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The Ultimate 10-Day Self-Drive Ireland Tour

Self-Drive
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Book with Confidence

  • Guaranteed Departures
  • 5 Star Rated on TripAdvisor
  • Small Groups
  • Can be booked as a private tour
  • Local Irish Guides

Self Drive Tours

  • Expertly Designed Itineraries
  • Support Concierge Service
  • Overland Ireland Virtual Tour Guide
  • Fully Comprehensive Insurance

  • Self-Drive
  • 10 Days
  • 1-4 people (Get in touch for groups of 5+)

The Ultimate 10-Day Self-Driving Tour Of Ireland

If you’re looking for the ultimate self-drive trip around Ireland, you’ve found it! This tour showcases the very best that our magical Emerald Isle has to offer. We have designed an itinerary that provides the most comprehensive self-drive trip around Ireland, covering as much beautiful countryside and taking in as many sights as possible! 

With a feast of tradition, castles, culture, history, unrivaled scenery, and our world-famous great outdoors, you will feel truly spoiled. And, best of all, we make your trip hassle-free by taking care of all your experiences and bookings.

We have packed this 10-day Ireland self-drive tour with authentic Irish experiences, from kayaking in Dingle Bay with dolphins to the jaw-dropping sights along the Ring of Kerry. Make unforgettable memories at the Cliffs of Moher, in vibrant Galway City, and on the Aran Islands’ rugged shores. You even have the option to spend a night in an exquisite castle! What better way to live like a prince(ss)? For a while, at least!

And, of course, no ultimate Ireland trip is complete without kissing the Blarney Stone. Find out if you gain the gift of the gab! We also cross the border into Northern Ireland. Feel the awe of Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim coast before immersing yourself in the Titanic Experience in Belfast.

We do all the leg work in putting together this perfect Irish itinerary. All you need to do is arrive with a sense of adventure. This is the kind of captivating Ireland road trip you have always dreamed of!

Book your trip with confidence

  • Itineraries designed by experts
  • Overland Ireland virtual tour guide
  • Support concierge service
  • Fully comprehensive insurance (when you book car rental through us)

Due to our tours’ remote, off-the-beaten-path locations, and the fact that we cannot guarantee that all accommodation partners have ramps and/or elevators, unfortunately, our tours are not wheelchair accessible.

Keep reading to learn more about this unforgettable 10-day self-drive tour of Ireland, but if you’d like even more inspiration, browse our wider range of Self Drive Tours of Ireland and our more traditional Small Group Tours of Ireland.

Paddy - The Pocket Pilot

Paddy the Pocket Pilot App

All our self-drive tours come with a guided itinerary, numerous extras, and our renowned exceptional service.

And one of the extras to help you along the way is our Paddy the Pocket Pilot App.

If you want to see Ireland on an independent adventure, but with all the benefits and surprises of a guided tour — like “tried & loved”, pre-booked accommodation — you’re in safe hands.

But don’t just take our word for it! Read our tour group reviews.

Cartoon character named "Paddy the Pocket Pilot," with aviator glasses, a pilot hat, and specializing in Private Tours.

10-Day Self-Drive Ireland Tour: What is Included?

At Overland Ireland, we do everything we can to minimise costs and maximise experiences!

By including as much as we possibly can in your tour price, you avoid unexpected fees and hidden surprises.

We have worked tirelessly to ensure you benefit from the best deals across Ireland.

Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements or preferences as soon as possible.

We can cater this self-drive tour to vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians.

Included

  • Paddy the Pocket Pilot AppAs standard
  • Carefully chosen accommodation in locally run guesthouses.We also have options for castle experiences and hotels
  • Easy-to-follow and detailed daily itineraries
  • Hearty breakfasts every morning
  • Simple maps with instructions on how to find your way around the Emerald Isle
  • Tour support throughout your tripWe are always available should you need to talk.
  • All entrance fees to national parks on your itinerary
  • Daily hidden gem locations chosen by our expert guides
  • Daily entertainment and food recommendations
  • Newgrange or Hill of Tara
  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Blarney Castle
  • Galway Walking Tour
  • Aran Island Ferry
  • Dingle Kayaking
  • Sheepdog Demonstration
  • Kinsale Walking Tour
  • Giant's Causeway
  • Titanic Experience

Excluded

  • Airfare to Ireland
  • A driver guideSee our fully-guided tours
  • Motorway toll and parking fees
  • Fuel for your car and your body!Lunch, dinner, and petrol are on you!
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Derry Walking Tour
  • Shannon Ferry
  • Belfast Black Cab Tour
  • Aran Island bike hire
  • Dún Aonghasa
  • Westport Walking Tour
  • Ross Castle
  • Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge
  • Some suggested experiences and activities We can arrange those you want to do, but you will likely pay the experience/activity provider (i.e. horse-riding, jaunting (horse-drawn carriage) directly
  • The self-control to leave stunning locations!
  • The determination to discover all the wonderful places on your itinerary
  • Mandatory upgrade to a private room for solo travellers

Are there 5 or more people in your group?

