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7 Days In Ireland From Dublin (‘Slow-Trip’ For Those With A Car + Good Fitness)

7 Days In Ireland From Dublin (‘Slow-Trip’ For Those With A Car + Good Fitness)

Planning a 7-day Ireland itinerary can be a pain in the backside… So, I’ve done all of the hard work for you!

I’ve spent 25+ years travelling around Ireland and the itinerary below leans on that experience and the many mistakes I made along the way!

In a nutshell, this 7-day itinerary:

  • Has been meticulously planned
  • Has an hour-by-hour itinerary for each day to save you time/hassle
  • Follows logical routes that take you to hidden gems, tourist favourites and great pubs and restaurants

Table of Contents

Who this itinerary will suit

an overview of this trip

Now, before you scroll down, take 10 seconds to look at the graphic above – each of our road trip itineraries have been tailored to specific needs.

This road trip is specifically for those of you:

  • Start point: In/near Dublin
  • Mode of transport: You’ll need a car (if you’re renting a car, read this Irish car rental guide – it’ll save you time and hassle)
  • Travel speed: This itinerary moves at a relaxed-pace
  • Fitness levels needed: Good – it includes long walks
  • Need a different itinerary? I have many variations of this trip length here

An overview of this 7-day Ireland itinerary

an overview of the route

Click here for a high res map

The map above gives you a very high-level overview of where this route will take you.

It uses several bases (e.g. Dublin for 4 nights) and provides you with day-long road trips you can head off on, so you avoid having to change accommodation constantly.

Now, I’ll stop rambling on – here’s a day-by-day insight into each of the days below!

 

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin

Dublin City

Photos via Shutterstock

Day 1 of this 7-day Ireland itinerary is going to be very dependent on the time that you arrive into Dublin.

If you need to rent a car, I’d recommend collecting one at Dublin Airport. While you won’t need it for the first day in the city, it’ll save you having to go and collect one at a later time.

For this itinerary, we’re going to make an assumption that you’ve landed in the morning and are ready to explore from mid-afternoon.

Recommended accommodation in Dublin

Getting around Dublin + money savers

  • Time savers: If you want to avoid walking where possible, it’s worth getting a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off Bus around Dublin. It goes to or near all of the main sites on this itinerary plus plenty more.
  • Money saver: If you’re visiting the ‘main’ Dublin attractions, the Dublin Pass can save you €€€ (here’s how)

Stop 1: Lunch

Neary's Pub

Photos © Tourism Ireland

There are plenty of great restaurants in Dublin that serve up a delicious lunch, but if you fancy a tasty bite in a lovely old-world-style pub, Neary’s just off of Grafton Street is hard to bate!

They serve simple dishes (like soups and sandwiches) that are packed with flavour and great value for money.

Alternatively, Sprout and Co. on Dawson St. is also a great choice.

They have a range of hearty salad bowls, with good options for vegetarians and vegans.

 

Stop 2: Trinity College

Trinity College

Photos via Shutterstock

Now you’re all fuelled up, it’s time to head to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, arguably the most famous cultural attraction in Dublin.

If you can, we highly recommend pre-booking your tickets online, as the queues can get really long (bordering on ridiculous!).

This fast-track ticket allows you to dodge the queue and gets you into Dublin Castle, too! 

Spend around one hour seeing the Book of Kells, walking around the exhibit, and taking in the beauty of the Old Library.

After that, give yourself another 20 minutes or so to walk around the university campus.

 

Stop 3: The Ha’penny Bridge (via Temple Bar)

Ha’penny Bridge

Photos via Shutterstock

The Ha’penny Bridge (officially named the Liffey Bridge) dates back to 1816 and was the first pedestrian bridge over the River Liffey!

It’s a seven-minute walk from the Trinity Gates, but feel free to take your time as you make your way through the lively streets of Temple Bar

Now, Temple Bar can be a bit of a tourist trap. If you fancy a pint, here are several pubs in Temple Bar worth trying (the Palace is our go-to).

