Driving Through Ireland

While there are countries all over the world full of wonderful vacation destinations and attractions, many of them can be complicated to visit. Once you are in a foreign country, that is, it can be difficult to get around to all of the different sites and locations you want to visit.

This is why visiting a smaller country like Ireland, which is easier to get around but still full of incredible destinations, can be wonderfully convenient. All you need to do is pack a bag, pick up a rental car, and hit the countryside for a road trip. Even in just a few short days, driving through Ireland can expose you to some of the most beautiful and unique locations in the world. Here are a few destinations you may want to consider when planning such a trip.


Shop Street, Galway – photo by Peter Gorman via Flickr Creative Commons

Galway– The third largest city in all of Ireland, Galway offers you a wonderful blend of city life and countryside beauty. Though the city itself has a very popular nightlife scene where you can experience legendary Irish drinks and food and a vibrant social scene, the surrounding countryside offers some of Ireland’s most stunning drives. Additionally, Galway can be a great place to spend nights if you want to drive up and down the West Ireland region for a few days, which most who have been there would recommend.

Doolin – Photo by LWY via Flickr Creative Commons

Doolin – If you’re looking for something a bit more remote, Doolin might be a unique destination worth considering. A smaller village, Doolin is now home to beautiful seaside drives, as well as some very popular local music and seafood. A visit to Doolin can be visually stunning, and can also provide you with a taste for some more remote Irish lifestyle, away from cities and more popularly frequented destinations.

Ha'Penny sunset

Dublin’s Ha’ Penny Bridge – Photo by Jim Nix/Nomadic Pursuits via Flickr Creative Commons

Dublin– Though the countryside is where much of the unique beauty and culture of Ireland can be found, you may as well visit Dublin if you have the freedom to drive around the country. Ireland’s most famous city, Dublin can give you a true taste of the Irish city culture that is admired and known throughout the world. Whether you’re there to enjoy the preserved historical buildings, explore the more contemporary parts of the city, or experience the nightlife, Dublin will certainly provide you with a nice visit.

Ultimately, these are only three of a nearly endless number of incredible destinations you can find in Ireland. However, looking at these three examples can provide you with an excellent sample of the kind of variety in culture, location, and experience you can enjoy while touring the Irish country. The ability to drive from one destination to the next and experience this variety provides you with an incredible vacation in Ireland.

About the Author: David Flannigan is a contributor to Aviva. He is an avid hiker and enjoys taking road trips throughout the beautiful UK countryside. He especially loves traveling in Ireland and exploring new foods and ales.

Author: Guest

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  1. Dear David,

    3 beautiful and fun filled spots in Ireland to explore, just remember that if you are a visitor (like me) that there are some cultural differences that need to be understood before embarking on your celtic odyssey. Before the laughs and chats can begin you must show proper respect for your hosts and the pub you may be in, try not to be pushy, loud or demanding. You may see loud or pushy people, but they are probably regulars who are joking a bit. refrain from calling yourself Irish, instead be of Irish descent, and things will be different than back home which is a good thing or else why would you have travelled 1500 miles to see it. Galway city centre is a fun music filled sometimes boisterous good time. The University just down the street tends to give a younger vibe to a lot of the pubs. Doolin is the unofficial traditional music capital of ireland, and as the author so nicely put it a beautiful place to drive around. And Dublin has so many sides to it , it is just fun to experience.

    Sorry for the long post,

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  2. Absolutely love Doolin – friendly people, great music, and beautiful scenery. Not so sure I would include Dublin in an article on driving through Ireland. Dublin is one place you DO NOT want a car. Visit Dublin at the beginning or end of your trip, before picking up or right after dropping off the rental car. You’ll be happy you did.

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  3. I’ve been to Galway which I think is a very good blend of city and countryside. I do appreciate the unique and vibrant nightlife there. While having fun, I met so many kind people. I must also say the drinks and food is something I keep coming for.

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  4. I can imagine Ireland would be one of the most scenic countries to drive through. Out of all your suggestions, I’d love to drive around Doolin because I love places that are somewhat remote.

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  5. Why not try Wicklow County. Wicklow is less than one hour south of Dublin city centre, with commuter links by rail, bus and motorway. Known as ‘The Garden of Ireland’, County Wicklow is one of Ireland’s true scenic treasures with its magnificent hills and mountains, long sandy beaches, rivers and lakes. It is the perfect holiday destination, suitable either for a family holiday or a romantic or activity break.

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  6. Lovely write up and picture postcards! Next time you travel in Ireland be sure to come into Kilshanny House, we are a little family run pub in a TINY village in the Burren in North County Clare. We’ll have the kettle down for you or a pint pulled! http://www.kilshannyhouse.ie/food/

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