with a great vibe and amazing nightlife such as Grafton Street & Temple Bar; day trip to the charming little coastal town of Howth and several other options.

Read here about What to do in Dublin in 48 hours.

Day 3: Dublin - Glendalough - Kilkenny

Dublin to Glendalough (1.5 hours drive)

Time required in Glendalough: 3-4 hours

An early Christian monastic site located in the middle of Wicklow Mountains, 'Glendalough' translates into 'valley of two lakes'. It was founded by St Kevin in the 6th century and the 3-km spread area around the glacial lakes is strewn with several pieces of historical importance. I suggest parking your car at the National Park Information Centre near the Upper Lake before you proceed with taking up one of the hiking trails in the area.

One of the popular and not-so-tough hikes is the one to Poulanass Waterfall (1.6 km, 40 min) near the Upper Lake. If you're looking for an easier one, a short walk (1 km, 30 min) to St Kevin's Cell and the Reefert Church might interest you.

Itinerary for Ireland

Tougher hikes such as Spinc and the Wicklow Way (11 km, 4 hours) and Derrybawn Woodland Trail around the Lower Lake (8 km, 2 hours) are also available for the more fit people. No matter what your fitness level, the National Park is a great place to spend some quiet time in the middle of tranquil oak woodlands, waterfalls and lovely lakes.

Glendalough to Kilkenny (1.5 hours drive)

Explore Kilkenny Town

As you're likely to arrive in Kilkenny during the evening hours, you can spend your time exploring the cute town. Kilkenny forms an integral part of our itinerary for Ireland not only because it makes for a timely stop, but because the charming city is home to several medieval cultural wonders, hidden shopping jaunts and vibrant nightlife. Don't be surprised to see a lot of quirky cars, loud and drunk people on the streets and crazy sights because Kilkenny is a popular place for several hen and stag parties over the weekends.

What to do in Kilkenny

Suggested BnB stay in Kilkenny: Glendine House, Kilkenny

Day 4: Kilkenny

Kilkenny city is not just about the crazy nightlife, it is replete with ancient sites such as castles, churches and abbeys as well as beautiful street-scapes, especially around the River Nore. If you have a car, you're lucky because you can also visit the magnificent monastic ruins from the 12th century - Jerpoint Abbey, that lies about 30 minutes outside the city.

What to do in Kilkenny

I have written a detailed post on a 1-day itinerary for this charming town in Ireland. If you are here only for one evening, then do make it to the Kilkenny Castle at the centre of the town, St Canice's Cathedral (the walk from Kilkenny Castle to the cathedral is through some of the best historical marvels in the town) and the Nore Valley (sip on some hot chocolate at the Riverside Restaurant of Kilkenny River Court Hotel).

Read here about What to do in Kilkenny in 24 hours.

Day 5: Kilkenny - Rock of Cashel - Killarney

Kilkenny to Rock of Cashel (1-hour drive)

Time required at Rock of Cashel: 1 hour

Rock of Cashel was undoubtedly my favourite historical site in all of Ireland. As I drove towards it, the looming structure situated on top of a plateau against the green grassland backdrop was a sight that deserved to be captured! Although the earliest surviving archaeological building (the Round Tower) dates back to the 12th century, the site is known to have existed since the 5th century when King Aengus, Ireland’s first Christian ruler, was baptized.

Itinerary for Ireland
Rock of Cashel

There is a free tour that runs at Rock of Cashel which lasts about 45 min and I would highly recommend you to join that so as to understand the historical significance of the building. If that doesn't interest you, you can take one of the walking trails in the area. I highly recommend the Cashel Heritage Walking Trail, an easy 1.6 km loop trail that'll also take you to another iconic historical site in the area - the Hore Abbey.

Itinerary for Ireland
Rock of Cashel

Hore Abbey is visible from the grounds on top of the Rock of Cashel but a walk down to explore the ruins is a must! Firstly, the views of Rock of Cashel from the abbey are unparalleled. Secondly, it is not crowded at all, with hardly any people visiting or exploring the ruins. The place is completely non-commercial and it is accessible to anyone, without any entry charges, supervision or gates. It is basically just lying away in one corner and all you need to do is open the gates and enter! You can have the entire archaeological site all to yourself!

