Where to Road Trip in Ireland
Collected by Jeremy Saum , AFAR Staff
A road trip is one of the best ways to experience rural Ireland – but it helps to know where to go. Drive to Galway, on the western coast, for the traditional music and culture. While you’re there, visit the famous Cliffs of Moher, and explore this ancient land of pastures, bogs, and limestone outcroppings. Then, head south to Cork through the green glens of the Irish countryside. Make sure to kiss the Blarney Stone before you find some peace and quiet along the coast south of Cork.
Coast Road, Craggycorradan East, Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland
OK, just to be clear, you don't actually stay in a castle. The tower house is next door and it's behind a locked fence. I checked. But you do stay in a stately house with high ceilings and antiques. A sitting room looks out over fields to the sea,...
2 Sea Rd, Galway, Ireland
When the cashier at the Guinness storehouse in Dublin found out I was going to Galway, her hometown, she suggested checking out the Crane Bar for traditional music. Based on the crowds that showed up, this is not a great secret. But it's still...
Gap of Dunloe, Dunloe Upper, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland
We had to convince our son to take a horsedrawn carriage ride to the Gap of Dunloe, outside of Killarney, and we're very glad he relented. The driver of our "jaunting car" was a cheerful older man whose father and grandfather had also driven the...
Summercove, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
If you're a fan of history and/or photography, be sure to spend time at Charles Fort in County Cork. This National Monument of Ireland is the bastion on the water's edge near Kinsale, and is open year round. The fort was built on the site of an...
Rathclaren, Farrannagark, Kilbrittain, Co. Cork, Ireland
On the coast south of Cork, this beautiful house is tucked away among cow pastures. The beds are comfy, the bathrooms clean and spacious, the doggies are friendly, but the thing that really struck us was how blissfully quiet it was. They had...
Glen of Aherlow, Gortnafurra, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
On our drive from Cashel down toward Cork, we took a scenic detour to drive through the Glen of Aherlow, a valley dotted with farms. The Glen of Aherlow Nature Park has several trails of varying length and difficulty that make for a good place to...
Monacnapa, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland
It requires some low-level gymnastics to do it, but local legend claims that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone, set into the wall below the battlements of Blarney Castle, will be blessed with the gift of gab. The 15th-century tower is a...
Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
One of the coolest, most unique places we've ever stayed. John Carignan, a former pilot from Tulsa, Oklahoma, became a certified stone mason so that he could buy a castle and restore it himself. He found this 15th-century tower house outside of...
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