Packing a car or minivan and setting off on a roadtrip is one of the best ways to enjoy Ireland’s gorgeous countryside, dramatic sights and scenic spots. Soaking up the scenery as you go, stopping for a swift pint or settling into a quaint village for a few drams of a night, you’re sure to find there’s as much to enjoy off the road as on, so get your maps out and start planning your perfect Ireland roadtrip.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your trip takes in some of Ireland’s finest spots, so draw up a list of un-missable towns and trails. Kilkenny is one such place, often touted as the best-preserved medieval village in Ireland, it’s perfect for giving you a taste of bygone days, especially if you pay a visit to the castle. You should also give your legs a stretch by climbing to the top of the tower of Saint Canice’s Cathedral and enjoying the view, and afterwards you can reward yourself with a Kilkenny Irish cream ale in the town centre.
The easiest way to get your roadtrip started is to book flights to Ireland and hire a car for you to pick up when you get there. When you choose flights to Belfast or Dublin, you’ll find there are plenty of hire companies to choose from, and you can plan a night on the tiles when you return back to the city for your flight home. Starting your roadtrip with a big night out in Ireland’s most popular party cities is not advised, however!
If parks are more your thing, then organise your drive so that it takes you through the stretch between Killarney and Galway. Here you’ll find The Mockross House and Gardens and Kylemore Abbey and Gardens just waiting for you to walk and picnic among their majestic, natural beauty. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is also near by and well worth a visit.
One of the absolute must see sights for anyone planning a driving holiday in Ireland has to be the Cliffs of Moher. The drive to the best viewing point is a thrill in itself, with some winding roads along the way, but the sight you’ll see when you arrive makes it more than worthwhile. It’s windy up there so wrap up warmly, because you’ll want to spend a while looking at the breathtaking scenery and the ocean, which seems awfully far below.
When you’re planning your roadtrip, there are a few resources to help you make the most of your time in the Emerald Isle. Check out the Heritage Ireland site for details about free admission to some of the biggest tourist attractions and Toureagle can be a handy site for helping you make sure you find a way to fit in all the hidden gems you could hope for.
James writes for Skyscanner.net, a cheap flights comparison site based in Scotland.
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