Itinerary for Ireland
Hore Abbey

Rock of Cashel to Blarney Castle (1-hour drive)

Time required at Blarney Castle: 3 hours

Most people visit this gorgeous medieval royal property to kiss the Blarney stone, which is believed to give one the gift of eloquence. However, even if you don't believe in legends, Blarney Castle and the sprawling gardens are a great place to spend some time amidst nature and greenery, especially on a clear and sunny day. Unless you get to the castle really early, you're likely to encounter a massive queue to enter the stone tower, to go up and kiss the Blarney Stone (1 -2 hours during summer is normal).

Itinerary for Ireland
Blarney Castle

Even if you decide not to stand in the queue and enter the castle, and climb the narrow, winding stairs to the top to kiss the famous stone, I recommend you to take a walk in the castle gardens. They're really lush, widespread and impressive, with all sorts of wildflowers, little waterfalls, streams and forest plants & trees.

Itinerary for Ireland
Blarney Castle

You may also want to explore the dungeons below the castle but make sure you're ready to bend and crawl through low lying ceilings, stone walls and uneven surfaces. I recommend a walk towards the gorgeously constructed Blarney House, overlooking the lake. The architecture of the house is quite intriguing and perhaps, one of the better-looking buildings in Ireland. It is hardly a 7 min walk from the castle itself.

Itinerary for Ireland
Blarney House

Itinerary for Ireland
Lush gardens of Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle to Killarney (1.5 hours)

You'll only arrive in Killarney late evening/ night. I suggest enjoying a nice walk, some drinks and dinner in the colourful town centre before you head to your hotel for a good night's sleep!

Suggested BnB stay at Killarney: Ryebrooke House

Day 6: Killarney National Park

Itinerary for Ireland
Killarney National Park

This massive National Park comprises of 26,000 acres of gorgeous landscapes - mountains, lakes, waterfalls and hiking paths. If you're a nature or adventure lover, you have to spend a day exploring the wilderness of this park, which has in the past won several accolades for being the favourite day out for a lot of Irish locals as well as tourists.

From kayaking in the lake to exploring historical gems such as Muckross House and Gardens, Ross Castle, to cycling along the lake or hiking the rugged mountains, Killarney National Park makes it to the Top 10 things in the itinerary for Ireland, in my opinion. Some things I recommend to do while in Killarney National Park:

  • The boat tour from Ross Castle to Inisfallen Island
  • Horse Carriage Ride around the Muckross Estate and Gardens
  • Hike the Muckross Lake Loop
  • Sunset kayaking trip on the lake, with Outdoors Ireland

Day 7: Ring of Kerry

A part of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry qualifies as one of the most iconic coastal drives in Ireland. If you're renting a car and taking a road trip, you must spend at least a day exploring this gorgeous highway, with several pit stops which are for history, nature and food lovers. I was not very lucky with the weather (it was pouring on the day I did this loop), however, I was still rewarded with some scenes that I will never forget.

Itinerary for Ireland
Ring of Kerry

Itinerary for Ireland
Driving the Ring of Kerry

Some of the key highlights of this drive are:

  • The cute and cosy town of Kenmare (a great place to stop for breakfast)
  • Staigue Stone Fort (archaeological ruins of an Irish Ring Fort from 300 AD)
  • The town of Waterville, famous for being one of Charlie Chaplin's favourite vacation spots
  • Ballinskelligs Castle, ruins of a 16th-century castle and abbey, situated right on the beach with breathtaking views of the blue ocean
  • Skelling's Chocolate, a local chocolate factory where you can taste the best hot chocolate in Ireland and buy some really amazing Irish artisanal hand-made chocolates
  • Kerry Cliffs, the ultimate destination which left me breathless because of the sheer magnificence of the rocks jutting into the ocean

Itinerary for Ireland
Kerry Cliffs

Read my detailed post on Driving the Ring of Kerry in Ireland.

Suggested overnight stay: Portmagee is a nice town, just about 5 minutes away from Kerry Cliffs. Although quite small, you will find several restaurants here for a nice dinner. It also makes a great base for the next day's ferry trip to Skellig Michael.

Book your stay in Portmagee here

Day 8: Skelling Michael & Dingle

This island was made famous because of the shooting of Star Wars - The Last Jedi here. Even if you're not a fan, I would suggest that you visit to enjoy some stunning scenery and beautiful hikes. However, the tour is dependent on the weather so you'll have to check before you go if the boat trips are running on that day.

Itinerary for Ireland
Skellig Islands

There are two types of trips that you can choose from:

Eco Tour - 2.5 hours

Takes you around two islands (Great Skelligs and Small Skelligs) but only circles around them, bringing you close enough to observe the wildlife and historical sites but does not land at any of the islands. There are multiple departures daily from the marina at Portmagee.

