An Ireland road trip is the perfect way to discover the “Emerald Isle.” Begin in Dublin, where you’ll get a quick view of the eastern seaboard, before heading to the treasures of the west. Catch a traditional music session in Galway before delving into ancient Irish history at the Iron Age forts of County Kerry. You’ll explore famous sights and attractions such as Connemara National Park and Cliffs of Moher. Your own Tourlane Travel Expert will help you plan every detail of your Ireland road trip in advance, with fast planning and personalized tips available to all.
Start your Ireland road trip on the lively streets of Dublin. The capital city of the Republic of Ireland is known for its Georgian flare and abundance of classic pubs and eateries - ask your Travel Expert for recommendations. Be sure to check off the historical sites before you have a pint of Guinness. Once you’ve made the rounds to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Book of Kells, and the Jameson Distillery, that frothing pint will be well-deserved.
Today, you’ll make your way west to begin your road trip down the Wild Atlantic Way. Stop at Sligo, or “place of seashells,” where W.B. Yeats found inspiration for his legendary work, and visit the cliffs of Slieve League for epic panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean. Pack in even more views with an easy climb atop Knocknarea Mountain to see Queen Maeve’s cairn, a neolithic burial site from 3400 BC.
Venture into the Connemara National Park for a taste of quintessential Irish landscape: rolling hills, green woodlands, and lush inlets. You’ll spend the morning touring Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord, by boat. From there, head to Clifden, Connemara’s largest town, where you’ll see Kylemore Abbey, a Victorian monastery that rises like a fairy palace from the surrounding forest.
To visit Galway is to visit the heart of traditional Irish culture: including dance, food, music, and sports. In fact, almost half the population speaks Gaelic—you’ll even see it on the street signs. Tour the Renaissance city center: first stop is Eyre Square, a gathering place since the 17th century. Make sure to visit the seasonal markets and snack on some fresh Soda Bread.
5. County Clare
Start in the morning down the Black Head Coastal Route towards Burren, where the limestone makes for epic lunar landscapes. From these imposing mountains, continue on to the Cliffs of Moher, the legendary outcrop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Keep an eye out for puffins and peregrine falcons as you explore the grounds. If it’s raining, you can explore the 15th century Bunratty Castle.
6. County Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a treasure trove of ancient Irish culture from Iron Age forts to medieval monasteries. Start your day on Valentia Island where the museum Skellig Experience celebrates the nature and history of the isle. Learn about the native seabirds and monastic sites. Then, on to Derrynane House, the home of Daniel O’Connell, Ireland’s first Catholic member of parliament in 1828. Finish your day in Kenmare, a picturesque port town once the heart of the lace industry, where you can still find artisan souvenirs.
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