7 day Ireland road trip: full itinerary day by day

Day 1: Dublin to Wicklow Mountains

The first destination on this 7 day Ireland tour is the Wicklow Mountains. It is 1h10 from Dublin that you will reach this place. This unique wilderness area is the perfect place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The beauty of this dream destination will be revealed to you on a walk through the site. The Wicklow Way around Lough Tay is one of the most beautiful walks available. Located in the centre of the Wicklow National Park, this glacial lake surrounded by mountains offers stunning views and a relaxing setting. And for fans of the Vikings series, this place will probably ring a bell as it was used as a film location.

In addition, there are a number of routes through the park that offer panoramic views of the heather valleys, lakes, mountains and forests of Wicklow. The Old Military Road is one of the prettiest. You’ll walk along it through the park’s wildflower fields and small streams. The R115 and R756 are also worth a visit.

Day 2: Rock of Cashel

After a 2 hour drive you will arrive at the Rock of Cashel. Built on a hill, this medieval complex will be the must-see destination of this 1 week Ireland road trip. Standing 60 metres above the plain below, this stone structure has intrigued and enthralled visitors for centuries.

Comprising a round tower, castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral, burial ground and King Cormack’s Chapel, the complex was built between the 12th and 15th centuries and is one of the country’s landmarks. As such, it is one of the must-see places to visit in Ireland. To understand the history and legends associated with the site, you can opt for a guided tour of the Rock of Cashel.

From the complex, you will also have a superb view of the green hills of County Tipperary. And for all you photography enthusiasts, this medieval complex with its mysterious and wild aura will dazzle all your photos.

Day 3: The Cliffs of Moher

Your 7 day Ireland road trip will continue after a 2.10 hour drive to the Cliffs of Moher. They are one of the most beautiful sites in the country and are one of the must-see destinations during your stay in Ireland.

These huge cliffs plunge steeply into the sea and form an exceptional natural ensemble. With its wild landscapes and steep coastline, this place may remind you of one of the most beautiful destinations in France: Normandy. To take in the incredible views of Moher, you can walk along the paths. Among these walks, we recommend the Burren Way. However, it should be noted that the cliffs are very steep and the site can become dangerous if you stray off the road.

Moreover, for surfing enthusiasts, you can practice this sport in an atypical setting. But it is also possible to admire the Cliffs of Moher from the sea, thanks to a boat trip. Moreover, for the film lovers, you will recognize this place of shooting which was used for several films. One of the most famous of these is “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”.

Day 4: Galway

Situated at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean and the River Corrib, the charming city of Galway is the next holiday destination on your week-long Ireland tour. After a 1 hour 25 minute drive, you will reach this picturesque and colourful city. In order to discover this place, we advise you to start in the city centre. It has beautiful medieval houses and cobbled pedestrian streets.

Then, you will continue your walk to the quays of the city. You can enjoy a walk along the waterfront and see the colourful houses of Galway. Finally, you can visit the stone, green domed Cathedral of Our Lady of Galway, which gives it an austere appearance.

After dark, another aspect of the city emerges with its festive atmosphere and lively pubs. Some of these establishments offer live music by local Irish bands in the evening. This is a great opportunity to discover young artists while drinking a beer or an Irish coffee.

Day 5 and 6: Connemara National Park

Are you looking for a mythical place to visit on your 7 day Ireland road trip? Then Connemara is the place for you. Located 1h20 from Galway, come and discover the place that inspired Michel Sardou for his famous song “The Lakes of Connemara”. This national park of over 2,000 hectares will delight lovers of the great outdoors.

Along the way you’ll travel between awe-inspiring lakes, desolate moors and endless green plains. If you want to drive around the park, then there is a road to drive. This is the Connemara Loop, a route that will take you to some of the most beautiful places in the park. Alternatively, you can choose to visit the park’s lakes or the small villages that make up the park as a priority.

One of the must-see places in Connemara is Kylemore Abbey, one of the park’s most iconic landmarks. This white Gothic monument located on the edge of Pollacapall Lough will impress you with its great beauty. The abbey and its gardens, surrounded by green countryside, are reflected in the lake. The village of Leenane, with its magnificent fjord, will offer you an impressive natural spectacle.

Finally, you will finish your visit to Connemara with a superb view of the park from the top of Diamond Hill. Accessible by hiking, you will observe a breathtaking landscape. You will then have the chance to see Kylemore Abbey and its lake from above.

Day 7: McDermott’s Castle

You will finish this 7 days Ireland road trip after 2h20 driving to McDermott’s Castle. It is located in the middle of Lough Key lake on the small island of Castle Island. This beautiful medieval castle is one of the country’s must-sees.

The mesmerising landscape, like something out of Arnold Böcklin’s painting ‘The Isle of the Dead’, with its greenery and unique island monument, is one of Ireland’s historic gems. To visit it, you must take a boat trip. You will learn about the history of the castle from its construction in the 12th century until it was destroyed by fire. Today, the monument is in ruins. However, the ramparts, towers and structure of the castle are still intact.

This enchanting place also intrigues visitors for the legend linked to McDermott’s Castle. According to the legend, the daughter of the castle’s ruler fell in love with a strong and handsome young man. But, being of a lower class, the girl’s father refused to give her his hand in marriage and locked her up in the island castle. Love could not keep them apart, so the young man tried to join her, but was drowned. When you visit McDermott’s Castle you can see their graves under two intertwined trees. This legend set in the romantic surroundings of the island is a perfect destination for couples.

Finally, after a 2.10 hour drive, you will return to Dublin City to leave or stay for a few days.