Take In Some Of The Most Incredible European Scenery On This Popular Road Trip Route

While road tripping is steeped in American culture, other countries should find themselves among popular road trip itineraries as well. Perhaps what prevents many Americans from taking road trips abroad are fears of differences in driving styles, street signs in foreign languages, or different rules of the road. However, those willing to take a chance will definitely be rewarded.

An island around the size of South Carolina may not sound like the obvious choice for a road trip, but Ireland is a wonderful place to do just that. Its capital of Dublin and eastern Ireland may see the bulk of visitors, but the island nation's west coast features thousands of miles of picturesque rocky coastline, lively towns, iconic filming locations, and perhaps a sheep or two on what is known as Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. This route shows off why Ireland's nature, history, and culture draws in so many tourists while also revealing that Ireland is so much more than a wild St. Patrick's Day at Dublin's Temple Bar. And speaking of different rules of the road, remember that Ireland drives on the left side of the road!

See both cliffs and sandy beaches along the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way begins in Londonderry (Derry), a town in Northern Ireland near the Ireland and Northern Ireland border. Though most of the island now belongs to Ireland, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Past territorial conflicts between the British and the Irish are explained at the Museum of Free Derry, particularly those concerning civil rights that occurred in the area. A more lighthearted point of interest in Derry is the Derry Girls Moural. This painting on the side of a large building is a must-see for any fan of Netflix's sitcom "Derry Girls."

From Derry, head up to the tip of the Fanad Head on the Fanad Peninsula to see a massive lighthouse atop a rocky outcropping of coastline. But along the way to the lighthouse, make sure to stop at the renowned Ballymastocker Bay, also called Portsalon Beach. Here, the cliffs give way to nearly a mile of soft, beige sand.

Nature continues along the Wild Atlantic Way to the Wild Nephin National Park. The park encompasses easy hikes like Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail and more strenuous ones like Letterkeen Loop. Free shuttle buses detailed on the park's website leave from multiple nearby towns, making stops at the park's visitor center and both aforementioned trails.

Take in the imposing Cliffs of Moher near Galway

The Wild Atlantic Way passes through Galway, the largest town on Ireland's western coast. A happening part of this city is the Latin Quarter. The narrow streets in this area are filled with street entertainers, restaurants, and the centuries old Saint Nicholas' Collegiate Church. Galway is also less than two hours from the Cliffs of Moher, quite literally one of Ireland's biggest claims to fame. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is just one of multiple movies featuring scenes filmed at this iconic coastline at which cliffs drop from 700 feet above sea level at their highest points straight down into the ocean.

Finish your epic Irish road trip on the Ring of Kerry, which runs along the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula. The Ring of Kerry has everything from historic bridges like Cromwell's Bridge in Kenmare to sheepherding at the Kissane Sheep Farm. The entire peninsula takes a full day to explore, but these highlights are just 45 minutes and 30 minutes (respectively) from Killarney further inland. Throughout all of the fun that the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer, you will definitely see why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle.