Mileage at beginning: 133107 km
For our holiday this year we decided to opt for a staycation and do a roadtrip along the Wild Atlantic Way. As we were only going for a week we weren't able to do the whole route, so instead we adapted it a little and added some of the Ring of Kerry to suit our schedule and what we wanted to see. We had some idea of a couple of places we wanted to go but otherwise we just made it up as we went along and booked accommodation as we drove. So here is our personal Irish roadtrip route of the Wild Atlantic Way/Ring of Kerry. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed travelling it!
Day 1: Enfield, Co. Meath to Glengarriff, Co. Cork
First we dropped our little kitten off to be babysat in Enfield, put €50 petrol in the car and then it was on the road we went. Our first pitstop was Hartes Bar in Kildare town for lunch, we didn't get far without food! Now that the car and it's passengers were properly fueled it was time for the long drive to Cork. Cue a boyfriend fast asleep while I sang along badly to Taylor Swift (obviously I was driving).
After a long but easy drive it was time for the next stop on our road trip itinerary. One of my boyfriend's favorite actors of all time is Oliver Reed, who is buried in Bruhenny Graveyard in Cork. He was famous for his roles in films such as Oliver and Gladiator, as well as his reputation as a hell raiser. It was on the set of Gladiator that he died of a heart attack and was then buried in the quiet town in Cork where he had spent his final years. It is said that no wild things grow on his grave due to the tradition for so many fans to pour a drink on his grave. If you'd like to visit his grave you can just drop into his favorite pub O'Brien's Bar across the road and borrow the key. After a chat in the pub it was on to the very tricky to find village of Glengarriff.
Oliver Reed's Grave
'He made the air move'
Day 2: Glengarriff, Garnish Islands and Bantry, Co. Cork
Driving was kept to a minimum on day 2 as we were staying in Glengarriff for 2 nights. So we explored some of the sights close to the village: The Ewe Experience, Garnish Islands and Bantry Bay.
On the boat to the Garnish Islands, Cork
Day 3: Glengarriff to Killarney, Co. Kerry. The Ring of Kerry
On Day 3 it was off to Killarney with some nail biting driving but breathtakingly beautiful views along the way. We drove through Kenmare, on to Moll's Gap and Killarney National Park and then stopped at Torc Waterfall and Muckross House Garden's and Farm. After taking countless pictures in the gorgeous National Park, we drove to Killarney where we were staying for the night in the cutest yurt at Grove Lane Glamping.
Exploring Killarney National Park
Day 4: Killarney to Dingle to Tralee, Co. Kerry
From Killarney we headed out to explore more of Kerry. Our next stop was Dingle where we filled up on icecream and visited the antique shop where we got my engagement ring 7 years ago. Then it was on to the terrifying drive through Conors Pass, which is definitely worth it for the view. After some more driving, we took a much needed beach detour to Castlegregory, where we filled the car with pretty seashells. Our last stop of the day was Tralee, where we stayed in Traleetown House, which was great value at €79 for 2 B&B considering the races were on. We had two main reasons for staying in Tralee, it broke up the drive from Kerry to Clare and it has the best kebabs in Ireland. I have this on good authority as I don't eat them at all but according to my boyfriend Kaleli Kebab make the best kebabs he's every eaten. I can say myself though that their curry chips are incredible.
33 Upper Castle Street Tralee
Day 5: Tralee to Limerick City, Lahinch to Doolin, Co. Clare
On day 5 it was on to my favorite county in Ireland, Clare! Firstly we dove to Adare and then to Limerick city, just to have a look as I'd never been there. Then we did a mini tour of Clare visiting Craggaunowen, Bunratty Castle, Ennis, Lahinch, the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin. We spent the night in amazing wooden glamping pods right beside the sea at Nagles Camping and Caravan Park.
Our super cozy glamping pod, Doolin
Day 6: Doolin to Lough Rea, Co. Galway
For our last full day we packed loads in. Before leaving Doolin we visited Doolin Cave home to the 23ft Great Stalactite, it is honestly a must visit. Our tour guide there recommended we visit the Burren by driving from Doolin to Ballyvaughan and his favorite beach in Fanore. After snapping more than a few pictures off the Burren we drove on to Kinvara and Gort, stopping lastly at Loughrea. We slept in an amazing marshmallow bed and ate to our hearts content at Loughrea Hotel and Spa.
The Burren, Clare
Day 7: Home
1,127 km (and €90 petrol) later we were home with our crazy little kitten after an incredible holiday. We visiting countless Irish gems, I ate mussels for the first time, we slept in a yurt and a pod, saw seals and a 23ft stalactite, ate 5 full Irish fries..each. Basically it was amazing and I hope this might inspire you to give an Irish road trip a try!
Mileage at end: 134234 km
I'll be posting all about the places we visited and where we stayed so keep an eye out!