Guest post by rbixler
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Dublin to Galway
Arrived in the morning at Dublin and drove across the country to Galway. Checked in to our B&B that we booked on AirBnB, ate dinner and went to bed.
- Cliffs of Moher
Doolin is an amazing, amazing city. They are known for the highest number of Irish musicians per capita. Our B&B was about a 2 hour hike to the Cliffs of Moher (highly recommend hiking and then taking the bus back).
In Doolin, you MUST EAT AND GO TO Gus O’Connors Pub. Their fish and chips are to die for and it is authentic, live Irish culture through and through. Musicians are a part of the crowd and are incredibly talented. They sit at a table just like the rest of the customers and when they are ready to sing / play, the entire restaurants “shooshes.” It was great.
Day 3: Aran Islands Day Trip
We visited the Aran Islands (Inis Oirr) during this visit, which is worth the day trip. We used the O’Brien Line, which included a sea level tour of Cliffs of Moher.
Day 4: Dingle
Dingle is another incredible city. We stayed 2 nights outside of the city for this visit. The cottage was about a 7 minute drive into the city and allowed us the chance to stay in the countryside.
Day 5: Biking the Dingle Peninsula (Slea Head)
We rented bikes from Foxy John’s Pub (hardware store, pub, and bike rental all in one!) and rode bikes around the Dingle Peninsula (the Slea Head drive) – my #1 recommendation. It was an incredible journey and offered beautiful spots to take the perfect pictures. We also kayaked around the peninsula (Irish Adventures Sea Kayaking) which was awesome. But, I would prioritize the bike ride (be ready, it’s pretty challenging and scary, but worth it) over the kayaking trip.
Day 6: Killarney
- Killarney National Park
- Ross Castle
- Muckross House
- Muckross Abbey
We spent one day in and around Killarney National Park, including Ross Castle, Muckross House (ok) and Muckross Abbey (great).
Day 7: Skellig Michael
We had booked a Skellig Michael trip with Brendan Casey, which was great. The island was amazing and we saw dolphins, whales, and seals along the way. You should definitely do this if you can: the view was breathtaking, serene and one of the most unforgettable hikes.
Day 8: Kinsale
Stayed 2 nights in Kinsale. In Kinsale, you have to eat at Fishy Fishy – incredible seafood.
Day 9: Cork
- Blarney Castle
- Charles Fort
Blarney Castle is a must, and we kissed the Blarney Stone because, well, you have to if you go there. The grounds are amazing too.
Day 10: Dublin
- Guinness Storehouse
- Temple Bar
Last day we spent in Dublin and were really impressed by the Guinness Brewery Tour. It was so much more than just walking through a brewery. They make it into an awesome customer experience and it’s not just “the thing to do” in Dublin.
A couple things to note:
Rent your own car. We did not get a GPS and instead, depended on old-school maps. It was great and gave us the chance to appreciate the drive and better understand the areas we were driving through.
We departed Ireland from Dublin and I think it is worth noting that they do US preclearance for customs. This is important to know as the standard 2 hours is not enough. We arrived just over 2.5 hours in advance and we cut it close to our flight. Arrive to Dublin early (3 hours) on your way out.
Traveled in September 2015