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A Perfect 7 Days In Ireland Itinerary (With Map)

A Perfect 7 Days In Ireland Itinerary (With Map)

My Irish Road Trip Library has 56 different itineraries for spending 1 week in Ireland (you can pick a start point, transport type, etc.).

However, out of all of my 7 day Ireland itineraries, the route below is by far the most popular (and it’s one I’ve followed several times).

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Day 1: Arrive/start in Dublin
  • Day 2: West Cork
  • Day 3: Ring of Kerry
  • Day 4: Dingle Peninsula
  • Day 5: Clare
  • Day 6: Galway City
  • Day 7: Connemara or home

A tried-and-tested 7 day Ireland itinerary

Take 20 seconds to scan the map above, first, as it’ll get you up-to-speed on the lay-of-the-land, fast!

Then take 10 seconds to scan the points below, which explain the ins-and-outs of this 1 week in Ireland itinerary.

1. Start point

This 7 day Ireland itinerary starts in Dublin City. If you’re starting your trip elsewhere, I have 7 day trips starting in Shannon, Belfast, Cork, Wexford, Mayo and Donegal!

2. Getting around Ireland

You’ll need to either have your own car or be renting a car in Ireland for this itinerary.

If you don’t have a car, I have 7 day public transport road trips starting in Dublin, Shannon, Belfast, Cork, Wexford, Mayo and Donegal.

3. This is a ‘fast-trip’

This is what I call a ‘Fast-trip’. It packs as much into your 1 week in Ireland as is reasonably possible.

If you want to explore at a slower pace over 7 days, I have ‘Slow-trips’ starting in Dublin, Shannon, Belfast, Cork, Wexford, Mayo and Donegal.


Day 1: Dublin

Dublin City

Photos via Shutterstock

The first day of this 7 day Ireland itinerary depends on your arrival time into Dublin.

Ideally, you’ll arrive early and have the day to explore the most popular things to do in Dublin.

I’ll give you a full itinerary for day 1 and you can change it if you need to. Some important points: 

Your car rental

If you’re renting a car in Ireland for this trip, the most convenient place to get it from is Dublin Airport. While you won’t need it on your initial day in the city, collecting it at the airport will save you the hassle of picking it up later on.

Where to stay in Dublin night 1

Getting around + cash savers

  • Time savers: If you want to cover a lot of ground quickly, the Hop On Hop Off Bus goes to or near all of the main sites on this itinerary
  • Money saver: If you’re visiting the ‘main’ Dublin attractions, the Dublin Pass can save you €€€

Stop 1: Trinity College

Trinity College

Photos via Shutterstock

The first stop of this 1 week in Ireland itinerary is Trinity College. This is Ireland’s oldest university, having been incorporated in 1592.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the college grounds is the blend of Neoclassical and modern architecture. Keep an eye out for the Campanile, pictured on the left above.

This is a bell tower that was completed in 1853. When you’re ready, head to the starting point for the Book of Kells tour.

The Book of Kells is an illustrated manuscript dating to c. 800 AD!

This tour also gives you access to the Long Room – a beautiful library that holds 200,000 of Trinity’s oldest books.

Time-saving tip: I’d recommend booking a fast-track ticket for the Book of Kells. There’s a large queue here at peak times. This ticket also gets you into Dublin Castle!


Stop 2: The Ha’penny Bridge (via Temple Bar)

Ha’penny Bridge

Photos via Shutterstock

Our next stop is the Ha’penny Bridge. Take the 7-minute walk from Trinity via Temple Bar.

Now, personally, I don’t really see the reason for you to spend any time in Temple Bar. It is, for the most part, a tourist trap.

If, later on, you do want to spend time in the pubs in Temple Bar, avoid the gaudy spots and head into the victorian Palace Bar.

The Ha’penny Bridge is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It was built in 1816 and it was the first pedestrian bridge to span the River Liffey!


Stop 3: Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Next up in our 1 week Ireland itinerary is Dublin Castle – a handy 10-minute saunter from the Ha’penny Bridge!

Dublin Castle boasts a rich history dating back to the 13th century when it served as the English headquarters in Dublin for over 7 centuries.