If you feel like an afternoon coffee, there are some great cafes in the Temple Bar area or on the other side of the river. Joe’s Coffee and Vice Coffee are two of our favourites across the water.

They’re both just a short stroll from the north side of the Ha’penny Bridge. 

 

Stop 4: Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Next on the itinerary is Dublin Castle. Nestled in the city centre, the castle dates back to the 13th century and was the seat of the English for over 700 years.

Today, it’s an important government complex and the site of Presidential Inaugurations and key State events. The castle is around 10 minutes from the Ha’penny Bridge on foot.

There’s no admission fee to explore the grounds, but if you want to have a look inside you’ll need to purchase tickets for either a self-guided tour or a guided tour.

Guided tours include access to the State Apartments, Exhibitions, Chapel Royal, and the Mediaeval Undercroft. Self-guided tours include access to the State Apartments and Exhibitions only. 

Tickets for guided tours can be purchased on the day of your visit at the ticket booth.

 

Stop 5: Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

Christ Church Cathedral dates back to the early 11th century when it was founded under Sigtrygg Silkbeard, a Norse King of Dublin.

It was rebuilt later in stone, largely thanks to the first Anglo-Norman archbishop, John Cumin, in the late 12th century. 

The cathedral is only a 4-minute walk from Dublin Castle and a really interesting place to visit. Some highlights are the restored crypt houses, Strongbow’s tomb, and the Treasures of Christ Church exhibition. 

You can grab a ticket online here –  these include an audio guide that comes in several languages, with three themes to choose from – ‘Power and Politics’, ‘Music and Spirituality’, and ‘Christ Church and the City’.

Self-guided tours with an audio guide usually last around one hour. 

 

Stop 6: Dinner, drinks and live music

Pubs in Dublin

Different trad bars in Dublin. © Tourism Ireland

By now you must be getting hungry. Dublin has heaps of options for dinner, but we’ve got a couple of suggestions for you!

Our dinner recommendations

If you’re looking for something close by, Spitalfields is a stone’s throw from the Teeling’s Distillery. It’s a little bit pricey, but the atmosphere is great and the food is top-notch!

However, Spitalfields is 16+ only, so it’s not suitable for young families. Otherwise, check out The Bull and Castle across the street from Christ Church Cathedral.

Live music and trad bars

Although I’ve a detailed Dublin pubs guide, my go-tos are Bowes, Kehoes and Neary’s.

There are plenty of live music pubs in Dublin, too, like the Celt, the Old Storehouse and Darkey Kelly’s!

 

Day 2: More Dublin City sites

 Jameson Distillery

Courtesy Jameson Distillery Bow St, Dublin

It’s day 2 of our 7 days in Ireland itinerary, and there’s a full day of Dublin sightseeing ahead of you.

Now, although we’ve focused on the city for day two of this itinerary, you could easily change this day and explore the coast of Dublin.

For example, you could take a spin out to Howth Village, tackle the Howth Cliff Walk, grab lunch in the village and then take the train over to Malahide Castle.

Or, you can take it easy and stick to the city, like we do in the itinerary below.

 

Stop 1: Breakfast 

breakfast

Photos via Shutterstock

You may want to save money and eat breakfast at your hotel (if it’s included), but if not, we’ve got a couple of suggestions!

The Eatery on Church St. is a great choice for breakfast and it’s right across from St. Michan’s (your next stop). They do a great full Irish breakfast, or for something a little lighter, grab a pastry. 

We also love Urbanity (a 4-minute walk away) for their delicious loaded porridge and orange, mango, and banana smoothie bowl. 

Stop 2: St. Michan’s

Michan’s Dublin

Photos with thanks to Jennifer Boyer

St. Michan’s on Church Street is a great way to kick-start the day. If you don’t fancy walking, take the Luas as far as Smithfield, which is a stone’s throw from St. Michan’s.

