Castles of Ireland

8-day self-drive itinerary exploring eastern and western Ireland

Castles of Ireland

From green pastures to sheer cliffs and commanding stone castles, Ireland’s historical and natural landscapes converge to create a wonderfully atmospheric whole. This 8-day self-drive will see you cross the country from east to west, exploring diverse regions along the way, including the Dingle peninsula, Connemara, and the Burren. You’ll also learn much about Ireland’s history as you explore its medieval castles and abbeys, and discover towns & cities including Dublin, Galway and Limerick.

Outline Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Arrive Dublin

    Collect your hire car – a Ford Focus, or similar – on arrival into Dublin Airport and drive the short distance to Clontarf Castle, your home for the next two nights.

  2. Day 2: At leisure in Dublin

    Today is free for you to explore Dublin independently. As the vibrant capital of Ireland, Dublin is a city steeped in history. It has many well-preserved historical buildings and Georgian Squares, alongside atmospheric bars, pubs and fabulous restaurants, making it a pleasure to explore.

  3. Day 3: Galway and Clifden

    Departing Dublin this morning, you’ll travel across the rich green pastures of the Irish midlands to arrive at Clifden, on the western coast of Ireland. Today’s journey will take you via Galway as well as a number of historical sites of interest, with plenty of time to stop and explore along the way.

  4. Day 4: Connemara

    Today can be spent discovering the Connemara region. We recommend starting with Connemara National Park, where wild ponies and Irish red deer roam freely through 5,000 acres of highland terrain. The park can be enjoyed on a scenic drive or via the many well-marked walking routes.

  5. Day 5: The Burren & the Cliffs of Moher

    Depart Clifden this morning and travel south through Galway and into County Clare. We recommend taking a picnic lunch to give you time to enjoy a walk through the fascinating lunar-esque landscape of the Burren and to visit the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular 5-mile long cliff which rises almost 200m above sea level.

  6. Day 6: Dingle Peninsula

    Today can be spent exploring the magnificent landscapes of the Dingle peninsula, a region which attracts photographers and visitors from all over the world. Old customs and traditions remain alive here, while the impressive landscape has been used as a backdrop to many films.

  7. Day 7: Medieval Limerick, Rock of Cashel & Kildare

    This morning, spend an hour or two in the medieval city of Limerick, exploring its history and architecture, and perhaps shopping for some of the splendid crafts on offer.

  8. Day 8: Departure

    After breakfast, drive 22 miles east to Dublin Airport, where you return your car rental, bid Ireland farewell, and catch your departing flight.

Price guide

Price based on two travellers in shared double/twin accommodation and travelling in shoulder season. For family and shoulder season rates, please contact us.

8 days from £1585pp


8 days from £1585pp

Client comments on Shira8 Kilimanjaro Climb

I had a fantastic holiday climbing Kilimanjaro... made even more enjoyable because of the organisation by G&M