Around Ireland In 18 Days: A Coastal Road Trip Of A Lifetime (Full Itinerary)

Day 3. Waterford

Today is going to include a nice physical challenge that’ll immerse you in some of Waterford’s most spectacular scenery.

Get a good breakfast into you in Faha Lodge and pack for a hike (you’ll need plenty of water, snacks and the appropriate walking gear). Get up for 8 and on the road for 8:45.

1. The Coumshingaun Lake Walk

Coumshingaun Lake
Photo by Dux Croatorum/shutterstock.com

The trip from the Faha Lodge to Kilclooney bridge won’t take any longer than 10-minutes in the car (arrive at 9:05 – the coordinates for the bridge on Google Maps are 52.255038, -7.489252).

For this road trip, we’re going to recommend (fitness and weather dependent) that you give the Lake Walk a crack.

The views are incredible on a clear day. Here’s a full guide to the Coumshingaun Lough Loop Walk that you can follow.

2. The Magic Road

When you finish up the hike, take the 10-minute spin from Kilclooney bridge to the Magic Road (I’m going to slot in 5 hours for the long lake walk, which would mean that you’d arrive to the Magic Road at about 14:20)

I heard about the Magic Road in Waterford on my old school bus. One of the lads had been in Waterford and his dad had taken them to it. When he told us what happened, we didn’t believe him.

It didn’t make sense then, and it definitely doesn’t make sense now. You’ll find the Magic Road in the Comeragh Mountains as you make your way to Mahon Falls.

When you reach the cattle grid in the road, keep a look out for two stones inscribed with ‘Magic Road’. If it’s safe to do so, stop your car and stick it in neutral.

Your car will then, magically, start to roll backwards up the hill. Watch the video above and have your mind blooooown!

3. Mahon Falls

Mahon falls
Photo by Tomasz Ochocki (Shutterstock)

Next up is Mahon Falls. You’ll find them a handy 5-minute drive (Spend 20 minutes at the Magic Road and arrive at the waterfall for 14:50) away from the Magic Road.

Hop back into the car and head straight for the car park at Mahon Falls where you’ll be treated to your first glimpse of the waterfall. Your legs are probably screaming at this stage, but bear with me, this’ll be worth it!

The walk from the car park up to the waterfall is facilitated by a gravel path and takes around 20 minutes.

As you move higher up the path, the roar of the water gets louder and louder, willing weary walkers to keep going.

When you reach a point that you’re happy with, kick-back, soak up the natural beauty in front of you and let the melody of water crashing against rock ring in your ears.

4. The Comeragh Drive

waterford comeragh drive
Photo via Google Maps

When you finish up at Mahon Falls you’ll be a short 25-minute drive from our base for the night – Dungarvan. Allow yourself an hour at Mahon Falls. This would mean you’d arrive in Dungarvan at about 16:15.

At this point you’re probably pretty wrecked – fear not, however, we’re going to finish off the day with a drive that boasts views that’ll knock you sideways, before heading to Dungarvan for the evening.

We’re going to do part of the Comeragh Drive. If you didn’t do the hike earlier in the day, definitely look at doing the full Comeragh route.

When you leave the car park, turn right and continue up the hill until you reach the top. Park the car and enjoy the spectacular views from the Comeragh Heights overlooking the Mahon River Valley to the east and the Tay Valley to the west.

When you’ve had your fill, hop back into the car and continue on the same road as it winds down the hill.

We’re heading for Dungarvan, so pop it into the sat nav/Google Maps and head off on your merry way.

5. Dungarvan for the night

Dungarvan harbour wexford

If you’ve gotten this far, fair play! It’s time to check into your accommodation, grab a nap and the head for food and a couple of drinks.

I’m going to recommend that you stay in the Park Hotel, but where you sleep is completely up to you.

Grab a few hours rest and head on down to The Moornings for a bite to eat and a few well-earned pints.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I have been using your guide for the past few months to plan my Ireland trip set for April 2019. I figured it was about time I dropped a comment!! 🙂 Your guide has helped me tremendously as it seems to encompass everything we are looking to find in Ireland…. raw natural beauty, unique experiences, good coffee, and good beer! Can’t thank you enough. I hope to comment again once we return!

    • Ah, thank you. I’m glad. Getting comments like this make it worth it.

