My Five Favourite Irish Road Trips

A rural and not particularly densely populated island country, Ireland is a dream destination for those of you who like to hop in a car and go explore. A country whose countryside consists of rolling hills, lush fields, golden meadows, rugged coasts and barren mountains, road trips in Ireland are the stuff lifelong memories are made of. And now, early fall, is the absolute best time of year to go for one of these 5 amazing Irish road trips. The high season has come and gone, and with it the masses of tourists as well. Fall colours are slowly taking over the landscapes. Crisp mornings are replaced by still-pleasant afternoons.

5 Amazing Irish Road Trips

Ring of Kerry

5 Amazing Irish Road Trips: Spectacular Stretch of Coastline on the Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Ring of Kerry Coast

Possibly the greatest of all the amazing Irish road trips, the Ring of Kerry is a 179-kilometer loop drive around a peninsula in County Kerry. Taking in everything from towering mountains to deserted beaches, and from impossibly picturesque coastal villages to imposing castle ruins, this is one of the amazing Irish road trips, that give you the ultimate impression of what Ireland is all about. Highlights include Killarney National Park, Ross Castle, the town of Waterville and Derrynane House, the old home of Daniel O’Connell.

Golden Vale

Road trips in Ireland: Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel

Starting this road trip in Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s most historic little cities, you will soon find yourself in quintessential Irish countryside. On your way to Cashel, home to St. Patrick’s Rock—also known simply as the Rock of Cashel—, you will meander through gorgeous farmlands and over pleasantly undulating hills. The Rock of Cashel is one of the major historic attractions in southern Ireland, encompassing the ruins of a Georgian cathedral, medieval monasteries, Cormac’s Chapel and a round tower. The trip continues through the Golden Vale, just south of the Rock of Cashel, which is Ireland’s main dairy farming region. There are a few spectacular lookout points on the hills flanking the valley.

Connemara

Road trips in Ireland: Connemara, Ireland
Empty road in Connemara

Connemara is arguably the most desolate and rugged place on the entire island. Its landscapes characterized by bare wind-blasted mountains, swampy peat bogs, wave-beaten beaches and countless shimmering lakes, this is the perfect place for remote hikes and revitalizing self-reflections. Make sure to visit Connemara National Park, Killary Harbour and Kylemore Abbey.

The Burren

Road trips in Ireland: Poulnabrone Dolmen, the Burren
Poulnabrone Dolmen, the Burren

The Burren is a strong competitor with Connemara for being Ireland’s wildest region. Located south of Galway—Connemara lies north of Galway—the Burren is a 250-square-kilometer karst landscape. It consists of hardly anything else than grey rocks and stones, grassy fields and barren hills. It’s without question one of the most unforgiving places in Ireland, yet it is dotted with fascinating archaeological sites. There are more than 90 megalithic tombs, several ringforts, portal dolmens and a striking Celtic high cross. An Irish road trip around the Burren isn’t complete without a visit to the jaw-dropping Cliffs of Moher, the most visited natural attraction in all of Ireland.

Antrim Coast

Road trips in Ireland: Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Situated on the far northern coast, in Northern Ireland, in fact, the Antrim Coast makes for one of the best coastal road trips in Ireland. This phenomenal drive begins in the Northern Irish capital of Belfast and ends at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meandering its way along the Antrim Coast, the road takes you past highlights such as Carrickfergus Castle, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the Old Bushmills Distillery, among many others.

About Bram

Website: http://www.travel-experience-live.com

Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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2 Responses

  1. Paul Robinson

    Great Post!! Thanks for sharing. Loved how you share your travel story! And, the pictures are simply breathtaking. Awesome blog! Glad I found you guys today! Cheers and enjoy the rest of the week!

    Reply

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