I recently headed off on our fantastic Best of Ireland tour. This is one of our drive and hike options exploring southern Ireland where we covered Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney and Galway. And what an experience it was!
Although very excited as my trip grew closer I found myself slightly anxious with regards to the driving side of things. Would the rental car be ok? Would we find our way ok with our maps and road signs? Would it all be winding country roads? However, I soon realised that there was nothing to worry about.
Renting a car:
We had pre booked our rental car to collect from Dublin Airport and this was a very smooth process. All of the rental companies provide a courtesy bus to collect you from outside the terminal and take you straight to your car! A few signatures later we were in the car and ready to go. We were well equipped with our maps and guide books however Sat Nav is available if required and usually charged at about €8 per day.
What side of the road should I drive?
Prior to my trip a few people asked me what side of the road we would be driving. In Ireland you would drive on the left hand side so the same as you would in the UK. The only things to note that differs is that the distances and speeds are all in kilometres.
Although most road signs will have the name/ direction in both Gaelic and English as per example below, some do just show the Gaelic so keep this in mind to avoid any confusion.
Another tip is to make sure you have cash handy as you do have to pay a toll fee for motorways in Ireland. This is generally about €2 – €3 for a car. We were faced with this soon after leaving Dublin airport and with no change between us a mild panic did set in! Most toll stations will have several lanes, most being cash only and no change is given so it is always wise to keep change handy. Usually at least 1 lane will have someone working in the office and be able to assist if you do not have change.
Your rental car will have a full tank of petrol on collection, however as some of the areas you will be covering are more remote and petrol stations are limited in these areas I would always advise to make sure you can top up your fuel in any of the bigger towns before you head off.
Why chose a drive & hike?
This was my first drive and hike experience and I absolutely loved it. Having the car really does give you the freedom and flexibility to explore much more of such a fantastic country. Personally I think hiring a car and taking to the road is the ideal way to fit in as many fascinating towns, tourist attractions and marvellous walks as you can! Not to mention the numerous hidden beaches you will come across. I cannot wait to get back on the road for my next adventure!
Macs Adventure offer a wide range of walking, cycling and drive and hike tours in Ireland, giving you the peace of mind of having all your accommodations booked, whilst allowing you to independently enjoy the wonderful outdoor experience. You can take one of the many tours that we have on our website, but we can customise these for you should you not see exactly what you are looking for. For more information please visit https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holiday/europe-walking-holidays/ireland/.