At a first glance, Ireland was not part of my “bucket list” ! It should be noted that apart from the pubs and the sheep, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, when I began reading up a little on this destination, I quickly understood that this country had more to offer : superb green countryside, white sandy beaches and historical sites. In short, it was the perfect place to spend an idyllic 10 days !
So, I came up with a 10-day road trip for the end of April, which seemed the perfect duration to me to tour the center and and the south of Ireland. For Nothern Ireland, I will have to do this next time ! So, here is my itinerary in detail and I hope that it will inspire you to do your own one ! Let’s travel !
Day 1 : Dublin
We arrive in the late afternoon at Dublin airport. A taxi will quickly take us to the city center to our hotel. For our first evening here, we will go to the Temple Bar quarter for a typical evening in a pub. Let’s admire the beautiful colorful facades in the small paved streets where the locals and tourists pass by to enjoy a tasty beer.
My advice for your accommodation : If, like me, you prefer quiet hotel, I advise that you avoid the city center, in particular the Temple Bar quarter near Trinity College … as these areas have pubs on every street corner and make this quarter extremely noisy in the evenings. This is also the advice of many people on the internet.
Day 2 : Dublin
If we have good weather, let’s take a walk through the sunny streets rather than taking refuge in a museum (although the city does offers many very interesting ones). Our day will therefore mainly be a peaceful discovery of the city’s quarters but also feel free to spend the day discovering Dublin more.
• Trinity College
We begin with Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland ! After a walk in the in the courtyard where we admire its Victorian buildings, we will move on to the Old Library which contains 2 floors of old and rare books. It is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world: not to be missed !
• Guinness Brewery :
A must-see in Dublin that we did not do due to lack of time. We have visited a whisky distillery in Scotland (you’ll tell me that whisky and beer are not the same thing ^^) but when traveling you need to know how to make choices. The reviews are quite positive even though this is a very touristy place !
My gourmand advice : Stop at the Merrion Hotel, a 5-star hotel in the heart of Dublin ! The pastries are to die for ! Eat them hot out of the oven or even in their magnificent gardens, weather permitting !
Day 3 : Clonmacnoise – Galway
We will pick up our rental car and it is now time to get used to having the steering wheel on the right-hand side. Time for our road trip ! We leave in the direction of Galway which is situated 2h20 away from Dublin.
When we are halfway, we will stop to visit Clonmacnoise Abbey, which is one of the main monastic sites in Ireland. A few of the buildings have been extremely well-maintained while others are in ruins, but the atmosphere is very mystical.
The late afternoon will be spent visiting Galway, a small student town that is well-known for its street shows and live music concerts, … It is true that you need to order the atmosphere but a few hours here is more than enough to explore.
Day 4 : Connemara
We will peacefully drive around the peninsula to quickly leave the country roads in favor of the coastal road.
We will make a quick first stop in Roudstone which is quite a small fishing village that is not often visited at this time of the year to take a few pretty photos.
• Dog’s Bay
Be careful that your eyes don’t deceive you ! This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland and you will not be disappointed ! White sand, turquoise water: the works ! I was not expecting to see such a beautiful beach in Ireland and traveling is therefore always so educational ! This is undeniably something not to miss !
This is the capital of Connemara and will be our place to stay ! We will stop here for lunch !
• Sky Road
This superb 12 km road makes a circle and offers views to take your breath away ! Obviously, you should take advantage by going on a walk if the weather is good and enjoying the spectacular scenery.
My advice for your accommodation : There are very few hotels in Clifden but a very large number of guest houses ! Search a few kilometers in the town center as you approach the coast to take advantage of a very pretty view of the sea as you wake up !
Day 5 : Connemara (Kylemore Abbey – Ashford Castle)
• Kylemore Abbey
Our morning will be dedicated to visiting the Kylemore Abbey. Situated on the banks of a lake , it is incredibly photogenic ! This visit is really lovely : it doesn’t take long in the neogothic building as only a few rooms are open to the public but the little chapel is a little further away and the hidden Victorian garden perfectly complements this place.
• Ashford Castle
We couldn’t wait to discover our accommodation for the night. Take the road in the direction of Ashford Castle. The castle was built in 1228 and was converted into a luxury hotel in the 30s. I discuss this in detail in one of my articles ! You can read it here : My life at Ashford Castle
Be warned, in addition to being a superb hotel, it is also a place where you can take part in several activities that I discuss in my article : The falconry and other exceptional activities at Ashford Castle
Day 6 : Ashford Castle – Moher Cliff
We take advantage of the last hours in this magical place : after a delicious breakfast, we leave here for the 1h30 trip to the falconry !
• Moher Cliffs
After 2h on the road, we arrive at the Moher Cliffs, which is one of the most visited sites in the country ! What you see is the following : a huge parking lot filled with cars and buses awaiting us on our arrival … Peaking at 200m, the cliff plunges into the sea and offers a spectacular view. Make sure that you venture onto the pathways to get away from the large groups of tourists which detract from the beauty of this place.
Day 7 : Dingle Peninsula – Killarney
• Dingle Peninsula
We travel in the direction Killarney which is 150km away. On the way, we make a small detour via the Dingle Peninsula : 50 km of small roads where the views of the sea are do not fail to impress ! Count on traveling quite a distance as you will regularly need to stop along the way to admire the view (and take a few photos ^^).
This will be our place to stay for the next 2 nights. It is a small tourist town but in April you will not be bothered by the amount of tourists ! The town is charming and there are a lot of accommodation and restaurants to take advantage of !
Day 8 : Killarney National Park – Ring of Kerry
• Killarney National Park
Forests, lakes, waterfalls await you in this national park ! This is also the case at the castle: Ross Castle (which we will visit but only to admire the outside) which is a beautiful place from the XIXth century in Muckross Estate. The guided visit of this building and its gardens is very nice. After this, we will explore the park on the small, winding roads that offer the most amazing views ! You will definitely not be disappointed ! I will allow you to judge for yourself by the photos !
• Ring of Kerry
Lack of time prevented us from visiting this place : 180 km of beautiful beaches, medieval ruins and preserved nature. If you do this, tell us about it in the comments !
Day 9 : Dublin
Return to Dublin with 4h30 on the road. At the end of the day, after having returned your rental car, enjoy a few hours walking around the city. In the evening, we can dine in The Church restaurant, which is a former church that has been converted into a pub. This is very original, however as the quality of the meals is clearly not up to standard but you go there for the ambiance !
So, this was our road trip itinerary in Ireland. I hope that all this information will be useful for you and will help you to prepare for your trip !
Have you saved Ireland as your future destination ? Do you already know about this country ?