The Perfect Ireland Itinerary & Road Trip

My Ireland travel guide!

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MikeNovember 8, 2017 - 2:15 pm

Hey Sher, great write-up…very comprehensive. I agree, Ireland was never really tops on my list either, but I’m so glad I had a chance to go. I love it when a place exceeds my expectations. How did you do with the driving? Did you fall in love with Tyson at Roseleauge?

SherNovember 8, 2017 - 2:19 pm

Ha I wrote about our experiencing with the driving in this post.

It ended up being fine so now I want to road trip Scotland! The main thing I found strange was how you had to pay inside at the gas station, there would also be like empty parked cars while everyone waited to pay ha!

I read your Tyson story – loved the interview with Mark! Funny enough I wrote my post about Rosleague last night.. will be publishing it in a couple weeks :) Which was your favorite of the blue book properties?

The GuestbooksNovember 13, 2017 - 8:37 am

Love this post! I’ve always wanted to do a trip to Ireland so this is so much food for thought and really comprehensive! I’m based in Dubai at the moment but definitely one for the bucket list when I’m based in the UK again. Thanks for sharing all your tips! : )

[…] the planning process, we looked at Auto Europe to get an idea of all the car rental agencies available in Ireland and […]

[…] nearly 3 weeks in Ireland driving all around the country, our road trip was complete! As an American, driving on the left in Ireland certainly took some […]

[…] We stayed at the Killarney Royal, a charming, boutique hotel conveniently located in the centre of town. The hotel has been family owned for over 3 generations and was originally a townhouse, so all the rooms are slightly different and feature antique furnishing. We loved how spacious and luxurious our room was – easily the largest hotel room we stayed in during our trip to Ireland! […]

[…] Photo courtesy of Sher from Sher She Goes […]

[…] to see more amazing stops like Connemara? Check out this great Ireland itinerary by Sher She […]

[…] This Northern Ireland self driving tour is circular and it starts and ends in Belfast. Ideally you would spend two nights in Belfast, either split (one at the start and one at the finish) or both together at the beginning. We then suggest stopping for an overnight somewhere halfway like Ballintoy or Bushmills. Finally, you would spend a night or two in Derry before returning to Belfast or going south into the Republic of Ireland. […]

[…]  Read more:  7 Stops to Include on Your Irish Road Trip […]

[…] Ireland is the best place to take a week or two and explore, if you’re interested check out this Ireland Itinerary. […]

[…] structures and ancient burial tombs. This makes it a great hotel to stay at for anyone looking to road trip Ireland and drive through the Wild Atlantic […]

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[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

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DonnaFebruary 14, 2018 - 8:31 am

Hi Sher: Love all your articles! We are budget travelers, but would like to splurge 1 night to stay in a castle or another luxury type accommodation. Do you have a suggestion for one that will accommodate 4 per room? We’re open to any location at this point as we are still working on our itinerary for 8-9 days. I looked at Gregan’s Castle and it appears we would have to get 2 rooms there which would be out of our budget even for a splurge! Thanks for all the great info!

SherFebruary 14, 2018 - 1:57 pm

Hi Donna! Thanks for the kind words. Yes – I would definitely recommend splurging a night in one of Ireland’s cool castle hotels. Have you seen my post on the list here?

Hm, I’m not sure if they have room for 4 at Gregans, perhaps you could email them to ask if one of their suites could accommodate? Gregans is a more cozy house. If you can’t get rooms there, I would still recommend making a dinner reservation. It was very good!

At Rosleague, in Connemara, the rooms are HUGE and they might be able to fit 4.

In Killarney there’s lots of options for bigger parties. We had 4 of us in a loft style room at Old Weir Lodge for incredibly affordable rates.. I think we each paid around $30/night but this was also off season. I wouldn’t say it’s luxury but definitely very comfortable.

We also stayed at the Killarney Royal in one of their corner rooms which had 2 queen size beds and I’m sure 4 would be comfortable there.