Landing Tour - 5 hours

The landing tour usually takes you to the islands to spend some time exploring the sites on your own. These usually depart early in the morning and return by afternoon. If you have time, I suggest you try this tour as you can visit the 6th-century monastic site located at a 200-meter height, where you can reach by climbing hundreds of stone steps built by the monks centuries ago. You're likely to see a lot of puffins and seagulls on these UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

If you're, however, not into boat trips, you can simply visit a few spots on the mainland itself from where, on a clear day, you can view these islands because of their distinct shape. Some of these spots are:

  • Coomanaspic Pass in Portmagee
  • Bray Head Signature Point on the southern tip of Valentia Island, right across from Portmagee
  •  Ballinskelligs Blue Flag beach
  • Kerry Cliffs (although a very far off view, can be visible only a very clear day)

Book your trip to Skellig Michael here.

Onto Dingle ( 2 hours) via Inch Beach

Itinerary for Ireland
Dingle City Centre

Once you're back from your boat trip to Skellig Michael, you can continue your trip on the Wild Atlantic Way, towards Dingle. On the way, you might want to grab a bite at Inch Beach, a popular one for surfers. Sammy's Restaurant is located right at the beach, with clear views of the sand and the sea.

Spend the evening exploring yet another colourful and charming town of Ireland. Walk into an Irish pub where you can hear live music or even watch some really amazing, professional tap dancing. I highly recommend The Dingle Pub for some great 'craic', the Irish way.

Suggested budget BnB stay in Dingle: Dingle Harbour Nights

Day 9: Blasket Islands & Whale Watching Tour

Whale watching must be on the list of things to include in your itinerary for Ireland. The best whale watching tours in Ireland depart from Dingle. A guided eco-marine tour that can be booked through Marine Tours will take you from Dingle to Blasket Islands (without landing) and give you an opportunity to see dolphins, minke whales, basking shark (in season) and other species including humpback whales occasionally.

However, I would recommend you to take the Full Day Tour that not only gives you the opportunity to enjoy whale (and other sea wildlife) watching in the afternoon but will also land on Blasket Islands, giving you a few hours to explore these lovely historical islands. Unfortunately, the boat trips to the Blasket Islands are dependent on the weather and are likely to get cancelled if the weather is not good.

Itinerary for Ireland
Blasket Islands

TBlasket Islands do not really have any residents but you can see the drystone walls of village homes and fields that once existed. Sheep, rabbits and hares now inhabit the island, and a walk around here is the best way to immerse yourself amidst wild, rugged nature.  If you prefer to relax, beautiful sandy beach called An Trá Bhán is a great place to just sunbathe (on a clear & sunny day) or you could visit The King’s house, a popular historical building that was home to the leader of the local community.

The full day tour departs from Ventry at 10 am and returns at 5 pm. Alternatively, during summer months (April - September), ferries run on an hourly basis from Dunquin Harbour to Blasket Islands between 10 am - 2 pm.

For a coffee break in a place that offers fantastic views, visit Great Blasket Island Coffee Shop.

Day 10: The Slea Head Drive & Tralee / Limerick

Itinerary for Ireland
The Slea Head Loop

This amazing drive will take you through beautiful rugged countryside landscapes as well as untouched coasts, where you will have the chance to land on some off-beat, unexplored, secret beaches which are literally empty and unknown except to the locals. The day I drove, I experienced the typical Irish weather (wet & gloomy) but that did not take away from the charm of the drive. Sheep grazing on the farms, calm and pretty blue waters of the wild Atlantic, peaceful and laid-back pastoral villages with hidden cafes and restaurants - everything about this drive from Dingle to Dunquin Harbour and onwards to Tralee was amazing!

Astoundingly dramatic scenery greets you as you drive from Dingle, on R559 towards Ventry and eventually towards the southern coast of the Peninsula. If you do not stop along the way, you will arrive at Dunquin Harbour in less than 40 minutes.

Itinerary for Ireland
Dunquin Harbour

Itinerary for Ireland
Dunquin Harbour

Dramatic cliffs, deep blue ocean and brilliant green grass - this is how I would describe the highlight of Dingle peninsula - Dunquin Harbour. Once you reach here, you will see the signs pointing to the famous Sheep's Highway, which is where the iconic postcard image can be seen. You can walk down the narrow winding path which will take you all the way down to the pier, or climb up to the point from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire area. Unfortunately, I did not see a herd of sheep climbing the highway but the views were striking nevertheless. Small, carved out paths can take you to the edge of the cliffs but be careful, especially on a windy day, sometimes the breeze can be strong enough to make you lose your balance!

