The 10 best road trips in Ireland you need to experience

By experiencing the best road trips in Ireland, you will be in a great position to truly see and explore everything great that the Emerald Isle has to offer visitors.

Ireland is full of spectacular and inspiring drives. From cute little boreen roads to remote mountain passes and short spins through quaint Irish villages to the breathtaking and long drives along the majestic Wild Atlantic Way.

There are many great road trips just waiting to be discovered. This article will list what we believe to be the top ten best road trips in Ireland that need to be on your Ireland itinerary and your world road trip bucket list. Here is your Ireland road trip map!

10. The Comeragh Mountains via Cashel and Vee pass (240km / 149 miles) – a scenic drive

This is one of the best road trips in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @viajamosemuito

This scenic drive, also known as the Munster Vales, covers many counties, such as Tipperary, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. There are so many beautiful sites to see on this route.

These include the Comeragh Mountains, the ancient town of Fethard, the banks of the River Suir, the heritage town of Lismore, the seaside town of Dungarvan and the Vee scenic mountain pass.

To see all of these sites properly, it’s advised to give yourself about a week.

9. Galway to Westport via the Doolough Valley (160km / 99 miles) – explore the rugged west

Galway to Westport.
Credit: Instagram / @destination_westport

If you have ever wanted to explore the rugged and wild West of Ireland, then the Galway to Westport via the Doolough Valley route is one you should take.

Besides exploring the stunning Doolough Valley, you will also have the opportunity to gaze at the hillsides, lakes, and luxurious beaches Westport has to offer.

8. Wexford to Waterford via Hook Head (95km / 59 miles) – a route that brings you to the world’s oldest working lighthouse

This is one of the best road trips in Ireland.

Wexford is an ancient Viking town steeped in beauty and history. This county in the sunny southeast of Ireland is also home to the world’s oldest working lighthouse, the Hook Lighthouse.

This stunning landmark can be seen when you undertake the Wexford to Waterford via the Hook Head route.

7. Belfast to Derry via the Causeway Coast (250km / 155 miles) – Northern Ireland’s ancient coastline

Through the Causeway Coast.

If you want to explore Northern Ireland’s ancient coastline, the Belfast to Derry via the Causeway Coast route should be on your bucket list.

While experiencing the beauty of the Giant’s Causeway, check out the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge for glorious views.

6. Boyne Valley Scenic Loop (190km / 118 miles) – a route full of historical monuments and stunning views

This is one of the best road trips in Ireland.

The Boyne Valley Scenic Loop is a route that is full of historical monuments and stunning views. Besides driving through plenty of lovely towns, highlights of this route include the Hill of Tara, Trim and Slane Castle and the Battle of the Boyne site.

5. Glengesh Pass to Cliffs of Moher (302km / 188 miles) – arrive at one of Ireland’s most majestic landmarks

Route through The cliffs of Moher.
Credit: Flickr / Giuseppe Milo

If you are looking for a route with incredible sights at both the beginning and the end, then the Glengesh Pass to Cliffs of Moher will suit your needs perfectly.

It starts in Donegal and brings you through wondrous winding roads before eventually arriving at one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, the Cliffs of Moher.

Another thing to check out in Donegal is the Slieve League Cliffs, perhaps more beautiful than The Cliffs of Moher.

4. The Sky Road Loop (20 km / 12 miles) – a jaw-droppingly beautiful route

This is one of the best road trips in Ireland.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

The Sky Road Loop is a jaw-droppingly beautiful route near Clifden in the breathtaking Connemara region.

It is part of the fan favourite and world-famous Wild Atlantic Way scenic route along Ireland’s west coast. It’s certainly one of the best road trips in Ireland.

3. The Burren Loop (160km / 99 Miles) – one of Ireland’s most unique landscapes

The Burren Loop.

The Burren Loop is worth doing as it brings you across one of Ireland’s most unique landscapes and around the Burren National Park, a protected and famous Unesco World Heritage Site.

2. The Ring of Kerry (179km / 111 Miles) – a world-class driving route

This is one of the best road trips in Ireland.
Credit: commonswikimedia.org

Beginning and ending in Killarney, the Ring of Kerry is a world-class touring route with the perfect combination of mountain towns, charming villages, islands and the ocean.

Valentia Island is an island on the Ring of Kerry road trip route and is located right by the Kerry Cliffs.

This is one road trip which perfectly encapsulates everything magical and memorable about travelling in Ireland. The narrow roads make it a particularly interesting drive.

1. Wild Atlantic Way (2600 km / 1616 miles) – the best road trip route in Ireland

Wild Atlantic Way.

In first place on our list of what we believe to be the top ten best road trips in Ireland is the world-famous Wild Atlantic Way route, the world’s longest signed coastal drive that stretches over a whopping 2500km (1616 miles)

This route incorporates many counties and displays the best that the Irish landscape offers, making it a must-do when visiting Ireland.

That concludes our article on the top ten best road trips in Ireland that you need to experience at least once. Are there any other great Irish road trips that you think deserve a place on our list?

Other notable mentions

This is one of the best road trips in Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @sineadaphotos

Dublin to Portlaoise via the Wicklow Mountains (138km / 86 miles): This trip will start in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin.

It will gradually bring you from a bustling city out to Ireland’s lush and green countryside as you go through Portlaoise onto the Wicklow Mountains.  

Yeats County and Lough Gill Scenic Loop (185km / 115 miles): Starting and ending in the centre of Sligo, this route will bring you past beautiful beaches and majestic mountains steeped in Irish mythology.     

Kinsale to Baltimore (80km / 50 miles): This Kinsale to Baltimore route incorporates some of the most charming towns and villages West Cork offers.

The Dingle Peninsula (47km/ 30 miles): It is a beautiful looped scenic driving route around the Dingle Peninsula and will take around three or four hours to complete. 

Credit: Tourism Ireland

Things to see: There are so many things to see and explore on a road trip through Ireland, whatever route you take.

You will experience scenic views of Blarney Castle & Gardens, Maranatha Country House, Mussenden Temple, Kilkenny Castle, Malin Head, Glenveagh National Park, Achill Island, Slea Head, Muckross House, Ross Castle, Killarney National Park and so much more.

FAQs about the best road trips in Ireland:

How many days do you need to drive around Ireland?

At 280 km (175 miles) wide and 486 km (300 miles) long, we recommend allowing yourself up to 7 days to have enough time to appreciate and cover the island of Ireland fully.

How do I plan a road trip around Ireland?

The best way to plan a successful road trip around Ireland is to use an itinerary that covers this exact situation. You can find our fantastic Ireland road trip itinerary here.

What is the best month to go to Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland is between March and May or September to November as there aren’t as many crowds and the weather tends to be mild. However, it has its perks all year-round.

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