After Great Britain, Ireland is the European continent’s second-largest island. Nicknamed the Emerald Isle, Ireland is filled with lush green fields, and many things to do and places to see. We checked in with our colleague David in Ireland to find out his “must do” list when visiting.
No trip to Ireland would be complete without a few days in Dublin, the Capital City. Take in an evening in Temple Bar with its famous pubs and pedestrian cobbled streets after a day of shopping on Grafton Street and museum hopping around the city. Be sure to visit the Book of Kells, housed in Trinity College, and pair with a walk around St. Stephen’s Green. For the history buffs, be sure to visit Kilmainham Gaol to learn about Ireland’s fight for independence and the 1916 Easter Rising. Pair this with a visit to the GPO (General Post Office) where, during the rising, the leaders of the Irish rebellion set up their headquarters.
Cliffs of Moher
Due to its exposure to the Atlantic Ocean, the West of Ireland has some of the most impressive coastline attractions in all of Ireland. Top of the list has to be the Cliffs of Moher by the Burren in County Clare. The cliffs run for nine miles and, at their highest, stand a dominant 702 feet above the ocean. When visiting the cliffs, be sure to take in a visit to the Burren, the Ailwee Caves, and the historic market town of Ennis.
The Aran Islands
Located off the west coast and visible from the top of the Cliffs of Moher are the Aran Islands. The islands of Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer, are home to just 12,000 people, with Irish (or Gaelic) being the first language. Take in the rugged landscapes, and be sure to visit the stone fort of Dun Aonghasa. Perched over 320 feet above Aran’s cliffs, the fort is a world heritage site dating back to 1100 BC. Rent a bike and explore the islands and spend your evenings taking in traditional Irish food and music.
Kinsale, Co. Cork
A historic sailing town in Cork in the south of the country, Kinsale has a uniquely Spanish feel in the summertime. Famous for its scenery and seafood, it is perfect for anyone who loves sailing, walking, fishing, and eating! Sample the renowned fish and chips at Dino’s and, for more formal dining, check out Fishy Fishy restaurant. Grab a beer at the Spaniard Bar before embarking on the famed Scilly Walk, which will take you along the outskirts of Kinsale. Stop at the Bulman Bar to reward yourself with another drink to take in fantastic views of Kinsale harbor.
Wild Atlantic Way
For those wanting to commit to a more extended experience, the Wild Atlantic Way is a must. Stretching 1,500 miles from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal down to Kinsale in Cork, this driving route takes you through nine counties and three provinces. Depending on how many sights or attractions one would like to see, this trip can easily be spread over three weeks but can be done in much less if one is time-constrained. Be sure to take in Malin Head (Ireland’s most northerly point), Donegal Town, Streedagh Beach to see the Spanish Armada shipwrecks, Achill Island, Salthill, Dingle, and Mizen Head (Ireland’s most southerly point).
If you are looking for beautiful cliffs or exploring cities, Ireland has everything you need for an unforgettable trip.
Taisteal Sábháilte agus Sona (Safe and Happy Travels)