Itinerary for Ireland
Dunquin Harbour

Itinerary for Ireland
Sheep's Highway, Dunquin Harbour

From Dunquin Harbour, instead of heading back to Dingle to complete the Slea Head Loop, we headed towards Tralee, a small town where we decided to spend the night in a budget castle hotel. Alternatively, you can spend the night in Limerick as well.

The drive from Dunquin Harbour towards Tralee was magical as we passed through not only more extraordinary landscapes but also some of the most charming villages I've ever seen. I drove via Cloghane, Castlegregory, Ballycurrane and Derrymore before finally arriving at Tralee for the night. Here are some pictures I captured during my road trip.

Itinerary for Ireland
Cloghane (wild Irish countryside)

Itinerary for Ireland

Itinerary for Ireland
Ballycurrane peninsula

This was a fairly relaxed day that allowed me to take it easy and drive leisurely. I stopped for lunch at Island Seafood Restaurant in Ballycurrane, a cosy place with amazing views of the sea and some decent seafood.

Suggested stay for the night: One of the key things to do in Ireland is to stay in a castle hotel After a lot of research, given that I am a budget traveller, I found an affordable castle hotel called the Ballyseede Castle Hotel. You can read about my experience of staying here in detail.

An affordable castle stay in Ireland - Ballyseede Castle Hotel

Alternatively, Limerick is a nice town to stop over for the night before you proceed to Cliffs of Moher on the next day. Book your stay in Limerick here.

Day 11: Cliffs of Moher & Galway

If you're driving from Limerick then Cliffs of Moher, yet another iconic site which is a must-include in your itinerary for Ireland, are only an hour away. If you're going from Tralee, it is about 2.5 hours and you'll pass through Limerick.

While you drive from Tralee to Limerick, you will pass through one of the most magical, fairytale villages in Ireland called Adare. Traditional thatched cottages which date back to the early 19th century are still inhabited by the locals and the historical Desmond Castle by the river captures your attention immediately. Stop for a quick bite at the popular Blue Door Restaurant, or buy a souvenir from The Gift Box, not too far from it.

Itinerary for Ireland
Desmond Castle, Adare Village

Itinerary for Ireland
Adare Village, Limerick

From here, continue driving for another 1.5 hours through some more charming, small villages of Ireland where you’ll get a glimpse into the rural countryside. You’ll cross yet another picturesque riverside town called Lahinch right before you arrive at the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher.

Itinerary for Ireland
Lahinch, County Clare

Cliffs of Moher are undoubtedly one of the most important places to be included in any itinerary for Ireland. Towering cliffs, jutting into the ocean, with the waves crashing wildly against the sharp edges make for a dramatic scene which is why you’ll be greeted with a large number of crowds at this place. Several walking paths along the edge, some fenced and others not, allow you to capture the spectacular vistas but be very careful if you choose to take the path that is not protected by a fence – especially on a windy day.

If you wish the walk the entire length, it’s about 8 km from one end to the other. When you arrive at the starting point, you will have the option of either walking towards the O’Briens tower to the right or the walled section on the left that offers some really crazy views. If you wish to cross and walk outside the walls, then do it at your own risk. Some parts of the path are gravel, so be sure to wear good shoes.

Itinerary for Ireland
O'Brien's Tower, Cliffs of Moher

Itinerary for Ireland
Cliffs of Moher viewing area

Itinerary for Ireland
Unfenced, gravel walking path at Cliffs of Moher

Itinerary for Ireland
Cliffs of Moher

After Cliffs of Moher, head towards Galway to stay for the night (1.5 hours drive). Spend the evening in Galway's charming city centre, where you can enjoy shopping, walking the cobbled stone streets and experience amazing nightlife.

Book your stay in Galway here.

Day 12: Aran Islands

If you haven't managed to catch any of the boat tours to any of the islands yet due to the bad weather, Aran Islands, located 45 minutes off the shores of Galway (by ferry), are a great getaway for the day. You will be transported back in time in a place which is inhabited but not crowded and far away from the typical city life. A ferry ride from the Rossaveel ferry port near Galway will transport you to the largest of the three islands - Inishmore, where you will find minibuses waiting at the arrival port, offering a 2.5-hour tour of the island for as less as €10. Alternatively, you can rent a bike or even horse carts to explore.

