Irish saying “May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.” If what you’re seeking is beautiful
landscapes, breathtaking vistas, a well poured pint and the friendliest locals
then roaming around Ireland is a must for your bucket list. Planning a visit to the Emerald
Isle takes a bit of planning to cover the vast countryside. I’ve put together a few highlights to help
you make the most of your journey.
are flying into Dublin or just planning on making your way there,
you’ll definitely want to spend a day or two enjoying city center. Some of the major attractions you’ll find in
Dublin would include Dublin
Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The National Museum, Christ Church and
Storehouse. At the Guinness
Storehouse you’ll learn all about Ireland’s famous beer and have a chance to
have a proper pint at their rooftop Gravity Bar while taking in the 360 degree
views of the city’s skyline. Be fairly
warned that a pint of Guinness enjoyed at the Guinness Storehouse will surely
turn you into a bit of a brew snob as no place else could ever duplicate the
freshness or pour it as well. Luckily
the Storehouse is on the city’s Hop-on-Hop-Off bus tour, which is good to know
should you decide to stay for another
enjoyed the sights of the capital city you’ll want to head south towards County Cork. Along the way you’ll find Wicklow and Waterford. You may choose to stop at the House of Waterford
Crystal for a tour and a souvenir.
County Cork is home to the famous Blarney Castle. No holiday in Ireland is complete without a
trek up the 127 steps in a pilgrimage to kiss the Blarney Stone and be endowed
with the gift of gab. Kissing the
Blarney Stone is no easy task and if you suffer from acrophobia you may wish to
take a pass on this one as the participant needs to lean over backwards on the
parapet’s edge while lying on your back.
There are assistants on hand to hold your legs as you dangle backwards
and upside down for the actual kissing of the Blarney Stone. Rest assured there are wrought-iron protective
crossbars to stop you from actually falling through. If you’ve waited in the queue and the height
didn’t scare you away then there is a photographer on site to capture the
moment and photos are available for purchase in the gift shop. Is it a bit of a cheesy touristy trap? Of
course it is but c’mon, why not?
you’ll want to head up towards County Kerry
but not before making a stop at Kinsale and Skibereen along the way to enjoy
these picturesque towns. The Irish
brogue in this part of the country can be quite thick but as in all of Ireland
the local folks are most warm and welcoming even if you only understand part of
the conversation. Once in Kerry you’ll
want to drive The
Ring of Kerry which follows the outskirts of the Iveragh Peninsula.Killarney is
considered the starting point of The
Ring of Kerry and one of my favorite towns.
You’ll want to spend some time wondering around the streets of Killarney
enjoying the local flavor before starting out on your journey. You’ll take in some of the most beautiful
views the country has to offer along this route.
Next stop would
be a visit to the Dingle
Peninsula area. The driving
in this area can be quite challenging.
The roads are barely wide enough for one vehicle let alone two and often
times you will need to shift into reverse and back up for quite a while in
order to let an approaching car make their way through. Be prepared to share the road with sheep and
cattle and it’s not unusual to find stone walls and hedges as a close barrier
on the side of the road. Consider it all
part of the Irish countryside charm. It’s
worth mentioning that sunshine and favorable weather are considered a bonus in
this corner of the world so pack your Wellies and a mac and don’t let gray
skies get in the way of enjoying what will surely be a most memorable holiday.
round out your trip along the Irish coastline with a stop in Galway and
a visit to Aran Islands before making you way back across the country to Dublin
for one final Guinness before heading home.
properties available for home
exchange in Ireland and find out more about how to enjoy your holiday in a
home away from home. Thank you to Lisa Medeiros, @LisaMedeiros_ a passionate traveler and writer.