Get in touch to enquire about booking a larger vehicle

Reviews

Map

The Ultimate Self-Drive 10-Day Tour of Ireland

Itinerary — Your Ultimate 10-Day Self-drive Tour of Ireland

A stylized illustration of a blue minivan with "Overland Ireland: Small Group Tours" written on the side, featuring simple representations of passengers wearing sunglasses.
The-Ultimate-Tour-of-Ireland-Unique-Experiences-Off-the-Beaten-Path

Day 1:Dublin - Belfast

Total driving distance & time: 180 km – 2 hours 10 minutes, excluding stops

Turn on your Paddy the Pocket Pilot App and get on the road! Your ultimate self-drive tour of Ireland starts with an adventure to Newgrange, a magical Stone Age passage tomb decorated in megalithic art.

After exploring this incredible Neolithic structure, you will travel north to Belfast. Here, you can immerse yourself in the Titanic Experience at the interactive visitor centre of Titanic Belfast.

The wonderful and tragic stories told about the most famous ship in the world, and its doomed fate, is a moving experience.

Finish the day with a fantastic black cab tour of Belfast. Your cab will even pick you up from your hotel! (Optional)

The evening is yours to explore Belfast’s thriving pubs, restaurants, and shops. Get a great night’s sleep at your carefully handpicked accommodation.

Day 2:Giant’s Causeway - Derry

Total driving distance & time: 165 km – 2 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

The second day features one of this tour’s most-anticipated stops — Giant’s Causeway.

But the entire Causeway Coastal Route is just as breathtaking and a joy to drive.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is another highlight. Feel everything from fear to exhilaration as you cross the open ocean with air beneath your feet!

The Paddy App will also guide you to some secret locations off the beaten track.

Your next stop on day two is Derry. Northern Ireland’s second-largest city is steeped in rich and fascinating history.

Enjoy exploring the city at night because you will take a tour of the walled city on day three.

We recommend treating yourself to a gourmet and craft beer experience at the Walled City Brewery.

Day 3:Derry - The Hills of Donegal

Total driving distance & time: 110 km – 1 hour 50 minutes, excluding stops

Start the day with a walking tour of Derry led by a local guide. This experience will help you understand our past struggles and the long road to peaceful times in the North.

It’s time to leave Derry and head into the wild northwest. The Hills of Donegal are waiting!

Embark on a memorable drive that takes in the Glengesh Pass and the Assaranca Waterfall.

Paddy the Pocket Pilot will direct you to Grianan of Aileach, a 5th-century stone fort, where you can take in some truly stunning views.

Head to your accommodation in the picturesque village of Ardara, County Donegal, and treat yourself to a night of seafood and “craic” (fun) with the locals.

Day 4:Donegal - Connemara

Total driving distance & time: 260 km – 4 hours, excluding stops

Today’s road trip has the double joy of passing through Sligo – William Butler Yeats’ County – and making a short trip to Westport – Ireland’s favourite town!

Your time in Westport starts with a charming walking tour of the town followed by a fabulous lunch.

This will fuel you for a delightful journey through Connemara National Park and along part of the famous Famine Trail.

You will then visit Kylemore Abbey, a stunning 1,000-acre estate overlooking Kylemore Lake. Enjoy strolling around the abbey and soaking up the beauty of the Victorian Walled Garden.

Your journey continues to Clifden where you will find great bars, restaurants, and nightly music. Don’t be afraid of striking up a conversation with the locals over a tasty pint of the Black Stuff!

If you’ve ever had dreams of becoming a Prince(ss), now’s your chance! We have added the option of staying in Abbeyglen Castle!

Day 5:The Aran Islands

Total driving distance & time: 100 km – 1 hour 40 minutes, excluding stops

The morning starts with the short drive to Rossaveal Pier overlooking Galway Bay. Feel the excitement build as you board the ferry to the Aran Islands.

When you land on rugged Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands, it’s time to explore! If you’d like, you can either cycle or make a special request for a jaunting cart (horse and carriage) against an additional charge.

Your route will take you toward Dún Aonghasa, an ancient, clifftop stone fort standing 100m over the ocean.

It’s then time to circle back toward the ferry and the mainland. On your way, you may pick up a word or two in “Gaelic” from the locals. And why not treat yourself to an authentic Aran Sweater?

When you arrive back at Rossaveal, your Galway adventure begins. Hug the coastline all the way into this bustling, bohemian city.

This much-celebrated place is home to entertaining street performers, an infectious atmosphere, and plenty of craic.

You won’t need your Paddy App to find entertainment this evening! It’s Friday night every night in Galway!

Day 6:Galway - Cliffs of Moher

Total driving distance & time: 90 km – 1 hour 45 minutes, excluding stops

Medieval history is at the very heart of Galway. Discover more about this side of the city on a tour led by our local guide.

Head down the narrow streets where you can duck in and out of brightly coloured shops. This is the perfect time to try on Galway Shawls and Claddagh Rings!

