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Campervan hire Ireland

With its rough and rugged good looks and great personality to boot, Ireland is a seriously beautiful country that doesn’t take life at all seriously

 

Ireland. A small country with a big heart, known around the world for its friendly people, spectacular landscape, and fascinating history and culture. Spreading throughout 4 provinces (1 of them shared with neighbouring Northern Ireland) and numerous counties, the Republic of Ireland is a country of huge diversity: each town has its own personality, each corner is unique. Warm, welcoming, and brimming with natural wonders that are just beautiful as everyone says, 82% of visitors to Ireland come for the scenery, but when they arrive they find the people are rather lovely too. Step upon Ireland’s majestic and storm-lashed shores and discover an island where dramatic scenery meets age-old traditions, wonderful hospitality, and exceptional pubs. An ancient, mystical, and magical country where legend and myth are rife. Fables, folklore, and fairytale weave themselves into modern-day Ireland, where everyone’s a storyteller, prompted by a landscape that inspires epic sagas. With a campervan hire in Ireland, you’ll discover idyllic rivers carving through vibrant green plains; pristine sand beaches; tiny islands emerging from the cold depths of the Atlantic; and cliffs and caves just asking to be explored. A word of warning: embark on a campervan road trip in Ireland and you’ll struggle to come home.

 

Getting around Ireland by campervan

 

Although fuel prices have risen in the country in recent years, the current price for a litre of diesel in Ireland is around average for Europe, making a campervan hire in Ireland a great choice for adventurous travellers and overall road trippers.

Speed limits when driving your campervan in Ireland are measured in km per hour in the Republic of Ireland, even though neighbouring Northern Ireland measures them in miles per hour — which can be slightly confusing. The limit within cities is 50 km/hour. This increases to 80 km/hour on single carriageways, 100 km/hour on expressways and 120 km/hour on motorways.

Roads in Ireland are mostly of a high standard. It’s worth noting that highways are referred to as motorways, and motorways are prefixed with an ‘M’, like M50. Oh, and you drive on the left — something it’s pretty important to remember during your campervan hire journey in Ireland.

Once you hire a motorhome in the country, you will find out that there are 11 tolled roads in the Republic of Ireland: the M50, M1, M3, M4, N6, M7/M8, N8, N25, the East-Link Bridge, Dublin Tunnel, and Limerick Tunnel. Apart from the M50, which uses the eFlow Barrier System (where your licence plate will be photographed and you’ll pay online, in a petrol station or by phone) they all have regular toll barriers.

Wild camping in Ireland is significantly limited for campervans and only tents are allowed while sleeping overnight in parking lots is often prohibited. Before you pick-up your rental campervan in Ireland, check out the Irish Caravan & Camping Council, which has a network of over 100 campsites and caravan parks all over the island. Bear in mind most campsites are closed in winter.

 

Ireland is not as cheap as some European countries but less expensive than England, for example. While a three-course meal in a fancy restaurant could cost you around €70, you can eat a good, cheap meal in a pub for around €13, while a pint will cost you around €5 — more in cities.

The country’s mild maritime climate makes a campervan hire in Ireland a great idea all year round. In winter, the average temperature is around 8 degrees, while in summer it’s more like 18 degrees. We recommend spring or September and October as Ireland often experiences late summers.   

All the stereotypes about the Irish are true: they really are the loveliest people. Smiley, generous and chatty, they are always keen to tell you a story and you’ll feel welcome as soon as you set off on your RV road trip in Ireland.

While Irish Gaelic is recognised as the official language of the Republic of Ireland, English is more commonly used. Only 5% of the population speaks Gaelic regularly so no pressure to start cramming on vocabulary before you arrive.

You won’t go hungry on a road trip in Ireland. Make sure to try soda bread and at least a few potato-based dishes such as boxty or colcannon. And, of course, you ought to sample some shellfish, like the cockles and mussels made famous by Molly Malone. All washed down with a pint of Guinness, of course.

 

About Ireland

Ireland, an island jutting out of the wild and unpredictable North Atlantic, famed for its majestic landscape, rich culture, and for loving a bit of craic. A land of mountains, beaches, crashing waves, raucous music, and boisterous sports, whose cheerful and unreserved people enjoy a life full of drinking and laughter. As Irish writer Brendan Behan said, “It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” You’ll hear much mention of the 40 shades of green but when you arrive, 40 will seem far too little. From the rugged west overlooking the stormy Atlantic to the lush green Midlands and rustic charm of the East, jump into nature with a campervan hire in Ireland and raise a glass — or pint of gat (Guinness) — to a country of untamed beauty, full of spirit and fire. Just one thing to realise before you arrive: this is not an island entirely populated by redheads, contrary to popular belief. Only about 9% of the country are natural gingers. But enough of your olagonin’ (complaining) — there’s plenty else that makes this country unique. Hire a campervan in Ireland and you’ll see what we mean.

