Roadwatch recommends: Ireland’s top romantic getaways

Written by Kieran Hanley

When we think ‘romantic getaway’, we often think of clinking glasses in Paris or taking a gondola ride in Venice. This year, we’ve had to think a little closer to home. Our Emerald Isle is full of gorgeous getaways, so why not treat yourself to a few nights away with your significant other.

Before heading off, make sure you’ve checked one thing off the list – breakdown cover. There’s nothing romantic about your car breaking down, but AA Members can avail of roadside rescue 24/7 from only €10 per month. Now, that’s one way to impress your date. Sign up here.

Killarney, Kerry

Irish Nature Typical Road Ireland Landscape City

One of the most popular staycation destinations this year, Killarney boasts plenty to do for any couple looking for an Irish getaway.

Killarney is home to plenty of hotels and spas for you to kick back and relax. The Killarney Plaza Hotel is right in the town centre, and offers a selection of spa treatments and stay packages. Alternatively, the AA-recommended Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa is located a 10-minute drive from the town, and with stunning views of the Kerry mountains it’s perfect for you and your partner to unwind.

If you’re more the outdoorsy types, Killarney is also a great place to get out and explore. A trip to Killarney National Park is a must do for a scenic stroll. For accommodation, Glamping at the Grove is ideal for those looking for a unique stay closer to nature, with a little more luxury than camping. Described as a ‘couples only’ destination, this is a great option for those looking for a moment’s peace.

Achill Island, Mayo

If you do need to go overseas to feel like you’re really getting away, why not make the most of one of the country’s islands. Achill Island is perfect for those looking for a rural getaway. With gorgeous landscapes across the coast such as Keel Beach, you and your partner will be in the beach holiday mood in no time…weather permitted!

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your way to Achill Island along the Great Western Greenway. This 42-kilometre cycle trail is not for the faint hearted, but is a great way to see the country’s beauty from Westport to Achill Island as it takes you through remote towns and rural settings. It’s also a great excuse to get away from your everyday distractions, and have some quality time as a couple.

Achill Island is home to some gorgeous spots to sample the local cuisine. The Amethyst Bar or Ted’s are both great options, offering a selection of some of the island’s best food.

Connemara, Galway

If you and your partner are looking for a true Irish getaway, Connemara is a must-do. Famous for its Irish culture, what better place to visit for an Irish holiday?

Treat yourselves to a gorgeous stay in the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel on the incredible Sky Road, or in the woodland estate of the AA-accredited Ballynahinch Castle Hotel for a few days of rest and relaxation. During the day, a trip to Omey Island is a must-do for a hand-held walk through some of Ireland’s most traditional landscape. A quick drive through the beautiful countryside will bring you to Letterfrack, where you can enjoy the local seafood cuisine at Veldons Seafarer.

Just outside Letterfrack you can make a trip up Diamond Hill. A hike to the top will bring you some of the best views the west has to offer.

Athlone, Westmeath

Photograph of the River Shannon in Athlone by Ingo Mehling

Your holiday doesn’t always need to be by the coast. Ireland’s midlands have so much to offer, and Athlone proves just that.

At the romantic Wineport Lodge, you can enjoy the stunning lake view with a glass of bubbly in hand, while soaking in an outdoor hot tub. The hotel also has a luxurious spa for those looking for a weekend of pampering.

While staying along the banks of Lough Ree, a visit to Ireland’s largest inflatable waterpark is a must-do. Baysports Water Park is made up of floating slides and obstacle courses, and is the perfect day out for a couple looking to do something different on their staycation. It even holds the Guinness World Record for the tallest floating water slide in the world! Baysports also offer other activates on the lake such as kayaking, pedal boats, and rafting, so a fun day out is guaranteed.

Trim, Meath

Photograph of Trim Castle by Andrew Parnell

Rich in historical landmarks, Trim is the perfect staycation for a couple looking to delve into Ireland’s history. 

After a relaxing night at the AA-recommended Knightsbrook Hotel & Spa, take a walk into the town and check out Trim Castle for yourself. One of the best ways to see Ireland’s Ancient East is with a spin along the Boyne Valley Drive. This route takes you through the towns of Navan, Kells, Trim and Drogheda. Along the way, you’ll see Newgrange, The Hill of Tara, Kells High Crosses and the Battle of the Boyne.

For extra peace of mind on your trip, remember that from €10 per month you can become an AA Member and avail of roadside rescue whenever you might need it. Sign-up today here.

Written by Kieran Hanley