Strong Travel – Ireland Southwest Self Drive V2

Daniel & Terry

Thursday 19th September – Saturday 28th September 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights


On this self drive trip on the Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll stand at the edge of the world overlooking incredible ocean vistas from the Cliffs of Moher all the way down through the wild green scenery of The Ring of Kerry. Hike through the fascinating geological landscapes of the Burren, explore ancient monuments and wild bogs in Connemara, and tickle your tastebuds in the foodie hotspots of the southwest. Though Galway, Cork and Kerry are some of Ireland’s most popular regions, we’ll take you off the beaten track to visit several of the most intriguing yet off-the-map locations favourited by locals.


  • Explore three of Ireland's most beautiful national parks in Connemara, The Burren, and Killarney
  • Try foraging & gourmet fishing for an off-the-beaten-path Ring of Kerry experience
  • Stand atop the iconic Cliffs of Moher away from the crowds
  • Immerse yourself in Dingle, lauded by the National Geographic as the most beautiful place on Earth

Day by Day

Day 1 - Thursday 19th September - Arrival in Ireland

Arriving in to Dublin airport this morning, pick up your rental car and make your way outside of the city. Westmeath, located in the heart of Ireland, is a county steeped in history, and offers offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Athlone sits on the banks of the River Shannon and is known for its historic castle, bustling streets, and lively atmosphere. Nearby, the ancient monastic site of Clonmacnoise stands as a testament to Westmeath’s rich heritage, with its iconic round tower and intricately carved crosses drawing visitors from near and far.

Driving time: 1hr 27 mins

Overnight: Glasson Lakehouse
Room Type: x1 lakeview delxue
Meals Included: None

Day 2 - Friday 20th September - Killary Fjord & Connemara National Park

Making your way further west this morning, as you head in to the expanses of Connemara. Start your Wild Atlantic Way self drive trip off with a treat, feasting your eyes upon the breathtaking shores of one of Ireland’s only three fjords. Once described as “a savage beauty” by author Oscar Wilde, explore the wild, windswept region. Stops include a sheep farm and a neo-gothic abbey before hiking in the Connemara National Park.

Overnight: Clifden | The Ardagh
Room Type: Standard Twin
Meals Included: None

Day 3 - Saturday 21st September - Connemara & A Pirate’s Island

Explore the ancient mysteries of Connemara with a local archeologist who will bring the landscape, traditions and mythology of the region alive. Our route takes us to a hauntingly beautiful island where you’ll hear tales of pirates and invasions. Be sure to taste some of the spectacular local seafood in an idyllic island pub. Back on the mainland this evening, we recommend heading into one of the towns lively pubs.

Overnight: Clifden | The Ardagh
Room Type: Standard Twin
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 - Sunday 22nd September - Galway City’s Colourful Centre

With its cobbled pavement and street performers, Galway is the west coast’s most vibrant urban centre and a great place to visit. As you continue your adventure south, visit such places as botanical perfumeries, perfectly preserved historic cottages complete with thatched roofs and turf fires or short hikes to breathe some of Europe’s freshest air right off the Atlantic!

Overnight: Doolin | Fiddle & Bow
Room Type: Classic Twin
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Monday 23rd September - The Burren National Park

The Burren’s rocky alien landscape is said to be the inspiration for Middle Earth in JRR Tolkien’s world-famous Lord of the Rings trilogy – and on your guided hike through this other-worldly region, it’s easy to see why! Home to a plethora of unique wildflowers, you will learn about the human history of the area dating back thousands of years.

*Optional Upgrade: join a local farming couple for a tour of The Burren, wrapped up with a farm-sourced home cooked lunch in their farm house.

Overnight: Doolin | Fiddle & Bow
Room Type: Classic Twin
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Tuesday 24th September - Kenmare via Killarney National Park

This morning you’ll make your way further south to the the charming town of Kenmare – a hidden gem on the southwest coast of Ireland. En route, you’ll stop at Killarney National Park,  the most famous of Ireland’s national parks – and with good reason! Discover some of Killarney’s most breathtaking mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Historic manor houses and abbeys makes for an interesting visit but Killarney is best explored via its beautiful looped forested and mountain hikes or by heading out onto the lakes of Killarney in a traditional boat.

*Torc Waterfall is located just outside of Killarney National Park

Overnight: Kenmare | Lansdowne Hotel
Room Type: Super Twin Room
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7 - Wednesday 25th September - The Ring of Kerry & Kerry Coast

Into the southern part of the Ring of Kerry, the landscape becomes wilder and more rugged. At a secluded bay, join a foraging and foodie expert for a seaweed discovery and tasting walk to uncover the Kerry coast’s edible gems. Together, discover how to sustainably harvest these sea plants, learning how they earned their reputation as a super-food. Enjoy a few nibbles of seaweed yourself, including the flavoursome variety, Duilleasc, which sustained the monks on Skellig Island, the rock pinnacles rising dramatically from the sea on the horizon, or Nori, the famous Sushi roll wrapping.

Overnight: Kenmare | Lansdowne Hotel
Room Type: Super Twin Room
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Thursday 26th September - The Beara Peninsula

The least visited of Kerry’s peninsulas, the Beara Peninsula is wonderfully wild. Along the way to an even wilder mountain pass, opt for the scenic rather than most direct route south which brings you to a paradisal island garden or even head over to an island accessed only by cable car.

*optional upgrade: a hike with an expert hiking guide

Overnight: Kenmare | The Lansdowne
Room Type: Super Twin Room

Day 9 - Friday 27th September - Kenmare to Dublin

Dublin, Ireland’s capital has been described as the ‘city with a village feel’  and as you explore its cobbled streets and historical monuments it will be easy to see why. Dublin is best explored on foot or using public transport such as the LUAS, our light rail system. Many of Dublin’s highlights are within walking distance and indeed you will discover it is in the act of wandering from one to another where you will soak up Dublin’s authentic atmosphere.

Overnight: Dublin | The Wilder Townhouse
Room Type: Popular Double
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Saturday 28th September - Departure from Dublin

After a leisurely breakfast in your Dublin townhouse, make your way to the airport in your own time to drop off your car in preparation for your return flight home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 9
  • Breakfast each morning included with hotel stays
  • A guided archaeology walk on Inishbofin Island
  • A guided walk in The Burren National Park
  • Half day sea safari off the Dingle Peninsula with a local expert
  • Seaweed foraging experience along the Ring of Kerry
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Snacks throughout the trip
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Car rental
  • Lunches and dinners each day, except where included on guided foodie activities
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for activity providers
Pricing Read More

The price of this trip is3,658 per person and is based on availability at the time of booking, inclusive of 10% agent commission.

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