Driving in Ireland: Taking on the Sky Road in Connemara

After driving in Ireland for a couple days you begin to feel like an expert. “It’s not that difficult to drive on the left,” you think. “The roads aren’t really that narrow.”

And then you visit Connemara.

The first time you drive the Sky Road in Clifden, Connemara, in the far west of County Galway, you’ll certainly feel like you could drive right off the edge of Ireland and into the Atlantic.


View from the Sky Road, Clifden, Connemara
Photo Credit : Jody Halsted

Rising from Clifden, the unofficial capital of Connemara, the Sky Road is popular with walkers, cyclists, self driving tours of Ireland, and large tour buses. At times the road seems barely wide enough for a single small car before it widens considerably, allowing room to pull to the side and enjoy the majestic view.

Portions of the Sky Road are ‘white knuckle’ driving with only small stones as barrier to what seems to be a drop from the edge of Ireland.

A few tips for driving the Sky Road:

  • Drive with caution.
  • Be aware of the road you just traversed as you may have to back up to allow a car to pass. Rule of thumb – the smaller vehicle gives way to the larger.
  • Watch for school children (there is a school along the Sky Road), walkers, and cyclists.
  • While the road is two-way, tour buses drive it clockwise because the views from this direction are most spectacular.
  • Not all the homes along this road have parking and many use the very narrow verge at the edge, which leaves the cars parked, basically, in the road.
  • The Sky Road winds and curves as it follows the rugged shoreline where land meets sea. Many curves are ‘blind;’ keep your eyes on the road and your speed low, and be aware.

While driving in Ireland may seem intimidating at first, you will become used to it quickly and be driving the narrow, hedgerow lined roads with ease in no time!

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