Touring Ireland by Car by Car Rental Council of Ireland

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inishmaan aran the road less travelled welcome to driving in ireland the mountain road veers down past wild rock formations rising from the sea then inland as a magical light sweeps the intense green of the fields and the blue of a shimmering lake picking out a row of whitewashed cottages beneath the endless azure sky incredibly there s no other car in sight where else in europe would you find roads so free of traffic through such spectacular scenery unwind on a driving holiday irish-style ireland now has an extensive network of modern motorways and dual carriageways even through rural areas so surfaces are generally in good condition unleaded petrol diesel and gasoline are available everywhere virtually all petrol stations accept major credit cards if you plan to take your car or motor home to ireland inform your insurance company if you will be driving in both northern ireland and the republic most car rental companies impose age restrictions so you are advised to check availability

after which you might want to go for a mid morning stroll to the phoenix park it s one of the largest city parks in the world and is home to the president of ireland the phoenix park visitor centre and dublin zoo afternoon north of dublin time to leave the city centre and drive north out to clontarf r105 to the bram stoker experience you can take the heart pounding journey through castle dracula and watch the terrifying enactments creating the unique and spine chilling story of count dracula and his victims clontarf is approximately 3.8 miles from the city centre and should take you just under 30 minutes to get there after clontarf drive to malahide castle approximately 8.3 miles from clontarf r105 r107 malahide castle set on 250 acres of parkland in the pretty seaside town of malahide was both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years and is an interesting mix of architectural styles memorabilia letters first and rare editions and many items associated with joycean dublin

cluster of old houses and is also home to the irish fly fishing museum the only one of its kind in ireland picking up the heritage trail signs again in durrow continue on to ballinakill an example of a 7th century market town ballinakill is home to the beautiful heywood garden completed in 1912 by sir edward lutyens the delightful walled enclosure consists of lawns lakes trees hedges pools and much more to surprise and enchant the visitor from ballinakill the heritage trail will take you to the heritage town of abbeyleix regarded as a fine example of a planned estate town abbeyleix was established under the viscounts de vesci for a detailed and interesting history of the town and its surrounding area visit the heritage house in the old patrician national school a number of walks are signposted around the town and there are many fine buildings to enjoy from abbeyleix the heritage trail takes you through ballyroan to the hidden beauty of timahoe village here you will find a remarkable

this tour starts from cork city in south west ireland and follows the southern coastline to where west cork reaches out into the atlantic at least two overnight stops are recommended so you can fully appreciate the variety to be found along this scenic route from cork city take the road to cork airport n27 and continue to the charming fishing harbour of kinsale r600 famous for its 17th century battle between english irish and spanish armies the old fortifications of charles fort and james fort guard the narrow entrance to kinsale from the sea and are full of interest desmond castle dates back to the 16th century and is also known as the french prison originally it was used as a custom house for wines wool and tobacco it now houses a wine museum as part of the interpretation of its history leave kinsale r600 and drive on to timoleague with its ruined franciscan abbey and the beautiful courtmacsherry harbour typical of the colourful fishing villages that bead the southern coast it is

the village visit the modern sculpture which features the work of international sculptors continue east along the n70 to the heritage town of kenmare walk along henry street with its interesting shop fronts and archways visit the heritage centre which outlines the history of the town and its famous visitors kenmare is the departure point for boat trips around the islands and inner kenmare river from kenmare travel north n71 to killarney killarney is ireland s oldest and most popular tourist destination and has an extensive range of visitor attractions and sporting amenities day 1 galway ­ westport 196 kms /122 mls start your tour from galway city r336 west to connemara and you will drive through the beautiful towns and villages of spiddal inverin costello screeb gortmore carna toombeola ballynahinch and clifden n59 the capital of connemara alternatively travel north-west of galway n59 to the pretty village of oughterard with views of lough corrib along the way continuing through the

the next village is tuamgraney with a small castle and church people have worshipped there for more than a thousand years in the 1990s the local community repaired and refurbished part of the church to add an exhibition and heritage centre a right turn just after the church leads down to a little harbour on the edge of the scarriff river where lake barges used to discharge their cargoes in the old days scarriff less than 3kms from tuamgraney is a busy centre it is worth a stop to visit the exceptional stores offering an amazing variety of food the road runs close to the lake to mountshannon one of the busiest yachting centres on lough derg the village is a charming one with church and market house built from the honey-coloured local sandstone a signpost to williamstown at whitegate the next village takes a route down to the lakeside and another of the old harbours then the road r352 leaves the waterside and stays away from it all the way to portumna the town which stands by the head

