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Good Ireland driving map

Can anyone recommend a good map to use when driving in Ireland? Driving from Dublin through Waterford, Kenmare, Dingle, Aran Islands. Thanks

Posted by
8700 posts

I've found the Michelin #712 Ireland map to be detailed enough. You can order it from amazon.com. One good feature is that scenic roads are highlighted in green.

Posted by
2 posts

Get an Ordinance map at most Irish post offices. They have even the little roads in great detail. This is a whole book of maps, similar to the ones found here at Walmart checkouts specific to each state. There are pages for each city as well as the country side. Very easy to follow and invaluable. I have tracked routes in a different color marker each trip.

Posted by
196 posts

I totally agree w/Gini. The ordinance map is the best there is and worth the investment even for one trip. You can probably order it on line, get it at a shop in the aerport, bookstore EASONS.. corner shop. It has more detail than any other map; which comes in handy, especially the towns & cities.

If you are using an Avis Rental vehicle to drive around Ireland then you are lucky, as they actually have the best road maps of any rental carrier I have used. EVER.

:)

Posted by
67 posts

I looked into purchasing an Ordinance Map but decided to go with Frommer's Complete Road Map of Ireland which looks really good and was somewhat cheaper. From what I have read the Ordinance Map is rated #1.
I will be driving there in September and can't wait!

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
10344 posts

The single best map is the map inside your GPS (you ARE bringing a GPS, right?)

Posted by
506 posts

I have the Ireland Driving Map and Ireland Touring map from Ordnance Survey, and they served us well. You should be able to buy them in any decent travel store in the US. If not, I'm sure you can get them online. I'm not a GPS kind of guy.

Posted by
9 posts

The Ordnance Survey maps (www.irishmaps.ie) and the Michelin map are my favorites for driving in Ireland. You can get one ordnance map (atlas-style) that covers the whole country, but the have also broken up the country into smaller sections, and you can buy a map of each of those sections separately.

That's my two cents!

Happy travels!
Kate

Posted by
196 posts

Hey, everyone I forgot to mention this earlier, but if you are planning on driving in Dingle, Connamara or in Dongal - it may be beneficial to get an Irish-English to English-Irish map. All three of these of these Gaeltachts areas have changed their road map signs to all Irish - for the protection of the languange; this was done in summer 2006. Prior to that signs were in Irish and English.

Most Irish languange signs are pretty easy to read, however, most do not have any similar charaters.

good luck

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Kathy from Valrico, I have found the best map is the current 2nd edition Road Atlas for Ireland, available from Amazon. It is a 90 page 8" x 12" Atlas with very easy to understand markings, big print, and Irish/English/Irish translations. It includes many extras such as Ferry ports, easy to understand distance charts in miles and Km and many town plan maps. It will be the first thing in my bag in October. Warm regards, Chuck from Brandon

Posted by
5 posts

I feel like an idiot. The driving map (OS) has a scale of 1:450,000; the michelin does too. The complete road atlas is 1:600,000. Cm's or inches? GPS is sounding better and better. I starting out thinking of the old Michelins that were almost turn by turn. - the 300 series I think. Not finding anything like that here. thanks for the help. I think I need to actaully see this to get a real idea of size.

Posted by
10344 posts

GPS makes some of these problems/questions go away for you. However, many think it's best to have a map backup even when using GPS.

If using GPS as your primary, your map backup could be larger scale, a planning map showing less detail, because chances are you're not going to have to rely on the map for primary navigation, so why not get a map with a larger scale that shows more area.

Posted by
5 posts

This has all been hugely helpful, but I'm missing one thing: Would you recommend the ordnance survey touring map of Ireland or the "regular one"? Thanks
We leave the 23rd of October for a week.

Posted by
10344 posts

Susana: What's the "regular" map you're referring to?

Posted by
5 posts

The ordnance survey "Driving map" as opposed to the "touring map". The is also the "complete road atlas of Ireland", but I ahven't been able to figure out exactly what the difference bwetween that and the "driving map" is. my original thought was to get Michelin map 712, but I'm starting to think that the ordnance map might be better. I hate to wait till I get there to make this decision since our time is a little limited. Thanks

Posted by
10344 posts

Some people prefer more detailed maps, for actual driving, than the 1:400,000 scale.

European maps indicate their scale with a ratio, such as 1:100,000. The lower the 2nd number of the ratio, the more detailed the map. For example, a 1:100,000 scale means 1 centimeter on the map equals 1 km on the ground (100,000 cm).

The Ordnance Survey Road Atlas of Ireland, which you asked about, is a scale 1:210,000, shows significantly more detail than the Michelin Map 712.

For even more detail than 1:200,000, the Ordnance Survey has a newer map series for Ireland, the Discovery Map series, scale of 1:50,000 showing 1 cm to 0.5 km, or a mile in about 1 and 1/4 inches.

The Michelin Map 712 is one of Michelin's national maps, showing all of Ireland at a scale of 1:400,000, that's approximately 1/4" = 1 mile.

GPS has been enthusiastically recommended, on this site, by those who have tried GPS in Europe. But even if you use GPS, most recommend having a hard copy map backup in case the GPS malfunctions. If you have GPS as your primary, the Michelin 712 would be fine as a backup; and as I said, some find 1:400,000 sufficient to meet their preferences even for detailed navigation (I don't but it's partly a matter of personal preference).

Posted by
5 posts

The ordnance survey "Driving map" as opposed to the "touring map". The is also the "complete road atlas of Ireland", but I ahven't been able to figure out exactly what the difference bwetween that and the "driving map" is. my original thought was to get Michelin map 712, but I'm starting to think that the ordnance map might be better. I hate to wait till I get there to make this decision since our time is a little limited. Thanks

Posted by
92 posts

I have been the primary navigator on two summer driving trips in Ireland, totaling about 7 weeks. The first trip, I use the Ordnance Survey Complete Road Atlas, with the Touring Map as a reference. The second trip, I just used the Touring Map, plus the regional Holiday series maps (they come in North, South, East, and West editions) for the regions I was in. The atlas was good, but just like any map book, it was hard to get my bearings. It might have had more detail for some of the bigger cities, but I didn't find it necessary. Whatever you choose, I think the Ordnance Survey maps are the best, and they include Gaelic place names... although the spelling can vary... Anyway, I figure it's better to get a map made by Irish people for Ireland.

And don't be surprised when you ask locals in Galway, for example, for directions and they say, "Just take the Dublin Road to..." They usually refer to roads by their destination names, and not their numbers... Anyway, if you are in Galway and they tell you to take the Dublin Road, it's probably the N6. Don't worry, you'll get used to it!

The Touring Map is better than the Driving Map because it has more icons for places of interest and tourist information centers.

There is also the Discovery series, which is very detailed and includes hiking/walking trails. And there is an area specific map for the Aran Islands.