If I went back to Ireland I would love to stay at Adare Manor or Ashford. Both are pricey (depending on the season) but they seem like once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Falconry, boating, archery, golf etc. Adare opened right after my trip ended but we saw the outside renderings and it looks FAB. Ashford books out months in advance, even in the off season. They also have a cottage on the grounds which are converted into rooms, I believe those are cheaper and you still get to experience the castle + grounds.

I will say in general the Irish are very hospitable and friendly. We made a mistake one night and booked a last minute room in Dingle which only came with a twin (there were 2 of us). It was meant for a single. They were very nice at the front desk and didn’t force us to upgrade rooms. Instead, they added in an extra cot / rollaway bed.

[…] Itinerary, Tips & Advice for How to Plan the Perfect Ireland Vacation […]

SavannahMarch 30, 2018 - 3:56 pm

Hi!! This was an amazing guide!
I was wondering what your opinion on staying at one hotel in Dublin for the duration of the trip and taking multiple day trips to certain sights?! It seems to be less expensive and less stressful than trying to find a bunch of different hotels, but I also don’t want to miss anything since this is a once in a lifetime thing! Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

SherMarch 31, 2018 - 10:25 am

Hi Savannah – glad the guide was helpful! Hm, so do you mean you don’t plan to rent a car? If that’s the case then yes, a great way to see Ireland is to base yourself in Dublin and do day trips. Dublin is on the northeast of the Republic of Ireland and a lot of the famous sights are on the western coast, so it will be a bit of a longer drive. It’ll also probably be much more expensive than if you rented a car to drive around Ireland on your own and Dublin hotels tend to be much more expensive than in other cities. But, a guided tour will take care of all your transportation! so, there’s pros and cons :)

[…] 7 Stops to Include on the Perfect Ireland Itinerary – Sher She Goes […]

[…] 7 Stops to Include on the Perfect Ireland Itinerary – Sher She Goes […]

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Kasey BuchingerMarch 7, 2019 - 12:46 pm

This is the best itinerary of an Ireland trip I have read yet! Thank you so much. I traveling with children (3.5 years and 8 months) is there any of the stops that you would recommend NOT going to? Or ones that you would recommend on adding? I often wear the baby in a carrier, so needing to use a stroller is not necessary.

Thanks in advance.

SherMarch 7, 2019 - 1:48 pm

Hi Kasey,

Thanks so much for the kind words!! I am actually planning to head back to Ireland this year!

Hm… So let me preface this by saying I don’t have kids so I may not aware of all the do’s & don’ts for young children. I would suggest spending less time in Dublin, which is most popular for its bars, and seeing the countryside. I think kids would like Dingle, with the dolphin, boat tours and the Slea Head drive is very beautiful. Skip Minard Castle, it is a long drive and they are ruins, not a still standing & furnished castle like Kilkenny. The town of Kilkenny is nice too.

Kerry is probably very kid friendly. The town center is very cute, lots of shopping, great food + ice cream, Killarney park is beautiful and kids probably like the horse buggy rides. If you have time, pop over to Wexford and the Irish National Heritage Park – the park itself is a open air museum, and then they have some excellent activities you can book like falconry, archery, dressing up like Vikings, etc. I wrote some more about it here, and you can check out their Youtube channel to get a feel for it.

Hope that helps!

KApril 1, 2019 - 10:19 am

Thank you so much for this! Just a quick 1uestion re Itinerary…Does the number of days include the previous days’ plans? I.e. for the 5 day itinerary, is the idea that you’d do the itinerary for days 3 and 4 as well? (i.e. Dublin, Newgrange, Howth, Galway, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara Galway)? Thank you!

