Top 10 Must See Ireland Road Trips You Need to Take
Irish countryside. If you’re a fan of movies or the kind of person who likes to explore the rough images that are so often shown with pictures of pints of “The Black Stuff” and shots of tiny straw-roof cottages, you’ll be eager to get out of the city and explore roads that most other countries would consider to be little more than footpaths.
You’ll love Dublin, and almost everyone who goes there does, once they get over the high prices. But it’s the island’s rural side that tends to grab people’s hearts and make them promise to come back. There are some trips that really capture the magic of the place. Some are well-known, while others are only known to the locals and are miles away from the tourist trail. Here are some of our favorite curvy roads that take us into the “real” Ireland.
The Way of the Wild Atlantic
Let’s start with the most important and obvious one. The Irish government’s recent push for tourism led to the creation of The Wild Atlantic Way, which is basically all of Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Its “golden child” status shouldn’t put you off, though. Along its 2,750-kilometer (1,700-mile) path, there’s something for everyone, from the places where Game of Thrones and Star Wars were filmed to towering cliffs, must-do hikes, adventure parks, and island stops. You’ll need a few weeks to see everything; this is a monster. Here is a map.
The loop around Boyne Valley
“Ireland’s Ancient East” is the East Coast’s answer to “The Wild Atlantic Way.” It isn’t as well-known as “The Wild Atlantic Way,” but history buffs will love this route. We think you should take the Boyne Valley Loop instead of trying to see everything on the drive. It’s a path that goes around Meath, which is north of Dublin. It goes by Newgrange, which is a passage tomb that is 5,000 years old and was built before the pyramids. It also goes by Trim Castle, which was in the movie Braveheart, and The Hill of Tara, which is a famous part of St. Patrick’s story. Here is a map.
The Kerry Ring
The Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer (111.2-mile) tour of the western Iveragh Peninsula that goes through some of the most rugged and beautiful parts of the country. It is a dream route for people who like hiking, hills, and dramatic coastlines. The route is popular with drivers, cyclists, and walkers. Drivers can finish the route in a day, but it’s better to give at least two days because there are so many small villages, castles, hillside roads, and sea views. All the tour buses go counterclockwise because the roads are too narrow for two buses to fit side by side. If you’re on your own, head clockwise from Killarney to avoid most of the crowds.
Ring of Kerry, County Kerry, Killarney, Ireland
The coast near the Causeway
After you’ve heard the dark stories of the conflict and seen the Titanic Museum in Belfast, head to Derry via Giant’s Causeway, which is smaller than many people expect but still amazing, and the cliffside trails in the north-east corner of the island. Stop at Dunluce Castle and the strange-looking Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, then grab a drink at the Old Bushmills Distillery and learn more about Northern Ireland’s tumultuous past in the Bogside of Derry-Londonderry. We’ll let you find out about that confusing double name (it’s only one place) when you get there.
The Loop of Burren
The Burren is a famously barren piece of land in the east of Ireland. It has a strange area of 250 square kilometers (96.5 square miles) of “karst” landscape, which is made up of craggy limestone covering the surface of whole coastal hills. Visitors love how the area looks like the moon, and many spend most of their time in County Clare just walking around the rock formations. You can also check out the ancient tomb Poulnabrone, Newtown Castle, Father Ted’s House, and the Cliffs of Moher, which are not far away.
Burren National Park, Knockaunroe, County Clare, Ireland, Corofin, Knockaunroe,
The peninsula of Dingle
Kerry town Dingle is a place that many Irish people will say is one of their favorite places in the country. The harbor is home to a dolphin, and the town has a lot of beautiful little things to see and do, like homemade salty ice cream and pubs that also sell hardware or rent bikes. People keep coming to Ireland because the whole peninsula is so beautiful and wild. You’ll have to drive slowly because the streets are so narrow, but when you see the tiny harbors and waterfalls that flow over the road, you’ll choose to go even slower.
The Dingle Peninsula is in Ireland’s County Kerry.
Island of Achill
The chunky island of Mayo, which was recently in the news because its beach came back after more than 30 years, has only one road in and out, but there is a lot to see once you get there. At the end of the island that faces the Atlantic Ocean, tall hills drop into the water. Elsewhere, there are small, charming villages, a lot of people who speak Irish as their first language, and dozens of square kilometers of peat bog. The island is out of the way, but its 161 kilometers (100 miles) of coastline make it worth the trip.
Achill Island is in the Irish county of Mayo.
The mountains of Wicklow
Head for the two main gaps between the hills in Wicklow, the “garden county” just 30 minutes south of Dublin’s city center. Wicklow is by far the easiest of these drives to get to if you’re coming from the capital. It has hidden gems like the lakes and monastic settlement at Glendalough, as well as lots of walking trails and the prettiest commuter towns you could hope to find. The name “mountains” is a bit of a stretch, since nothing here is higher than 1,000 meters (3,280.8 feet), but it’s still beautiful.
Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains are in County Wicklow.
Hook Head connects Wexford and Waterford.
This little tour of Ireland’s south-east corner is more popular with locals than with tourists. It includes a car ferry, beautiful beaches, and a visit to the Hook Lighthouse, which was built in the 1300s. Wexford is known for its strawberries, seals, and high-end restaurants, while Waterford is known for its famous crystal, huge stone churches, river views, and museums that teach about Ireland’s past.
The looped West Cork Drive
Cork people are known for how much they love their own county, which is called the “rebel county.” In fact, a map of Ireland with the words “Cork” and “not Cork” written on it is probably the most famous meme in Ireland. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, go to the west, where old, rustic villages and beautiful hilly scenery are the norm. Skibbereen, Kinsale, Mizen Head, rural cheese makers, tidal lakes, and ancient stone circles will give you a taste of Atlantic culture.
Topic: Top 10 Must See Ireland Road Trips You Need to Take
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By: Travel Pixy