Road Trip! Photos and Tips from Our Drive Around Ireland

Driving through the Connemara.

In many countries we travel to we use public transit extensively, because it’s cheap and easy (that’s what she said). But Ireland is a place with rural roads and beautiful countryside that we did not want to miss. We decided to rent a car and road trip around the Emerald Isle, and it was the best decision.

Irish Road Trip Tips:

Tip # 1: If you’ve never driven on the opposite side of the road, give yourself a few hours of practice before heading across the country.

Tip # 2: Rent a small car. Better fuel economy, easier to handle, and easier to park in congested areas. Also, Ireland’s back roads are seriously narrow, sometimes only wide enough for one car.

Tip # 3: Set your GPS to “Avoid Toll Roads”. Ireland’s large motorways like the M4 and M6 are well maintained, modern, and efficient. But driving along those, you lose out on all the great scenery and sites of the back roads.

Tip # 4: At the fuel pumps in Ireland, petrol (gasoline) = green nozzle, while diesel = black nozzle. Exact opposite as most places in the US. If you make a mistake with these, it can cost you dearly, as rental car insurance policies do not cover damages from that.

Tip # 5: Go in the Fall or Winter. Avoid the summer crowds. Less people on the road and less people at popular sites. Yes it was cold, but totally worth it.

Flying in to Ireland
Flying in to Ireland

Road Trip

Our 6 day road trip would first take us west to Galway where we took in some live music, Christmas cheer, and of course, some Jameson. We explored the Connemara region with it’s misty back roads and it’s quiet national park (I think we were the only ones there – it was winter though.)

Galway at Christmas
Galway getting ready for Christmas
Mural in Galway
There’s art all over Galway
Scenic drives through the Connemara
Scenic drives through the Connemara
Sheep are all over the roads in Ireland
Sheep are all over the roads in Ireland
Kylemore Abbey in northern Connemara
Kylemore Abbey in northern Connemara
A stroll through Connemara National Park
A stroll through Connemara National Park

Heading south from Galway down the coast brought us to the iconic Cliffs of Moher. We highly recommend seeing them in the winter. There were maybe 25 people there total and we felt we had the place to ourselves for photos and just enjoying amazing unobstructed views. The wind was insane, so don’t get blown off the edge as has happened in the past.

The Cliffs of Moher do not disappoint
The Cliffs of Moher do not disappoint
It was so windy we had to dress up like we were hiding from paparazzi.
It was so windy we had to dress up like we were hiding from paparazzi
Obrien's Tower at the Cliffs of Moher
Obrien’s Tower at the Cliffs of Moher

Next up we headed towards Cork and visited the Blarney Castle. The grounds were amazing and the castle is just so cool. We both kissed the Blarney Stone and were endowed with the gift of gab. Woohoo!

Looking up the wall of the Blarney Castle to the Blarney Stone
Looking up the wall of the Blarney Castle to the Blarney Stone
The grounds of the Blarney Castle
The grounds of the Blarney Castle
The Poison Garden at the Blarney Castle
The Poison Garden at the Blarney Castle

On the way back to Dublin, we visited the Rock of Cashel, another amazing Irish castle dating back almost 900 years. I wish we had some better photos of the castle but it was under construction so all the pictures include scaffolding and what not. Still an awesome complex to wander around.

Inside the Rock of Cashel
Inside the Rock of Cashel

Our last couple days were spent enjoying Dublin. Drinks, good food, and oh yeah..more Jameson.

Walking along the River Liffey in Dublin
Walking along the River Liffey in Dublin
The Famous Temple Bar in Dublin
The Famous Temple Bar in Dublin
Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin
Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin
Obligatory whiskey tasting at Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin
Obligatory whiskey tasting at Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin

If you plan on traveling to Ireland, which of course you should, don’t hesitate to rent a car, and have an awesome road trip!

Written By
More from AJ

Paracord – 5 Reasons it Should be in Every Budget Traveler’s Backpack

Google search “paracord” and you’ll find a bazillion different uses for it....
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *