Road-Trip Ireland and Feel Like Royalty At The Same Time

Ireland is probably a great destination for a road trip. It offers stunning views and an excellent road system that allows drivers to drive safely and comfortably from one place to the other. But there’s something more that Ireland offers that makes it an even more special place for spending the holidays: its beautiful castles! Can you think of a more attractive combination than amazing fairy-tale castles and long roads to enjoy?

Besides, you can rest assured that you’ll find lovely and spectacular scenic routes that are absolutely inviting to explore by car.

Get Ready For Your Irish Road Trip!

If you’re not from Europe, make sure that you obtain an international driving licence, usually known as International Driving Permit (IDP). The IDP is an identification recognised internationally and, in many cases, it is pre-requisite for hiring a car.

Once you have the IDP and know which car you’ll rent from the car rental agency, it is advisable that you purchase a car rental damage insurance policy. You want to be covered in case you suffer any kind of accident with your rental car or you have any incident while on the road. There are many providers of this kind of insurance policy so evaluate your options and make sure you choose a trustworthy and efficient provider such as Bonzah.

Your Irish Road-Trip Plan

Upon your arrival in Dublin and after you’re settled in the hotel where you’ll spend your first night, you’re ready to start enjoying the city. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may go sightseeing or you may simply have time to go to a typical Irish pub for a pint of beer and something to eat before going to bed.

Dublin is a cosmopolitan and busy city. It has a very good public transport system that takes you anywhere you want to go so you needn’t worry if you can’t pick your rental car just yet. On your first full day in Dublin, make sure you enjoy as much as you can of the city. Amongst the must-see sights, you can’t miss Guiness Storehouse, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St Stephens Green or the National Gallery. Needless to say, you’re invited to join the locals at any of the pubs in town. But remember to have a good night sleep as you’ll start your road trip on the next day!

Waterford: Your First Stop!

On your first day of your Irish road trip you’ll head to Waterford. The route offers scenic views for a relaxing and refreshing experience. Powerscourt Estate, with its 20 hectares of gardens is a great visit to make. You’ll also enjoy visiting County Wicklow, famous for its green scenery.

On The Way To Cork

The route from Waterford to Cork is known for its majestic scenery. Copper Coast, a geological, archaeological and mining natural treasure, deserves a visit. Curious travelers will enjoy discovering megalithic tombs, dolmens, promontory forts or holy wells. There are also various walking trails offered.

Cliff paths and old-fashioned villages offer plenty of interesting alternatives for a quick lunch stop. Whether you opt for a picnic or a more formal stop, make sure you make it to Midleton before the moon’s up so that you can enjoy a well-deserved whiskey at the Jameson Experience.

Middleton is a great town where to spend the night. There are lovely bed and breakfasts that are cozy and comfortable where you can spend the night.

On the next day, drive your car to Cork.

Cork really deserves a visit. It was Europe’s capital of culture in 2005 and it’s a vibrant city. For a taste of royalty, and if you have a budget to splurge, why don’t you stay at Ballyseede Castle? It’s a stunning 4-star luxury castle hotel where you’ll definitely feel like a king or queen!

Killarney, There You Go!

From Cork to Killarney, take the N71. It’s a long scenic road that offers a myriad of stunning and breathtaking views you’ll definitely enjoy. The N22 is more direct but the drive won’t be as pleasant.

Killarney is an outdoor paradise. It’s a small town with beautiful surroundings! It offers plenty of things to do and places to visit so you can rest assured that you won’t get bored at all.

Make sure you enjoy a full day discovering the Ring of Kerry route. It’s a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula. For the adventurous travelers, there’s plenty of rock climbing, trekking and canoeing opportunities. Old Kenmare Road is a moderately challenging trekking route!

If you are into bird watching, Killarney will be your most enjoyable stop in this Irish road trip. Take a boat tour to Innisfallen Island or to the Gap of Dunloe and wait to see White Tailed Eagles!

Some interesting places to visit are: Muckross House & Gardens, Killarney National Park, Killegy Celtic Cross, Torc Waterfall or the Franciscan Friary just to mention a feew of them.

Driving to Limerick

As you hit the road to Limerick, you’ll probably enjoy visiting the village of Adare. Once in Limerick, you’ll have plenty of time to visit King John’s Castle. It’s a 13th century castle located in the heart of this medieval city that offers an amazing visitor experience.

Dromoland Castle is a lovely castle suggestion to spend the night. It’s a 5-star castle hotel with a truly majestic atmosphere that looks onto a beautiful lake. Stunning chandeliers, magnificent staircases, ultra comfortable sofas, super soft linen… and delicious meals… Everything you need for an amazing and royal-like experience.

On Your Way to Galway

The road from Limerick to Galway offers two interesting castles you may want to visit. Bunratty Castle, in a Norman style, and Ashford Castle. You may stay in Galway for the night or drive to Westport.

The drive to Westport takes you through the heart of Connemara. Connemara is a district in western Ireland that faces the Atlantic. There are quite a few fishing villages. Clifden, the main town in the area, has the ruins of Gothic Revival-style Clifden castle. Kylemore Abbey is a popular stop as well as Killary Harbour.


Donegal is home to top surf breaks. Who said that a road trip didn’t include some sport activities? From Donegal to Londonderry the route heads through the road to Ardara before you get on the coastline and start driving further north. Then turn eastwards to Londonderry and get a glimpse of its famous city walls.

Goodbye Londonderry! Hello Belfast!

The trip to Londonderry to Belfast will definitely keep you busy as there are many highlights packed in a single trip. You can’t miss the Causeway Coast, Dunluce Castle, Bushmills, the astonishing Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge!!! Each and every of these stops will make your jaws drop! Belfast is waiting for you!

Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is a fascinating city. We heartily recommend you to try to stay there at least for a few days .

Back to Dublin!

The M1 will take you back to Dublin. It’s a nice road and the best way back especially if you are pressed with time. However, the road along the coast of the Irish Sea offers wonderful natural scenic views. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy nature reserves, wetlands and natural landscape. A great way to say goodbye to Ireland as you reach Dublin again.

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