Ireland has been in my bucket list for a long time. This year I finally decided to go there for Easter and I had an amazing time exploring the country. I was amazed by the vastness of its wild landscapes and the kindness of its people. I spent 5 days there and I wish I had more time because it was not enough to explore the whole island.
I definitely recommend you to plan your trip in advance to make the most of your time in Ireland. There are so many things to do and so many places to visit that you will regret it later if you don´t invest in some research prior to your trip.
I will share my itinerary day by day. I hope that it will be helpful to your trip planning. I’ve had to make some tough decisions for the sake of time – 5 days was not enough to cover the whole island. I prioritized Northern Ireland, North West Ireland and Dublin. I would have loved to go to Ring of Kerry in the South, but I will have to wait until my next visit to this beautiful country.
I was lucky because even if Ireland is known for rainy weather, I had beautiful sunny days almost the 5 days I spent there.
I arrived to Dublin airport very early in the morning and I picked a rented car there. I had a clear objective for this first day: north coast of Northern Ireland.
From Dublin to Portrush in Northern Ireland is about 3 hours’ drive but the roads are excellent. Just be careful about driving at the right side if you’re not used to and take into consideration that road numbers in Northern Ireland (which is part of UK) are different from the ones in Ireland (Republic of Ireland). Also speed limits in Northern Ireland are miles per hour and in Ireland are kilometers as in the rest of Europe.
I started my second day in Londonderry, the second largest city in Northern Ireland. I walked in the city center and I explored Derry’s City Walls, a 1.5km walk with scenic views around the city. There are some other nice places to visit like St. Columb’s Cathedral, Tower Museum, Guidhall or the murals of Bogside but unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to go there.
In the morning of the third day, before leaving Sligo I visited Sligo Abbey, a Dominican abbey that survived from medieval days and I had another walk in the city at day light.
This was probably the most exhausting day of my trip to Ireland as I had planned to visit many places and my goal was to sleep in Dublin. In total more than 400km with many stops and stunning things to see. Even if I arrived at the hotel in Dublin at 1am, it was totally worth it.
With only one day to explore Dublin (I had my flight back in the next day really early in the morning) I knew I had to make the most of my time there and I planned in advance most of the places I wanted to go. It rained a little bit and the weather was extremely chilly so at last I experienced the famous Irish weather.