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7 Best Road Trips to Take Around Ireland

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This weekend, hit the road with the best scenic drives and most spectacular road trip routes around Ireland. 

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Nothing beats the sense of excitement you get when you get on your bike and start exploring. Just don’t forget to purchase a quality motorbike insurance before you go because the road can be a dangerous and unpredictable place.

You don’t need to travel far for this wonderful experience, as Ireland is full of coastal views and epic landscapes, offering a variety of spectacular driving routes available all over the country.

From the beautiful Sky Road to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, here we’ve compiled a list of the greatest routes for an Ireland road trip. Let’s dive in! 

  1. The Lough Derg Way

The shoreline of one of Ireland’s largest lakes is marked with quiet countryside towns and villages. Begin in medieval Killaloe, south of Lough Derg, and end at the Brian Boru Heritage Centre on the stone bridge leading to Ballina’s twin town.

Take the R463 and R352 that embrace the coastline to the beautiful village of Mountshannon with its pretty marina beach. If you have time, take a boat journey to Holy Island, a historic monastic village, or continue on to Portumna, a laid-back market town with a forest park, friary ruins, and castles.

The winding country road embraces several Tipperary towns and villages. Following Portroe, the lookout viewpoint presents an extraordinary view of the lake fanning out below. Get back to Ballina, where you can enjoy a cruise.

  1. The Sky Road

Clifden’s Sky Road is one of Connemara’s most stunning spots. The round route from Clifden leads you west to the Kingstown Peninsula, then back to Clifden via the N59. The Wild Atlantic Way driving route passes through the Peninsula. As a result, the view from Sky Road is truly breathtaking.

As you drive away from Clifden, you’ll be going uphill on the Sky Road, where the road will eventually split into the Upper and Lower Sky Roads (take the upper, with views of The Islands, the Atlantic Ocean, the Connemara countryside, and the coastline of Co. Clare to the south, and Co. Mayo to the North). 

There is a viewing area and a parking at the highest point with sufficient space to park and take pictures.

  1. Dublin to the Wicklow Mountains

Begin your journey in Dublin, and enjoy watching the grey city turning to the green and rural countryside as you move towards the wonderful Wicklow Mountains. 

Head towards the south of Dublin and approach the village of Bray, then take the R117 towards the village of Enniskerry, enjoying the spectacular views of the Great Sugar Loaf mountain.

Take a lunch break at Powerscourt Estate, Ireland’s tallest waterfall, before continuing on to Glencree and the R115 (Military Road), which climbs to the expansive Sally Gap.

The Wicklow Mountains are surrounded by stark scree slopes, and Glendalough, a distant monastery complex, is one of the most impressive destinations. Finally, head back to Dublin through the picturesque village of Roundstone, which is about 220m above sea level. This route is usually best for city folk who simply want a rural experience. 

  1. The Healy Pass

The Healy Pass, one of Ireland’s greatest drives, is bliss for coastal landscape junkies. It starts at Adrigole Bridge in West Cork, finishes at Lauragh Bridge in Co. Kerry, and is situated at an elevation of about 334m above sea level. 

The road winds through a rugged, otherworldly landscape that passes between two of the highest summits in the Caha mountain range. Along the way, there is 12 km worth of hairpin bends in rocky terrain, all worth it for the wild and scenic scenery. It is hard to travel around Beara and not want to take loads of panoramic shots.

  1. The Cliffs Of Moher

Begin your journey in Donegal and move past the winding roads by the striking valley of Glengesh Pass. Continue south through Galway and Sligo, and go for a walk in Father Ted’s house near the village of Lisdoonvarna before arriving at your destination: the jaw-droppingly beautiful Cliffs of Moher.

Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland’s west coast, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the greatest coastal features of Ireland. They stretch for about 8km along the coastline, ascending to over 213 meters above the sea level at their highest point. The north coast of Galway Bay and even the Aran Islands can be seen from them. Simply put, with all the majestic sights at both the beginning and end of this drive, it has become a must for many people visiting Ireland. 

  1. The Burren Loop

Otherworldly in its charm, the Burren Loop landscapes are a must-see. The Burren National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is one of the world’s most striking and unusual landscapes.

Aside from the park itself, the surrounding area of Clare is brimming with lovely villages and amazing drinks and food, all broken up by some of the greatest scenic drives in Ireland. It is a site full of admiration, offering a great range of fauna and flora, both of which are Instagram’s delight.

  1. The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry, a worldwide famous touring route, is a perfect combination of mountains, islands, ocean, villages, and towns that makes it a thrilling trip with new views around every corner.

There are amazing viewpoints where you can watch the windswept outcrops of the Skellig Michael, Skellig Islands, and Small Skellig. Skellig Michael was the filming site of several Star Wars movies. If you are a fan of the Star Wars universe, you should definitely take this route.  

These are only a few of the many fantastic routes available for a trip in Ireland. Planning the perfect trip in Ireland doesn’t need to be overwhelming or stressful. Regardless of where you choose to visit, you are in for a real treat. Enjoy!

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