Top 5 scenic drives in Ireland

Dingle Peninsula, photo by Joseph Mischyshyn

Ireland can boast of astounding natural beauties that are much more accessible than you might think at the first glace. Green hills and craggy cliffs are never too far from a road that is just perfect for driving, so naturally, if you like driving, then one of the best sightseeing activities for you is to go on a long drive filled with eye-candy. Getting from one quaint city to another, or exploring the wonders of the Irish countryside is best accomplished if you’re behind the wheel. So fill your tank, grab a map and take a look at some of the top 5 scenic drives in Ireland.

Dingle Peninsula

Some people (and especially the people who live around Dingle) will tell you that the Dingle Peninsula is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places on the planet. And it’s hard to disagree when you’re faced with the jaw-dropping beauty of the scenery. Start your drive in the village of Castlegregory and make your way to Cloghane, Ballyferriter, Murreagh and Kilmalkedar, and finally Dingle. Keep an eye out for Ogham stones and other historical sites.

Copper Coast

Copper Coast, photo by Philip Halling

If you want a drive that will last for a good couple of hours, you should embark on the epically stunning drive around the Copper Coast, a 120 kilometer drive that starts and ends at the craggy coastline of Dungarvan. From the harbor town, continue to Stradbally, Waterford, Clonmel, then to Ballymacarberry and back to Dungarvan, passing the Comeragh Mountains, the Nire Valley and Stradbally Cove.

Bantry to Killarney

Embarking on this drive during the peak of the tourist season might not be the best of ideas, but if you’re in Ireland in autumn or winter, then you will be free to admire some of the best pieces of rural scenery in Ireland. This drive is dotted with quaint and colorful villages where you can stop for a bite to eat, the ubiquitous herds of fluffy Irish sheep and lots of lakes.

Sheep’s Head Peninsula

Sheep's Head Way, photo by Richard Webb

Sheep’s Head Peninsula is a walker’s paradise and long known as having some of the best walking trails in Ireland, but this peninsula in West Cork is also in the top 5 scenic drives in Ireland. The drive starts in lush and green Bantry, and continues though some magnificent coastline scenery, hairpin bends on the road to Kilcrohane. Head to Durrus, the village with many gardens, and end your journey in Ahakista.

The Burren

The Burren is one of the most haunting and desolate landscapes in Ireland, and also one of the most beautiful. This vast expanse of karst landscape allows for about 180 kilometers of road that makes an incredibly scenic drive. The trip can be shortened any way you want, but make sure you stop at a few of the stunning sights in the Burren, like Ailwee Cave, Poulnabrone dolmen, the Burren Perfumery, and Caherconnell Stone Fort.

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