St. Michan’s is an incredibly interesting church that dates back to 1686, although there used to be a Christian chapel on the same spot, which was established as early as 1095. 

Despite its modest size, St. Michan’s is packed full of history. In our opinion, the best way to learn about it is on their guided tour, which gives you loads of interesting info. 

During the tour, you’ll get the chance to go into the 12th-century crypts and see real-life mummies that have been preserved for over 500 years; head into the vaults which were frequented by famous author Bram Stoker; and the magnificent organ, which is one of the oldest still in use in Ireland. 

 

Stop 3: The Jameson Distillery

Jameson Distillery

Courtesy Jameson Distillery Bow St, Dublin

The Jameson Distillery on Bow St. is only a 5-minute walk from St. Michan’s and you can book tickets in advance right here.

The distillery was founded by John Jameson in 1780 and was the original site where the world-famous Jameson whiskey was distilled. 

At its height in the late 1800s, many called the distillery a “city within a city” as it was 5 acres, housing engineers, painters, carpenters, coppersmiths, and more.

There were two deep wells under the site to supply the distillery with water, and cellars were dug under streets nearby to store the whiskey. The distillery experienced highs and lows, eventually closing in 1971. 

Today, Jamesons is produced in County Cork, but the Jameson’s Distillery Bow St. offers award-winning tours and experiences.

There are several to choose from lasting between 45 and 90 minutes, but for first-timers, we recommend the 45-minute Bow St. Experience.

 

Stop 4: Lunch 

Brazen Head

Photos via the Brazen Head on Facebook

There are some very old pubs in Dublin, but one reigns supreme! When you finish up at the distillery, you’re a short 7-minute walk to the Brazen Head.

The pub is the oldest in Dublin and one of the oldest in Ireland, dating back to 1198. They serve traditional Irish pub grub and their Guinness beef stew is divine. 

You’ve had a busy morning so kick back here, make your belly happy and set yourself up for the next stop of the day.

 

Stop 5: Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse

Photos © Diageo via Ireland’s Content Pool

Walk off your hearty pub lunch by taking the short 14-minute stroll to the Guinness Storehouse. It’s at St. James’s Gate, the home of Guinness, and there are several tours available. 

We recommend the Guinness Storehouse Experience, a self-guided tour that takes roughly 90 minutes.

You’ll learn about Guinness’ history, its ingredients, and get to enjoy a pint of Guinness and one other Guinness beer (for ages 18+) whilst taking in the views of the Gravity Bar. 

 

Stop 6: Dinner, drinks and live music

Pubs in Dublin

Different trad bars in Dublin. © Tourism Ireland

It’s time to round off the second day of this 1 week in Ireland itinerary.

If you’re still struggling to pick a place/area to stay in the city, see my guide on where to stay in Dublin!

Here are some recommendations for the evening:

  • Food: There are some excellent restaurants in Dublin. SOLE and Gallaghers Boxty House are 2 I recommend over and over
  • Live music: There are plenty of live music pubs in Dublin. Darkey Kellys, the Old Storehouse and the Celt rarely disappoint
  • Historic pubs: From our guide to the best bars in Dublin – Kehoe’s and Neary’s are firm favourites

Day 3: Wicklow’s Wonders

Sally Gap Drive

Photos via Shutterstock

On day 3 of your 7 days in Ireland itinerary, it’s time to put that rental car to use and head out of Dublin. Today, you’ll be exploring Wicklow, also known as the Garden of Ireland. 

There are a few walks on the agenda today, so make sure to bring appropriate clothing and footwear, lots of water and snacks, and a raincoat (just in case!). 

Get yourself some breakfast either where you’re staying or at a cafe nearby.

Then, double-check there’s a good amount of fuel in the car before heading to beautiful Wicklow via Sally Gap. 

 

Stop 1: The Sally Gap Drive (multiple stops)

Lough Tay

Photos via Shutterstock

The glorious Sally Gap Drive can’t be missed and you’re best off doing it either before you head to Glendalough, if you’re up early, or after, on your way home.