 

What to discover

In and around the country

Dingle Peninsula

Facing the Atlantic on Ireland’s rugged southwestern coastline, the Dingle Peninsula is the icing on the cake that is the Wild Atlantic Way. Meander down one of Ireland’s highest mountain passes, the treacherous-looking Conor Pass, to arrive on Corca Dhuibhne. The peninsula has been called ‘most beautiful place on earth’ by National Geographic, yet Dingle can claim to be more than that. With the latest instalment of Star Wars filmed here, it’s secluded bays, sandy beaches, and rolling hills belong to another galaxy!

Rock of Cashel

When in Ireland, you’re going to want to visit a medieval castle. Perched atop a green hill overlooking pastoral County Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is the site of legends. Also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’ Rock, the hill was the seat of power hing kings, powerful clans, and the sacred spot where St Patrick baptised King Aengus to Christianity. Moving from legend to myth, the devil is supposed to have created the Rock of Cashel when he bit a chunk out of a mountain and spat it out.

Killarney National Park

This 26,000 acre wilderness is Ireland’s oldest national park and includes the stunning McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Reeks and Ireland’s highest Mountain, Carrauntoohil. Hire a campervan/rent an RV in Ireland, pick it up in Dublin and drive to explore this untamed landscape, taking looping trails through the Tomies Woodland, visiting the area’s three famous lakes — Upper, Muckross, and Lough Leane — and keeping your eyes peeled for examples of the diverse flora and fauna found here — including red deer that are believed to have lived in Killarney since the last ice age.

 

Top Regions

Ring of Kerry

If you plan on a campervan hire in Ireland, then deciding to drive the Ring of Kerry is a no-brainer. This looping road within County Kerry will take you on a crash course of Ireland’s history. Drive past wild stag, crashing waterfalls, and rivers brimming with salmon. Through dense forest and along cliffs overlooking the whirling depths of the Atlantic. Through hair-raising mountain passes, bucolic countryside, to picture-perfect beaches and quaint village pubs. On the way, you’ll visit the lively town of Killarney, Ireland’s tallest mountain, Carrauntoohil, Killorglin — where each year a wild mountain goat is crowned king (don’t ask) — and the sprawling sands of Rossbeigh Strand. There’s also Cahersiveen, gateway to the Skellig Ring with its stunning beaches and 6th-century monastery. And the charming seaside village of Waterville, a favourite holiday destination of Charlie Chaplin. Then Moll's Gap, named after Moll Kissan who set up a síbín — an illegal bar — here. With its gorgeous lakes and the looming MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains, we can see how this spectacular landscape might tempt you to have an illicit drink — just don’t drink and grab the wheel of your campervan next! So, soaring mountains, windswept cliffs, idyllic villages, and white-sand beaches: have we convinced you to hire a campervan in Ireland and drive to the Ring of Kerry right away?

 

Cork

The seaport of Cork is located in Southeast Ireland, it is the country’s second largest city after Dublin and it is technically an island, perched in the middle of the River Lee. The city has a cosmopolitan vibe, with trendy cafes, art galleries, and unusual museums. Relaxed, community-focused and with a great sense of humour, this a city with a small-town feel, its charms bolstered by devoted locals who call it ‘the real capital of Ireland.’ Explore the city’s history by wandering around its old town centre, along grand Georgian avenues and through 17th-century alleys. Undertake a serious investigation into Cork’s culinary heritage, sampling artisan cheese, smoked fish, and chocolate at the English market where Queen Elizabeth was famously photographed laughing with a fishmonger. Or there are the many acclaimed restaurants to choose from — and some great craft breweries too. And the delights don’t stop at the city limits. With a campervan hire in Ireland, you can drive from Dublin to Cork and discover a county home to epic castles, such as the medieval stronghold of Blarney and the Blarney Stone, which, when you give it a kiss, it will give you the gift of eloquence. There are quaint seaside towns such as Cobh — infamous as the last port of call for the Titanic. And a stunning coastline with stretches of untamed wilderness such as the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and the Irish-speaking islands of Cape Clear and Sherkin, perfect for a typical campervan Irish drive. At the tip of the Beara Peninsula, you can even take a ride in Ireland’s only cable car to the Atlantic outpost of Dursey Island.

