The R335 from Leenane in County Galway to Westport is one of Ireland's most beautiful scenic routes. Largely untouched by housing, cut turf or even stone walls, the desolate Doolough Valley is a sublime journey, the steep sides of the surrounding mountains simply sliding into the steely grey waters of Doo Lough as sheep graze placidly on the hills. They occasionally park themselves in the middle of the road, too.
This is also one of Ireland's most poignant spots – the site of the Doolough Tragedy – a Famine catastrophe that occurred in 1849.
Choose a dry and clear day to tackle the road as curtains of rain can greatly diminish the views. If you have time wander down the side roads to the north and west of the valley to reach glorious, often-deserted beaches.