Ireland is famous for its long coastlines, castles, rural villages, and the warmest locals you’ll ever meet. The nickname “Emerald Isle” originated from its lush green hills and abundant greenery, thanks to frequent rainfall.

Ireland is truly a hidden European gem and it’s now among my top travel destinations. While 8 days won’t let you see all of Ireland’s beauty, it’s a great start for first-timers. There’s a little something for everyone on this historic island.

Most places are rich in Irish history and I’ll do my best to share the story behind them. Through this 8-day Itinerary of my trip to Ireland, I’ll guide you through all the must-see attractions to help you fall in love with this country, just as I did! 

What To Do On a Trip To Ireland

Day 1: Exploring Dublin

Exploring Dublin

Start your Irish adventure in the heart of the capital city, Dublin. There’s so much to see and do in this vibrant city.

  • Walking Tour of Dublin: Take a leisurely stroll around Dublin’s city center. Wander through the streets and take in the local vibe. Here you can explore landmarks, local shops, and great dining restaurants. If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider renting bikes to cover more ground and experience the city like a local.

  • Temple Bar: Visit the neighborhood of Temple Bar, famous for its unique Irish atmosphere. Here you can explore colorful streets, enjoy live music, and check out the vibrant art scene.

  • The Icon Walk: The Icon Walk is adorned with beautiful murals that showcase Ireland’s rich history and culture. It’s a perfect place for a stroll to connect deeper with Irish art.

  • Trinity College: Pay a visit to Trinity College, one of Ireland’s most respected universities. Admire the historic architecture and explore the famous Library at Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells.

  • River Liffey Adventure: If you’re seeking a little more thrill, rent kayaks and paddle along the River Liffey. It’s a unique way to see the city from a different perspective.

  • Phoenix Park: End your day at Phoenix Park, one of the largest enclosed city parks in Europe. This beautiful outdoor space is perfect for a picnic with the family. Don’t forget to visit Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland, located within the park.

Day 2- Kingdom Of Kerry

Kingdom Of Kerry

On day 2 you can venture into the Irish countryside, a place complete with natural beauty and rich history.

  • Cashel County Tipperary: Begin your journey with a visit to Cashel in County Tipperary. Here, you’ll find the Rock of Cashel, resting on a limestone outcropping. This historic site is a marvel of medieval architecture and Irish heritage.

  • Adare in County Limerick: Next, explore the picturesque town of Adare in County Limerick. Adare has tea houses, boutiques, and castle ruins. Make sure to visit Desmond Castle where you’ll find traditional straw-thatched cottages. It’s like a scene from a movie

  • Ring of Kerry: Finally, make a journey around the famous Ring of Kerry, one of the most scenic drives on Earth. As you drive around this route, you’ll feel as if you’re at the edge of the world. Along the way, stop in the charming towns of Waterville and Glenbeigh. Take a leisurely stroll around the Iveragh Peninsula. Here you’ll also find the Cahergall Stone Fort, a historic site that’s sure to transport you back in time.

Explore the Globe, One Journey at a Time! Uncover the True Essence of Travel and How It Can Enrich Your Life.

Day 3: Exploring the Aran Islands 

Exploring the Aran Islands 

On day 3 you can set your sights on the beautiful Aran Islands. This is a group of islands off the Irish coastline defining the rugged and lush beauty of the land.

  • Exploring the Islands: The best way to experience the lush Irish coastline is by taking a day trip to one of these islands. Particularly the Aran Islands can look back on a long and rich history. When you come, you’ll also notice that the island’s rich cultural heritage is being preserved by the continued use of Gaelic, the traditional Irish language.

  • Inishmore Bike Tour: Consider renting a bike to explore Inishmore, the biggest of the Aran Islands, at your own pace once you get there. It’s a great way to take in the breathtaking scenery and discover the island’s distinct personality up close. You’ll come across historic sites, picturesque scenery, and the friendly hospitality of the islanders as you pedal along the winding roads.

  • Charming Family-Owned Accommodations: I strongly advise booking a room at one of the family-run bed and breakfast establishments on Inishmore. for a truly genuine experience. This enables you to engage with local culture and take advantage of Ireland’s renowned warm hospitality.

Day 4: Visit The Burren Region 

Visit The Burren Region 

On day four, journey to the remarkable Burren Region, a hidden gem that’s off the typical tourist path but well worth the visit.

  • Cliffs of Moher: Start your day by visiting the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, a natural wonder that towers above the Atlantic Ocean. Eight kilometers long and taking around four hours to complete, the cliff walk is a breathtaking experience that offers breathtaking views. Truly worth the time and effort are the breathtaking landscapes in this area.

  • Unique Flora and Fauna: The Burren is well known for its unusual plants and animals, many of which are unique to this planet. Numerous varieties of orchids can be found in this area, along with an amazing combination of Mediterranean and alpine plants. Consider for a moment the diverse biodiversity that thrives in this unique setting.

  • Local Farm Tours: Visit nearby sheep farms to discover the Burren’s charm. Visit one of these farms with a guide to learn more about the area’s conventional agricultural methods and to get a sense of its rural culture.

  • Doolin Caves and Burren National Park: The Doolin Caves and the Burren National Park are excellent places to learn more about Ireland’s distinctive geology. It is possible to explore the region’s fascinating geological history, captivating landscapes, and other attractions.

Day 5: Camping in the Heart of Nature

Camping in the Heart of Nature

Camping in Ireland can be a fantastic adventure if you want a more affordable and authentic experience. Choose a month with mild weather and think about renting a camper van to explore the many campgrounds across the nation to make the most of it. Numerous locations offer cozy wooden cabins for a comfortable stay, even if you don’t have camping equipment.

