Take yourself through the scenery of Ireland on your own power with this self-driving and hiking itinerary. Your path will take you through buzzing cities rich with history, like Dublin and Galway, along with the natural wonders of the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry, with plenty of opportunities to get out to stretch your legs and see the country from the trails along the way.
SELF DRIVE TOUR
The perfect way for the independent explorer to experience the highlights and sights of the South & West Coasts.
9 nights stay, 10 days
“Perfect way for us to explore & experience Ireland!”
– Hendrik, The Netherlands
Do you want to experience Ireland with the comfort of self driving while also stretching your legs and exploring the hiking trails this beautiful country has to offer.
Book our 10 day Self Drive South Ireland 10 day adventure and we will supply you with a car, 9 nights’ accommodation, breakfast every morning, route maps, guidance, access to our free offline app and much more.
On this trip, you will get to experience the ancient streets, bars and restaurants of Dublin; the food, drink and music scene in Cork; the heritage village of Killarney and its incredible surroundings and the famous Ring of Kerry. You’ll also get the chance to tick the Cliffs of Moher off your bucket list and top it all off by finishing up in lively Galway, place packed to the brim with character, craic and pure Irish culture.
Click the days below to reveal more information.
Welcome to Ireland! Your trip starts in the capital city of Dublin. Once you’re settled in, set out to explore this historic city and its abundance of museums, memorials, cathedrals, and cafes, each offering a slice of insight into what makes Dublin special.
Opt for a guided walking tour or simply wander the city on your own to warm up your walking muscles. Either way, don’t forget a stop at the Guinness factory, located in the heart of the legendary St. James’s Gate Brewery in the city.
Get on the road to start your drive today, heading to the lovely village of Laragh. Then leave your vehicle behind and follow the forest trails of the Wicklow Way to Glendalough. Once buzzing with activity 1,500 years ago, this monastic village has slowed down considerably, making it a tranquil place from which to explore historic ruins and the surrounding landscape. There are multiple hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties to choose from within the valley. Enjoy a challenging hike to the viewpoint overlooking the beautiful valley lakes, or opt for a gentle stroll along the lakeshore to take in the flora and fauna in the valley
Today you will travel south towards the coastal port town of Kinsale with a stop at the Rock of Cashel along the way. More than just a geological feature, this spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone was once home of the high kings of Ireland. Once in Kinsale we recommend take a short drive to the old head of Kinsale which has a gentle 6km (3.7 miles) loop walk that takes in a circular route around the head. On this stretch of coastal bliss, it feels like you’ve left the world behind. It’s just you and the ocean!
Overnight: Kinsale, County Cork
After breakfast you will begin your drive along the scenic Wild Atlantic Way a straight of road that covers the coastline from the southwest of Ireland all the way to the North West. You will want to keep your camera-ready today as there will be plenty of photo opportunities of the coastline and ocean.
You hike for the day will be along on one of four peninsulas you will be visit over the next few days. The Sheep’s head Lighthouse loop walk is an exhilarating 4.2 km walk out to the very tip of the Sheep’s Head peninsula where you’ll get to take in stunning views over West Cork’s bays and peninsulas.
You will then continue on your journey until you reach the village of Glengarriif your overnight stay for the night
Today you will undertake another glorious drive along the Beara way with more breath-taking scenery to soak up. You will also can visit some Islands with Bere and Dursey island being off the coast of the peninsula.
If you wanted to remain on the mainland then your hiking option for the day will be at the famous 2500-year-old Uragh stone Circle following a quiet country road to the breath-taking Gleninchaquinn Park. This working sheepfarm is home to one of Irelands most beautiful Waterfalls and a stunning location to explore on foot. Your walk takes you through fields dotted with sheep and up to the top of the waterfall with sweeping views across the valley and its glistening lakes out to Kenmare Bay.
Upon completion of your hike you will make your way to the town of Kenmare the Gateway to the Ring of Kerry
Considered one of the most beautiful destinations to explore in Ireland, today sees you discovering the real beauty of the world-famous Ring of Kerry. Take in sweeping views of the wild, rugged coastline, golden beaches, glistening lakes, picturesque villages, and spectacular mountain ranges.
A nice walk along the Ring of Kerry is the Derrynane Mass Path Loop Walk, which is a moderate 6-mile (9 km) route around Derrynane National Park near Caherdaniel and takes about 3.5 hours to complete. Enjoy trekking through hillside woodland with sweeping views over Derrynane Blue Flag Beach and Derrynane House.
After completing the Ring, you will travel toward the fishing port town of Dingle for your overnight stay.
Today you will be transferred outside Dingle town, just beyond the glorious beach at Ventry Harbour. From here your walk takes you on a beautiful and very historic walk around Slea Head (8.5km), finishing in Dunquin. This walk offers an opportunity to see ‘beehive huts’ at close quarters, and also a full view of the Blasket Islands. At the end of your walk you can visit the Blasket Interpretative Museum – or if the weather is good – perhaps take a boat over to the Blasket Islands. We will arrange a time to pick you up from Dunquin and return you for another night in Dingle.
After Breakfast you will leave the Kingdom of Kerry behind and travel north along the edge of Europe to the Awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. The spectacle of the Cliffs is best appreciated on foot especially on the Hags head route (5km) which is a hiking route to the south of the Cliffs. Once you have reached the Visitor centre you can return to your car along the same route or you can take a shuttle back to the car park.
You will then make then make the short journey to the village of Doolin home to several old fashion Irish pubs that play live traditional Irish music in the evenings.
Today you will travel north towards Galway, the Bohemian Capital of Ireland. Along the way explore the remarkable moon-like terrain of the wild Burren and the Atlantic waves that roll into the jaws of Galway bay.
Your option’s today is to drive straight to Galway and take the opportunity to soak in Galway’s vibrant streets, sample its wide variety of food offerings or take a tour exploring its unique historical places of interest. Alternatively, you can head to Burren National Park and one of number of Loop walks such as Abbey Hill (6.2km), Carron Hike (9.1km) or the Green Road (18km).
Today you will travel back east to Dublin and return your car rental to the airport and bid farewell to the Emerald Isle.