      I hope you’re trip goes well.

      Cheers,

      Keith

  2. This is seriously the best travel guide ever. I was getting stressed because I’ll be solo traveling all of March and haven’t planned much (by design) and this gives the perfect outline of exactly the things I want to do and see. So thank you for the enormous amount of time this must have taken. So much appreciated.

    • Haha! Cheers dude.

      Glad you found it useful. This took roughly 3 weeks of research and writing… and rewriting.

      I hope the trip goes well.

      Keith

  3. We’re traveling to Ireland in November, 2019 and thank you very much for your outline and information. Question: On maps, it shows Northern Ireland almost like another country. Do you need anything to pass from Ireland to Northern Ireland and back, or is it all in the same? Seems trivial, but it could make a big difference if we plan to do things in Northern Ireland and then we could possibly not have the proper travel documents. Also, do you know if your passport is all you need or if you need a travel visa? Thanks for your time. Have a great day!. WandanTexas

    • Hi Wanda,

      You’re welcome.

      Northern Ireland is technically part of the UK, so it is regarded as a different country.

      Currently, there is no form of ‘hard’ border, but there’s been a lot of talk about the potential of one with Brexit looming.

      If you’re driving a rental car, this is where things can get tricky. I had one from Europa car recently and was told I’d be automatically charged (they have GPS devices within the rental) whenever my car passed into Northern Ireland – the max total charge was 90 euro, I believe.

      If you’re renting a car, be sure to check this in advance.

      I hope this helps.

      Keith

  4. Hi,
    This is a great guide, but if you had a few extra days…
    Three Castle Head is also stunning. You are close enough to it when you are heading for brow head. Well worth it!
    Lough Hyne in Skibbereen is also beautiful, lovely forest walk and salt water lake to swim in. Night time kayaking with the bioluminescent water a must!
    Enjoy,
    Joanne

    • Thanks for the recommendations Joanne.

      Love Lough Hyne in particular. Did the forest climb with my dad last summer on a hot day in July – great spot!

  5. Question for Keith and others. We have a wonderful opportunity to spend a month in Ireland and in previous trips we’ve enjoyed many of the same activities you do…hiking, enjoying the featured sights and geography in general, informal dining, great pubs, etc. We have never been north of Westport, county Mayo. Would it be worth it to spend a week in the Sligo / Donegal region? If yes, we would rent a house for the week. Is there a town that would be central to this region that you could recommend as a home base? We would be there in late August/early Sept 2020.
    Thanks in advance for your response (or anyone else who could add their thoughts)

    • Hi Bill.

      Abbbbbbbbbbbsolutely spend a week in Sligo and Donegal.

      There’s a tonne of things to do in both, regardless of whether you decide to do something active or just chill.

      Personally, I’d spend half in Sligo and half in Donegal.

      Here’s a guide to 48 hours in Sligo that should help, along with a 3-day guide to the best things to do in Donegal.

      In terms of where to stay – I love Strandhill and Rosses Point. For Donegal, it’s hard to beat Ardara.

      I hope this helps!

      Keith

  6. Hi Keith,
    I am planning our road trip to Ireland in october and I love your Instagram account. I like to use your suggestions for our schedule.
    On day 11 you suggest to leave Westport and Achill on the same time (16:55) ? So this is a pretty long day 😉 I prefer to stay an extra night on Achill Island. What do you think?
    Thanks
    Uli

    • Aha! OK, that’s clearly a mistake on my part. I’ll get those times updated!

      I love Achill, personally.

      There’s nothing bad that can come from a second night spent there.

  7. Hi Keith,

    I am considering travelling to Ireland this summer via road-trip and AirBnBs. While researching, I found your blog and found it very helpful and resourceful.

    I am travelling from New Delhi (India) with my extended family (infants, toddlers, siblings, wife, parents etc.). Assuming this might be our only trip to Ireland together as a family, I am interested in covering Ireland comprehensively within a limitation of 11-13 days.

    Is it possible to shorten the suggested 18-day itinerary to the above duration by bypassing some of the locations or sites. I understand this would mean we missing a few locations, but need your help.

  8. Really digging this blog!! I have the travel blog so bad and Ireland is next on the list – your recommendations are speaking to me! Thanks for taking the time to create all the wonderful road trips / ideas.

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