Last updated on May 14, 2024

A round trip through Ireland by motorbike – that is a particularly beautiful experience.

Winding country roads through rolling hills, magnificent mountains, beautiful sandy beaches, idyllic fishing ports and breathtaking cliffs.

There is a historic castle on every corner and plush sheep everywhere – could it get any better?

Colourful town at the south west coast
Colourful town at the south west coast (Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


Absolutely! Because at the end of an eventful day, you definitely deserve a good dose of cosiness!

Sit in a café and watch the hustle and bustle of the market square, enjoy lunch in the pub or a beer in the evening.

Take a stroll along the harbour where the fishing boats swing or admire the hanging baskets in the park. Shopping for local specialities and marvelling at the colourful houses and shop fronts decorated with wooden carvings, listening to live music in the pub and then sinking into the thick cushions of the cosy B&B – that’s how I imagine the end of the day!

Relaxing evening stroll in an older part of town
Relaxing evening stroll in an older part of town

Where can you do that? There are lots of really pretty towns in Ireland, a few of which I’ll introduce you to in a moment. Link them together and you’ve almost got your motorbike trip around Ireland planned!

How do I know this? From my own motorbike trips. We have our second home south of Dublin and I run a motorbike rental business there in the summer months. See: We also offer nice guest rooms.

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Of course, you can add more stops to your trip, or plan a double night, as you like. We start in the south of Dublin and drive around the island:

1 Kilkenny

Let’s leave the hustle and bustle of Dublin behind and head for the countryside: Kilkenny is a real town by Irish standards. In German eyes, it’s a small town. And then it’s a very nice little town too! There is a beautiful old town and right next to it a beautiful castle in a great location above the river. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and stay overnight. In short: Everything is great in Kilkenny (see also the title image above)!

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2 Kinsale

Kinsale is where the Wild Atlantic Way officially begins – or ends, depending on whether you travel from south to north, as we did, or vice versa. Kinsale is beautifully situated in a large bay, guarded by a historic fort. The town centre is colourful and lively and there is a nice marina right in front of it.

3 Baltimore

At the very south-western tip of the island lies Baltimore. The former fishing village is now a pretty holiday resort. The location is uniquely beautiful in a bay with offshore islands. The BAltimore Beacon is a beautiful viewpoint at the entrance to the bay, but the old little harbour is also really pretty.

Baltimore Beacon, the landmark of Baltimore
Baltimore Beacon, the landmark of Baltimore (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

4 Kenmare

Kenmare is a hive of activity – or tourist life. The small town is situated directly on the sea and stands out with its beautiful colourful houses and shopping streets. It’s a great place to stroll and eat, and there are plenty of places to stay. The high mountains of Killarney National Park rise in the background.

Iconic restaurant near Dingle town
Iconic restaurant near Dingle town

5 Dingle

This is the capital of the peninsula of the same name, Dingle. In reality it is a small fishing harbour with a bit of a colourful town around it – but very nice! It is also a great starting point for the beautiful drive around Slea Head or the onward drive over Conor Pass.

6 Clifden

Clifden is the most important place in Connemara. Here you can find everything you need and in the summer there are lots of motorbikes. Clifden is a great place to stay for your motorbike tour. When you are there, be sure to ride the Sky Road. It’s a little loop road along the coast – really beautiful!

Old pub near Clifden
Old pub near Clifden (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

7 Westport

Like Clifden, Westport is an insider tip among motorcyclists. The pretty town is proud of its good restaurants and also offers several nice places to stay. To the south are the beautiful mountains of Mayo and to the northwest the wonderful Achill Island.

8 Donegal

County Donegal is the most northerly county in Ireland and lies in the far northwest of the island. The main town of the same name, Donegal, is surprising because it is so small and sweet! You’re very much in the countryside here and that’s where the main towns turn out to be a bit smaller! There is a nice town centre and a pretty little village.

Historic pub in the town of Donegal
Historic pub in the town of Donegal (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

9 Cushendall

Cushendall is representative of several nice little villages on the beautiful North Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland. I would include Cushendun, Waterfoot and Glenarif. This part of Northern Ireland is very scenic and much less crowded than the Causeway Coast. The coastal road runs right along the water and the villages are very nice. In the hinterland there are beautiful long valleys that you can drive along. These are the Antrim Glens.

10 Carlingford

Now you are back in the Republic of Ireland. Carlingford Lough, actually a bay and not a lake, forms the border. But you hardly notice it, as in other places. The small town is very pretty and very special with some old buildings, pretty alleys to stroll and stop for a bite to eat and a beautiful view of the bay!

Nice evening in Carlingford
Nice evening in Carlingford (photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

11 Skerries

Skerries is a small holiday and harbour town north of Dublin. There are old windmills, a really nice harbour with harbour promenade and a bit of old town around it. Really nice!

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So, now you have a great template for your motorbike tour around Ireland!

And if you are still looking for a rental motorbike, you can find us here:

In any case, I hope you enjoy your motorbike trip and exploring Ireland’s colourful towns!

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Photo credits cover photo: Kilkenny old town, photo by Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg