Ireland Travel

Ireland Road-trip: The Itinerary

Considering a trip to Ireland? Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the possible destinations? What itinerary to follow? Where to stay? What sites to see? What pubs and restaurants to enjoy? How to fit it all in?

Don’t worry friend, I know how you feel. It can be almost impossible to make all the decisions days, weeks, or months in advance. I will just start by letting you know, ANYWHERE you go will be AMAZING. The Emerald Isle is filled with the most beautiful lush green landscapes, charming little towns, and the friendliest locals. Whether you visit for a few days or a few weeks, your time here will be nothing short of magical.

I can help a bit when it comes to the planning, as I just recently returned from a 14 day road trip around Ireland! We rented a car and drove counter clockwise, after landing in Dublin. Not to toot my own horn, but we had the perfect itinerary. Toot toot 😉

I’ve written a few blog posts that will help you plan your trip, no matter what part of the process you are in! Below I broke down our itinerary, day by day. Including a map showing the route we took.

In the blog posts below I go into detail on everything you need to know while planning, and while you’re there!

Working on booking your stays? Click here for the most perfect Airbnbs all over Ireland.

Want to sing along to traditional Irish tunes, and eat the best fish and chips? I got you!

Must sees and trails we hiked, check it out here!

Day by day itinerary:

Day 1 : Travel day: Depart from MCI midday.

Day 2 : Land in Dublin at 7am, pick up rental car. Head north 1.5 hours, stopping in Belfast for breakfast. Continue north about an hour, to Cushendall.

Day 3 : Hike/ Sleep in Cushendall.

Day 4 : Drive west about an hour, to Carrick-a-rede bridge, and The Giants Causeway. Stay one night in Portrush.

Day 5 : Drive to Galway, stopping in Sligo for lunch. 2.5 hours from Portrush to Sligo, 2.5 hours from Sligo to Galway.

Day 6 : Explore Galway.

Day 7 : Breakfast in Galway. Drive 1.5 hours to Cliffs of Moher. Stay in Doolin.

Day 8 : Drive 2.5 hours to Killarney. Hike Muckross Castle.

Day 9 : Hike in Killarney National Park.

Day 10 : Slow morning in Killarney at the best Airbnb. Drive 1.5 hours to Cobh. Wander.

Day 11 : Blarney Castle. Blackrock Castle observatory. Titanic Experience. Wander Cobh more.

Day 12 : Head out early, drive 3 hours to Wicklow, hike. Drive 1 hour to Dublin. Wander.

Day 13 : Guinness storehouse tour. Walk around Dublin.

Day 14 : Return rental car and start the journey home.

The Breakdown:

To simplify, we started with one travel day there. Spent two nights in Cushendall. One night in Portrush. Two nights in Galway. One night in Doolin. Two nights in Killarney. Two nights in Cobh. Two nights in Dublin. Another travel day home.

It sounds like a lot of drive time, and it really was. But the thing about driving in Ireland, is it’s SO beautiful. For the time we had, we did and saw as much as possible, while still relaxing. And to be completely honest, I wouldn’t change our itinerary one bit.

EXCEPT we didn’t love Dublin. We would have rather spent that time in nature, or in a quaint small town. I’ve heard before that Dublin is a bit rowdy and expensive. Yet still felt like I had to see it for myself, if I was going to Ireland. You may feel the same way, and that’s okay. We only stayed two nights, but one would have been perfect, to simply check the box.

With all that being said, to each is own. You may absolutely love Dublin. If that’s the case, I’m so happy for you! Maybe send me some suggestions for my next trip 😉

In the know: Facts I wish I knew before!

  • Get a SIM card, at the local Vodafone. I got mine in Galway for $20US dollars. It’ll save you from all the international data charges. I personally have Verizon, and they charge $10 a day.
  • Outlet converters. I made the mistake of not checking before, assuming they were the same as some of Europe. Nope! I was able to find one at a local hardware store. Heres a link for one, so you can go prepared.
  • I would also recommend bringing a USB car port plug as well. Our car did not have USB plugs.
  • Currency: Pounds in the UK, or Northern Ireland. Euros in the rest of Ireland. There were very few places we NEEDED cash. However, its handy to have.
  • I bank with Bank of America, and they are great with money exchange. On the app go to foreign currency, and simply place an order. I would recommend $50-100 in pounds, and $100-150 in euros.
  • A 10% tip at any pub or restaurant is greatly appreciated.
  • Make sure to let your server know you want to add gratuity on, before they swipe your card. To make it easy, I kept small bills on hand and tipped in cash.
  • When getting gas, fill your tank then go inside to pay.
  • Gas is in liters not gallons, and it’s quite expensive to fill the tank of even the smallest cars.

Enjoy!

I hope this day by day itinerary, and these fun facts will ease your mind when it comes to the stresses of planning.

Need to book your stays? I got you here!

Want to know the best spots to grab a pint, and hang with the locals? Right here!

Need insight on what trails to hike, and sites to see? Happy hiking!

Get ready for the trip of a lifetime, because Ireland is a dream! Cheers.