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Explore Ireland’s Scenic Routes: Must-Visit Road Trip Destinations

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Ireland's Scenic Routes

If you love to travel, exploring Ireland's scenic routes should be on your list! You'll get to see the country's stunning natural beauty and learn about its rich culture and history.

You can choose from the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ring of Kerry, or even the lesser-known Slieve Bloom Mountains Scenic Drive in County Laois. Each route offers something unique – from coastal towns to ancient ruins.

Hit the road and explore these breathtaking routes! Create memories and book your car rental today. Playing a game of Tetris in Ireland, but with more sheep and less predictability, awaits you!

Planning the road trip

To plan a successful road trip through the scenic routes in Ireland, you need to make several important decisions. Start with choosing the best scenic routes for your trip, followed by renting a reliable car for seamless travel. Lastly, you need to pack all the essentials to ensure a smooth and comfortable road trip.

Choosing the scenic routes

As a traveller, it is important to plan routes that are picturesque. Experience scenic routes with breathtaking views and culture. Look for routes that are unique, charming, and full of adventure.

Lush landscapes, small towns with beautiful architecture, and stunning coastal drives are all part of the experience. Get an in-depth understanding of a place's history and lifestyle. Plus, you'll have plenty of photo ops!

When planning a road trip, look beyond the map. Ask locals or travel guides to find hidden gems and fun stops along the way.

Some countries, such as Australia, even have designated scenic routes that offer stunning vistas and unique experiences, from outback drives to coastal trips with whale-watching opportunities.

Renting a car for the trip

Considering transport for your journey? Hire an auto! Renting gives you freedom from public transport schedules and lets you explore your own way. You get more control and can customize your journey. Plus, you can visit remote places without worrying about access.

It's important to choose a rental company with decent cars and insurance coverage. Make sure to also insure liability policies for personal security.

Renting a car lets tourists visit less-known places – like driving through Italian countryside alleyways and seeing beautiful sceneries not seen with traditional travel. Don't forget to pack enough underwear – you never know when a spontaneous skinny dipping session might happen!

Packing essentials for the road trip

Ready to hit the road? Make sure you have essential items for a successful and comfortable journey! Pack an emergency car kit with flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, a spare tire, and portable phone chargers. Also, don't forget to bring comfy clothes, snacks, and water bottles. Don't forget to pack electronics like laptops and cameras, plus their chargers.

Don't overpack! Choose items based on your needs. Consider luggage features like inner straps and compartments. Don't forget your camera and a strong stomach for those winding roads! You're now ready for the ultimate road trip adventure!

Exploring Ireland's scenic routes

To discover the most picturesque routes in Ireland, you need to plan a road trip with the best scenic routes. Drive through the Ring of Kerry, Wild Atlantic Way, Causeway Coastal Route, and Wicklow Mountains Scenic Drive for breathtaking views. Each route offers its own unique beauty that will make your trip unforgettable.

Ring of Kerry

Take an iconic driving route around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. It's 179 km long and takes you through some of Ireland's most stunning landscapes. The Ring of Kerry features seascapes, mountains, forests, valleys and castles.

Get ready for a mesmerizing experience. Highlights include Killarney National Park, Torc Waterfall and Ladies View. Go counterclockwise to beat the tour buses! Head towards Portmagee or its unique offshoots, like Valentia Island or Skellig Michael, for truly breathtaking views.

Don't miss out on the walking trails stretching over MacGillycuddy's Reeks and across the Gap of Dunloe. Or explore Muckross House & Gardens, with its towering trees and interior views.

Take your time – spread your drive over a couple of days. You'll be able to relax and enjoy the tranquillity. Stay a night or two at picturesque stopovers or bed and breakfast accommodations. Indulge in traditional Irish hospitality and local food specialities.

The Wild Atlantic Way is a rollercoaster ride. Step on the gas and buckle up!

Wild Atlantic Way

Explore the beautiful Irish coast! This remarkable journey takes you through stunning landscapes, lush greenery, and awe-inspiring cliffs. Immerse yourself in the mystical charm of Irish culture and take in magnificent beaches.

