Making your way around Ireland by car is a wonderful way to experience the Emerald Isle. With its size and attractions, you can see much within a small distance and timeframe.
A six- to seven-day itinerary is a popular choice as it delivers plenty of highlights for all, and allows you to experience Ireland’s best attractions and locations comfortably within a week.
Start by heading west from Dublin to the city of Galway. This cultural capital has a well-deserved reputation as the place in Ireland for music, song and dancing traditions. Make sure to wander the cobblestone laneways past brightly coloured houses, and settle into a nook in a lively pub to enjoy great folk tunes.
Travel on to Killarney via the majestic Cliffs of Moher Geopark, one of Ireland’s top attractions and a designated UNESCO-listed landscape. These towering cliffs feature as a backdrop to a number of films, including The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince. However, seeing them on screen won’t quite prepare you for the dramatic, jaw-dropping reality of the 214-metre drop to the crashing sea below.
In Killarney, head to one of Ireland’s most impressive manor houses, Muckross House. Meander through the garden and farm before a relaxing meal at the onsite Garden Restaurant.
From Killarney, travel the spectacular Ring of Kerry. With its breathtaking mountain and coastal vistas combined with vibrant towns and villages, this spectacular part of Ireland is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
More craic-ing Ireland inspiration:
Dublin's free attractions
Stay awhile in Galway to tick off these five must-do experiences
Follow the tourist route southwest to Killarney National Park, the oldest national park in Ireland before heading southeast to the medieval city of Kilkenny. This small city is full of historic buildings, including the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, which received a Gothic remodelling in Victorian times.
A short drive from Kilkenny is Blarney Castle, where you can walk the ramparts, rooms and gardens, and end at the highlight: the Blarney Stone. This stone is also known as the ‘Stone of Eloquence’, and it’s said that if you kiss it, you will be blessed with the gift of the gab. Why not give it a peck and test out your storytelling?
From Kilkenny, it’s back to Ireland’s capital, Dublin. Ranked as the third-best city to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 list, Dublin’s ranking is well deserved. Visit its well-known attractions, like Trinity College and the Book of Kells, and enjoy the vibrant culture – Dublin blends traditional charm with a vibrant and cosmopolitan urban scene.
Seven days navigating just a small pocket of the land of rolling green hills and rugged coastlines will reveal many discoveries, yet its whimsy and mysterious landscape will leave you wanting more.
Travel Expert Pick
“Top o’ the morning to ya!” says Flight Centre Travel Expert Leah from Flight Centre Wollongong.
“If you like city breaks then Dublin is calling your name! From pints of Guinness in Temple Bar to having a craic at the National Leprechaun Museum, there’s something for everyone in this magical city.
“Set yourself up for some serious sightseeing while you’re there too. There’s more to Dublin than drinking, believe it or not!
“A 24- or 48-hour pass for the Hop-On, Hop-Off sightseeing bus is a must to take you around this fascinating city. You can relax and enjoy the loop, complete with onboard commentary, or hop on and off as you please at popular stops such as the Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park and Dublin Zoo (pack a picnic – this park is magical), Parnell Square and the famous Molly Malone tribute.
“At night, you can’t go past a traditional Irish stew while watching gorgeous Irish dancers jigging away to a very catchy tune during a festive ceili. (Be prepared – you’ll have this in your head for the next three hours!)
“If you’re after a different experience, why not head out on a ghost tour? Dublin is a very historic city with a full and vast history – be prepared for anything.
Get in touch with Leah:
Phone: 1300 564 820
In store: Flight Centre Wollongong