We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Spring Hill, Florida
Level Contributor
2 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

A friend and I and are planning a trip to Ireland in the summer of 2014 and would like to drive around the coast of Ireland to get in as many sites as possible. Not really big on guided tours but am open to them if they are the only way to see the sites. I've seen a few websites offering self-drive tours with accommodations but I'm not sure which is best, planning the trip ourselves or using one of these companies. Any suggestions on the best sites as well as help with the driving tour is much appreciated. Our goal is to see as much of Ireland as possible and interact with locals along the way. We will more than likely fly into Dublin and out of Dublin as well.

Cork, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
13,384 posts
389 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

There is no need to book with an agent. There will be a cost added on for that service and the service will only map out an itinerary for you which you can easily put together yourself here and you have plenty of time to do that. Additionally you won't have a lot of control to the accommodations that you stay at, as they will be picked for you.

But first, a few important questions/comments.

How many days approx do you think you will be here for.

To best plan an itinerary you will need to make a decision on where you will fly in/out of. Don't make that decision until you decide how long you will be here. Flying in and out of Dublin is fine if you have say, two full weeks or more to travel as you can then do a proper circuit of the country, whereas if you have only say one week, then it is recommended that you fly into Dublin and out of Shannon (or vice versa), this allows you do a U shaped trip around the island without having to do much backtracking.

Have you any idea yet as to what your 'must sees' are? If not you need to get thinking about this. Look at www.heritageireland.ie for ideas and jot down any places that you think you would like to visit. Also on the right hand side of this page there is a 'Top Questions about Ireland' column. Click on "What are the most popular things to see and do in Ireland?" for ideas too.

Another thing to do is to read some trip reports. There are hundreds of them here. Just type Trip Reports into the search bar above you near the top of the page. Read Trip reports that are fairly current, say within the last 12 months so that you will get up to date info.

Enjoy the planning, and come back with more details on your trip as you plan it and we can help further.

Vancouver, WA USA
Level Contributor
35 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Spend time reading Lonely Planet Ireland and Rick Steve's Ireland, use the OSI atlas for driving distances and read about other 2 week itineraries on TA. We are currently doing a 3 week self-drive coastal trip and loving every minute. Writing this note from Bushmills distillery. Next stop is Donegal tomorrow.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
Level Contributor
17,766 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Don't waste time reading St Rck of Steves unless you are going where he wants you to go and doing what he wants you to do..

It needs 14 days to go round 75% of the coastal route round the Island as a road trip with only a couple of 2 nights thrown into the one night stay mix. Fly Drive deals can be fine but make sure what the "Drive" part contains/includes and stay away from the accommodation voucher scam/scheme offering a couple of hundred of the few thousand available options.

Edited: 15 May 2013, 17:16
Whitehorse, Canada
Level Contributor
320 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Read McCarthy's Bar and get Michelin map #405.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
Level Contributor
17,766 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Michelin 712 but McCarthy's Bar and Round Ireland with a Fridge are light reading non guide book guide books.

Belmont, Michigan
Level Contributor
121 posts
41 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Hi Amy,

I have just spent a year self-planning our own 2 week tour of Ireland and we are doing exactly what I think you want to do. It's been a year of researching sites, booking hotels & B&Bs, a car and pre-buying some of the tickets to things, but I think it was well worth it for us to see exactly what we want to see, rather than booking a self-drive trip and working off of someone else's itinerary. If you are good at researching, and you are planning on traveling in 2014, then I would highly recommend starting the process now. Our route starts us out in Dublin for 3 days, then traveling counter-clockwise around Ireland until we end up back in Dublin for our flight back home. I'd be happy to share our itinerary with you and maybe you can use some of it if you want. :)

Whitehorse, Canada
Level Contributor
320 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

My michelin map says 405, but I see it was printed in 1997. Oops. Is 712 more recent?

As a non-guidebok guidebook McCarthy's Bar is a great way to stimulate internet probes for neat stuff to see and do.

Seattle
Level Contributor
209 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

"McCarthy's Bar and Round Ireland with a Fridge"

Loved both of those!

Spring Hill, Florida
Level Contributor
2 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Thank you! I would love to hear about your itinerary. I am open to researching as much as I need to. I prefer not to have a cookie-cutter trip experience and would like to see as much of Ireland as possible while there. Sorry that my reply is so late in coming. Have been swamped with school and now am settling back into planning :)

Toronto,ONT
Level Contributor
7 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: 2 Week Self-drive Tour of Ireland

Amy,

I actually did the drive myself across Ireland in 2011....so glad I did!! I started in Dublin and finished in Shannon. I must say that everyone's advice is PERFECT!! and you will want to do it all....but you can't :(

I read, researched and spoke to as many people as possible --- the only guided tour we did was the Ring of Kerry (worth the $30).

The sights, food, pubs, music and the people are all fabulous -- I stayed in Dublin, Galway (salthill), Doolin, Killarnary and Bunratty (close to Shannon). I have nothing bad to say about any of the towns or the other towns you will see during your drive.

Oh and the driving -- do some research on that!! Roundabouts and smaller driving roads than the west!!

Good luck -- have fun and if you need anything further on any of the places drop me a line!!

P.S -- I had the best Knacker party in Doolin