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13th Jun 2021

5 best road trips to do in Ireland this summer

Ann Cronin

A travel expert has revealed Ireland’s best road trip destinations.

For the second summer in a row, we’re all looking forward to exploring Ireland on our holidays over the next few months.

From stunning staycation locations to incredible road trip adventures, one positive to come from the pandemic is an opportunity to explore our little island’s hidden gems.

And if you’re planning on taking in all that Ireland has to offer this summer, it looks like you’re not alone.

According to research conducted by Carzone, 82% of people are planning on holidaying in Ireland this summer, with 60% saying they will still stay in Ireland even if travel restrictions are lifted.

With that in mind, you might be looking for some inspiration on where to visit on your travels.

Carzone recently teamed up with travel expert Sarah Slattery to put together some of the best road trips Ireland has to offer, and they look pretty amazing…

1. The Beara Peninsula

Starting in the village of Glengarrif and ending in Kenmare, this route is unrivaled when it comes to stunning scenery. The journey is about 128km in length, taking approximately three hours of driving time, but Sarah recommends taking the whole day to enjoy everything this route has to offer. Along the way, you can stop off at some stunning West Cork towns and villages for a bite to eat, and visit some of the gorgeous cove beaches too.

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2. The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry has always been one of Ireland’s most popular road trip routes due to its stunning scenery, quaint villages and vibrant towns. Approximately 180 km in length, Sarah recommends taking a few days to fully appreciate all the scenery and stops along the way. She also recommends taking the route in a clockwise direction as, when international tourists return later on in the summer, tour buses tend to take the route anti-clockwise to avoid bends.

3. The Causeway Coast

If you’re planning to travel up to Northern Ireland this summer, the Causeway Coast is an absolute must. Not only will you get to see loads of Northern Ireland’s top tourist attractions along the way, it also boasts some incredible scenery too. The route goes from Belfast to Derry, covering 212 km, so Sarah recommends taking a few days to take in everything this coastline has to offer.

4. Keem Bay to Connemara

The 115km drive from Keem Bay in Achill Island to Leenane, Connemara is one of Ireland’s most scenic routes to explore this summer. Ideal if you’re staycationing in Mayo or Galway, this route also features Keem Bay beach, which was named Ireland’s Best Beach by Lonely Planet this year.

5. Glencree to Glendalough

The drive from Glencree to Glendalough, via the Sally Gap, is the perfect choice for those seeking some scenery, passing by the Wicklow Mountains. You can start this route in either Bray or Enniskerry, and Sarah advises heading east to Roundwood at the Sally Gap crossroads to take in the stunning scenery of Lough Tay and Lough Dan.

road trip