The Ring of Kerry (County Kerry): It’s by far the most well-traveled of Ireland’s great routes, but there’s no denying the Ring of Kerry’s appeal—it’s a seductive combination of stunning countryside, charming villages, and inspiring historical sites. The road gets quite busy in summer, but come in the spring or autumn and it’s a much more peaceful experience.
- Antrim Coast (County Antrim): Sweeping views of midnight-blue sea against gray unforgiving cliffs and deep-green hillsides make this 97km-long (60-mile) coastal route unforgettable. Start in gorgeous Glenarm with its castle walls and barbican gate, then head north along the coast past Bushmills and the Giant’s Causeway to Portrush. Best of all, you often have the road quite to yourself.
- Conor Pass (Dingle Peninsula): The main road from Tralee to Dingle Town takes you 390m (1,300 ft.) above sea level on a road that seems impossibly narrow and rough, but which offers extraordinary views. You may (as we have done) find yourself above the clouds here, and in places you can see for miles. It's an unforgettable drive, especially in the spring or fall, when the weather can create gorgeous skies.
- Slea Head Drive (Dingle Peninsula): This drive, starting from Dingle Town and heading down the Ventry road, follows the sparkling sea past a series of ancient sites such as the Dunbeg Fort and the beehive-shaped Gallarus Oratory. At Dunquin, you can embark on boats to the mysterious abandoned Blasket Islands.
- Horn Head (County Donegal): Drive pretty much anywhere in County Donegal and before long you’ll be in beautiful, wild, unspoiled countryside—that’s one reason why we never mind getting lost around here. One of the best drives is around Horn Head, near Dunfanaghy, where quartzite sea cliffs glisten as if made of glass when the sun hits them just right.
- Inishowen Peninsula (County Donegal): This far-flung promontory in Ireland’s northern end stretches out from Lough Foyle to the east and Lough Swilly to the west toward Malin Head, its farthest point. Driving its perimeter, you’ll pass ancient sites, pretty villages, and fine sandy beaches in fierce rocky coves. If you are looking to get lost, this is a great place to do it.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.