SherApril 1, 2019 - 1:11 pm

Hi! It’s flexible depending on how many days you have and whether or not you’ll be renting a car! If you have 3-4 days, I would recommend staying in Dublin and taking a day trip or two :)

TCLeeApril 19, 2019 - 6:36 pm

Thank you so much for this post. We will be first time overseas travelers with a “once in a lifetime” trip next year. It’s a 2 week trip and we are hoping to see as much as we can. You gave me some feedback initially when we were thinking of taking a Viking Cruise. We’ve changed our minds and are now looking at Ireland, England, and Germany. Do you think we could see enough of Ireland in 4 days? Dublin looks great but we aren’t as interested in the bigger ‘cities’ so we are thinking only 1 day there. After I mapped out your recommendations, it looks like we would be most interested in the Galway/Clare areas. Thinking maybe we fly into that side of the island and out of Dublin to England. Interested in how many days you think we would need to see Kylemore/Clifden/Connemara Park/Aran Island/Mohr/Bunratty Castle?

SherApril 19, 2019 - 6:53 pm

Hi! You can see a lot of Ireland in 4 days, but you’d probably need to rent a car (and be comfortable driving on the left). I don’t think Galway has its own airport, so you have to check for the closest airport + factor in driving time.

Aran Island would be a full day trip.
Connemara you could drive through or you could spend all day hiking and exploring.
Kylemore Abbey might still be under construction, in which case, just a couple hours (it’s mainly the garden as the castle was under renovation when I visited)
The Clifden drive is beautiful – it would take maybe a couple hours.
Galway would be nice to spend a day in, we just drove through and had lunch. Galway is a smaller city and known for its pubs so if you like nightlife you could spend the night.

It depends on how long you want to linger in each place, and the driving. Typically what do is I add all the destinations I want to see in Google Maps and use their driving distance as a benchmark. The roads in Ireland are very narrow, and we were unused to driving on the left, so I’d add 30-45 minutes longer to the Google Maps driving estimates.

At a quick glance, I’d estimate 5 days at minimum for the places you listed, and 6-7 if you wanted to take it leisurely? Hope that helps!

[…] As great as Dublin is, Ireland is much more than only Dublin. If you have time to include other destinations have a look at this incredible Ireland itinerary! […]

IsabelleMay 11, 2019 - 11:25 am

Hi! I live your Ireland pages, but I wish your pictures were labeled. They are all so nice! :)

Tracey JonesMay 22, 2019 - 6:21 am

I am going to visit Ireland month of June 19, and these tips are very helpful for me before landing there. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips <3

Sherry McCoshJune 4, 2019 - 12:27 pm

You failed to mention The Quiet Man in your list of films! The best movie ever made. Cong was the filming location. If you haven’t seen this movie yet it is a must see!! John Wayne at this best.

kit simmonsJune 9, 2019 - 7:53 am

Can you recommend which areas to begin and end on a 4 night country trip. Leave from Dublin on Tues AM. Spend Tue/Wed/Thur/Friday night in country. Picked these areas:

Doolin – Doolin Inn or Limestone Lodge? Cliff Walk/Caves
Clifden –
Cong – Ashord Lodge
What is best base for Connemara National Park area – want beautiful scenery

Don’t know where to go first. Dublin to Doolin, night in Doolin. Doolin to Clifden night in Clifden. Clifden to Cong 2 nights Cong then home to Dublin. Can you recommend a better itinerary. 2 Teenage boys in tow. First time in Ireland. Thanks.

Help please. Hope for somewhat relaxing trip.

SherJune 10, 2019 - 5:41 pm

Hi Kit,

For the best route, plug in all the stops you want to make in Google Maps and then order your itinerary by the most efficient driving route. That’s what we did, and I recommend trying to keep driving to no more than 2.5 hours a day if you can.

Haven’t been to Doolin!

Ashford Lodge is gorgeous, you will love it. They have lots of add on activities like salmon fishing, golfing, archery, falconry etc which kids would enjoy.

We stayed in Clifden and Delphi Mountain in Connemara. Both were great, but slightly different experiences. Clifden is closer to Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey. We stayed at Rosleague – fabulous hotel, great service but slightly older clientele. Our review post is here if you want more photos.