You can explore the grounds for free, but you’ll need a ticket to get inside (if you get this ticket it’ll give you access to the Book of Kells, too!)

Stop 4: Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Photos via Shutterstock

Christ Church Cathedral is a 4-minute stroll from Dublin Castle, and it never fails to impress (grab a ticket online here).

Its origins date back to the early 11th century when it was established under the reign of Sigtrygg Silkbeard, a Norse King of Dublin.

The stone reconstruction of the building occurred in the late 12th century, primarily due to the efforts of the first Anglo-Norman archbishop, John Cumin.

Admire it from the outside and then take a look around its stunning interior.


Stop 5: Lunch in Dublin’s oldest pub

Brazen Head

Photos via the Brazen Head on Facebook

The first of the many pubs I’ll be taking you to during this 7 day Ireland itinerary is the Brazen Head, a 7-minute walk from our last stop.

While there are plenty very old pubs in Dublin, the Brazen Head holds the crown as the city’s oldest, dating back to 1198.

They serve traditional Irish pub grub, from Guinness beef stew and hearty soups, all in an old-school setting.

Are you in the middle of planning a 7 day Ireland road trip? My guides to deciding the best time to visit Ireland and planning a trip to Ireland should come in handy!

Stop 6: St. Michan’s

Michan’s Dublin

Photos with thanks to Jennifer Boyer

If you’re looking for what to do in Ireland for a week that tourists tend to miss, make your way to St. Michan’s on Church Street, a 5-minute walk from the Brazen Head.  

St. Michan’s dates back to 1686 and, despite its size, boasts an abundance of history.

The tour here takes you through the 12th-century crypts (home to mummies!), into ancient vaults and to see the magnificent organ (one of the oldest still in use in Ireland).


Stop 7: The Jameson Distillery or the Guinness Storehouse

Jameson Distillery

Courtesy Jameson Distillery Bow St, Dublin

The last stop on day 1 of your 7 days in Ireland provides you with a tough choice – the Jameson Distillery or the Guinness Storehouse.

The Jameson Distillery (book tickets in advance here) is a 5-minute walk from St. Michan’s while the Guinness Storehouse is a 20-minute walk  (book tickets in advance here).

I’ve been to both and, to be honest, they’re fairly even in terms of the experience they deliver.

The best way of deciding is to go with which drink you think you’re more likely to enjoy!


Stop 8: Dublin City for the evening

Pubs in Dublin

Different trad bars in Dublin. © Tourism Ireland

It’s time to round off the first 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 2: Castles and Kinsale


Photos via Shutterstock

The second day of our 7 day Ireland road trip takes you away from Dublin and down into County Cork.

You’ll visit Tipperary’s Rock of Cashel, first, before stopping off at Blarney Castle and then heading into Kinsale.

You’re going to spend night 2 in Kinsale – a colourful little seaside town.

Where to stay in Kinsale on night 2

Stop 1: The Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Photos via Shutterstock

The first stop on day 2 of your 7 days in Ireland is just under a 2-hour drive from Dublin.

The Rock of Cashel looms over the town from its position on top of a limestone outcrop. The site was originally the seat of the kings of Munster, but in 1101, it was granted to the church.

After this, the Rock of Cashel quickly became one of the most important ecclesiastical centres in Ireland.

The tour: There’s a 1-hour guided tour here that’ll immerse you in its history (I’d strongly recommend you book tickets in advance during peak season)


Stop 2: Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Next up is one of the more famous attractions in Ireland, and you’ll find it a 1-hour and 15-minute drive from Cashel.

Although the current Blarney Castle was built around 1446, there were many earlier castles on this site.

For most tourists, the biggest draw here is the mighty Blarney Stone, which gives all that kiss it the ‘gift of the gab’.

However, the castle is also home to magnificent gardens, the Witch’s Kitchen and a Druid Circle.

Time needed: You’ll need between 1.5 and 2 hours here, depending on how long you linger


Stop 3: Lunch in Kinsale

The next stop in our 1 week in Ireland itinerary is Kinsale – a 50-minute drive from Blarney. Check into your accommodation when you arrive.

I’m going to give you a walk-food-fort combination in the form of the Scilly Walk.

Walk towards the Bullman (30-minute walk from the town) and enjoy wonderful views of Kinsale Town and its harbour along the way.

The Bullman’s a great spot for a feed (and a pint…), especially during summer if you can nab a seat outside!


Stop 4: Charles Fort

Charles Fort

Photos via Shutterstock

Leave the Bullman and walk 5 minutes to Charles Fort – Ireland’s largest military installation.

The huge star-shaped building dates back to the late 17th century and over the years, has seen some fearsome battles.

The fort survived a 13-day siege during the Williamite wars in 1690 and a battle during the Civil War in the 1920s.

Make sure to head to the ramparts for the stunning view over Kinsale Harbour. There are guided and self-guided tours and you’ll likely spend 1-hour here.

Does this itinerary not suit? Remember, we have 56 different itineraries for spending 7 days in Ireland here!


Stop 5: An evening in Kinsale

Man Friday

Photos via Man Friday on Instagram

From Charles Fort, you’re a 35-minute walk back into town (the views of the town will be in front of you – enjoy!).

Now, you’ll be passing very close to The Spaniard Inn on the way back. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Kinsale and it’s well worth nipping into!

  • Great food: You’ve plenty of restaurants in Kinsale to choose from – my 2 go-tos are Man Friday and The Black Pig
  • Great pubs: Kitty Ó Sé’s (live music) and The White House 

Day 3: West Cork

Beara Peninsula

Photos via Shutterstock

The third night of this 7 day Ireland road trip involves the most time spent driving out of any day.

However, there’s a lot of ground to cover and it’ll be worth it (is this trip too fast for you? I have prepared slower 7 day trips for you here).

You’re going to leave Kinsale and head for Mizen Head before working your way to Killarney via the Ring of Beara.

Where to stay in Killarney on night 3 and 4

Stop 1: Mizen Head

Mizen Head

Photos via Shutterstock

Stop 1 on the third night of this 1 week in Ireland itinerary is Mizen Head and it’s around a 2 hour drive from Kinsale.

Before you reach Mizen, you’ll see the beautiful Barleycove Beach, one of Cork’s finest.

Flick off your shoes and socks and head for a stroll. When you’re ready, drive up to Mizen – one of the most popular places to visit in West Cork for good reason!

Take a stroll through the visitor centre, first, where you’ll find the Maritime Museum and learn about Mizen’s history.

You’ll then follow a coastal path towards the bridge. You can cross the bridge and soak up glorious cliff and coast views.


Stop 2: Glengarriff


Photos via Shutterstock

Our next stop is the town of Glengarriff, a 1-hour drive away. Park up and head to the Sugarloaf Cafe and grab a bit of breakfast/lunch.

When you’re ready, walk 3 minutes to the Blue Pool – a natural harbour that’s hidden away behind trees and bushes.

You could also visit Garnish Island from the town. The ferry takes around 15 minutes and you’ll need 1 hour on the island.

Want to see some other 1 week in Ireland itineraries? We have 56 different itineraries for spending 7 days in Ireland here!


Stop 3: The Healy Pass

Healy Pass

Photos via Shutterstock

From Glengarriff, drive 18 minutes to Adrigole, where you can take the Healy Pass – arguably one of the most unique roads in Ireland.

This bendy road was built in 1847 as part of a Famine relief scheme.

It’s a steep drive to the top, but you’ll find several places to pull in (like this one). Continue to the top of the hill and pull in here.

There’s a hill to the right. If you carefully climb it (takes 5 minutes), you’ll be treated to a might view over Glanmire Lake.


Stop 4: The coastal drive to Allihies


Photos via Shutterstock

When you finish up at the Healy Pass, you need to double up on yourself a bit, as we’re going to follow the Ring of Beara route along the coast.

Now, anyone that’s spent time on Beara will tell you that this corner of Ireland’s X Factor is the scenery and almost oil-painting-like landscapes that you seem to encounter around every bend.

The drive from the Healy Pass to Allihies will take 50 minutes without stops, so factor in at least 1.5 hours.

One of the best views on this 7 day Ireland road trip can be had from this pull-in area before driving down into the village.


