/  Destinations   /  THE GREAT IRISH ROAD TRIP



A road trip is more than just getting from A to B. It’s about a exciting, spontaneous journey. You can stop when and where you want, taking in as much of the scenery as you can, while cranking up the music to match the landscape. Many visitors try and pack their adventure into a 7, 10 or 14 day road trip around our island, with epic landscapes and hidden treasures it’s time to slow down and savour the craggy coastlines with the windows down, music up, experience the mythical magic island in person rather than on device….here is the great Irish road trip you’ve been waiting for:


1. Dublin City

The Great Irish Road Trip could not be completed without a visit to the fair ‘aul city, so we’ve worked this road trip with you either beginning or ending in Dublin. Most likely, you’ll likely want to spend a couple of days in the capital – some of the major things to see in Dublin, this would be a great opportunity to check out the iconic Guinness Storehouse, stroll across the Ha’Penny Bridge, duck into a traditional Irish pub *(hopefully in July) grab a bite at one of the city’s many outdoor dining location or soak up some culture as you explore Dublin….

Can’t-miss stop: Trinity College Dublin

2. Glendalough, County Wicklow

One of Ireland’s most beautiful visitors’ destinations. For thousands of years people have been drawn to ‘the valley of the two lakes‘ for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. Glendalough is a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul.

Can’t-miss stop: A little detour but Lough Tay (the Guinness Lake) is a view to take your breath away – in the Wicklow Mountains  

3. Hook Head Peninsula, County Wexford

The Hook Head peninsula is one of Ireland’s most scenic spots boasting two iconic landmarks, the 800-year old black and white striped Hook Lighthouse, County Wexford’s most popular visitor attraction, which drew over 250,000 visitors last year, and the other being the Loftus Hall Ireland’s most haunted house, a vast mansion with 97 windows that is said to have hosted the devil.

Can’t-miss stop: Baginbun is a little gem of a beach, stashed away at the tip of the Hook Peninsula

4. Waterford City

The oldest city in Ireland and the perfect blend of ancient and modern, enjoy the historic streets and local atmosphere, take a walking tour or browse many local boutiques and quirky shops. You can’t come to Waterford and skip out on Reginald’s Tower. Built by first viking settlers, the tower is iconic city landmark whose construction started in 1003. If there is a must see when visiting Waterford city, that is definitely Waterford Crystal. The factory is located in the heart of the city, having relocated from Kilbary to across the street from Bishops Palace.

Can’t-miss stop: The Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 46km off-road cycling and walking trail along an old railway line.

5. Rock of Cashel

The ancient royal site of the kings of Munster first attained importance as a fortress. Its origins as a centre of power go back to the 4th or 5th centuries. It’s huge, it’s complex, it’s iconic and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world, it’s right in heart of Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig), more formally St. Patrick’s Rock, it is also known as Cashel of the Kings.

Can’t-miss stop: 

6. The Blarney Stone

Your next stop is hanging upside down from the battlements of Blarney Castle in County Cork. For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.

Can’t-miss stop: Blarney House is located just steps from the famous castle in Blarney

7. The Gap of Dunloe, County Kerry

The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows. The river running through the gap is the river Loe from where the Gap gets it’s name. The Gap begins at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. The road, narrow in many places, winds through the pass and descends into The Black Valley passing five lakes, Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lough. Within easy walking distance from Kate Kearney’s cottage is a picturesque old bridge known as the ‘Wishing Bridge’. It is said that wishes made here really do come true!

Can’t-miss stop: Molly’s Cottage in the Black Valley

8. The New & Improved Limerick Greenway

Perfect for walkers, hikers, and cyclists – the newly upgraded 40km route from Rathkeale to the Kerry Border near Abbeyfeale re-opens July 1st and will be a 3-metre wide macadam surface. The route which runs along the old Great Southern rail line connecting three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale, is one of the hidden tourist gems in the west. The upgrades will bring the route to the highest standards and on par with many of the most popular Greenways in the world

Can’t-miss stop: – Adare “Ireland’s Prettiest Village” the picture postcard main street of thatched cottages and medieval buildings.