The reason for this is that you’re best off getting to Glendalough as early as you can, as it tends to get very busy at times.

When you do get to do the drive, aim for Lough Tay, first. Also known as Guinness Lake, Lough Tay is the jewel in Sally Gap’s crown!

From here, follow the winding road down, over the PS I Love You bridge and around until you reach a car park (on your right). 

From here, very carefully walk around and get an eyeful of Glenmacnass Waterfall before heading on to Glendalough.

If you’re feeling up for a walk, we’ve got two for you to choose from. There’s the Djouce Mountain Walk and the Ballinastoe Woods Walk, both of which range from 2 to 2.5 hours in length.

 

Stop 2: Glendalough Visitor Centre and Monastic City

Glendalough Round Tower

Photos via Shutterstock

Park up at the Glendalough Visitor Centre (the Lower Car Park – €4) and plan to spend between one and 30 – 45 minutes exploring the centre and the ‘Monastic City’ (your next stop). 

The visitor centre is right next to the Monastic City, one of the most important monastic sites in the country. The city was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and went on to become one of Europe’s most famous religious sites!

At the centre, there’s a wonderful exhibition on the history of Glendalough and St. Kevin. There’s also an interesting 15-minute long audio and visual presentation about early Irish Saints and monasteries. 

Now you’ve learned about the site, it’s time to take a 2-minute stroll to the Monastic City next door. Whilst the remains of the city are scattered all across the glen, many of the main ruins and features are within walking distance of the visitor centre. 

These include the Glendalough Round Tower, one of the city’s most well-known landmarks. It stands 33 metres high and dates back almost 1000 years! Other attractions nearby include St. Kevin’s Church and the Glendalough Cathedral ruins. 

 

Stop 3: The Spinc Walk

Glendalough walks

Photos via Shutterstock

The Spinc Walk is one of the finest trails in Glendalough. The Spinc Loop takes you on a 9.5 km ramble with some steep inclines and tricky paths.

There’s some steep climbing and over 600 steps near the start, but after that, it’s a little more relaxed, though there are some tricky downhill sections later.

It’s a moderate to strenuous walk, with a total ascent of 380 metres. Having said that, if you’re in reasonable shape, you should be okay and most people complete the walk in just over 3 hours.

 

Stop 4: Late lunch at the Wicklow Heather

Wicklow Heather

Photo left: The Irish Road Trip. Others: Via Wicklow Heather

We absolutely love stopping by the Wicklow Heather for lunch whenever we’re in Glendalough.

The restaurant is in the heart of idyllic Laragh, with a historical interior and some lovely outdoor seating areas.

It’s only a 6-minute drive from the Upper Lake Car Park.

The menu has traditional Irish dishes, like comforting seafood chowder or hearty cottage pies, with an option for vegetarians and vegans.

 

Stop 5: Back to Dublin for the night

Pubs in Dublin

Different trad bars in Dublin. © Tourism Ireland

After a long (and hopefully enjoyable!) day of exploring, it’s time to say goodbye to Wicklow and head back to Dublin. 

If you’re already feeling a little hungry, break up the journey by stopping at Johnnie Foxes for dinner. It’s a lively traditional pub serving up hearty Irish food and great pints. 

They run a daily ‘Hooley Show’ with Irish dancing and music. You can buy tickets (which include a four-course dinner) on their website.

Johnnie Foxes is 15 minutes from Powerscourt House and another 40 minutes to Dublin, depending on traffic. Or, if you head straight back to Dublin!

Here are some recommendations for the evening:

  • Food: There are some excellent restaurants in Dublin. SOLE and Gallaghers Boxty House are 2 I recommend over and over
  • Live music: There are plenty of live music pubs in Dublin. Darkey Kellys, the Old Storehouse and the Celt rarely disappoint
  • Historic pubs: From our guide to the best bars in Dublin – Kehoe’s and Neary’s are firm favourites
 

Day 4: Mighty Meath and Louth

Trim Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

On day 4 of the 7 days in Ireland itinerary, you’ll be heading out to County Meath, known for its archaeological sites.

