Are you planning an Ireland self-driving tour for your next dream vacation? This post has got you covered with Irish road trip ideas whether you are booking a honeymoon tour or just going to Ireland "just because" for a fun and memorable vacation. Plan a short trip to Ireland by car or plan a longer Ireland self-drive itinerary. You may even consider picking and choosing the best Ireland destinations from among my many Ireland road trip itineraries. Buckle up and let's plan a drive on the Emerald Isle!
Ireland's Best Self-Driving Tours
- Drive County Kildare
- Waterford and Wexford by car
- Dublin to Tipperary
- Carlingford Lough
- Drive the Ring of Kerry
- A Poetic and Food-Filled Trip to Sligo
- Donegal Fly and Drive Weekend
- Galway to Connemara
- Dublin to Kinsale
- County Clare and the Cliffs of Moher
- A West Cork Road Trip
- The Dingle Peninsula
Ireland Car Hire Options
Traditional Car Rentals
A Luxury Eco-Friendly Self-Drive
Short Ireland Self-Driving Tours That Are Closer to Dublin
1. Drive County Kildare
County Kildare is Dublin's closest neighbor. Plan a one day Kildare itinerary for a fun day out. Go shopping at Ireland's top outlet mall or visit the Irish National Stud farm. They don't call Kildare Ireland's horse country for nothing! Extend this short Irish road trip from one day to a weekend and venture into South Kildare. Here you'll find tales of Antarctic adventure in Athy which Ernest Shackleton once called home. Stay in the historic and posh Kilkea Castle. Explore the various manor homes and gardens in South Kildare and you may even come face to face with a smiling donkey!
2. Waterford and Wexford
Whatever the season, a Waterford and Wexford road trip in Ireland's Ancient East has something special to offer. Wexford is known for having the best strawberries in Ireland so time your Waterford and Wexford road trip for the summer season. Dungarvan is a great home base for exploring County Waterford. If you happen to do this Ireland self-drive tour in winter instead, make sure to plan a stop at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve to see Greenland White-Fronted Geese as they overwinter in Ireland.
You'll find traces of beloved American President JFK all around Waterford and Wexford. The JFK Arboretum is a great place to stop and stretch your legs with a short hike. This Ireland road trip is easily doable in a weekend, but there is plenty to do if you'd like to take a longer or more leisurely Irish road trip in this area.
3. Dublin to Tipperary
Dublin to Tipperary is another fantastic short self-driving tour that can easily be accomplished in a weekend. Make a beeline for the bad-ass Rock of Cashel with detours to discover all the things to do in Kilkenny City and Carlow along the way.
4. Carlingford Lough
Head North from Dublin for an ideal long weekend drive that covers both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Carlingford Lough is the dividing line between the North and South. Book in at Ghan House Hotel. From here it takes less than 10 minutes to walk into Carlingford Town with its spectacular colorful pubs and picturesque King John's Castle jutting out into Carlingford Lough. Take Carlingford Lough Ferry into Northern Ireland and enjoy views of the Cooley Mountains and Cooley Peninsula from the Mourne Coastal Drive. Discover quaint little towns in Northern Ireland like Rostrevor where echos of C.S. Lewis' Narnia can be felt everywhere. This Ireland road trip is ideal if you prefer a more relaxed pace and don't want to be in the car every day. Once you arrive in Carlingford Town, you could cycle to Omeath or take a long hike into the Cooley Mountains.