Early this year we road tripped around Ireland to see more of its countryside and natural scenery rather than city hop via public transport. It was one of the best decisions we made to rent a car and use an old fashioned road map to guide us. The road trip turned out to be so rewarding. We covered so much ground in 5 days and it cost us next to nothing! I highly recommend hiring a car to see the real beauty of Ireland. The roads are incredibly easy to navigate (we didn’t need a GPS!), the locals are the friendliest and so helpful and it helped shelter us from the often rainy and windy weather!
Here’s a quick recap of our road trip:
After spending a few obligatory sightseeing days in Dublin, our first stop was Killarney National Park.
Killarney National Park was one of my favourite parts of the trip with its many lakes and tufts of grass floating by the lake shore resembling hair balls. There were also really lush parts close to the Torc waterfall that looked like leprechaun hiding spots with dense moss covered rocks and trees. It felt very ‘Irish’ 😉
The next day we drove to the Gap of Dunloe which was easily the best part of the trip.
The Gap of Dunloe is a photographer’s heaven. We were there in the early part of the day when the light was best, but the rocky terrain, shimmering lakes, empty winding roads and curious sheep made it all the more photogenic.
From there we continued on to the Dingle Peninsular and saw magnificent cliffs and drop offs amidst the rough Atlantic sea.
On the third day we drove to the Cliffs of Moher and saw the most stunning coastal scenery of Ireland. We felt very tiny amongst these spectacular cliffs and it gave me jelly knees as we walked along parts of it.
We continued driving towards Galway, our pit stop for the day. The next morning we made our way to Connemara National Park and did a short hike while the weather held up for us.
A road trip around Ireland is incomplete without seeing at least one castle, and Ballynahinch Castle impressed us with its grandiose architecture. We also saw plenty of sheep along the way, some marked very colourfully as if they have been paintball targeted.
On our last day we made our way north to Belfast and it was interesting to see speed limits and signs change from kilometers to miles. I’ll save Belfast for another post in the future, but for now road tripping around Ireland remains one of our fondest travel memories so far.