9. The Cliffs of Moher

One of Ireland’s favourite visitor experiences, the Cliffs of Moher will leave you awestruck!!, Towering over the rugged west Clare coast – walk the safe, paved pathways and view the famous Cliffs on Europe’s western frontier and enjoy the spectacular vistas over the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands (…your next road trip stop!!). The natural beauty of the cliffs has inspired artists, musicians, and poets for generations, as well as absorbing scientists and geologists, drawn by the unique landscape in which they sit.

Can’t-miss stop: Doolin is the home of traditional Irish music, with plenty of music and craic to be had every night.

10. Aran Islands

Take a step back in time, the islands wait! Three tiny Aran Islands to be precise, traditional corners of rugged land located in the Atlantic, a ‘last stop’ between Europe and America (especially if you’re a sailor), and a glance at the Irish culture of old. They’re sparsely populated, scenically dramatic and extremely memorable for their throwback feel. The Aran Islands will whisk any willing traveler worlds away. Here, you can stroll along the windy shores of the Atlantic, dance amidst ancient ruins, and dip in and out of time.

Can’t-miss stop: Poll na bPeist ‘the Wormhole’ or otherwise known as ‘the Serpent’s Lair’ A natural, rectangular shaped pool at the bottom of the cliffs.

11. Dun Briste Sea Stack

A truly incredible site to see but must be visited to appreciate its splendour. Dún Briste (Gaelic for Broken Fort) was once joined to the mainland. The sea stack stands 45 metres (150 feet) tall. Dun Briste and the surrounding cliffs were formed around 350 million years ago (during the ‘Lower Carboniferous Period’), when sea temperatures were much higher and the coastline at a greater distance away. There are many legends describing how the Sea Stack was formed but it is widely accepted that an arch leading to the rock collapsed during very rough sea conditions in 1393.

Can’t-miss stop: Achill Island – Explore award-winning golden beaches and swim in the clear waters.

12. Benbulben

Standing tall above Drumcliffe village in Sligo is majestic Benbulben. Make your way to the flat stretch of the summit and enjoy magical views of the Wild Atlantic Way. Park up at Luke’s Bridge, 5km north of Drumcliffe, to begin your Benbulben adventure. Walk past glacial tracks, wild gullies and babbling streams as you make your way to the flat-topped summit. Look out for unique flora and fauna, including Fringed Sandwort which dates back to the Ice Age.

Can’t-miss stop: Glencar Waterfall is famous for being an inspiration to Ireland’s greatest poet William Butler Yeats and features in his poem ‘The Stolen Child’.

13. Slieve League Cliffs

The Slieve League cliffs are truly breathtaking, the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600m above the raging ocean. The Slieve League cliffs are truly breathtaking, the cliff face of Bunglas rises over 600m above the raging ocean.

Can’t-miss stop: The seaside town and see why Bundoran is a surfing paradise.

14. Giants Causeway

Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage Site in N Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point for a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries. It harbours a wealth of local and natural history. Other noteworthy items include: a Spanish Armada shipwreck site (‘La Girona’) & many traces of the legendary giant – Finn MacCool.

Can’t-miss stop: Dunluce is one of the most picturesque and romantic of Irish Castles. With evidence of settlement from the first millennium.

15. Belfast City

Belfast the city that inspired the Chronicles of Narnia and Gulliver’s Travels. A must see destination on any visit to this once great industrial city is Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. Visitors are able to explore the shipyard, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the full story of the sunken ship in the city where it all began. Full of fun pubs, excellent museums, hundreds of street murals, beautiful gardens and green spaces and Victorian architecture.

Can’t-miss stop: The Cathedral Quarter which was once the centre of Belfast’s trade and warehousing district.  but more recently it has re-emerged as a dedicated ‘cultural quarter’ of Belfast


  • Dona Feldhann

    Oh so beautiful. We did the Southern route in 5 days and I must come back to see all I missed.

  • Terry Harkin

    Lots of great places missed out here….but saved for another visit!!!

  • Mary Sheila

    I spent 3 wks several years ago driving myself & my husband around Ireland my ancestral home. I LOVED every drive and site and village…nervous on the Gap of Dunloe but so happy I did it. Only missed a few of these places and would happily return but now 81….maybe too late…thank you for this “drive.”


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