Stop 5: Glenbeg Lough

Glenbeg Lough

Photos via Shutterstock

It’s time to head for Killarney. En route (around 30 minutes from Allihies), stop at Glenbeg Lough.

This is a bit of a hidden gem. You’ll find a serene lake hidden away amongst towering mountains.

There’s a small car park and viewing point here, so you can just rock up and take in the scenery.

Stop 6: Killarney

The Laurels

Photos via The Laurels on FB

You’re a 1-hour and 20-minute drive from Killarney where you’ll spend the next 2 nights, you’ll be happy to hear!

While there are plenty of things to do in Killarney, it’s time to chill! Here’s some food and pub recommendations:

Day 4: The Ring of Kerry

how to get to Torc Waterfall

Photos via Shutterstock

The Ring of Kerry Drive will be the highlight for many that follow this 7 days in Ireland itinerary.

I have a tried-and-tested itinerary for you to follow that takes in the best of the Ring along with a very rewarding detour.

Remember, you’re staying in the town again tonight (see our Killarney hotels guide), so you don’t need to worry about packing!

An overview of the route

I have a tried-and-tested (I’ve done it many times) 1-day Ring of Kerry itinerary that you can follow.

I won’t go through all of the stops in detail, as I do that here, but I’ll give you an overview.

It takes in the best of Killarney National Park, first, before moving out and along the N70 road.

  • Stop 1: Ross Castle: It has sat at the edge of Lough Leane for over 500 years
  • Stop 2: Muckross Abbey: Beautiful old ruins that date back to 1448
  • Stop 3: Torc Waterfall: A 66 ft high and 360 ft long waterfall that’s 5 minutes from the car park
  • Stop 4: Ladies View: One of the most impressive viewpoints in this 7 day Ireland itinerary
  • Stop 5: Moll’s Gap: A bendy pass that offers spectacular views of the Macgillycuddy’s
  • Stop 6: Kenmare: A lovely little town that’s a lot quieter than Killarney
  • Stop 7: Staigue Stone Fort: An ancient fort built between 300 and 400 AD
  • Stop 8: Caherdaniel for lunch: You’ll get a good feed in the Blind Piper
  • Stop 9: Derrynane Beach: One of the finest beaches in Ireland
  • Stop 10: Coomakista viewpoint: A famous viewpoint with views out to Deenish and Scariff island
  • Stop 11: Coomanaspig: One of the highest places in Ireland reachable by car
  • Stop 12: Kerry Cliffs: 1,000 foot-high cliffs that’ll blow you away
  • Stop 13: Valentia Island: Drive up to the Geokaun viewpoint for one of Ireland’s best views
  • Stop 14: Dinner in Portmagee: Grab a bite-to-eat in the Moorings
  • Stop 15: Head back to Killarney for the night

Day 5: The Dingle Peninsula

Best Things to do in Dingle Ireland

The fifth of your 7 days in Ireland will see you leave Killarney and head to the Dingle Peninsula.

You’ll do the Slea Head Drive before continuing on to the charming town of Adare in Limerick where you’ll spend the night.

Where to stay in Adare on night 5

Stop 1: Inch Beach

Inch Beach

Photos via Shutterstock

Stop 1 on day 5 of this 7 day Ireland road trip is a 40-minute drive from Killarney.

Inch Beach, while on the Dingle Peninsula, is its own little peninsula and it measures 5.5km.

You can park up, grab a coffee from Sammy’s restaurant and head for a saunter.

This is a popular surf spot and it’s hard to beat sipping away while watching the surfers tame the Wild Atlantic Waves.


Stop 2: Conor Pass

Conor Pass

Photos via Shutterstock

Take the 30-minute drive from Inch up to Conor Pass which, at 410m above sea level, is one of Ireland’s highest mountain passes!

Please read this part carefully! If you want to drive it, you should approach it from the longer route here, as you’ll avoid having to double back on yourself.

If you’re driving in Ireland for the first time and feeling nervous, approach it from the Dingle Town side.

You can pull in in a car park next to it and admire the valley views!

Does this itinerary not tick all of your boxes? Don’t worry – we have 56 different itineraries for spending 7 days in Ireland here!


