I just finished a 12-day road trip through Ireland and I`m excited to share more of the beauty of this country. I picked a few of my favorites along the way, which wasn`t easy as the scenery in Ireland is beautiful throughout the whole country. This road trip took me through the counties of Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork.
These were the highlights of my trip and I would recommend them if you`re planning a trip to Ireland.
1. Rosses Point, County Sligo
TIP: If you`re looking for a cozy place for lunch or have a piece of cake, make sure to stop at Shells in Strandhill, which is located on the other side of Sligo. Both sea-side villages are located about 5 miles from Sligo center. If you want more tips, then check out “things to do in Sligo“.
2. Scenic drive between Westport and Leenane
If you look on a road map of Ireland it`s hard to choose between all the scenic routes that are marked. There were a few of those scenic routes that definitely stood out for me. One of them was the drive between Westport and Leenane. Driving through the open space, surrounded by all the green, it`s the perfect route to take in Ireland`s stunning scenery.
3. Driving from Ballyvaughan to Doolin
Another scenic route that I truly enjoyed was the drive from Ballyvaughan to Doolin. About a kilometer before arriving to the village of Doolin, you`ll pass by Doonagore Castle, a 16th-centry tower house castle on a hill overlooking Doolin Point.
4. Cliffs of Moher
Probably one of the most famous attractions of Ireland are the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs stretch over 8 kilometers (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast in County Clare. For a visit to the cliffs, you`ll pay a 6 euros* entrance (per adult). There`s a car park about 5 minutes from the Visitor Center. (An extra fee will be charged if you want to go up O`Brien`s Tower)
TIP: About 50 minutes from the Cliffs of Moher, there`s the beautiful Dunguaire Castle, which you can admire from the road or visit for a fee. Coming from Galway it`s on the way to the cliffs.
5. Ladies View
Ladies View is a scenic point about 20 km (12 miles) from Killarney along the N71 and part of the Ring of Kerry in Killarney National Park. You`ll find a small car park where you can stop for photos. A bit further down the road, make a stop at Moll`s Gap where you`ll have a view of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountains.
6. Torc Waterfall
Torc Waterfall is a waterfall at the base of Torc Mountain, about 5 miles (8.0 km) from Killarney town in County Kerry. Even in the rain, this waterfall was impressive. It`s a 5 minute walk from the car park to see the waterfall.
TIP: No parking or admission fee.
7. Dingle Peninsula
Definitely one of my favorites on this trip! Dingle Peninsula is the northernmost of the major peninsulae in County Kerry. The scenery is stunning, especially on a sunny day. As you can see in the photo above, the road almost hugs the ocean giving you spectacular views over Blasket Islands.
8. Blarney House
When visiting Blarney Castle and the gardens, it was not the castle that caught my eye but Blarney House. It`s an astonishing mansion built in 1874 and is located in the middle of the gardens. There`s plenty to see besides the castle and the mansion, so make sure to take some time when stopping for a visit.
TIP: In the summer time the Blarney House is also open to visitors.
9. Healy Pass, Beara Peninsula
Beara Peninsula might not be as famous as Iveragh Peninsula with the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula, but is worth a trip if you can fit it in. The Healy Pass is a bendy mountain road between Adrigole and Lauragh and offers stunning views at the top.
TIP: Kenmare is an ideal base for either exploring the Ring of Beara and/or the Ring of Kerry. If you have the time, visit Gougane Barra where you will find a picturesque church by the lake.
10. Ring of Kerry
Another well-known attraction in Ireland is the Ring of Kerry. This 180 km circular tourist route covers most of the Iveragh Peninsula revealing its beauty. If you want to drive the whole Ring of Kerry, you`ll have to count for a full day of driving, as the roads get windy and narrow at some places. And if there`s one thing I`ve learned on this road trip, it is that even though it might not look so far on a map, it will take you some time to get from point A to point B because of the roads.
Of course there`s plenty more to see in Ireland, such as Dublin, Belfast and Giant`s Causeway. I`ll be sharing more about these destinations in the coming weeks. But for now I hope you`ve found some inspiration for your Ireland trip.
Where would you like to go?