Travel Writing by Cory Hanson

Ireland’s Most Beautiful Drives as Selected by the Irish


Planning a visit to Ireland? Looking to get out of the noise, grit, and grime of the city? Want to see some of the world’s most stunning, jaw-dropping, are-you-kidding-me-with-this wild, natural scenery? On the beautiful little green island of Ireland, knockout drives are never far away, and easier to find and explore than you might think.

No one knows the back corners of Ireland like the locals, so 100% Irish insurance provider Chill asked more than 400 Irish natives, “What’s Ireland’s most beautiful drive?”

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The results are in, and Chill Insurance has published the results—along with travel advice and recommendations from top local bloggers, a stunning collection of photography, and important safety tips for visitors driving on the narrow, winding roads of rural Ireland—in the free ebook Ireland’s Most Beautiful Drives.

The top three driving routes as selected by the locals might surprise you; that two of them are in the rugged hills of County Kerry probably won’t. Without spoiling the winner, I’ll just say that it’s a popular peninsula known for high mountains, glacial valleys, ancient ruins, and one very friendly and charismatic resident dolphin. Beyond the blockbuster top three, even longtime locals might discover something new in the also-ran list, as I did with County Waterford’s Copper Coast.

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Also featured in the book are nine bloggers specializing in lifestyle, food, and travel—from twenty-something adventures to family-friendly road trips with kids in tow. These local experts share their favorite villages and natural and archaeological landmarks, some of them obscure and off the beaten path. Clare from Clare With the Hair recommends an exhilarating, white-knuckle drive up Corkscrew Hill near the Burren, which she says is “not for nervous motorists—but for those who want to discover something extra special.”

Driving Tips Ireland's Most Beautiful Drives

The book also includes some handy and helpful driving tips from Chill Insurance and everyday Irish drivers, focusing particularly on navigating in the adverse weather conditions that can roll over the Irish hills without a moment’s notice. Sudden rain showers, dangerous wind gusts, black ice, and pea-soup fog can make driving these beautiful rural routes a tricky proposition, and every care should be taken when dealing with them. Blogger Nicola recommends to visitors driving in Ireland for the first time: “Know where your fog lights are. They can be different in every car and you need to know where to find them, fast.” Having some experience with Ireland’s drop-of-a-hat whiteouts myself, I say it’s sound advice.

Amanda from Go Book Yourself sums up my own feelings about the rolling hills, glassy black lakes, rugged coastlines, heather- and gorse-covered bogs, and distant sheep-dotted pastures of this beautiful island perfectly, saying, “Ireland’s sweeping green valleys and majestic mountains will never fail to take my breath away.” With the publication of this free ebook, finding and planning your own breathtaking Irish road trip has become easier than ever. Get out there, stay safe, and make some memories!

The free ebook Ireland’s Most Beautiful Drives is published by Chill Insurance and is available in PDF form on the blog.

This is a collaborative post with Chill Insurance to share a free resource for trip planners. For more about collaborative content, read my Full Disclosure. All images in this post were provided by Chill Insurance.


  1. April 5, 2016    
    • April 9, 2016    

      I’ll have to get down there before we leave Ireland! Thanks for the tip!

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