7 Days in Ireland
When you have a limited number of vacation days (as I and the majority of Americans do) you want or need to fit the most of a place into a set number of days. When travelling to Ireland 3 years ago, I kept searching for the perfect 7-day itinerary and kept hitting a wall. There were too many places and not enough time! So, I set up the perfect 7-day itinerary FOR ME, which included skipping the popular Ring of Kerry and instead spending more time on the lesser-known Ring of Dingle and stopping for only 1 night in most of the small towns. I did miss some things I wanted to see, including the Aran Islands and Giants Causeway, but that’s what the follow-up trip is for! 😊 Please use this as a guide, but if you need a custom itinerary, we would be more than happy to work with you!
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin after a 6-hour flight (give or take a few hours from the states). From here, you have 2 options. If you can sleep on planes (congratulations to you by the way), feel free to rent a car and drive the 2 hours to Galway. If you are like me and can barely sleep in your own bed, it might make more sense to take the bus from Dublin Airport to Galway. This will cost you around $22/person one-way.
Once you arrive in Galway, you can check into your hotel and walk around the small university town. Galway has a central area, called Quay Street that has tiny shops and pubs you can pop in and out of at your leisure. Grab a Guiness, or, if you want to try something else, grab a Galway Hooker (it’s an Irish pale ale).
Day 2: This is a driving day, although it’s broken up into 2-hour spans. Heading south of town (check out a map before driving anywhere. Like most European cities, the signs will tell you which way you want to go based on the next town) towards the Cliffs of Moher. There are plenty of views of Tralee Bay from the car, so pull over often! If you have time and are a history/geology buff, stop into The Burren National Park. If not, continue to the Cliffs of Moher, but be prepared for crowds of people, a lot of windy and possible rain! From here, it’s a quick drive to Ennis for your overnight. Ennis is a small town with a few fun pubs and shops.
Day 3: Another driving day, broken up. If you are interested in seeing a larger town, swing by Limerick. Stop here for lunch and to look around the town before heading onto Dingle! Finish your day on the Dingle Pennisula. Most people vote to do the Ring of Kerry instead of the Ring of Dingle, but I LOVED Dingle. There are more pubs per capita than people in the small village and most people speak Gaelic instead of English. You can read more about Dingle in my post Here.
Day 4: Drive the Ring of Dingle, which will take you a good 4-5 hours. Afterwards, find a good pub to have a drink. Every pub normally has an Irish band playing. If you want some fantastic food, you must go to Out of the Blue.
Day 5: Another driving day. Our initial plan was to drive to Kinsale this day, but exhaustion hit and instead we decided to drive as close to Dublin as possible. You should have time to drive through Killarney, which is on the Ring of Kerry. Stop to see Killarney National Park, Ross Castle and the Muckross House. Also, if you are interested in kissing the Blarney Stone, it’s in Cork, which is on the way to Cashel. End the day at Cashel, which has the historic Rock of Cashel gothic cathedral, tower and castle.
Day 6: From Cashel, it’s a quick 2 hour drive to Dublin. Drop the car at the rental office and head into Dublin to enjoy your day! Spend the day exploring the city, including seeing Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Haypenny Bridge, Grafton Street (don’t eat or drink here…it’s too touristy) and take a tour at either the Guinness Brewery or Jameson distillery.
Day 7: Either take the day to finish exploring the city, or hop on your flight home!
Have you been to Ireland? Are you ready to go now?
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Because Adventure Travel Feeds the Soul,
Amy K and the #Hashtag59 Crew