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Top 5 Ireland road trips

Get your motor running on an epic Ireland road trip.

Ireland has amazing landscapes to explore and ancient myths and legends to uncover. Once you’ve hired the car, you can expect to find awe-inspiring scenery around every bend.

But where should you start? And where should you end?

According to Tourism Ireland, these are the five scenic routes to take on an Ireland road trip. Do one or go the extra mile and do them all.

The Causeway Coastal Route

Great Ireland road trip
The Causeway Coastal Route Ireland Road Trip. Picture: Tourism Ireland

Known as one of the world’s great driving journeys, this 190 km Ireland Road trip travels between Belfast and Derry~Londonderry.

It passes some of Northern Ireland’s most famous and photographable landmarks, including the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Old Bushmills Distillery and a host of Game of Thrones film locations.

The Giant's Causeway on an Ireland Road Trip
The Giant’s Causeway Ireland. Picture: Shutterstock

No cruise control required as you’ll find a reason to stop with every turn of the wheel.

The Ring of Kerry

You never know what lies around the next bend along the world-class Ring of Kerry.

The Ring of Kerry Ireland Road trip
The Ring of Kerry Ireland Road trip. Picture: Tourism Ireland

This Ireland road trip loop around the Iveragh Peninsula overlooks the idyllic Killarney Lakes, passes through picturesque villages, meanders alongside Atlantic-washed beaches and skirts Ireland’s highest mountain range, the imposing MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.

This is one road trip to take slowly so you can soak up the views.

The Sky Road, Clifden

Part of the epic Wild Atlantic Way, this circular route in rugged Connemara starts and ends in the bustling town of Clifden.

Ireland road trip routes
The Sky Road Clifton is one of Ireland’s best road trips. Picture: Tourism Ireland

This popular Ireland road trip route winds through an ageless landscape of mountains, valleys and island-dotted ocean.

More than just a pretty road trip, this is a journey into history and mythology. Megalithic tombs, standing stones and promontory forts are scattered along its length.

Steer carefully along the narrow roads and relish the sense of adventure.

The Mourne Coastal Route

Hugging County Down’s coastline from the charming village of Portaferry to the seaside town of Warrenpoint, this road trip steers you through wonderful views of the Irish Sea and the region’s gentle undulating countryside.

The Mourne Coastal Road trip route
This is one of Ireland’s best road trip routes.

Highlights include the fishing ports of Annalong, Kilkeel and Ardglass, Strangford’s Castle Ward, now famous as Winterfell in Game of Thrones, and of course the majestic Mourne Mountains that sweep down to the sea at Newcastle.

The Copper Coast

The jagged cliff-edged beauty of the Copper Coast in Ireland’s Ancient East is simply hypnotic.

The Copper Coast Ireland Road Trip
The Copper Coast Ireland Road Trip route. Picture: Tourism Ireland

This coastal route between the towns of Tramore and Dungarvan encompasses a UNESCO Global Geopark, panoramic seascapes, dramatic cliffs and secluded bays and coves as well as quaint seaside resorts with blue flag beaches.

The area gets its name from the nineteenth-century copper mines that once flourished in the area, and it’s regarded as one of the most beautiful, unspoilt scenic drives in Ireland. 

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