Start in Cork and travel north through Galway, Donegal, and Derry. Stop by vibrant towns and villages, welcoming you with Irish hospitality. From winding roads to open highways, the route has something for everyone.

Experience traditional music festivals, sample fresh seafood, and discover centuries-old castles like Kylemore Abbey and Dunluce Castle. Don't forget your camera for picturesque sceneries at every turn!

Stretch your legs on the Causeway Coastal Route, but watch out for the giant stepping stones – they're a tripping hazard!

Causeway Coastal Route

Travellers in search of a unique adventure should explore the Causeway Coastal Route! This winding trail stretches from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry and showcases breathtaking beauty. From the Giant's Causeway‘s natural phenomena, to mountains and castles, it will take your breath away.

Glimpse the Atlantic Ocean, visit Carrickfergus Castle, and explore villages like Glenarm. Don't forget hidden gems like Torr Head and Murlough Bay!

Experience the thrill of coastal hikes or horseback rides with an experienced guide. Or, indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the many world-class restaurants. And, don't forget whiskey tasting at Old Bushmills Distillery.

Royal Portrush Golf Club is nearby too. For the ultimate experience, drive through the Wicklow Mountains. You'll feel like you're in a postcard until you hit a sheep crossing and remember it's real life!

Wicklow Mountains Scenic Drive

The Wicklow Mountains Scenic Drive offers a journey through the heart of Ireland. Every bend is a new view, with glimmering lakes, ancient ruins, and forests all along the way. Visitors can spot small towns, go hiking or cycling, and explore Glendalough Valley's tranquil lakes and prehistoric monastic settlements. It's a two-hour journey from Dublin, and a great way to take a break from city life. B&Bs line the route, so tourists can enjoy ‘the Garden of Ireland' without spending much. Revel in its serene tranquillity and be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of nature!

Accommodation options along scenic routes

To plan your road trip along scenic routes in Ireland, you need to decide where you will stay. In order to make the most of your trip, you need to consider the right accommodation options with Bed and Breakfasts, Campsites, and Hotels to suit all budgets.

Bed and Breakfasts

Jaw-droppingly unique accommodations await travellers along scenic routes. Cozy cottages, farm-inns, and personalized inns all offer a night's sleep with a delicious morning meal. You can experience genuine personal service, attention to detail, and country-style hospitality. Plus, 42% of vacation rental accommodation in the U.S. is B&Bs, according to Statista!

And for those looking for an adventure, campsites provide an unforgettable experience of sleeping with bugs and bears.


For those who want a touch of nature on their scenic routes, primitive campsites offer an ample opportunity to experience true nature. These areas are great for hikers and trekkers who love campfires, s'mores and stargazing! Remember to bring proper storage containers for food and inquire about pet policies before visiting. To preserve nature, properly dispose off waste and respect it.

Primitive Campsites lack modern amenities like running water and electricity but offer unique opportunities to rough it out. Alternatively, RV parks present a fantastic option along scenic routes. They have been around since 1913 and provide various amenities like electricity hookups and access facilities. Some people may find hotels overpriced, but the convenience of someone else making the bed is worth the extra cost!


Admire the stunning views while you journey along scenic routes!

There are plenty of exquisite lodgings to choose from. Enjoy nature or go for premium comfort with en-suite bedrooms. Indulge in luxury with outdoor pools and spa facilities. Or go classic with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi. For something unique, try boutique hotels with quirky decor and personalized service. These can be found in charming small towns with interesting cultures. Don't forget to book ahead so you don't miss out!

Must-see attractions along scenic routes

To enhance your road trip experience in Ireland, check out the must-see attractions along its scenic routes. With castles and historic sites, national parks and natural wonders, and quirky local shops and eateries, you'll have much to discover and explore.

Castles and historic sites

Discover castles and historic sites on scenic routes. Learn about the region's heritage and cultural significance. It's an unforgettable journey!

Shops, restaurants and views await. Take a break from the routine and explore. Famous landmarks like Windsor, Warwick and Edinburgh Castles have stood the test of time.