The landscape of the islands is quite rugged - rocky, steep, harsh cliffs, stone paths and historical structures that date back to the Iron Age hanging at the edge of cliffs, with dramatic drops into the ocean. A handful of shops, pubs and restaurants can be found here, making it even more remote, facility-lacking and an absolute pleasure to walk around.

Itinerary for Ireland
Aran Islands

Itinerary for Ireland
Aran Islands

Click here for more information on the ferry timings from Rossaveel.

Alternatively, you can also take a ferry from Doolin (1.5 hours sailing time). Click here for more information. These ferries are available only from April to October.

Click here to read about Glamping in Ireland.

Day 13: Connemara

This may not be a usual day trip to include in a typical itinerary for Ireland but I absolutely loved exploring the untouched, picturesque peninsula along the Atlantic Coast because I had the opportunity to see some of the most scenic beaches, lush countryside, charming villages and idyllic landscapes in this region. The drive towards Kylemore Abbey, a spectacular castle-turned abbey on the shores of a lake amidst the mountains, takes about 2 hours with detours to several gems such as Spiddal Craft Village, Gurteen Beach, and Lough Inagh Valley.

Itinerary for Ireland
Lough Inagh Valley, Connemara

Read my detailed post on What to do on a day trip to Connemara from Galway.

Day 14: Return to Dublin

Drive time: 2 hours.

You're likely to catch your flight back home from Dublin. This is the end of my recommended perfect 2-week road trip itinerary for Ireland!

Got more time? Why not explore Northern Ireland?

92 thoughts on “The perfect 2-week roadtrip itinerary for Ireland”

  1. I did a very similar road trip around Ireland with my mom and aunt many years ago, and also stayed at B&Bs. Your post brought back a lot of good memories of our trip! One thing we didn’t get to see is the Rock of Cashel. If I ever get to go back, I’ll be sure to put that on our itinerary. I bet the view is amazing!

    1. Rock of Cashel really was amazing. There are always things you miss out when you have limited time to travel 🙂

  2. I remember that once I dreamed about seeing Ireland. Unfortunately, I still did not go there and it’s a pity. These beautiful historic buildings and nature in your photos make you really want to be there. The Ring of Kerry is a place that absolutely amazed me, the views are wonderful!

  3. This itinerary looks perfect! The combination wide open green spaces and majestic castles are such a gorgeous site to see. My daughter is an Irish dancer and so has Ireland on the top of her bucket list. I can’t wait to take her there someday!

  4. Omg I am pretty sold with these castles and wide greenery! What a gorgeous sight to wake up in the morning with this view. I wish to experience this adventure someday.

  5. Awesomeness!! ? You are very lucky to have roadtripped Ireland for two weeks and remembering everything! Absolutely well-written post, Ireland must pay you for this! Hehe. You are right about the Musical Irish’s, they’re insance with it, I also want to taste the chocolate liquor and a selfie in Rock of Cashel!

  6. This road trip is serious travel goals! I LOVE Ireland. I was only there for a short time in Dublin. I was able to get out and explore Wicklow Mountains National Park.

  7. Your photos are awesome! I’m going on an Ireland road trip with my family this summer so this is a great reference for us to use! I’m excited to explore the many castles

  8. What a fantastic itinerary. I am a little overwhelmed. I have never been to Ireland and haven’t really looked into it. Everything looks so lush and green, with many hiking options. I wouldn’t know where to start. I love road trips though and it sounds like you found one incredible little town with an amazing castle after another. Thanks for a great post.

  9. What a jam-packed itinerary! I do love a good road trip and Ireland is now officially on my list of places to check out! Skellig Michael would be the highlight for me for sure. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and actually just watched The Last Jedi, so it’s fresh on the mind!

  10. This looks like a great itinerary to explore some of the great sights Ireland has to offer. I love a good roadtrip and found Ireland super easy to drive around. Some beautiful photography too, really shows off how lush and green Ireland is.

  11. Going to Ireland for the first time this coming Wednesday! I can barely wait. It’s going to be Dublin only, and I’m looking forward to discovering it. It’s my fiance’s favorite city, he’s traveled to Ireland several times and he’s come to know the times in which you have to be in certain pubs because that’s when the fun starts! For the cultural side, though, I’ll use your suggestions 🙂

  12. Ireland looks absolutely breathtaking! There are so many places to visit and so little time, we always have to plan well to ensure we get the best out of the trip. Readymade itineraries like these from experienced travelers like you shorten our planning workload by a large chunk. Thanks again for this. Bookmarking it!