Delphi Mountain Lodge was our second overnight. The hotel is more of a casual hunting lodge style and they sit on 1,000 acres so pretty scenery and also add-on activities. We tried ziplining and archery, very fun. Some more photos of that on our Facebook, here.

Hope that helps!

shannon orrAugust 25, 2019 - 10:12 am

I am loving your information! I am planning a trip with my 23 year old daughter. Could you share your google map?

Shannon

SherAugust 28, 2019 - 12:31 am

Hi Shannon, Sorry I don’t have a saved Google Map for Ireland. I just plugged in the destinations I was interested in when I was planning my trip. That gives me an idea though – I’ll start creating maps with saved locations for the future!

Rob+AnnSeptember 1, 2019 - 5:08 pm

Great itinerary! We definitely need to go back to visit more of the places on your list, and ours. We were excited to see you mention Minard Castle on the Dingle Peninsula. Judging by how remote it seemed, and the complete lack of people visiting, we felt like we stumbled onto our very own stunning secret spot! Looks like the secret is out! ;)

LoriSeptember 27, 2019 - 10:56 am

The link for the best time to visit Ireland wasn’t working and my apologies if I missed it in the comments section but when is the best time to visit?

LoriSeptember 27, 2019 - 10:57 am

When is the best time to visit Ireland?

SherSeptember 29, 2019 - 1:17 am

Oh, thanks for letting me know! I will fix the link.

Generally the shoulder season (May, September) is best. Summer can get pretty crowded. We’ve visited in both April and October and had a great time! There’s always on and off rain so be sure to pack a good rain jacket and some rain boots if you have.

Renato GusmaoNovember 3, 2019 - 5:16 pm

Excellent introduction to Ireland

MaireadMarch 31, 2020 - 9:13 pm

Thank you for such a thorough post with so much information for planning my trip to Ireland. I really appreciate it. There is so much information here I will need to study it to take it all in. Many thanks.

These Guyanese Foods Will Tickle Your Tastebuds

A look at what there is to eat in Georgetown and the Amazon interior.

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Fred TateApril 22, 2019 - 4:47 pm

My granddaughter is scheduled to go to Guyana this summer with the Peace Corps for 27 months. Can you tell me what she needs to bring that is typically hard to get. Any useful information would be helpful. She does not know what part of the country she will be in until she gets there. How long does it take mail and packages to arrive from the United States? I appreciate very much your response. Thank you. Fred Tate

SherApril 22, 2019 - 9:31 pm

Hi Fred,

I have a post on what packing for Guyana here. It’s mostly suited to the rainforest interior!

Gordon TAKApril 28, 2019 - 1:41 pm

None of this sounds vaguely authentic. Must be hotel tourist fare. No mention of blue-back crabs, curried or in a spinach soup, or simply boiled. The way to eat Bora is quick fried with shrimps, garlic, onion and egg – not forgetting wiri-wiri or bird peppers. Mutton curry with dall puri, potato puri or roti. Boiled breadfruit, or fried breadfruit. Curried pumpkin with shrimps. Sour tripe with onions. I know cassava bread as large and round, best eaten slightly toasted with salted butter. I could go on.

BonitaAugust 16, 2019 - 7:47 pm

Avon skin so soft for the mosquitoes.

JudithJanuary 19, 2020 - 9:27 am

No mention of Shanta’s?? The best Roti, Dahl PUri, an de Curry in Georgetown!!

Also, Guyanese Beef Patties, différent from and possibly better than the ubiquitous Jamaican Patty

JudithJanuary 19, 2020 - 9:31 am

My comment echoes that of Gordon!

AeroGarden Harvest Review: From Setup to Herbs in 1 Month (2020)

My latest obsession: indoor gardening. Here’s a review of my Aerogarden Harvest, which uses hydroponics to grow fresh, non GMO plants!

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SandiApril 28, 2020 - 4:27 pm

Hi! I found your post very informative. I sent up my Aerogarden today. Since you said the basil grows the fastest, how high did they get when you pruned them? I hope I get plants like yours! 😁

SherApril 28, 2020 - 5:03 pm

Hi Sandi! I’m sure you will, the Aerogarden device makes is so nice and easy haha.

