Leaving the Westlodge Hotel, follow the road as it weaves and dips along one of the wildest stretches of coastline towards Kenmare. It’s an incredible drive, with craggy hills crashing down to the sea, tiny villages and sheep that seem to cling to the edge of rocky paths. Beara’s landscape offers a proper get-away-from-it-all feel, with scenery that is haunting, dramatic and rugged.
From there, head for Killarney National Park, which harbours the 19th-century Muckross House (where Queen Victoria stayed), Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntoohil and the glorious Lough Leane.
Following Killarney, choices unfold like the pages of a fantasy novel. You can let your trip be governed by peninsulas like Dingle, or by touring routes such as the Ring of Kerry.