Ireland 10 Day Itinerary: A Bespoke Guide to The Emerald Isle

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Advisor - Lauren Ruehl
Curated By

Lauren Ruehl

  • Ireland

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • History

  • Local Culture

Rocky area with hole near the ocean on an Ireland 10 day itinerary.
Curator’s statement

Ireland truly captivates me with its ruggedly beautiful landscapes and ancient storybook castles. The warmth and friendliness of its people create a welcoming atmosphere everywhere you go. Ireland is a country best explored by car, so you have the freedom to always take the scenic route, venture into a small town that catches your eye and stop for any photo-worthy vantage points. From the vibrant streets of Dublin to the serene beauty of the Connemara region, Ireland's charm and history make it an unforgettable destination. Here is an Ireland 10 day itinerary to experience all of it.

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Day 1: Dublin highlights

Grey and white building with clock.

Arrive at Dublin Airport for a private transfer to The Westbury hotel, and prepare for an afternoon of exploration. Take a private guided tour of Dublin's highlights, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the historic Temple Bar district.

Take in the lively culture of Ireland with dinner at The Church, a unique dining experience with traditional Irish music and dance performances in a converted 17th-century church.

Day 2: More Dublin & Guinness Storehouse

A black gate with the Guinness logo on it and brick columns on either side.

Stroll through the elegant Georgian squares and visit the National Gallery of Ireland.

Get lunch at The Woollen Mills — grab a table on their rooftop terrace with a great view over the River Liffey. Head to the Guinness Storehouse and elevate your tour with the private Connoisseur Experience, including a private tasting session. End your day at The Brazen Head, Ireland's oldest pub.

Day 3: Galway

Colorful houses along the water in Galway on a sunny day with clouds.

Pick up your rental car for a scenic drive — approximately two and a half hours — to Galway, then have lunch at Ard Bia at Nimmos, a chic restaurant by the Spanish Arch. This evening, wander through the Latin Quarter to take in the pulse of the city and enjoy its music-filled streets, before enjoying Ireland's famous fish and chips at McDonagh's.

Day 4: Scenic drive & Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey, a large white castle on a lake with green hills surrounding it.

Prepare to spend a day in Ireland's natural landscape. Drive through the stunning Connemara region, visiting Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden.
Take lunch at Mitchell's Café in the abbey, before further scenic stops at Sky Road and Clifden. Return to Galway to relax before visiting The Quays bar, known for its lively atmosphere and traditional music.

Day 5: Check in to Ashford Castle

The exterior of Ashford Castle, a large gray stone campus on a lawn.

Drive to Ashford Castle (approximately an hour), my favorite accommodation in Ireland and a truly special experience. Check in, then take your time exploring the 800-year-old castle's grounds and enjoying lunch at Cullen's at the Cottage, a quaint bistro on the estate. This afternoon, participate in a falconry experience or a go for boat cruise on Lough Corrib. End your day with dinner in the castle's elegant George V Dining Room.

Day 6: Enjoy Ashford Castle

People riding white horses through a green field in the forest.

Make the most of your unique accommodation by taking part in archery or horseback riding. Follow this with afternoon tea in the Connaught Room, then relaxing at the spa. For dinner, enjoy a more casual meal at The Dungeon restaurant within the castle.

Day 7: Cork

The Cliffs of Moher on the ocean.

Get an early start on your drive to Cork (approximately 3.5 hours), stopping at the Cliffs of Moher for a truly awe-inspiring experience. Check in at Hayfield Manor, a luxurious country house hotel, and take a late lunch at the hotel's restaurant, Orchids. Spend your afternoon visiting the English Market and St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, then dining at Greenes Restaurant for exquisite Irish cuisine in a modern and plush setting.

Day 8: Blarney Castle & Kinsale

Beautiful grey and brown castle on a cloudy day.

Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and stroll through its beautiful gardens, arriving as early as possible to avoid the tour crowds. Then drive to Kinsale, a picturesque seaside town. Stop for lunch at Fishy Fishy before exploring Kinsale's colorful and charming streets. End your day with well-deserved relaxation and an evening in at Hayfield Manor.

Day 9: Rock of Cashel & return to Dublin

Rock of Cashel, stone ruins on a hilltop at sunset.

Return to Dublin, but not without first visiting the mythical Rock of Cashel for a private guided tour of the site's 1000+ year history. Check in to The Shelbourne, an iconic luxury hotel, and enjoy a leisurely lunch there at Lord Mayor's Lounge. Spend the evening shopping on Grafton Street, then celebrate your last evening in Ireland with dinner at Chapter One, a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Day 10: Departure

People walking on a cobblestone street near the Temple Bar.

Depending on your flight time, enjoy a final stroll through Dublin or a visit to the Chester Beatty library before bidding goodbye to Ireland and transferring to the Dublin airport.

Advisor - Lauren Ruehl

Travel Advisor

Lauren Ruehl

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Ireland. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Fora Advisor Ana P. Bauza Rodriguez's guide, From Ireland To Scotland: The Perfect Seven-Day Itinerary.