I wish I had kept better track, but I don’t remember what day # I did the first pruning. The first cut is the most important, because it can set the stage for a bushy plant. I did a better job pruning the Thai basil than the Genovese.

Look out for when the basil has three sets of leaves – that’s when you prune. You want to cut right above the third “set” of leaves.

I hope that helps – eventually I’d like to grow more plants and will film some better videos :)

SandiApril 29, 2020 - 9:36 am

Thanks!

Eventually I would like to grow some lettuce and those cherry tomatoes. I was looking at the bell peppers but those can only grow in the tall units.

So far everything seems to be running fine. The light goes and and off with the timer and I hear the little water pump occasionally too. Hopefully in a week or so I will see some sprouting. :)

How to Plan the Perfect Paris to Normandy Trip (+ Itinerary)

With the 75th anniversary of D-Day coming up, there’s no better time to visit Normandy and Omaha beach. Here’s how to get from Paris to Normandy.

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[…] For more travel tips about visiting the landing beaches, check out our travel guide covering transportation from Paris to Normandy here. […]

[…]  Read more:  20 of the Best Things to Do in Normandy! […]

[…] your best bet (if exploring on your own) is to rent a car. Or, you can take day trips from Paris via train. We also really enjoyed taking a river cruise on the Seine, which cuts through Normandy to the […]

[…] when we heard about a river cruise along the Seine River, from Paris to Normandy, we figured it would be the perfect stress free trip to a destination that we […]

ELIZABETH M BESOZZINovember 24, 2019 - 11:48 am

Hello – your site is very informative. I have a question about the train from Paris to Bayeux — your site says that this train is about 2 hours, but when I check the SNCF website it shows 6 – 7 hours. We plan to visit in early June but I think train schedules are posted only 3 months ahead so I checked a Feb date. Will there be more/quicker trains in June ?
Many thanks
Liz

SherNovember 26, 2019 - 9:41 pm

Hi Elizabeth, Yes there should be much more frequent, faster options in the summer.

SadaliaFebruary 1, 2020 - 3:43 pm

Bonjour! Planning a trip the end of April. We are meeting a tour in London but we have 2 days ahead of the tour to visit Normandy. I would like to leave Bayeux and go to London without going back to Paris. How would you suggest we travel ?

AlmaFebruary 17, 2020 - 9:10 pm

Hi Sher: Thanks for your great travel tips. I will be visiting Normandy in October 2020 and cannot figure how to reach Bayeux by train from CDG airport on our day of arrival. Alternatively we may consider renting a car, biut prefer not to drive as first option. Thanks.Alma

How to Spend 3 Perfect Days in Panama City & Casco Viejo

Here’s to an epic weekend getaway in Panama

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[…]  Read more:  How to Spend 3 Perfect Days in Panama […]

[…] had just a taste of what Panama is all about on a 3 day trip. Here’s a quick guide to visiting Panama with suggestions for things to do, where to eat and some […]

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GearoidNovember 2, 2017 - 5:52 am

Panama City sounds like it has a lot of attractions. In particular, the Biodiversity Museum sounds fascinating. However, for me, the San Blas Islands look like they are worth far more than a day trip!

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[…] Also read: How to Spend 3 Days in Panama City & Casco Viejo […]

Postcard From... Bocas del Toro, PanamaDecember 12, 2017 - 2:59 pm

[…] more: If you’re planning a trip to Panama yourself check out this fab Panama itinerary for loads of great […]

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JayOctober 13, 2018 - 1:09 am

Hi. Your photos are awesome. Do you mind sharing how did you get this tone for your photos? Is it through photoshop/ some app?

SherOctober 13, 2018 - 10:46 am

Hi Jay – thanks! I use lightroom to edit my photos. I don’t use really any presets, for the most part I make light basic adjustments!

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