When I first moved to Ireland I left a 42 degree day in Melbourne and found myself landing on a 8 degree day but in Ireland the rain adds to the charm and regardless of the cold outside there is always a warm pub or B&B close by. I spent three days in Dublin sightseeing, from Dublin Castle to Trinity College, down to the Temple Bar district and of course a stop at the Guinness Factory, where if you don’t like the bitter beer you can add Blackcurrant cordial to sweeten it. While Dublin is a vibrant fun city everything, I love about Ireland happens outside of the Capital City.
Ireland is an easy country to road trip – I wouldn’t recommend trying it on public transport as its often unreliable and rarely goes where you want to visit. You can circumnavigate Ireland and stop at breath taking and historical sites every hour. If you head South east from Dublin you can start at the Wicklow Mountains, where you can hike or visit Glendalough – a early medieval monastery, and being Ireland there is also a distillery.
From there you can head south to historic Cork which is also called the Rebel County for its role in the War of Independence, Cork is the biggest city outside of Dublin in the Republic. From Cork its straight across to Killarney to kiss the Blarney Stone (which honestly I didn’t do purely for the fact that its rarely cleaned and I already have the gift of the gab ) and you can also drive the ring of Kerry, which is a curvy coastal road that is often busy so I would recommend doing this on a day tour otherwise you miss the scenery due to staring at the road ahead.
And next comes one of my favorite stops – Galway and the cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are stunning and with no fence you can get some amazing photos, but Galway is the cultural heart of Ireland – with trad music being played in every pub. Just down the road is a town called Connemara where the locals pride themselves on still all speaking Gaelic. Gaelic is very much a lost language in Ireland and while they are trying to hold onto it its rare to hear anywhere else.
I don’t think a trip to Ireland is complete without visiting Northern Ireland – and would recommend a Black Taxi Tour to see all of the Murals from War of Independence and although I don’t like bridges I would recommend crossing the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.
Ireland is always green, always ready for a pint, and the locals are always friendly but be warned it only takes travelling more then ten minutes to realise how much the accent changes.
As amazing as the Irish cities are I would recommend getting off the beaten track, turn down a random road, find the highest pub in Ireland, chase a rainbow and you might just find that leprechaun and their pot of gold!
Penny – Senior Travel Consultant
Travel & Cruise Myrtleford