Discover Ireland’s best family road trips

Planning ahead, particularly when it comes to travel has been difficult this year with restrictions in place since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to research from Carzone, Ireland’s trusted motoring marketplace, three quarters (75%) of Irish people have had to change their 2021 holiday plans due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, now that inter county travel is back on the cards, Irish people are keen to discover our beautiful island, with 82% planning to holiday in Ireland this Summer.

While one in ten (12%) have booked a trip abroad in the hopes that the travel ban will be lifted, foreign travel is not the be all an end all for nearly two thirds (60%) of people surveyed who say they will still holiday in Ireland even if foreign travel restrictions are lifted. 

Among those who have decided to holiday in Ireland, almost (93%), will be driving for over two hours to reach their holiday destination. Road trips can lead to range anxiety for some electric drivers, with almost half (44%) saying that they will plan their destination around the range of their vehicle.

Nearly three quarters (73%) of parents will be taking their kids along for their road trip this Summer and ensuring they are kept occupied is a priority, with 70% saying they will pre plan entertainment for the long journey.

The research found that preparation for a car journey is key with, sunglasses (77%), snacks (78%) and music (61%) listed as the top three essential items for a road trip. Car safety is also top of mind for Irish motorists, with a tyre pressure check (73%), car cleaning (58%), and an oil and filter check (52%) all listed as essential services before a road trip.

Ireland is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world so it’s not surprising that two thirds of motorists (66%) will take the scenic route on a road trip, where possible.

Commenting, Karl Connolly, Audience Manager at Carzone said:

“Our research has confirmed that it is once again the Summer of the Irish road trip. With people opting to stay local for their summer holidays, we have teamed up with travel expert, Sarah Slattery on this project and hope that her travel expertise will inspire Irish motorists to embark on an Irish road trip this summer.”

From Mountains, valleys, rugged cliffs and colourful towns, Ireland is full of scenic drives and spectacular road trips. Carzone has teamed up with travel expert Sarah Slattery to curate the five best Road trips Ireland has to offer:

The Beara Peninsula

The Beara Peninsula in West Cork is a great option for a summer road trip in Ireland, starting in the village of Glengarrif and ending in the vibrant town of Kenmare, the drive is approximately 128km or about 3 hours driving time. Allow for a full day or longer to appreciate everything it has to offer and explore the many gorgeous towns, villages, cove beaches and Ireland’s only cable car along the way.

The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry has long been one of Ireland’s favourite road trips due the stunning scenery, quaint villages and vibrant towns along the way. The drive is approximately 180km but is best driven over a few days so that you can stop to see all the sights. It is recommended that you do the drive in a clockwise direction, particularly when international visitors return, as tour buses travel anti-clockwise due to the narrow roads.

The Causeway Coast

The Causeway Coast is one of the best road trips in Ireland and will allow you to see many of Northern Ireland’s top attractions along to the way. The drive begins in Belfast and stretched 212km to Derry and is best done over a few days in order to appreciate it properly and stop at some of the amazing sights including the famous Giant’s Causeway. 

Keem Bay, Achill Island to Leenane, Connemara via Doolough Valley

The drive from Keem Bay in Achill Island, to Leenane in Connemara is one of the most scenic in Ireland and a great choice for a summer road trip. The drive is 115km and is best enjoyed if you are spending some time in either Mayo or Galway. Make sure to stop at Keem Bay for a day at the beach, which was named Ireland’s best beach by Lonely Planet this year.

Glencree to Glendalough via the Sally Gap

The drive from Glencree to Glendalough via the Sally Gap is one of the most popular in Ireland and will suit many as it can also be started in Bray or Enniskerry. Both of these starting points will also bring you onto Old Military Road which runs across the spine of the Wicklow Mountains.  Once you reach the Sally Gap crossroads, you can continue south towards Glendalough, drive west to Blessington Lakes or East to Roundwood. I suggest the latter, which will also bring you to Glendalough, but via the stunning lakes of Lough Tay and Lough Dan.

Commenting on the campaign, Sarah Slattery, Travel Expert said:

“I’m delighted to partner with Carzone on this campaign and share my top 5 Irish road trips. With so much uncertainty around foreign travel at the moment, road trips in Ireland are the perfect travel option this summer. Ireland is home to one of the world’s best road trips - The Wild Atlantic Way, but we also have many more outstanding offerings. When Carzone asked me to write about my favourite road trips in Ireland, I decided to include road trips that could be enjoyed on a weekend break, or even a day trip.”




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