In Ireland, you don’t have to go far for breath-taking scenery. So we have created a list of our favourite Scenic Sunday Drives to enjoy this summer. What are you waiting for? Grab your keys, jump in the car and go!
#1. Galway to Westport
They say the West is best and it’s definitely hard to beat Galway to Westport: 98KM of pure motoring bliss via Leenane and Louisburg, taking you past mountains, lakes, rivers and coast. You’ll also pass by some of the country’s finest blue flag beaches, so if you’re partial to a dip in the sea, don’t forget to pack your togs.
#2. The Ring of Kerry
This is one drive that should be on everyone’s bucket list, a 179KM circular route taking you through Killarney, Kenmare, Killorglin, Sneem, Waterville, Caherciveen, Glenbeigh – and everything in between, including Killarney National Park, the Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach and the Skelligs. You’ll come across hundreds of sheep and ponies clogging up the narrow roads and as all tour buses run anti-clockwise, we recommend travelling clockwise, ie. from Kenmare to Killarney, if you want to avoid getting stuck behind them.
#3. The Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth
When you drive the Cooley Peninsula, you really are following in the footsteps of giants, for it’s here Cúchulainn made his name and Fionn Mac Cumhaill came to rest. Right between Dublin and Belfast, this enchanted drive takes in the Mourne Mountains, Carlingford Lough and Carlingford itself, a quaint cobbled Norman town where you should make time to stop off for a plate of the freshest oysters known to man.
#4. The Copper Coast, Co. Waterford
The Copper Coast is a 41KM stretch of the sunny South East named after the mining industry that thrived here during the 19th Century, remnants of which still remain in the form of old workhouses dotted along the coastline. From Dungarvan to Tramore, there’s plenty to see in between including genteel Annestown, Stradbally Cove and the blue flag beach, Bonmahon. And all that driving will definitely earn you a big bag of chips and a ’99 when you finally reach Tramore beach.
#5. Killiney, Co. Dublin
Killiney has it all; cliffs, coast and celebrities galore. Lunch in the picturesque neighbouring fishing village of Dalkey is a good place to start, before continuing along the Vico Road which will afford you spectacular views of Killiney Bay, often compared to the Bay of Naples. As you climb, the roads become pretty narrow, so take care on the corners. And if you have time to stop off and climb Killiney Hill, you’ll be rewarded with unbeatable views of Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay, Bray Head and Sugar Loaf Mountain.
#6. Wild Atlantic Way, Co. Clare
The Co. Clare stage of the Wild Atlantic Way is a rugged coastline packed with attractions, everything from the world famous Cliffs of Moher, the Burren National Park and stunning beaches like Kilkee, heaven if you’re into surfing. This leg ends just over the border, in Co. Galway’s picture perfect Kinvara, past the ‘Flaggy Shore’ immortalised by Seamus Heaney in his poem Postscript “…the wind/And the light are working off each other/So that the ocean on one side is wild/With foam and glitter.” It’s Ireland at its very best.
If you’re planning any long distance car journeys this summer, it’s a good idea to do a quick check of your fuel, lights, oil, water, engine and tyres before you head off. Liberty Insurance reward safe driving. Find out more about their current offers or get a car insurance quote in as little as two minutes.