Stop 3: Dingle Town

Dingle Town

Photos via Shutterstock

Dingle Town is a 10-minute drive from Conor Pass. Park up (here’s the car park) and explore the town on foot.

Stroll along the harbour, check out the statue of Fungie the Dolphin and wander through the colourful streets.

If you fancy some a great coffee and a pastry, head to Bean in Dingle. For breakfast, My Boy Blue is hard to bate.

If you’re in need to a hearty lunch, one of the best restaurants in Dingle is the Fish Box!


Stop 4: The Slea Head Drive


The Slea Head Drive takes in many of the best things to do in Dingle over the course of a 38km/24 mile route.

I go into the route in detail in this guide, but I’ll give you an overview of each stop below:

  1. Ventry Beach (12-minutes from Dingle): 4.5km Blue Flag Beach that’s perfect for a ramble
  2. Ceann Sleibhe and the White Cross (15-minute drive from Ventry): 2 mighty viewpoints
  3. Radharc na mBlascaoidí viewpoint (2-minutes from the Cross): Outstanding views of Dunmore Head
  4. Coumeenoole Beach (4 minutes from last stop): Magnificent beach with very strong rip tides
  5. Dun Chaoin Pier (5-minute drive): The departure point for the Blasket Island Ferry
  6. Ceann Sraithe (5-minute drive): The famous Star Wars filming location
  7. Clogher Strand (5-minute drive): One of Kerry’s finest beaches

Stop 5: Adare for the evening


Photos via Shutterstock

When you finish up the Slea Head drive, you’re just under a 2-hour drive from the gorgeous village of Adare, where you’ll spend the night.

When you arrive, check in and head for a saunter around the town.

As you ramble, you’ll stumble upon a handful of traditional thatch cottages. Here are some food and pub recommendations:

  • Adare restaurants: You won’t go wrong in 1826 Adare or the Blue Door Restaurant
  • Pubs: Sean Collins & Sons and Aunty Lena’s never fail to disappoint 

Day 6: Clare and on to Galway

Doolin Village

Photos courtesy of Chaosheng Zhang

Hopefully, now that we’re nearly 90% of the way through this itinerary, you’ll have a good sense of what to do in Ireland for a week.

However, we’re not done yet! Day 6 takes you from Adare into Clare, taking in the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren before finishing in Galway.

A lot of people spending 1 week in Ireland only have 6 days, as they spend the last day travelling back to airports etc. If you do have the 7th day to explore, spend night 6 and 7 in Galway!

Where to stay in Galway on night 6 and 7

Stop 1: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Bunratty Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park sits on 26 acres of lovely countryside a 25-minute drive from Adare.

Visiting the Folk Park feels like stepping back in time as the 19th-century buildings and streets have been recreated to resemble what they would have originally looked like.

The park has over 30 buildings, including village shops, rural farmhouses, and Bunratty House, a beautiful Georgian home.

You can also take a tour of 15th-century Bunratty Castle, the last of four castles built on the site.


Stop 2: The Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Photos via Shutterstock

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

The cliffs are a 1-hour drive from Bunratty and they stand at 214m (702 feet) above the water below.

There’s a large car park (they charge…) and then it’s around a 5-minute walk into the main viewing area.

On a clear day, you’ll see out as far as the Aran Islands.


Stop 3: Lunch in Doolin

Doolin Village

Photos courtesy of Chaosheng Zhang

Doolin is a handy 10-minute drive from the cliffs and it’s here that you’ll fuel up for the afternoon ahead.

There are several new restaurants in Doolin that have opened in recent years, mainly due to the towns increased popularity.

However, in my opinion, it’s the pubs in Doolin that dish up the best food.

My two go-tos are the cosy Gus O’Connor’s (on Fisher St.) and the lesser-known McDermott’s (the soup here tends to be very good!).


Stop 4: Aillwee Cave

Aillwee Cave

Photos via Aillwee Caves on FB

Your next stop, the Aillwee Cave, is a 30-minute drive from Doolin.

This is a very impressive underground system that boasts caverns, rock formations, and even the bones of an ancient bear!

The Aillwee Cave tour lasts 45 minutes, passing by an underground waterfall and over bridged ravines.


