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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 7. Portmagee to Dingle

Day 7 is one that I’ve been looking forward to for the entire trip.

It takes us through a corner of Ireland that I fell in love with many years ago, and that I revisit as often as physically possible.

Get some breakfast into you and prepare your mind for the beauty that awaits.

1. One of my favourite places in Ireland

geokaun mountains kerry

Image © The Irish Road Trip

Portmagee to Valentia Island – 2-minute drive (leave Portmagee at 9, arrive to Valentia for 9:02.. handy or what).

Ah, Valentia Island – easily one of my favourite places in Ireland. Connected to the little town of Portmagee by the Maurice O’Neill Memorial Bridge, Valentia Island is one of Ireland’s most westerly points.

Our first stop-off is the car park near Bray Head.

For those of you that fancy an early morning walk, you can do the Bray Head Walk if you like, but for this trip we’re going to just admire the view below, out towards the Skellig Islands.

From here, make your way up to the Geokaun Mountain and Cliffs (€5 entry fee), and start the steep ascent (it’s insanely steep – keep the car in first gear the entire way up) towards one of the best views in Ireland.

I’ve done a reasonable amount of travelling outside of Ireland, and there are very few places that I’ve been to that offer a view as spectacular as the Geokaun Mountain and Cliffs.

2. the Rossbeigh Hill Loop Walk

Rossbeigh hill walks

Photo by Monicami/Shutterstock.com

Valentia Island to Rossbeigh Beach (aim for the car park) – 50-minute drive (leave Valentia at 10:20, arrive at the beach for 11:10).

We’ve a bit of walking up next. Aim the car in the direction of Rossbeigh Beach Car Park – the starting point for the Rossbeigh Hill Loop Walk.

This walk will take you between 3 and 4 hours depending on your fitness levels, and it offers a magnificent view out over the surrounding countryside.

The view of Rossbeigh Beach that you’ll be treated to is worth the trip alone.

3. Lunch by the sea

inch beach county kerry

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

Rossbeigh Beach to Inch Beach – 49-minute drive (leave beach 1 around 14:30, arrive at beach 2 for 15:20).

We’re going to stop off at Inch Beach for a spot of lunch and a strong cup of coffee. At this stage, you’ve packed in a lot already.

Take some time to kick back and relax while gazing out at the waves. If you’re not too fatigued, spend a bit of time walking along the shore – you usually get a good crowd of surfers here tackling the waves.

4. Checking out a dolphin in Dingle

fungie the dolphin kerry

Photo via Failte Ireland

Inch Beach to Dingle – 26-minute drive (leave Inch at 16:20, arrive in Dingle for 16:50). Our last activity of the day will see us hop on a little boat (it’s a 1-hour trip and boats leave regularly)

If you’ve never heard of him (or her…) Fungie is a wild Bottlenose Dolphin that lives in the waters around Dingle.

He has been in the area for around 32 years and according to experts, he has a lifespan of between 40 and 50 years.

The boats leave Dingle Pier at regular intervals during the day, all year round (weather permitting). This is a nice unique experience to round your day off in style.

5. Dingle for the night

dingle kerry sunset

Photo © The Irish Road Trip

The Fungie tour takes around an hour, so your feet should be safely back on dry land for 18:00.

We’re staying in Pax Guest House (mainly for the amazing views) this evening, so get checked in and chill for a while.

I recently ate in John Benny’s Pub and I’m going to recommend it for this evenings meal. Once you’ve been fed, head to Dick Mac’s Pub for a few and then on to Foxy John’s.

Two of my favourite pubs in the country. Enjoy the food, the drink and the craic (check out our guide to the best pubs in Dingle for more idea on where to go).

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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!

Julie

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!

Jan

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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