drive then to visit the mussenden temple downhill a2 and the towns of portstewart and portrush portstewart has a magnificent strand with a waymarked nature trail causeway coastal route 3 day tour belfast ­ londonderry 195 kms 121 mls day 2 sperrins region on the second day drive to the beautiful sperrin mountains and along the glenelly valley b47 in the counties of londonderry and tyrone a large number of archaeological and heritage sites can be found visit the sperrins heritage centre in the heart of the valley then drive onto the ulster american folk park in castletown co tyrone a5 3 miles north of omagh this is an outdoor museum telling the story of emigration to north america during the 18th and 19th century also worth a visit is the wellbrook beetling mill in cookstown a505 from castletown you can see how linen is made here and have a go yourself at beetling which is the final process in linen manufacture when the cloth is hammered to produce sheen to complete the driving tour

getting to ireland for detailed information on how to get to the island of ireland visit www.discoverireland.com by air ireland s main airports at dublin belfast cork and shannon cater for more than 30 airlines flying in and out of the country serving more than 70 destinations there are also a number of regional airports ­ aran islands belfast city city of derry donegal galway kerry knock sligo and waterford these airports are also well serviced with flight connections to find the most convenient route for you simply log onto www.discoverireland.com or visit the appropriate airline operator website flying to ireland airline operators uk to ireland inverness by sea with six destinations ­ belfast cork dublin port dun laoghaire larne and rosslare ­ getting to ireland by sea has never been easier with plenty of shops restaurants tv lounges and cinemas there s plenty to keep you entertained while special play areas and a constantly changing line-up of live entertainment during the

car rental directory in the republic of ireland the companies listed operate to a code of standards drawn up by the car rental council of ireland where members also operate in northern ireland their offices are listed below but for details of age restrictions or sterling cdw limits see the section car rental in northern ireland please note that reservations cannot be made through the car rental council of ireland company access car rentals offices unit 2b airport business park cloghran co dublin company belgard self drive belgard motor centre belgard road tallaght dublin 24 tel +353 01 404 9999 fax +353 01 462 2323 contacts nuala murray dermot deegan reservations +353 01 404 9999 email selfdrive@belgardmotors.ie international franchise euromobil offices belgard motor centre details fleet size 100 min/max age 23-70 cdw excess liability 320 www.carrentalcouncil.ie details fleet size 120 min/max age 25-70 cdw excess liability 500 www.belgardselfdrive.ie budget rent a car athlone road

company dooley car rentals knocklong co limerick tel +353 062 53103 fax +353 062 53392 email info@dooleycarrentals.com contact mary long pat dooley central reservations +353 062 53103 overseas offices us ­ tel 1 800 331 9301 uk ­ tel 0800 282 189 offices dublin city dublin airport shannon airport cork airport knocklong co limerick details fleet size 2000 min /max age 21-75 cdw excess liability 1000-1500 company hertz rent a car p.o box 23 ferrybank co wexford tel +353 053 915 2500 fax +353 053 915 2510 reservations tel +353 053 915 2511 e-mail res@hertz.ie international franchise hertz rent a car hertz worldwide reservations +353 01 6767 476 offices dublin airport dublin city shannon airport cork airport belfast international city airport city of derry airport kerry airport knock airport rosslare port wexford dublin airport harris park cloghran shannon airport cork airport kerry airport limerick details fleet size 4000 min/max age 25-75 cdw excess liability 900-1600

car rental in northern ireland all the companies listed offer cars at various locations throughout northern ireland company alamo national car rental 175 airport road aldergrove crumlin bt29 4dy tel +44 028 9442 2285 fax +44 028 9445 4589 offices belfast international city airport belfast city coleraine details fleet size 700 min age 21 no upper limit cdw excess liability £500 excess additional insurance can be purchased to reduce excess liability to £75 fleet size 1000 min/max age 23yrs/no max cdw excess liability £600 max/£100 min fleet size 600 min/max age 23/70 cdw excess liability £500 www.nationalcar.co.uk www.alamo.co.uk avis rentacar 69-71 great victoria street belfast bt2 7af tel +44 028 9024 0404 fax +44 028 9024 9054 email richard.darrah@avis.co.uk belfast city belfast international city airport city of derry airport coleraine larne ferry terminal lisburn belfast international city airport belfast city www.avis.co.uk budget car rental 96-102 great victoria st