Stop 5: Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle

Photos via Shutterstock

Dunguaire Castle is a 30-minute drive from the caves and it’s worth a pit-stop. It 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.

Dunguaire is one of the more impressive castles in Ireland, mainly thanks to its position on the shores of Galway Bay!


Stop 6: Galway City


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 7: Connemara/it depends on your schedule

cong village

Photos via Shutterstock

Now, if you’re not due to go home on the last of your 7 days in Ireland, I’ll give you a 1-day itinerary for Connemara and Cong.

If you are going home you’ll need to use the final day of your 1 week in Ireland heading back to the airport!

For those staying on, there’s a far bit to see today, so grab breakfast either in your accommodation or from Galway’s Jungle Cafe.

Stop 1: The drive from Galway City to Clifden

clifden town

Photos via Shutterstock

It’s around a 1-hour and 20-minute drive from the city to Clifden through Galway’s Connemara region.

Enjoy mountain views as you head for the village of Oughterard and on to the famous Maam Cross.

When you arrive into Clifden, park up, grab a coffee from the Upstairs Downstairs Cafe and head for a saunter around the town.


Stop 2: The Sky Road

The Sky Road will likely be 1 of the highlights from your 7 days in Ireland!

This is a scenic spin that’s minutes from Clifden. The entire loop is 16km and it follows an elevated route around Galway’s Kingston Peninsula.

Before you reach the beginning of the loop you’ll pass Clifden Castle. It takes 20-or-so minutes to walk to the ruins.

You want to make sure you take the Upper Road for this drive as it’ll treat you to better views.


Stop 3: Lunch in Letterfrack

Veldons Letterfrack

Photos via Veldons on FB

When you reach to the end of the Sky Road, instead of turning right onto the N59 back towards Clifden, turn left towards Letterfrack.

It’s a 15-minute drive and, when you arrive, it’s time to fuel up for the afternoon ahead.

Veldons Seafarer Bar & Restaurant, with its lovely, old-world-style interior and top-notch food rarely disappoints.


Stop 4: Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey

Photos via Shutterstock

From Letterfrack, you’re a handy 5-minute drive to Kylemore Abbey, arguably one of the most popular places to visit in Galway.

Kylemore Abbey is a stunning Benedictine monastery that dates back to the 1920s. It’s very picturesque, sitting on the shores of Pollacapall Lough.

The lower floors of the abbey have been restored and are open to the public, as well as the beautiful Victorian Walled Garden.

The estate includes a Neo-Gothic church and several woodland and lake-side walks.

This is likely to be another of the highlights on your 7 day Ireland road trip.


Stop 5: Killary Harbour and Leenane

Killary Fjord

Photos via Shutterstock

The next stop is this viewpoint on Google Maps (it’s a 15-minute drive away).

From here you’ll be treated to glorious views of Killary – Ireland’s only fjord.

If you look hard enough, you should be able to spot the potato mounds across the fjord, which date back to the Famine.

On your way to Cong, you’ll pass through the tiny village of Leenane. If you fancy, stop at the Sheep and Wool Centre to watch a demonstration.


Stop 6: Loch Na Fooey Lookout

Loch Na Fooey Lookout

Photos via Google Maps

There’s a scenic-and-often-missed drive to Cong from Leenane. Just head for ‘Loch Na Fooey Lookout’ (here on Maps).

Follow the R336, then make a left turn onto the L1301 (around 8 minutes into driving).

This route will take you along the shores of Loch Na Fooey and Lough Mask, with some mighty views along the way.

Make sure to stop at the Loch Na Fooey Lookout (around 6 minutes from the turn) to take in the lake and the surrounding Maumturk and Patry mountains. 


Stop 7: Cong

cong village

Photos via Shutterstock

It’ll take you between 40 minutes and 1 hour to get to Cong.

This is one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland and it’s arguably one of the most famous as it’s home to many of the Quiet Man filming locations in Ireland.

There’s plenty to do in the village, from Quiet Man tours, grabbing a drink in Pat Cohan’s Gastro Pub (a must for Quiet Man fans), or checking out the 13th-century abbey ruins.