  13. This is a great 2-weeks itinerary in Ireland and maybe the most completed guide to the region I’ve read so far. I am really tempted to go there but not sure to be able to spend so much time. So, here is the difficult question for you to answer. Besides Dublin which locations are a must-see and which I could skip having only a week to spend there?

    1. I’d say, definitely drive the Ring of Kerry, visit Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Kilkenny and Galway 🙂 Should be good for a week!

  14. As an Indian, its a great feeling when it comes to roadtrips in UK! Its just easy to drive in the left side of the road. Haha! We’ve been on a couple of road trips in England, but not one in Europe!
    This itinerary looks awesome. Kilkenny, Kashel and Blarney are my favourites, ofcourse incl. Kerry! I really hope I’ll head to Ireland soon. Let’s see!

    1. Haha, I live in the UAE and have stopped driving whenever I go back home to India. I am not used to driving on the left side anymore, it was slightly tough to get used to it initially in the Ireland but it took about a day or two and then it was fine 🙂

  15. I think 2 week is absolutely needed for a proper visit to Ireland. I only had a few days when I visited – just enough time to check out Dublin and book it out to the Cliffs of Moher and back. Kilkenny looks so picturesque and like it’s straight out of a fairytale. I love the idea of exploring the remote parts of the coast like Connemara too. Now you’ve got me itching to book a trip back and drive the entire coast.

  16. Ireland looks like a land of castles to me 🙂 I have seen such a concentration of castles only in Luxembourg. I love visiting those, they really hold an atmosphere.

  17. It looks like two weeks is about the right amount of time to see a great part of Ireland. I like that you start the post with the tips for visiting Ireland. Good to set the right expectations. You saw such a great variety. Lovely wild scenery to cute little towns like Kilkenny. I have been meaning to go. But the thought of grey rainy weather had held me back. Your post certainly showed a wonderful variety of weather. And so many spots that look great to visit. Thanks! Pinned for future reference.

    1. You’ll have to accept the fact that you may not get sunny blue skies when you’re there. You’ve to be really lucky to have that all the way through 😉

  18. Such incredible photography. The rural countryside is so picturesque. Had no idea Ireland had such long summer days. Yum, liqueur chocolates…perfect for me if they are not too alcoholic. I have not been to Ireland yet and would love to do your week tour. You covered a lot of ground and visited places like the Cliffs of Moher which are high on my list. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. i totally did not know that Ireland has the best liquer chocolates in the world!! i love the chocolates and always on the look out for the best ones. makes me want to definitely check out Ireland more!

  20. What an amazing packed itinerary – you must’ve been exhausted after that! We spent 10 days in NI and Ireland 2 years ago and loved all the lush green rolling landscapes and the Wild Atlantic Way especially. Your Ring of Kerry pics are beautiful. I think Galway was my favourite place of all though!

  21. This is such a brilliant and detailed itinerary. I will definitely saving this because Ireland is high on my list. “a nature lover, looking to get away from big cities and explore the bucolic countryside, laidback lifestyle”..reading this I kept saying me, me me! Lol! I’ve always think that Ireland is just a perfect place for me because of the green landscape and castles. I really can’t wait to explore Kilkenny city, Skellig Islands, Dingle and Adare.
    Thanks so much for sharing this, Medha! 🙂

  22. Amazing post with all you need to know! I’d love to go for a road trip in Ireland, but the left hand traffic worries me a bit (not used to drive on the side of the road..). Any experience and tips on have to handle that?

    1. I live in the UAE and we drive on the right side as well so it did take me a while getting used to driving on the opposite side. Having said that, the pace of the traffic was nice and easy, people were patient on the road and I guess they kind of know that most tourists face a problem with driving on the opposite side so they’re quite patient with them haha. Driving within the cities was slightly tougher but out on the highway and in the countryside, it was a breeze!

  23. What an awesome itinerary and thanks for the tips for first time visitors. It would seem the best way to enjoy Ireland on a road trip is ot dedicated a fair amount of time so you can just do it at a nice and slow pace. I like the sound of Poulanass Waterfall as its a ike I can do with my daughter as its a nice and easy one to tackle. Kilkenny looks gorgeous! I had no idea! Alos love a good castle, especially with such manicured gardens and Blarney House….. looks like somethng out of a movie. Dunquin Harbour is beautiful albeit those scary steep steps. Gosh you guys covered some serious gorund. Awesome read.