Experience lesser-known sites like Pembroke Castle, Falkland Palace's dovecote or Stirling Old Town Jail. Check out events held at these sites for fun beyond regular sightseeing.

If you're not a fan of breathtaking views and fresh air, then national parks and natural wonders may not be for you. But hey, at least you'll have more parking spaces.

National parks and natural wonders

Our nation offers amazing routes that boast stunning landmarks and wonders formed by nature. From the Rocky Mountains to the Grand Canyon, our National Parks are home to some of the most incredible natural sights in the world. Millions visit every year, seeking adventure, inspiration and knowledge.

Exploring these places provides amazing views that you won't forget. Plus, there are plenty of activities – hiking trails, camping and wildlife photography. There are rock formations, rolling plains and waterfalls too.

Plus, go off the beaten path and uncover hidden gems only locals know about. Get extra insight into these parks' human history too – like Joshua Tree National Park. The settlers named it after religious leader Joshua Smith because they thought it looked like his arms leading to Salvation.

And don't forget to try out the local food! Nothing says ‘scenic route' like a good old-fashioned food coma.

Local shops and eateries

For nourishment and mementoes, there's plenty of remarkable local stores on the picturesque paths. These bewitching stores and eateries give a real flavour to the region.

  • Treat yourself to freshly-baked pies at Pie Town.
  • Taste zesty BBQ at Smokin' Joe's Pit House.
  • Gobble up delicious seafood at Ocean Blue Cafe.
  • Sample handcrafted chocolates from Sweet Treats Artisanal Sweets.
  • Try genuine Mexican cuisine at Fiesta Mexicana.

Also, these places often have fascinating tales connected to the area's past and culture. For example, Sweet Treats Artisanal Sweets was the first shop to utilize ingredients from nearby farmers and fishermen.

Jane, a voyager, found a charming coffee shop tucked away in a small town on her drive through the Pacific Northwest. Not only did she savour her latte with homemade almond milk, but also found honey-infused pastries made with local ingredients. It was a major highlight of her voyage and a significant experience within the community.

Remember, safety isn't just a phrase, it's a way to dodge consecutive nights in a hospital bed instead of a comfy motel room.

Safety tips for driving and exploring scenic routes

As you explore Ireland's scenic routes, remember to stay safe! Here's what you must consider:

  • Check your car's brakes, tires, windshield wipers, and fluid levels.
  • Drive with caution on winding roads.
  • Always wear seat belts and don't drink alcohol while driving.
  • If you're alone, let someone know your route and estimated time of arrival.
  • Be alert on narrow or unmarked roads with sharp turns or rough surfaces.

Also, be aware that some small roads are too narrow for two cars. Reverse into safe spots if this happens. Watch out for animals crossing the road – we recently encountered baby goatlings on our journey near Killarney and Kells Bay! Why not take a road trip to Ireland for some therapeutic views?


Exploring Ireland's scenic routes is a must! The diverse landscapes, historical architecture, and hospitable locals make it an unforgettable experience. For a car rental expert like me, I suggest taking your time to appreciate each route and plan stops.

Nature lovers can immerse themselves in the lush green countryside and stunning coastal roads. Plus, there are plenty of unique landmarks and historic sites like castle ruins and ancient monasteries.

Before you go, research and plan lots of breaks. Enjoy local cuisine at charming pubs or take a peaceful stroll through picturesque towns. Don't forget to follow traffic laws and drive safely.

Pro Tip: Rent a small vehicle as some of the narrow roads may be tricky for larger ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

▷ What are some of the most scenic routes to explore in Ireland?

Some of the best scenic routes include the Ring of Kerry, the Wild Atlantic Way, and the Causeway Coastal Route.

▷ Do I need a particular type of car for a road trip in Ireland?

No, not necessarily. However, if you plan on driving on smaller roads or venturing off the beaten path, a compact car or SUV may be more suitable.

▷ How long does it take to explore Ireland's scenic routes?

It really depends on how much time you have and how many routes you want to explore. The Ring of Kerry can take around 2-3 days, while the Wild Atlantic Way can take up to 2 weeks.

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