Self-drive holiday in Ireland: Freedom on the Green Island is written by Well Mammen Nielsen.
Experience Ireland at your own pace
Ireland has unimaginable amounts of beautiful nature. But the distances can be great and the public transport can be a challenge if you want to get to the more isolated areas. It is therefore worth considering a self-drive car holiday in Ireland.
With a rented car, you have the freedom to stop where it suits you and let chance guide you around. Drive along the many small roads and coastal roads over the hilly green landscapes and make stops in the small cozy villages away from the main road.
Here you can experience “the real Ireland” in one of the small pubs, where there is plenty of opportunity to exchange stories with the locals over a dark Guinness and socializing. Irish stew.
We have put together a range of great tips for your self-drive holiday in Ireland.
Remember to keep left your self-drive holiday in Ireland
In Ireland, there is left-hand traffic, and this can of course present some challenges even for an experienced motorist. Therefore, keep track of the traffic rules and do not make hasty decisions until you are sure how the car is operated and the roads are forced.
Already five minutes after you have lifted the clutch in the car and driven from the airport, the first roundabouts await. There are many of them, and it can make you sweat at the start when you have to turn left. But you learn that quickly. Follow someone else into the roundabout the first time, it's easier.
You can rent a car in several different cities and drop it off either in the same place or in another city. This makes it more flexible and you can combine your self-drive holiday in Ireland with other forms of travel such as bus and hiking shoes in Dublin. The capital is still not optimal for driving around in a car.
In addition, it can be relatively expensive to rent a car in Ireland, so a combination with public transport can make good sense.
Magnificent experiences on a self-drive holiday in Ireland
If your self-drive holiday starts in Dublin, then you are not far to the great experiences. South of the capital is the highland area of Wicklow Mountains National Park with breathtaking valleys, mountains and beautiful lakes.
Further to the south-west you can let yourself be captivated by the 179 kilometer long famous Ring of Kerry route. This goes around the Iveragh peninsula and forms the setting for some of Ireland's most beautiful Atlantic viewshavet.
The flexibility is great with a rented car, but be aware that even short distances can take longer due to the winding and small roads. And then it is easy to be absorbed by the beautiful nature.
Ireland is not associated with the bright green color for nothing. This is particularly evident in the middle of the island, which contains small cozy villages, grasslands and rich nature. Here the tour buses often run quickly through to get out to the coasts.
With your own car, you can easily make a stop and get to know the less touristy areas in the heart of the very green island.
Insidious roads on your road trip in Ireland
Taking a self-drive holiday in Ireland is not the same as a road trip in the USA with long distances and the accelerator at the bottom of Route 66. In return, Ireland has Wild Atlantic Way, which stretches over 2.500 kilometers along the Atlantichavet from Cork in the southwest to Donegal in the north.
The winding roads lead past many beautiful sights; among other things, the vertical cliffs at Cliffs of Moher. Here it is an advantage to plan the route and the pace yourself, as it can be both time consuming and difficult to get there by bus or train.
There are very few motorways in Ireland and the main and country roads often turn into small winding single lanes not much wider than a car. It is quite charming.
But it also means that it can be difficult to find a place to pull over to the side to take pictures and enjoy nature. So be aware of that when you see a good place to stop in.
Choose the right vehicle for your self-drive car holiday in Ireland
Despite the fact that the road network covers very different terrain, it is worth considering that rent a smaller car. It makes it easier to move around on the small roads, and you avoid too many uncomfortable situations too close to the oncoming motorists, where every inch counts.
Also pay attention to folding in the side mirrors when parking in cities and on smaller roads. Some bad injuries can easily occur.
Do you dream instead of putting on weight adventure in a motorhome on your self-drive holiday in Ireland, it is a great alternative to the car. With a motorhome, freedom is ultimate, as you can drive where you want and wake up to magnificent nature.
There are rental options in several cities and in some places they offer transfer from the airport. However, a motorhome also means less space on the small roads, so choose your route carefully. And start by practicing a little somewhere with plenty of space before you hit the road seriously.
Basically, it is allowed to park and pitch your tent in most places in Ireland, which makes it ideal with a motorhome. But preferably make sure to make an agreement with the owner of the plot beforehand.
However, you shouldn't cheat yourself into spending the night at some of the small inns and hotels around the villages. Here you will experience the true Irish folk spirit - even while you sleep.
Ireland is an excellent travel destination no matter how you travel.
Fasten your seatbelt and experience what a self-drive car holiday in Ireland has to offer.
Very nice trip.
Self-drive holiday routes in Ireland
- The west coast of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- The southwest coast
- The southeast coast