When an ocean suddenly separates you from your best friend, you don’t ask questions. You pick a week, book a flight, and meet up on the Emerald Isle for a vacation full of absurdity. Bonus points if that week includes one of your birthdays, an epic roadtrip around the Dingle Peninsula, AND St. Paddy’s Day.
There’s no question that we experienced a lifetime’s worth of unexpected adventures (…and misadventures) during our self-planned road trip across Ireland and around the Slea Head Loop on the Dingle Peninsula.
Should you plan your own trek across the homeland of our ancestors, we, as always, have a few pointers.
Always stop for castles.
When you’re driving across a country as beautiful as Ireland, it’s not your typical “no stops til we reach our destination!” sort of road trip. There are three things you should always stop for: a pint, sheep, and castles. On our way from Dublin to Dingle, we stopped to enjoy bagels outside Ballaghmore Castle. Though we didn’t get to explore the interior, we sat outside, eating breakfast and using our pitstop as a serious photo op. AKA perfection.
For Americans, driving on the opposite side of the road in a foreign country can be terrifying. This terror magnifies when the one passenger who holds a valid driver’s license wants to sit in the backseat, snapping photographs and enjoying the scenery. We recommend bringing along at least one reliable, even-tempered friend. Ideally, pick someone who can sit upfront alongside you and calm you down when you veer too close to the road’s edge. Or, you know, when a stray sheep runs out in front of your car.
Our intention was to drive straight through from Dublin to Dingle, but naturally, our lack of knowledge concerning traffic circles lead us to more than a few wrong turns. Thankfully, this meant we added some unforeseen destinations to our itinerary, including Inch Strand, and later, the beautiful town of Killarney. When it comes to choosing road trip destinations, don’t be picky. Every Irish town is as beautiful as the next.
Chances are, you won’t bother anyone in the Irish countryside. Plus, you’ll get closer to the spectacular views.
the romantic & the wino