10 most beautiful roads to drive in Ireland
It probably takes travelling the world to realise just how beautiful your own home is. How many times do you hear friends claim they’d ‘love to drive route 66’ or have ambitions to ‘drive the Hana Highway’? Well, maybe they should start closer to home.
Our own tiny island seriously does possess some of the most scenic drives possible on this little planet. From roads in Donegal to Dublin, we take in the most picturesque drives you can take in Ireland. How many of these have you travelled?
10 The Inishowen 100
What county’s this in? Donegal
This stunning road takes you around the island’s most northerly point and is simply stunning. Named ‘The 100’ for the amount of miles (almost bang on) the road travels, the Malin Head point is a definite recommended stop. If you have a good, clear day, this is a drive that can satisfy your eyes.
9 Cooley Peninsula
What county’s this in? Louth
Just a hop and a skip from Dublin, the Cooley Peninsula is a vastly underrated stretch of road that takes in the coastal delights Louth has to offer. When the discussion of ‘Ireland’s prettiest counties’ pops up in conversation, Louth is largely left out. It shouldn’t be. Take a trip around the Cooley Peninsula to see for yourself.
8 Dollymount to Howth Head
What county’s this in? Dublin
This drive, especially in spring and summer months, can make you forget all about the hecticness of the city it can lead you towards. The swerving road to or from Howth Head offers stunning views of iconic Dublin. It’s just a pity so many people take this road for granted. Take it in the next time you have to travel in this direction.
7 The Sally Gap
What county’s this in? Wicklow
The road leading to the Sally Gap on the Wicklow Mountains in a fair old stretch. It provides some jaw-dropping lake and mountain scenery and the narrow roads that chicane towards the ultimate stop, Sally Gap, are a joy to drive.
6 Copper Coast
What county’s this in? Waterford
This near 40km stretch is another underrated drive. It begins in Tramore and takes you to Dungarvan (or the other way around if that’s your preference and take sin the rugged coast. Having this road to yourself, which is a possibility, is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
5 Causeway Coast
What county’s this in? Antrim
Unlike most other roads on this list, the Causeway Coast isn’t weather-dependent to offer up its beauty. In rail, hail or shine, the most rugged coast in Ireland always appears handsome. It’s longer than you think too at 210km and for those who fancy a long drive, it rarely gets better than this – anywhere in Europe.
4 Sky Road Drive
What county’s this in? Galway
This high drive, up the mountains of Galway, offers jaw-dropping views of the coast. It also has a host of gorgeous stops such as Clifden, Westport and Streamstown Bay. It may only take 12-minutes to complete the whole road, but taking this route when you’re in the Connemara area is an absolute must.
3 Ring of Kerry
What county’s this in? Kerry
There’s not many drives in the world that can beat the Ring of Kerry when the sun is shining down on the Kingdom. This really is an eye-widening, picturesque little corner of the country. Sometimes you even have to rub your eyes to ensure what you are taking in is actually real. My favourite stop along the Ring? The view of the Skellig islands. It’ll never grow tiresome.
2 The Burren
What county’s this in? Clare
The Burren Scenic loop is a gorgeous landscape. This road just about hits the 100km mark and is filed with plenty of picturesque stops for a picnic lunch. It will take you around the Burren National Park and the Unesco World Heritage site, ensuring that Clare is one of the most underrated slices of land on this planet.
1 Glengesh Pass
What county’s this in? Donegal
In the summer months, nowhere else looks prettier in our whole country than the count of Donegal, and it’s a fair assessment to make that the drive through Glengesh Pass is as good as it gets. This whole range is a bright, beautiful green in the summer months and is a breath-taking drive. This is one spot you just can’t get tired of visiting. Yes, it is narrow and windy, but that’s part of the fun, right?