The towns park is home to the ruins of a monk’s fishing hut (see above) along with some beautiful forest trails.


Stop 8: Back to Galway City

Galway Pubs

Photos courtesy Failte Ireland

When you leave Cong, you’re around a 50-minute drive back to Galway where you’ll spend the night.

If you fancy a feed, Ard Bia, The Quay Street Kitchen and Dela are all worth a shout.

As mentioned earlier, there are some great pubs in Galway, with Tigh Neachtain, the Crane Bar and Tigh Chóilí the pick of the bunch.

And that’s it! You’ve seen a fair whack of Ireland in a week. Remember, I’ve many different 7 day Ireland road trip itineraries here if this one doesn’t suit!


Wrapping up what to do in Ireland for a week

You’ll hopefully have a better sense of what to do in Ireland for a week after reading the guide above.

Remember, I have 56 different 7 days in Ireland itineraries in my Road Trip Library. You can pick:

  • Your starting point
  • Your mode of transport
  • Your fitness level
  • How fast you like to travel

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Daisy Biggers

Monday 25th of October 2021

Hello and thanks for all the fabulous information. I just arrived in Dublin so I’m interested in the itinerary that’s 2 days in Dublin, then 2 days in Wicklow. I’m wondering, will we need a car while in Dublin? Thanks so much!

Keith O'Hara

Monday 25th of October 2021

Hey Daisy. We've actually just published an itinerary for

2 days in Dublin

. There's an itinerary for if you're exploring on foot and another for if you have a car. If you're visiting for the first time, I'd avoid the rental car and explore the city on foot. It's very walkable!


Monday 13th of April 2020

Hello! We are doing a 2 month Europe Trip. Quickest way to see the most in 7 days (if we could see more by flying within Ireland, that would be an option as well.) We are nature lovers and are not big on castle, pubs and caves (love caves just get claustrophobic). We are older so long strenuous hikes are not an option. From the searching I have done The cliffs, waterfalls, and quint villages are interesting to us. We like to stretch are funds but are not against paying for something we really enjoy.


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Love your blog - outstanding - we are trying to do an Ireland - London trip With our 2 teens and 77 year old nana. Planning 6-7 days Ireland and 3 in London. Should we just fly into Dublin and do day trips ? We don’t want to be moving every 2 days . Any suggestions would be appreciated


Thursday 9th of January 2020

Hi there, I'm arriving to Dublin on the evening of the 9th April 2020 and leave on the evening of the 18th April. During this time I want to spend a day in Dublin (we have some friends there) and two nights in Belfast (we have family there). In between I would love to see Cork, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Doolin/Cliffs of Mohar, Galway (before making our way to Belfast). I do know this is a lot, but what I want to know is, is this feasible/realistic in the time we have!!!? And if not, what should I cut...? Or anything I should add...! Many thanks! Emma


Friday 10th of January 2020

Hi Emma,

That is a lot... the issue with your itinerary is that you want to get to Belfast (in the north) and then Cork and Kerry, both of which are at the opposite end of the island. And you also want to get out to the west of Ireland to visit Galway.

You're going to have to cut some of these places out. Otherwise, you'll spend all of your time in the car. Here's what I'd do:

Day 1: Dublin Day 2 and 3: Cork Day 4 and 5: Kerry (make Kenmare your base) Day 6: Clare (Doolin, Cliffs of Moher, etc.) Day 7 and 8: Belfast (use the half-day to drive back to Dublin)

By cutting out Galway you can spend 2 nights in most places and not overstretch yourself. If you wanted to, you could only do a day in Cork and then spend a day in Galway.

I hope this helps.


Sheree Haynes

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Keith: My husband and I are planning at trip in May 2020 to Ireland for our 25th wedding anniversary. We are planning on 1 week. We want to visit Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Kilkenny, and possibly Galway. Is that possible? We want to stay in a castle 1 night along the way. Any suggestions/guidance?


Saturday 4th of January 2020

Hi Sheree,

If you're looking to take it slow and spend a couple of nights in places, I'd look to cut one of the destinations from the itinerary. If you're happy to move about, you should be fine.

If you're looking for a very unique experience, you can rent an entire castle in Kilkenny to yourself. Check it out here.

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