If you’re here, you’re already probably interested in renting a car and making your way around the lovely island of Ireland. AND YOU’RE RIGHT! I’m so glad I listened to all the bloggers out there who recommended just renting a car and driving, because you get to see SO much of the country that way. It was seriously great. So here is the 10-day Ireland road trip itinerary we followed, and then I’ll break down each location and my actual feelings/recommendations.
The Short Version of my 10-Day Ireland Road Trip Itinerary
- 2 days in Dublin
- 1 night in Derry (driving from Dublin to stop by some of the key stops in Northern Ireland)
- 2 days in Galway
- 2 days in Dingle
- 1 night in Cork
- 1 night back in Dublin
- Leave on the 10th day
The Long Version
People told me to cut down time on Dublin (originally we had like 4 or 5 days in the schedule) and we’re glad we did. Though I thoroughly enjoyed Dublin, the rest of the country was so much more authentically Ireland and adorable.
KEEP IT, BUT; only for 2 days max
Derry (or Londonderry depending on who you ask) is in Northern Ireland. We used this cute city as a stopover because we left Dublin super early in order to stop at Giant’s Causeway, Dark Hedges, Carrick-a-Rede Bridge, and Dunluce Castle. We left Dublin around 7am and got to Derry around 6pm. We crammed a lot into this day but it didn’t really feel like too much. However, when we got to Derry, we got ready for dinner and headed out around 8pm. EVERYTHING was closed for food. I’m not kidding. There was one restaurant open in the whole town – a Chinese restaurant – which we ate at.
SKIP IT: find another town in Northern Ireland to stay the night in. It was cute but not worth it. Feel free to strike it from your Ireland road trip itinerary. We would probably have just stayed in Belfast if we were to plan it again.
I think I will have an unpopular opinion here, but Galway was a little overrated to me. Now, nightlife was great and I had a blast at the pubs, but overall it’s very much a shopping town and though it was cute, it wasn’t my favorite.
KEEP IT, BUT; maybe spend one of the days in the Aran Islands instead
This was without a doubt my favorite town we visited. I loved Dingle. It’s this adorable little fishing village that also somehow is a destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties; but this still doesn’t ruin the authenticity of the town. It had the best food from our trip and it was absolutely adorable.
100% KEEP IT; also consider adding the Dingle Peninsula to your itinerary. We happened to be too hungover to do it ha, but if I went back I would do it!
Cork was another stopover town for us because we spent the day driving the Ring of Kerry from Dingle. There’s probably nothing wrong with Cork, but it was similar to Dublin in that it didn’t feel like the cute little Ireland we we were expecting.
SKIP IT; go to Cobh instead which I would 100% recommend! Such an adorable little town with a lot to offer. I mean look at these pictures how cute are they?!
Other things we would have done if we had the time that we weren’t able to do are:
- Aran Islands
- Skellig Michael
- Dingle Peninsula
- Slieve League Cliffs
Now, get to planning your road trip and if you have any questions or anything, holler my way. Feel free to check out my Ireland Story Highlights on Instagram and check out what you’re getting into on this road trip. And VERY IMPORTANT… enjoy the food. It’s delicious and I’ve got restaurant recommendations for each stop along the way.