Irish Road Trips – Best Value

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The summer holidays are here and with the continuing airport chaos many of us are choosing to staycation this year – and with these heatwaves, who needs to be abroad? From fuel costs to keeping the kids entertained, choosing the best route isn’t always easy. So, car insurance experts Chill have found the eight top road trips in Ireland that are the best value for money.

Irish Road Trips
Scenic Irish Road Trips

 Irish Road Trips – Best Value

The study of road trips analysed the following factors –

⛽️ Price of petrol and diesel

????‍♂️ Number of free activities

???? Number of cheap restaurants

???? Number of cycle routes

???? Instagram hotspots 

Irish Road Trips

1.    Priest’s Leap and Caha Mountain Pass Scenic Loop Drive, Cork and Kerry

The Irish road trip that came out as the best value for your money s the Priest’s Leap and Caha Mountain Pass Scenic Loop Drive, which passes through counties Cork and Kerry. From having the highest mountain pass in Ireland and the third most cycle routes in the study, to a huge 105 cheap restaurants to choose from, Priest’s Leap earns the number one spot. 

Irish Road Trips

(Image: Ireland Highlights)

2.  The Burren Scenic Loop, Clare

The Burren Scenic Loop in Clare is the second-best road trip in Ireland for your money. With 98 free activities to enjoy, after a day of fun, you can choose from 41 cheap restaurants. Also, with the highest number of Instagram posts at 62k, it’s clear this road trip has plenty of natural beauty for you to admire (and post to the Gram).

Irish Road Trips

(image: Discover Ireland)

3.  Ring of Kerry, Kerry

Ring of Kerry is the third-best Irish road trip for your money. Hosting 206 free activities, children can enjoy the Irish Fairy Trails and explore O Carrolls Cove making this a great road trip for families. Foodies can enjoy 73 cheap restaurants, you can’t go wrong!

Irish Road Trips

(Image: Discover Ireland)

The list also included the Copper Coast in Waterford, the Inishowen 100 in Donegal. As well as Slea Head in Kerry, Ring of Hook Peninsula in Wexford and the Cooley Peninsula in Louth.

See the Breakdown of Each Road Trip

 Road TripCountyPetrol StationsPetrol Avg. Price /cDiesel Avg. Price /cFree ActivitiesCycle RoutesCheap RestaurantsInstagram posts
1Priest’s Leap and Caha Mountain Pass Scenic Loop Drive Cork19203.63202.8283961051,266
2Burren Scenic Loop Clare3201.26200.3398164162,000
3Ring of KerryKerry17200.07198.952063073100
4Copper CoastWaterford35197.95197.78331386230,177
5Inishowen 100Donegal133188.15197.51143237657,400
6Slea Head DriveKerry2192.90196.90206377341,139
7Ring of Hook Peninsula Wexford46194.67194.114548185,807
8Cooley Peninsula Scenic DriveLouth123189.95187.9534304405,795
Breakdown for each trip

Read the full study and breakdown of the top Irish road trips here.


Chill identified eight of the top road trips all being able to complete within 1-2 days. Of these road trips, we looked into various factors to rank them on which road trip is the best value for money.

Price of fuel and number of petrol stations: We used for the cost of petrol and diesel in cents, only using data updated as of 2022. Fuel costs were calculated at an average to prevent the currently inflated prices from having a huge impact. The number of petrol stations were calculated by inputting the road trip route on Google Maps. Price of Guinness: For each road trip, the pubs within the local region were averaged to give the average price for a pint of Guinness using 

Number of cycle routes: This was calculated using the cycling resources ‘Komoot’ and ‘Bikemap; to highlight the number of cycling routes in the region of the relevant road trip. Number of free activities and cheap restaurants: Activities in the local region were categorised on Trip Advisor as free entry. Restaurants in the local region were categorised on Trip Advisor as “cheap eats”.  

Instagram engagement: To determine the Instagram rating we used the three most popular hashtags relating to each road trip and local region, analysing the number of posts utilising these hashtags to determine popularity.

Do you have a favourite road trip in Ireland, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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Joan Scales
Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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