5 Best Road Trips in Ireland With Incredible Scenery
Ireland is one of the travel destinations you shouldn’t miss, especially if you love seeing natural wonders and immersing yourself in rich culture and history. Travelling to Ireland is its own unique experience. You won’t run out of things to do, and you definitely won’t be disappointed because you’re sure to fall in love with the place and the people. If you’re in the process of planning your Ireland trip, we’ll help you out! Here are our suggestions for the best road trips Ireland. ☘️
The Wild Atlantic Way
To plan your Irish road trip, it’s important to know your starting point and your destination. Along with that, you should also allot enough time to enjoy the place rather than rushing through your trip. For example, the Wild Atlantic Way can take about 10 to 14 days, starting from Kinsal to the north in Inishowen in Donegal. This road trip will cover approximately 2,500 km. and is a popular route among travellers because it will take you through the amazing west coast of Ireland.
The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the best roads to drive in Ireland as it is the longest defined coastal road in the whole world. You can finish the trip in just ten days if that’s all the time you have. But if you can take two weeks off, then it will be worth your while to just take your time and really get to know Ireland through this route. You won’t regret it because you’ll be in awe of breathtaking views along the way to Inishowen. From rolling fields to quaint towns and wondrous mountains, you’ll have the chance to see everything that is uniquely Irish.
The Burren Loop
Now, if you only have a weekend for your Ireland road trip, you can take the Burren Loop. You’ll start and end in Kilfenora, covering 90 km. For this route, you will be driving through Western Ireland, in County Clare. As a little trivia before you take this road trip, “Burren” actually means “a rocky place.” So, expect the dramatic landscape of grey limestone that’s been around since prehistoric times.
On the western area of the Burren Loop, you’ll enjoy full stretches of spectacular coastline. The other side of the loop will take you to Burren National Park. Since this route is a loop, you have the choice to start or end the trip wherever is more convenient for you. Of course, we’d recommend Kilfenora because there, you’ll find the Burren Centre where you’ll get all the information you need to make your road trip a lot more interesting.
Ring of Kerry
Here’s one of the best Irish road trip ideas you can consider if you have time to travel over a weekend. For the Ring of Kerry, we suggest you start and end in Killarney, covering 200 km. Through this route, you will see the Iveragh Peninsula, where you’ll be amazed by the beautiful coastline and stunning scenery. Be sure to visit the Skellig Islands because it's among the must-see destinations while you’re on the Ring of Kerry.
If you’ve seen the Star Wars movies, then you’ll easily recognise the rocky islands in the Skelligs. The islands are also known to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so make it a point to visit this spot while you’re on your Ireland road trip. Apart from that, there’s also Valentia Island, Gap of Dunloe, and Rossbeigh Strand, among others, that will just take your breath away. If you’re looking for a place to stay, you’ll find plenty of charming inns and hotels in Killarney. You can reach most of the top Ireland travel destinations from this town.
Ring of Beara
If you’re looking to avoid the crowd of tourists visiting Ireland, you might want to check out the Ring of Beara. Often, travellers choose the Ring of Kerry over this route, but the Ring of Beara will take you to the highlights of what the Beara Peninsula has to offer. Even if you only have one day to see Ireland, you can do so if you take this road trip loop. If you have a couple of days, then it will be much better – you can drive slower, enjoy some hikes, as well as stay the night at lovely hotels along the way.
We recommend starting in the town of Kenmare if you’re going to take the Ring of Beara route. What’s great about this place is that it is a stop for both the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara, allowing you to complete both routes for your Ireland road trip. Check out Gleninchaquin Park and explore its walking trails. Beyond the park are two charming lakes, Barley Lake and Glanmore Lake. These spots also offer gorgeous views, so your hike will surely be worth it.
Ireland’s Ancient East
For a longer trip and for travellers who love learning about the history and culture of a place, Ireland’s Ancient East route is perfect. You need about four days at least to complete this road trip, starting from Dublin and ending in Cork. You’ll cover around 392 km for this route. Apart from historic sites of the eastern part of Ireland, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to go on a gastronomic adventure and sample the local cheeses, spirits, meats, and other local produce.
Moving from Dublin, you will then get to explore County Kildare, where you can visit the Donadea National Forest. There’s also a huge shopping centre, Kildare Village if you want to get some shopping done. After that, head over to Glendalough and visit the Monastic Site and the Upper and Lower Lakes. For travellers who love to hike, don’t miss the Wicklow Way while you’re on Ireland’s Ancient East!