Today, we recommend getting breakfast either at your accommodation or a nearby cafe.

There won’t be places to grab a bite near your first stop, so it’s best to eat before you leave Dublin. 

Stop 1: Newgrange

Newgrange

Photos via Shutterstock

Newgrange is a fascinating prehistoric monument and the main attraction in the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site. The neolithic passage tomb was built around 3200 BC, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge!

From Dublin City Centre, it’s around a 45-minute drive (depending on traffic). We recommend setting out as early as possible to avoid traffic. 

You can book your Newgrange Tour + Exhibition tickets here, pre-booking is essential. Please note, that you cannot go to the monuments directly.

You must start at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre. The Newgrange Tour is roughly one hour long. 

 

Stop 2: Monasterboice

Monasterboice

Photos via Shutterstock

Monasterboice is a 25-minute drive from Newgrange. The ruins date back to the late 5th century and were founded by Saint Buithe.

The Christian settlement was an important centre of religion and learning in the area up until 1142 when the Mellifont Abbey was founded. 

Highlights of the settlement are the 28-metre round tower, two church ruins, and the magnificent 10th-century high crosses – the Muiredach’s Cross and the West Cross (the tallest in Ireland).

We recommend spending around 30 minutes here. 

 

Stop 3: Hill of Slane

Hill of Slane

Photos via Shutterstock

The Hill of Slane is an incredibly important site, and a possible location for where St. Patrick lit the Paschal Candle, which represented Christianity coming to Ireland.

The site is home to 16th-century Franciscan Monastery ruins, built on top of an older monastery founded by St. Erc, one of St. Patrick’s followers. 

It’s a 15-minute drive from Monasterboice, and we’d recommend spending between 30 minutes to an hour here depending on how much you want to explore. 

 

Stop 4: Lunch in Trim and Trim Castle

Trim Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Trim Castle is Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman fortification. It’s very impressive with an imposing presence and it’s a handy 35-minute drive from the last stop.

The Castle dates back to the 12th century and took Hugh de Lacy and his successors 30 years to complete. 

It’s free to visit the castle grounds, but a guided tour of the keep costs €5 (adult), €4 (senior), €3 (student/child), and €13 (family).

The tour is well worth it, especially for any Braveheart fans, as parts of the movie were filmed there!

The castle is open daily between 10am and 5pm. We’d recommend at least 30 minutes to one hour here. It’s a 30-minute drive from the Hill of Slane. 

For lunch, check out StockHouse Restaurant or Rosemary Bistro. 

 

Stop 5: Bective Abbey

Bective Abbey

Photos via Shutterstock

The next stop is Bective Abbey, a 10-minute drive away. It was founded in 1147 for the Cistercian Order and became a significant monastic settlement.

The ruins you can see today mostly date back to the 13th and 15th centuries, with a chapter house, a church, and a cloister. 

The ruins have been used several times in Hollywood movies. Most recently, in The Last Duel, which came out in 2020.

The abbey is free to visit with a designated car park. Give yourself around 30 minutes here. 

 

Stop 6: Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara

Photos via Shutterstock

The last stop of the day is the Hill of Tara. It’s a 12-minute drive from Bective Abbey and we’d say 30-45 minutes is a good amount of time to spend here. 

The Hill of Tara has been in use since the late Stone Age, but it’s known best as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, with all old Irish roads leading to the site!

The site is shrouded in myth, and the story of Conn of the Hundred Battles tells the tale of how the High Kings of Ireland came to be. 

It’s free to visit, with a free 25-minute Audio Visual Show at the visitor centre (in the church), and free guided tours scheduled every day. The centre is open between 10am and 5pm year-round, but the site is open 24/7. 

 

Stop 7: Back to Dublin for the night

Pubs in Dublin

Different trad bars in Dublin. © Tourism Ireland

From the Hill of Tara, it’s a 50-minute drive back to Dublin City Centre (depending on traffic).

Here are some recommendations for the evening:

  • Food: There are some excellent restaurants in Dublin. SOLE and Gallaghers Boxty House are 2 I recommend over and over
  • Live music: There are plenty of live music pubs in Dublin. Darkey Kellys, the Old Storehouse and the Celt rarely disappoint
  • Historic pubs: From our guide to the best bars in Dublin – Kehoe’s and Neary’s are firm favourites
 

Day 5: The Drive to Galway (Via Athlone)

Galway City

Photos by Stephen Power via Ireland’s Content Pool

On day 5 of our 7 days in Ireland itinerary, it’s time to say goodbye to Dublin and head over to beautiful Galway.

The drive usually takes around two and a half hours, but you’ll be stopping in historic Athlone to break up the journey and do some sightseeing. 

We’ve got a few recommendations on where to stay in Galway. They’re all in the heart of the city, with different options to suit your budget!

Recommended accommodation in Galway

Stop 1: Athlone Castle 

Athlone Castle

Top right photo: Ros Kavanagh via Failte Ireland. Others: Shutterstock

Athlone Castle is in the centre of Athlone on the banks of the River Shannon.

There are two public car parks around the castle, as well as plenty of street parking if these get full (see parking here and here on Google Maps).

The stone castle is in great condition and dates back to the 13th century.

It was in a key strategic position for defending the Athlone river crossing and played an important part in the infamous Siege of Athlone.

The visitor centre is full of information about the castle’s history, with eight exhibitions.

 

Stop 2: Sean’s Bar

Sean's Bar

Photos courtesy Sonder Visuals via Ireland’s Content Pool

Sean’s Bar is right next to the castle and just a one-minute walk away.

The pub is a must-visit when in Athlone, as it’s officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest pub in Ireland (and possibly the world!). 

It dates back to 900 AD when it was opened by a man named Luain Mac Luighdeach.

Inside, it’s a treasure trove of history, plus, they serve a fantastic pint of Guinness.

 

Stop 3: Lunch

Athlone Restaurants

Photos via Beans & Leaves on FB

By now, you must be hungry, so it’s time to find somewhere for a bite to eat.

Our favourite places for lunch in Athlone are The Left Bank Bistro (modern Mediterranean and Asian) and Beans and Leaves (all-day-breakfast and Irish cuisine).

Stop 4: Galway City

Galway City

Photos by Stephen Power via Ireland’s Content Pool

From Athlone, Galway City is a one hour drive.

The city can be very heavy traffic wise if you’re arriving between 16:00 and 18:00, so keep that in mind.

Once you’ve arrived (welcome!) it’s time to check into your hotel and head out to explore this charming city on foot. 

 

Stop 5: See a good chunk of Galway on the hop-on/hop-off tour

galway cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

The Galway hop-on/hop-off bus is a handy and inexpensive (around €15 for a 48-hour ticket) way to see the city and its surrounds.

It’s especially handy for those often frequent rainy days when you want to see the city without having to deal with wet socks!

The bus starts in the city at Eyre Square and goes to the Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum, the Black Rock Diving Board in Salthill, Galway Cathedral and much more.

Stop 6: Dinner, drinks and live music

You’re a 35-minute drive from Galway City.

When you arrive, check-in (here’s where to stay in Galway) and chill for a bit.

If you fancy food and a drink, here are some recommendations:

Day 6: County Clare

Doolin Village

Photos courtesy of Chaosheng Zhang

You’re saying goodbye to Galway today and heading over to Doolin for one night.

The total drive time is less than 2 hours, depending on whether you take the coast road. But we have lots of places for you to stop on the way!

Doolin is a lovely village on Ireland’s west coast, known for its trad music. 

Doolin accommodation recommendations

Stop 1: Dunguaire Castle 

Dunguaire Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Dunguaire Castle is a 35-minute drive from Galway. The castle was built in 1520 and belonged to the O’Hynes clan. In 1912, the castle was bought by writer Oliver St. John Gogarty.

