- It’s not just stunning landscape and a warm welcome that make Ireland famous. The country is home to some of the most stunning driving routes, ideal for exploring in the Emerald Isle’s favourite car.
Ireland just might be the perfect location for a driving holiday. The island on the west of Europe combines modern cities with charming villages, mountains, lakes, and breathtaking coastlines. While sunny weather can’t be guaranteed, it’s still an ideal destination to visit on four wheels.
With so many different routes, terrain, and driving conditions, it’s no wonder that Irish drivers have fallen in love with Hyundai’s All New Tucson. Introduced to the European market in 2015, the Tucson is Ireland’s best-selling passenger car. It has also been named Irish medium SUV of the year for 2017. In fact, the Tucson is Hyundai’s fastest-selling European model.
The SUV has been a clear hit with Irish drivers. Manufactured in Europe, the Tucson has been adapted and optimised for the continent’s roads. For example, the new chassis has been developed for European customers with enhanced cornering stability, perfect for negotiating Ireland’s legendary narrow laneways. The Tucson is also one of the safest vehicles in its segment and received the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
Finding your way around Ireland’s roads is not a problem with seven-year subscription to LIVE services, relaying traffic and weather information to the Tucson’s 8-inch display screen. And what about world-famous Irish music for your road trip? DAB+ digital radio with six audio speakers is also available.
We know why Irish drivers love the Tucson, so why do driving tourists love Ireland? Here are four routes that will make any road trip to the Emerald Isle unforgettable.
The Wicklow Mountains
Ireland’s capital Dublin is a thriving cosmopolitan city linked to the other major urban centres via a modern motorway network. However, for something more scenic, the Wicklow Mountains are just a short spin to the south. Travel portal Lonely Planet recommends the trip from Dublin to the town of Portlaoise. The 138 km route winds through the Wicklow Mountains National Park taking in the Sally Gap mountain pass, Powerscourt Waterfall - the highest in Ireland - and the 6th century monastic settlement at Glendalough.
Ring of Kerry
To get a real feel of Ireland’s twisting narrow country roads, the world-famous Ring of Kerry is a 200-km driving loop following the coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way. Passing mountains, lakes, rivers, castles and along Ireland’s Atlantic coastline, you’ll spot the Skellig islands, a recent filming location for the Star Wars franchise. If you really want to test your driving skills, you should tackle the journey in a clockwise direction to avoid the multitude of tour buses which must negotiate the route going anti-clockwise.
Cliffs of Moher
The Wild Atlantic Way along Ireland’s western shores is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route. The entire route is over 2600 km long and divided into 14 stages. With the majestic Atlantic Ocean on one side conjuring up howling winds, and rocky landscape on the other, it’s a fascinating drive but the spectacular Cliffs of Moher are one attraction not to be missed. Passing alongside the limestone pavements of the Burren region, you’ll reach the Cliffs which stretch for over 8 km. And if all that nature isn’t enough, you can spin into the city of Galway and park up for a night of music and fun, or ‘craic’ as the Irish say.
The Causeway Coastal Route
How about driving in the footsteps of Giants? The route between Derry/Londonderry and Belfast stretches between two modern cities, one the home of the Titanic. On the Antrim coast, you’ll marvel at the Giant’s Causeway, almost 40,000 basalt columns created by volcanic activity. According to the legend, the Causeway was created by two feuding giants, hence the name. The route in Northern Ireland also takes in several locations used for filming the popular TV series Game of Thrones.