Pass under the famous Spanish Arch and enjoy the ambience of Claddagh, a delightful fishing village.

Sadly, you’ll have to leave Galway, but the day has more treats in store!

Travelling southwest, it’s time to visit the otherworldly Burren National Park and the jaw-dropping Cliffs of Moher.

On this adventure, you will visit Corcomroe Abbey, a 13th-century Cistercian Monastery as well as the 16th-century Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara.

At the Cliffs of Moher, you will walk over this awe-inspiring natural feature as the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash into it below.

The cliffs are one of the most iconic sights, and most spectacular natural features, in Ireland. We’re almost certain you’ll be lost for words.

Our itinerary will also send you off the beaten path, so you can enjoy some of the area’s hidden gems.

You’ll spend the evening in Doolin – the hometown of traditional Irish music.

Day 7:Doolin - Dingle

Total driving distance & time: 240 km – 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

A trip to Ireland is not complete without seeing its incredible ancient structures. Today, you drive to the most famous Dolmen (AKA portal tombs) at Poulnabrone.

Dolmen are Neolithic monuments scattered throughout the country marking burial sites and passageways dating back to 3000BC.

After being awed by the Dolmen, it’s time to make the short trip to the farmers at Caherconnell who will treat you to a spectacular sheep-dog trial.

Prepare to be mesmerised by the farmer and his furry friend as they work in tandem to gather up their flock of sheep.

It’s then time to leave the west behind as you cross the border into County Kerry by ferry. Your next destination is the celebrated harbour town of Dingle.

The evening is yours to soak up the atmosphere in Dingle’s fantastic restaurants and famous quirky pubs.

Why not sit in Foxy John’s hardware store, order yourself a drink, and strike up a conversation with a friendly local?

Day 8:The Dingle Peninsula

Total driving distance & time: 50 km – 2 hours 30 minutes, at a leisurely pace!

Your morning starts on the water exploring caves and inlets on Dingle Bay by kayak. You may even meet County Kerry’s biggest celebrity – Fungie the Dolphin.

If kayaking isn’t your thing, don’t worry. You can take a moderate-paced hike up Mount Brandon instead. This walk offers the reward of 360-degree panoramic views of Dingle Bay and Castlegregory.

Or perhaps you just want to stroll around this colourful town teeming with charming cafes and original local craft shops? Take it at your own pace. It’s your holiday – Do it your way.

In the afternoon, jump in your car and take a delightful trip along one of Ireland’s most scenic roads – The Slea Head Drive.

You spend a second night in the buzzing town of Dingle – relax and enjoy.

Day 9:The Ring of Kerry - Kinsale

Total driving distance & time: 200 km – 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

After saying a fond farewell to Dingle, you will journey towards the Ring of Kerry – one of Ireland’s most famous driving routes.

The first stop takes you to Killarney, considered by many as the Ring of Kerry’s starting point.

The Ring of Kerry is the very definition of the word “scenic”. You will discover famous sights and hidden gems along the way, including Moll’s Gap, Torc Waterfall, and Ross Castle.

We will arrange a guided tour of Ross Castle for you. Here, you will learn what life was really like behind those imposing stone walls.

The beautiful heritage town of Kenmare is the perfect place to stop for lunch and some shopping.

This is your last night on tour, so we’re sending you to the coastal town of Kinsale. This picturesque place is famed for its culinary culture, delivered by many award-winning restaurants.

Kinsale also has a great tradition of poetry, silver, gold, and glassware manufacturing. You can see this in the local shops and galleries which proudly have work by talented local artists.

Day 10:Cork - Kiss the Blarney Stone

Total driving distance & time: 320 km – 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

Wake up refreshed and ready for a guided walking tour through Kinsale’s narrow streets. Your tour is led by one of our favourite guides – Barry!

Paddy the Pocket Pilot will then direct you towards Blarney because you MUST NOT leave Cork without visiting Blarney Castle and Gardens.

This is the home of the Blarney Stone. If you want the gift of the gab, you need to give it a big fat kiss!

Your final stop before driving back to Dublin is the Rock of Cashel. This historically significant site is over 1000 years old!

Marvel at its medieval round tower, cathedral, chapel, and castle. This is a truly fantastic way to end your trip.

It is now time to turn off your engine and dry your tears. Sit back and soak up everything you have experienced over the last 10 days.

If you have any time left before leaving the Emerald Isle, we will give you plenty of amazing tips and recommendations for things to do, eat, and entertain you in Dublin’s fair city.

Note: To confirm your booking, you are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €300 per person for Self-Drive tours.

Due to our tours’ remote, off-the-beaten-path locations, and the fact that we cannot guarantee that all accommodation partners have ramps and/or elevators, unfortunately, our tours are not wheelchair accessible.

Download this itinerary as a PDF

    Note: This is our current itinerary for this year. If you’re booking for next year, the plan could change slightly. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about this or our other tours!