During his ownership, he restored the castle and hosted several famous writers, including W.B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. 

The enchanting castle sits on the shores of Galway Bay and has an impressive 75-foot tower. We’d recommend spending at least an hour here, walking the grounds and taking a self-guided tour.

According to legend, if you stand at the front gate and ask a question, you’ll have an answer by the end of the day!

 

Stop 2: Aillwee Cave

Aillwee Cave

Photos via Aillwee Caves on FB

Your next stop, the Aillwee Cave, is around 27 minutes from Dungaire. The Aillwee Cave is a fascinating underground system, full of caverns, rock formations, and even the bones of an ancient bear!

The site is close to the Birds of Prey Centre, a unique and educational experience involving some of the world’s top birds of prey. 

We’d recommend spending at least one hour at this stop, or even longer if you visit both attractions. The Aillwee Cave tour lasts 45 minutes, passing by an underground waterfall and over bridged ravines.

At the Burren Birds of Prey Centre, you’ll be able to see predators like owls, vultures, and hawks, and possibly watch a 45-minute flying demonstration.

 

Stop 3: Ballyvaughan for lunch

Monks Ballyvaughan

Photos via Monk’s on FB

It’s time to head to the quaint seaside village of Ballyvaughan, only 5 minutes from Aillwee Cave.

Our favourite places to eat in the village are:

  • Monks (a brilliant seafood restaurant with handpicked Galway Bay oysters)
  • The Wild Atlantic Lodge (a beautiful restaurant with delicious Irish cuisine)
  • The Larder (a cosy cafe with sandwiches, soup, and quiches).

Once you’re done, take the scenic coastal drive to Doolin along the R466. 

 

Stop 4: Doolin

Doolin Village

Photos courtesy of Chaosheng Zhang

The coastal drive from Ballyvaughan to Doolin usually takes around 40 minutes, but we would recommend giving yourself a little extra time. 

There are some amazing views of the Burren along the way and you might want to pull over! Once you arrive at Doolin, check into your hotel and rest/freshen up/etc.

Stop 5: Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Photos via Shutterstock

Your next stop, the magnificent Cliffs of Moher are one of the area’s, (if not Ireland’s) most popular attractions.

The cliffs are a 15-minute drive from Doolin, with breathtaking views of the wild Atlantic, Galway Bay, and the Aran Islands

There’s a visitor centre on-site, as well as 800 metres of paved walkways with viewing areas, and the historic O’Brien’s Tower.

In our opinion, the visitor centre isn’t really anything that special, but you’ll get access to all three with the Cliffs of Moher Experience. 

 

Stop 6: Dinner, drinks and live music in Doolin

Doolin Pubs

Photos by The Irish Road Trip

You’re going to round off the night in Doolin – a town well known for its cosy pubs and live music.

Here’s a few recommendations to keep you going:

Doolin food and pub recommendations

  • Restaurants in Doolin: Anthony’s at Doolin Inn and Russell’s Seafood Bar at Fiddle + Bow
  • Pubs in Doolin: McDermott’s (my go-to for the last few years) and Gus O’Connor’s on Fisher Street

Day 7: Back To Dublin

Dublin City

Photos via Shutterstock

It’s the last day, and time to head back to Dublin.

It’s a long-ish drive, so make sure to set out with enough time and to buy some snacks for the road.

You have to drive through two tolls so make sure to have a card that taps or cash!

The drive usually takes about 3 hours so make sure to give yourself at least that much time, especially if you are trying to catch a flight.

Have plenty of time before your flight? Check out anything in the city that you weren’t able to see on days 1 and 2.

 

Handy guides for planning your Irish Road Trip

And that’s a wrap on this road trip. Remember, you’ll find every length and type of road trip imaginable in our Irish Road Trip Hub.

If you’re in the middle of planning your visit, these guides should prove useful:

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