Camping in Ireland is a preferred choice for our family, and here are two of our favorite campsites:

PureCamping in Querrin, County Clare

This campground is a hidden gem with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and is situated in Querrin, County Clare. It’s the perfect starting point for exploring the tranquil and natural Loop Head Peninsula. For those looking for a true connection with nature, this is the ideal retreat because it is far from crowds, technology, and other distractions.

Ireland’s remote regions and breathtaking landscapes can both be experienced up close and personal while camping there. It’s a special and affordable way to see Ireland and make treasured travel memories.

Day 6: Lough Key Forest Park

Lough Key Forest Park

On day six, make your way to Lough Key Forest Park, a place that holds a special place in our family’s heart and is bound to be a hit with your little ones.

  • Kid’s Paradise: Kids will love Lough Key Forest Park. It offers a fantastic fusion of adventure and nature. On a hot day, the Great Lake is the ideal place for a cooling swim, offering a fun break for both parents and kids.

  • Thrills and Excitement: The ziplines are sure to give your kids an adrenaline rush if they’re looking for some excitement. As they create enduring memories of their Irish adventure, they can zip through the forest canopy.

  • Nature Exploration: Your family will have a great time exploring the forest trails and getting close to nature. Take leisurely strolls, discover the lush forests, and take in the local wildlife. It’s a fantastic way to introduce kids to the beauty of nature.

  • Community Vibes: You and your family will get to meet kids from all over the world at Lough Key Forest Park. Kids are encouraged to make new friends and share unique experiences in the park thanks to its welcoming and friendly atmosphere..

  • Food and Treats: You won’t have to worry about where to eat because there are several restaurants in the area for any appetite. In addition, keep an eye out for the ice cream truck, which frequently stops by and will make a delightful end to your day’s adventures.

Day 7: A Night in a Castle 

No trip to Ireland is truly authentic if you don’t stay at least one night in a castle. Ireland has many castle options, but Ashford Castle is one of the most well-known, lavish, and genuinely distinctive locations.

  • Historical Grandeur: A legendary part of history, Ashford Castle is not just any old castle. Its roots go back more than 800 years, which is a true testament to Ireland’s rich history. The meticulous preservation of the castle, which was once owned by the Guinness family, allows visitors to travel back in time while still enjoying contemporary conveniences.

  • Sprawling Estate: The 350-acre estate on which the castle is located offers numerous opportunities to explore the picturesque surroundings. Take in the tranquil lake views, stroll through lush gardens, and take in the breathtaking scenery that the castle is surrounded by.

  • Diverse Dining: A variety of dining options are available at Ashford Castle, ranging from formal dining in the George V Dining Room to more informal options. Enjoy authentic Irish cuisine made with the best local ingredients.

  • Activities Abound: Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at the castle. Everyone’s interests can be satisfied here, whether they are into golf, boating on the tranquil Lough Corrib, scenic bike rides, or energizing hikes.

Day 8: Wind Down And Get Ready For a Flight Back Home

Wind Down And Get Ready For a Flight Back Home

On your final day in Ireland, unwind and savor the time before your departure. Start the day off slowly and enjoy an Irish breakfast. It’s a day where you can appreciate the memories you’ve created. 

As the day draws to a close, savor a final taste of Irish cuisine, toast your memories, and get ready to leave. Take with you the warmth of Irish hospitality as you say goodbye to this charming country.

Travel Tips 

Pack Light

If you’re traveling from the UK or mainland Europe, you can find budget-friendly airline options. However, they often have baggage restrictions, so be sure to check the baggage allowances before your flight. 

Regardless of your plans, it’s essential to pack in layers. Ireland’s weather can change rapidly – you might have bright sunshine one moment and overcast skies the next. Generally, you can expect moderate temperatures and some light rain at any time.

Travel During the Off-Peak Season

Ireland’s peak season runs from mid-June to mid-September. With plenty of sunshine it is a great time to visit if you’re planning to hit the beach and engage in outdoor activities. However, keep in mind that during this peak period, many attractions can get incredibly crowded, and booking accommodations well in advance is crucial. 

On the other hand, traveling to Ireland during the off-peak season offers more time and space for comfortable exploration. If you prefer milder crowds and reasonably good weather, consider visiting in April, May, or October. Off-peak travel is also budget-friendly, as the reduced crowds prompt the hospitality industry to offer better rates and deals.

Choose your transport carefully

For a Dublin city break, renting a car may not be necessary, unless you plan to explore the more rural parts of the island. I recommend renting a car or campervan because it’s the most effective means of transportation. It will allow you to make impromptu stops and explore less-traveled locations. 

Secure Advance Bookings Online

It’s a good idea to make reservations online in advance for a number of different things to guarantee that your trip will be both affordable and stress-free. Flights, rentals, lodging, and admission to popular attractions all fall under this category. If you’re traveling during the busy summer high season, this is especially important.

You’ll have more options at your disposal and probably get better deals if you book sooner rather than later. Delaying these plans might reduce your options and possibly raise your costs.

Conclusion

Ireland has taken me on an amazing journey through its heart and soul over the past eight days. I’ve immersed myself in the very essence of this magical land. I’ll always cherish Ireland’s diverse natural beauty, from the peace of Lough Key to the happy times spent at campsites. 

It was truly an experience like no other. The greenery, warm people, and captivating charm of Ireland will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope you can cherish the beauty of Ireland the same way I did! 

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