    1. Thanks Amy, it was perfect for 2-weeks. We managed to cover a lot of ground while at the same time, the pace was nice and easy, not rushed at all! I did drive quite a bit, but I love driving so that didn’t bother me and the roads, although a little narrow in most parts, were quite easy to drive on. The people in Ireland were amazing too!

  24. The scenery at the O’Brien’s Tower, Cliffs of Moher is just wonderful. I can imagine myself there enjoying the sunset and the cool ocean breeze. It would be really nice to have the opportunity to visit Ireland someday. Thank you for sharing about your wonderful trip.

  25. Super helpful post about visiting Ireland. It would be great to see a map of the itinerary as we are planning on bringing our bikes to the emerald isle, so we may just follow this route you have laid out. Also, didn’t know about whale watching in Ireland. Thanks for the heads up!

    1. Wow, bikes would be amazing! A map is a good idea, let me see if I can pull one up for you 😉

  26. Ahh I wish we had 2 weeks in Ireland like you! We had to cram in a lot for our 7 day road trip. Like you, Rock of Cashel was one of my favorite sites during the entire trip. I wish we could have had more time to explore Skellig and Aran Islands. I guess we will just have to come back!

    1. I’d love to go back sometime to explore the Northern part. 2 weeks weren’t enough to make it there!

  27. Oh i’m definitely bookmarking this! I’ve always wanted to see Ireland and do so as a road trip. This is a very handy itinerary! Thank you for putting it together.

  28. I want to do this trip but there is no way I can drive on the other side of the road. Such a bummer. Kilkenny and Ring of Kerry look gorgeous. And I love the rocky coastline of Sheep’s Highway, Dunquin Harbour

    1. We drive on the right where I live too. But it didn’t take a lot of time getting used to driving on the left. I think you should give it a shot, if you get the opportunity some time 🙂

  29. I so need to take a road trip in Ireland! You totally described my profile at the beginning of your post: nature lover, looking to get away from big cities, countryside and beautiful coasts lover. That’s me!! It does look like a road trip in Ireland would be the perfect vacation for me!

  30. We love road trips! We’re hoping to visit Ireland in 2020, so I’ll definitely keep some of these stops in mind. Kilkenny looks so cool, I love visiting cities with ancient sites.

  31. Currently, we have a mobility program for our consultants to join the Ireland team (the firm has been searching to fill the gap since last year, but no one wants to fill-in). My work colleague is actually eyeing to give it a shot, and I thought of helping her research about Ireland – and your blog post is very helpful! I hope that you story would help her to motivate more to accept the offer.

  32. I completely agree with your tips on renting a car and also finding accommodations with free onsite parking. You miss so much without having your own car to stop at a little church on the side of the road or the gorgeous view of the sea. When we first started renting cars, we weren’t thinking about restricting our accommodations to free and onsite. But those are musts if you’re renting a car!

  33. This is a fantastic post! I often only read about Dublin, but being an off-the-beaten-path kinda traveler, I craved more. I love that you included everything from castle tours, national parks and city guides. There’s a little bit of variety in this itinerary for everyone and keeps it fresh and unique. I definitely will be pinning this for later.

  34. Oh Ireland ! I have been reading and seeing pictures of Ireland since last 2 years and yet haven’t been able to plan a trip there. Yes, the road trips are the best to explore the country and your pictures prove that. Renting a car, BnB.. all make sense on these kind of trips.
    You did a lot in 2 weeks. The scenery is to die for and I love that yellow bench! 🙂

  35. This is an excellent road trip itinerary for one of the most beautiful countries to visit! I loved being in Ireland, and would return in a heartbeat. I didn’t make it to Kilkenny or Limerick so would love to see these places. The Rock of Cashel is still on my list too, I love the Ring of Kerry. Awesome photos too, as always!

  36. The landscapes are stunning! And those castles are really beautiful. We hope to visit Ireland in our lifetime; it’s quite difficult for us considering we live in the Philippines.

  37. Do you remember how much it cost to rent your car for the 2 weeks? We have always read the same thing that renting your car is the best idea. I was just wondering how economical it is in comparison to public transportation. Thanks! Enjoyed the article!

  38. I’m planning a big Ireland trip in 2019 and this post saved me a lot of time I would spend on research. Your two-week itinerary looks superb! Ireland seems like a lovely country to do a road trip in. I’m so glad I came across this article, thank you for sharing it with us!

  39. This looks like a dream trip! Two weeks are just perfect for a road trip and you were able to see a lot. I’ve heard that renting a car is the best way to get around in Ireland. I love your itinerary, so I’ll bookmark this post. I’m hoping to go to Ireland next year. As for the weather, I can live with clouds as long as it’s not raining. You had a perfect light for photography there.

