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Around Ireland In 18 Days: A Coastal Road Trip Of A Lifetime (Full Itinerary)

Around Ireland In 18 Days: A Coastal Road Trip Of A Lifetime (Full Itinerary)

Day 18. Finishing the trip off in style in Louth

It’s crazy to think that today is the last day of the trip. I’ll be honest, I’m absolutely banjaxed from writing this guide.

I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s taken nearly 80 hours of research, writing and editing over the past month. Set the alarm for 9:30 and get out of the hotel for 10.

1. Grab some brekkie in St. Georges Market (arrive at 10:00)

st george's market belfast

Photo by Brian Morrison via Tourism Ireland

No day of successful exploration has ever been fulfilled on an empty stomach. Doubly so when there’s a hangover present. Enter St. Georges Market.

There’s been a Friday market here since 1604 and every week over 240+ traders take to the markets stalls and flog everything from shark meat to fresh fruit.

The second you step foot inside the market you’ll feel your stomach give an approving rumble as the smells of fresh food hailing from every corner of the earth wafts over you from every direction.

Have a ramble around and grab something that makes your mouth water.

2. A Hike up Slieve Foye in Carlingford (arrive for 12:15)

Slieve foy views

Photo by Marija Dolo/

The drive from Belfast to our first stop on day 18 should take around 1 hour and 15-minutes.

When you’re ready, it’s time to hike up Slieve Foye. This is a hike that’ll take around 3 hours depending on fitness levels.

I’d recommend a pair of hiking boots or runners with really good grip – we weren’t prepared when we climbed Slieve Foye and ended up on our arses many times as we made our way back down it.

Park near the village and take a right turn when you come to Ma Baker’s Pub. From there, we quite literally walked straight the whole way to the top.

Now, I’m not recommending that you do what we did, as we definitely made our own trail to the top. The folks at Discover Ireland have a thorough guide on the various walks that you can do.

3. A Post-Hike Feed

where to eat carlingford

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

You should get back to the village for roughly 15:40. Dust yourself off and take the short stroll to Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms

I had breakfast in Ruby Ellen’s Tea Rooms recently and it was ammmmmmmazing, so I’m sure lunch is just as good (going off the reviews it definitely is!) Grab a bite to eat and rest the legs.

4. Coffee, a ramble by the Marina and Pints… oh, and Chips!

walking in carlingford

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Grab a nice strong coffee to go after you finish eating and walk down and towards the marina. You’ve been through a lot over the past 18 days. Savour the moment.

When you’ve done all the savouring that you can muster, head back to the village and into PJ O Hare’s pub.

The evening is yours to chill, nurse a couple of well-earned drinks and soak up some atmosphere.

When you’ve finished up for the evening, head to the takeaway around the corner from Ma Baker’s pub – don’t settle for the chip van.

When you’ve a fully belly, head in the direction of your bed for the night. I’d recommend staying at the Oystercatcher Lodge as it’s nice and central and reasonably priced.

And that’s a wrap

18 long and unforgettable days of travelling around Ireland’s coastline have come to an end.

If you’ve gotten this far, I owe you a virtual pint. Let me know if you found this useful in the comments below.

If you’d like to see shorter, slower road trips, drop into our road trip guide hub and have a look around.

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Jan Garvey

Thursday 25th of April 2024

We did your tour last year, we thought you being Irish and living in Ireland you would have more knowledge of Ireland than us. We followed your Itinerary to the letter only choosing different accommodation from time to time. This tour was the best ! I would recommend it every day of the week. The views, the walks, the people, I will remember this adventure forever, I'm so glad I found your page. Thank you for your hard work it is very much appreciated, and for anyone out there, do It ! trust the Itinerary you won't be disappointed its amazing.

John Duke

Monday 4th of April 2022

Morning Keith O Hara I have been looking at your 18 days tour of Ireland I am arriving on the 14th April at Rosslare can I start my tour on day 2 I am driving a small camper van can you tell me about camp sites on my around please and do I have to book or just turn up my name is John Duke

Keith O'Hara

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Hey John! You'll find campsites in most counties along that trip. The best way to do it is to just give it a Google and then suss out a spot with good reviews (I've never stayed in a campsite in Ireland, so I wouldn't like to lead you astray). In terms of booking. I'd recommend doing so if you're visiting during the busier months of the year, like summer. I hope this helps!


Tuesday 11th of January 2022

This was a great trip to read through. I understand how tired you are after writing so much - my husband and I are coming to Ireland from the U.S. in May 2022 for 3 weeks, and I've been planning everything myself for many months. Lots of great suggestions for places to visit, things we shouldn't miss, etc. Also, many of the things you suggested are already part of our plans, so it made me feel like I had done a good job! Thanks for all of the great help - we can't wait for the trip to begin!


Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Really digging this blog!! I have the travel blog so bad and Ireland is next on the list - your recommendations are speaking to me! Thanks for taking the time to create all the wonderful road trips / ideas.

Akshay Bansal

Tuesday 14th of January 2020

Hi Keith,

I am considering travelling to Ireland this summer via road-trip and AirBnBs. While researching, I found your blog and found it very helpful and resourceful.

I am travelling from New Delhi (India) with my extended family (infants, toddlers, siblings, wife, parents etc.). Assuming this might be our only trip to Ireland together as a family, I am interested in covering Ireland comprehensively within a limitation of 11-13 days.

Is it possible to shorten the suggested 18-day itinerary to the above duration by bypassing some of the locations or sites. I understand this would mean we missing a few locations, but need your help.

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