Summer time always calls for an epic road trip! Get a few of your closest girlfriends and head for the open road. Ireland has some of the most amazing scenery and places to visit. Don’t let this summer pass without making memories on a road trip!
Awesome Road Trips Around Ireland
Fanad Peninsula, Co. Donegal*
This is personally my favorite scenic drive in Ireland. Whether it’s sunny or more likely a wet and wild day, the views on this trip are magnificent!
You can head from Letterkenny towards the seaside town of Rathmullan – where I’d highly recommend stopping at Belle’s Kitchen for some fantastic fish ‘n’ chips! From Rathmullan, you drive towards Portsalon. This part of the drive is like something you’d see on Top Gear! Gorgeous panoramic views of Lough Swilly lead you to Knockalla Mountain where you will drive down the winding road towards Ballymastocker Bay. Ballymastocker Beach was once named the second most beautiful beach in the world. It’s not hard to understand why a glorious golden strand that stretches for miles awaits you.
From here you drive toward Fanad Head to encounter the picturesque 19th-century Fanad Lighthouse. This Lighthouse has now opened to the public and tours are available. The perfect place for a selfie is at the top of the lighthouse tower!
From Fanad Head, I would drive back to Letterkenny via Carrigart and head towards Glen. If you’re in the mood to for a drink and want to experience the charm of a proper Irish pub, call into the Olde Glen Bar. It’s like stepping back in time, and the perfect place to enjoy a quiet pint (as long as you have a designated driver!) Even Jamie Dornan is a fan of the Olde Glen Bar, and if it’s good enough for Mr Grey….
If you ever find yourself in the North West of Ireland, I’d highly recommend taking this road trip. I promise your snaps will make all your friends jealous!
The Burren, Co. Clare
I know that this is a well-known road trip, but it’s popular for a reason. The beauty of the Burren and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher* provide some of the best natural beauty Ireland has to offer.
I’d start off from Ennis and head to the Burren National Park. The Burren is a Unesco World Heritage Site and it abounds in megalithic tombs, caves and stone forts. The last time you probably heard terms like that was in school as some bored teacher droned on at you from across the classroom. Well, now you have the chance to bring these wonders to life. I know that this is supposed to be a road trip, but I’d highly encourage you to take a guided walking tour while in the Burren to fully appreciate it’s beauty and fauna.
From the Burren, head towards Ballyvaughan. After all that walking you’ll most likely crave a bit of lunch and if you love seafood, I’d recommend Monks in Ballyvaughan. From Ballyvaughan, drive towards Doolin. Doolin is often said to be the home of traditional Irish music so you’re in for a treat. It has a selection of authentic Irish pubs that can host great trad sessions, especially during the summer.
After Doolin, head towards the Cliffs of Moher. I really don’t need to talk about the cliffs, the amazing photos people take there every day says it all really.
Finally, if you have any energy left, head to Lahinch and do a bit of surfing. Or if you’re like me, just get an ice cream and watch other people surfing.
The Sally Gap
Sometimes you just need to get out of Dublin and hit the open road. I’ve been living in Dublin for almost 8 years and there are times you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and be surrounded by nature. This is the perfect road trip if you’re near Dublin.
The start off point for this trip is Powerscourt House and Gardens. Powerscourt was voted in the Top 10 Houses in the World by Lonely Planet and voted No. 3 Garden in the World by National Geographic, so if you are after beauty, this is the perfect spot. Your Snapchat Story is going to be full of gorgeous garden pics. You can also have some breakfast in the Avoca cafe or even take some goodies with you and take a slight detour and head to Ireland’s highest waterfall, Powerscourt Waterfall and have a picnic.
After Powerscourt, head towards the Sally Gap. This is one of Ireland’s most spectacular drives. You will be surrounded by blanket bog and heather, in this remote wilderness. The Wicklow Mountains National Park is the largest of Ireland’s national parks. On this road trip you’ll be taking the Military Road which runs north-south across the mountains passing through Glencree, the Liffey Head Bog (source of Dublin’s river Liffey), the Sally Gap, Glenmacnass waterfall, and down to Laragh.
If you have a love of history I’d highly recommend calling to Glendalough* to view the Round Tower. Glendalough is a place of beauty and tranquillity so the perfect place to get out of the car and stretch your legs. If it’s a sunny day, I’d recommend driving to Brittas Bay next and enjoying an ice cream by the rolling sand dunes.
Finally head back towards Dublin, but make sure to call into Greystones to enjoy a coffee and something sweet at the Happy Pear Cafe.
So what’s your favorite road trip to take in Ireland? Where should my next adventure take place? Let me know in the comments below!
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