 

Ulster

Ulster is the northern province of Ireland and its nine counties are split between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ulster was once known for being home to the fiercest warriors of all the country — but don’t let that put you off. Take your hired campervan to Ulster, one of the best places for a road trip across the island of Ireland, spreading throughout both countries. The region is home to the largest lake in the British Isles — Lough Neagh — the mountain ranges of the Mournes, Sperrins, Croaghgorms, and Derryveagh — filming locations for the globally-popular Game of Thrones, and countless scenic drives. There’s also the golden coast and sand dunes of the Fanad Peninsula, the Northern Headlands Touring Route, which encompasses historical sites such as Fort Dunree Military Museum and Doagh Famine Village, and you might even glimpse the northern lights from Malin Head. You can explore County Cavan, county of lakes with over 365, one for every day of the year — and “more when it rains.” Or visit the enchanting Tollymore Forest Park. There’s also Donegal, home to the Slieve League, some of the highest cliffs in the world and an appealing alternative to the more crowded Cliffs of Moher further south. And if you’re still craving remote wilderness, there’s the raw beauty of the Sperrin Mountains. Plus, Ulster is also home to the majestic Giant’s Causeway, in Northern Ireland, which is an epic spot to drive to after you hire a campervan or motorhome in Ireland’s capital and start heading north.

Shannon

The region of Shannon is located in the midwest and, thanks to its impossibly gorgeous landscape and laid-back vibes, is an ideal choice for an RV road trip in Ireland. An area rich in tradition and history, with a landscape scattered with castles and medieval towns, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped inside an Irish ballad. Find yourself stunned by the rugged coastline and golden beaches of County Clare. The county is also home to The Burren, a lunar-like karst landscape of pale grey stone crevices and cliffs, home to megalithic tombs and monuments. Head your rental motorhome over to County Limerick which will charm you with its gentle beauty and rustic way of living. Enjoy the meandering beauty of the Shannon River — the longest river in Ireland whose 386 km journey passes castles, forts and marinas buzzing with life. Take a road trip to the famous Bunratty Castle, the most complete medieval fortress in Ireland and where you can even experience a medieval banquet. Or step back into time at the Bunratty Folk Park, an immersive, open-air museum with recreations of village life in centuries past.  Of course, there’s also the Cliffs of Moher — Ireland’s top tourist attraction. Standing at 700 feet and stretching for nearly 5 miles, it’s not hard to see why. And, if you’re seriously considering a campervan hire in Ireland (and why wouldn’t you?), the Wild Atlantic Way is an imperative: the epic 2,500 km drive down Ireland’s west coast, past pounding waves, secluded beaches, sweeping cliffs, and other weather-beaten natural wonders.

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South East

Choose a motorhome or campervan hire in Ireland and drive south of Dublin to reach the so-called ‘sunny’ South East Ireland. A land of patchworked fields and plains, glacial valleys, castles, ancient settlements, meandering rivers, majestic mountains, idyllic villages, and seaside havens — we could go on. The east of Ireland sometimes gets overlooked as visitors flock to the more well-known west. But we know better: the South East has plenty to offer road trippers and campervanners specifically. There’s County Wicklow, with its two stunning lakes and the fairytale-esque Powerscourt waterfall. Or County Kilkenny, home to Ireland’s medieval capital of the same name, a happening cultural hub. There’s County Carlow’s Huntington Castle or the ancient burial site, Brownshill Dolmen. Freak yourself out at the purportedly haunted Loftus Hall in County Wexford — or visit the town of Curracloe where they filmed the D-Day landing sequences in Saving Private Ryan. Visit Glendalough, a 6th-century monastic settlement set next to two crystal-clear lakes and overlooked by the steep cliffs of a glacial valley. Enjoy the sight of the spectacular Comeragh Mountains. And visit the nearby Viking city of Waterford before driving your campervan down County Waterford’s wondrous Copper Coast — a UNESCO Global Geopark.

 

East and Midlands

Ireland’s East Coast and Midlands region regularly gets forgotten — and shame on us for doing so. This diverse, intriguing, and frequently breathtaking landscape is a great choice to head to on a campervan hire road trip in Ireland. There’s the Cooley peninsula in the north, the beautiful beaches and mountains of Wicklow in the east, and the lush green landscape in the middle that confirms Ireland’s status as the Emerald Isle once and for all. Aside from its spectacular scenery, you also have intriguing cultural sites. Visit Belvedere House with its infamous ‘Jealous Wall’ and scandalous history (you’ll have to visit to find out more). Across the water at the lakeside spot of Liliput on Lough Ennell, Jonathan Swift found inspiration for Gulliver's Travels. There’s also Tullynally Castle, whose name and turrets are both taken straight out of a fairytale. And, if that’s not enough beautiful architecture for you, there’s also Birr Castle — a majestic 90-roomed castle on a 1200-acre estate. Stepping back further in time, there are the fabled Loughcrew burial mounds and passage graves. And the Hill of Tara where it is said a quarter of Ireland can be seen from the top. This was also the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the whole area feels steeped in myth and legend. But if you prefer spirits of the alcoholic kind, there’s Lockes Distillery in Kilbeggan — apparently the oldest in the world.

Campervan hire in Dublin

Indie Campers Dublin Depot
Dublin Airport, Co. Dublyn

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