    1. It was extremely windy most of the time we were there and even rained on a couple of days. But I guess you have to accept that you’ll see all of that and hopefully also some sun, if you’re there for 2 weeks.

  40. Ireland seems just the place that I would want to visit. green vistas, beautiful countryside, charming towns, castles and yes, chocolates! The itinerary looks perfect for any first timers visiting the place. Ireland seems perfect for a road trip!

  41. Ireland is one of my favourite countries. This is a perfect 2 week roadtrip itinerary for Ireland. Thanks for sharing the tip regarding car parking and accommodation. Sometimes it is hard to get car parking. The pubs – well that is where the fun is in the evening. I really enjoyed their atmosphere.

  42. This is honestly a perfect recap of what to do in Ireland! I visited Ireland a few years ago for a work conference and didn’t get a chance to venture out beyond Dublin & the Cliffs of Moher. These pictures are striking and make me want to pack and head to Ireland all over again!

  43. Love the tip about visiting Irish pubs for live music and ‘craic’. Sadly I never saw a live dance, hopefully next time.
    Also, I had never heard about Blarney Castle before, but now I really want to see it.

  44. This is a super useful guide. I have been aiming at this for 2020 and am book marking this. The route map with what to see makes it so much easier to plan the road trip. And yes, noted that hot chocolate with marshmallows. I know that I will need it any season I get there 😀

    1. I was having hot chocolate every day, sometimes even 2-3 times. That’s how amazing it is in Ireland 🙂

  45. Thank you for such a detailed description of the tour. Though Dublin is the most sought after cities in the world but i like going to lesser known places. Thus, the description of Rock of Cashel and its landscape intrigued me the most in your blog post! Hope to travel to Ireland someday soon!

    1. I love getting out of the city and exploring the countryside too! Ireland has a LOT of that, I loved it!

  46. Wow how wonderful to have two weeks to drive around Ireland. It’s just as I’d imagined but more beautiful. Good to know that the rain doesn’t last too long. It does keep things green. I’d love to spend time along the coastline and hike some of those trails especially.

  47. This is a great itinerary to see a lot of Ireland. Your beautiful photos make me want to visit for sure! It’s so green 🙂 I’m always hesitant to drive abroad, but it looks like it is worth it in Ireland.

  48. We were booked to do this last October but chickened out because of the weather. I think we will try during summer and only do one week. The Rock and the Cliffs and Dublin definitely!

  49. I’ve been to Ireland a few times, including a 10 day road trip, and this itinerary is excellent. You’ve included a few places that I hadn’t been to before, like Killarney and the Cliffs of Moher – I can’t believe how close to the edge that path goes, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to walk there!

  50. Best I have read on Ireland itineraries and great photos! I’ve not been to Ireland but it still blows my mind to see countryside so visually free of ‘modern’ sights. And then the looming castles.. so timeless! Especially your Rock of Cashel. Can’t help imagining horse drawn carts passing through or soldiers guarding the entrance.

  51. Great itinerary! I’ll be going to Dublin in February for work. I’ll only have a short weekend to visit around, so not sure if I can go to Rock of Cashel or not. I’ll try, if not I’ll just stay in Dublin to explore the city in depth. So I’m heading over to your other post now to read about 48 hours in Dublin! 🙂

  52. I haven’t been to the UK but recently started loving the road trips across countries in Europe. You must be aware by now that I was road-tripping in Iceland last few weeks. Road-tripping has a great advantage over scheduled join-in tours. You can stop by any place and reschedule your plan and readjust. Ireland truly has an unpredictable weather as I have heard until now, so road tripping would be a better option. You have nicely shared the itinerary to which places to cover on what days. That’s a big help to plan my road trip to Ireland.

  53. Ireland is such a lovely country to do a road trip. It really does have everything, from green rolling hills to castles and friendly locals. I did a similar road trip a few years ago but didn’t have enough time to visit the Ring of Kerry. That’s on my list for next time!

  54. I love travelling round northern and southern ireland. I do think the driving is quite easy too. I’d never heard of Skelling Michael – definitely on my list for my own next trip

    1. I found the driving quite easy too! And such a pleasure, being able to stop in the middle of amazing landscapes to take lots of pictures, walk around the rivers and streams, and just relax on the beach.

  55. Wow looks like you guys got to see and do so much in two weeks. I can see why you recommend a car. The Hore Abbey looks like a beautiful place to visit.

Comments are closed.