Escape behind the wheel to Ireland while the spring buds are beginning to bloom and the road is open wide.
As Ireland is shaking off winter and spring is starting to blossom, it’s one of the loveliest times to buckle up for an inspirational road trip. Go the whole hog or single out a segment of one of these three amazing stretches of highway.
The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s super-touring route. The longest uninterrupted coastal route in the world, it takes in the entire west coast, running for 2,500 stunning km from County Donegal in the north to County Cork in the south.
Covering it all in one lap might be daunting, but it can be broken down to one or any combination of six awe-inspiring regions, each with its own distinctive character and experience.
The beautiful Southern Peninsulas section, for instance, is where the ancient Kingdom of Kerry meets wild West Cork. Here, you could find yourself pit-stopping at the fishing port of Dingle, swapping your motor car for a cable car trip to Dursey Island or sailing out to the World Heritage Site of Skellig Michael, now internationally known for featuring in two Star Wars films.
Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route has an enviable reputation as one of the most scenic drives in the world. Bringing something incredible at every turn of the wheel, it runs for almost 200 km between the wonderful city destinations of Belfast and Derry~Londonderry.
Unmissable stopping points include world-renowned attractions like the Giant’s Causeway, the Old Bushmills Distillery, The Gobbins cliff path walk and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Devote four or five days to take it in fully, focus on the many Game of Thrones film locations scattered along the route, or make it a day trip to the fabulous nine Glens of Antrim.
Ireland’s Ancient East is a treasure trove of 5,000 years of history and culture, at its absolute best on a driving tour. Encompassing 17 Irish counties, there is no defined route to follow so the trick here is to meander in any direction and enjoy.
It’s a drive of mile after mile of pristine coastline, stunning mountain scenery, ancient ruins, colourful towns and friendly villages. Cruise along County Waterford’s Copper Coast and be dazzled by panoramic seascapes and jaw-dropping mountain views. Or follow the road south from Dublin through the Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glendalough, a gorgeous monastic settlement that encapsulates Ireland’s golden age of saints and scholars.