As many of you know, I went on a week long adventure in Ireland with my sister and mom. I’m excited to share the highlights of my trip and give you some tips on what to do for your next Ireland adventure. This first post will about the day trips we took while we were in Ireland. If you want to book any of these trips in the future, I have linked the titles of each day trip to the website we booked from.
Where we stayed: Because there were three of us, we actually found it difficult to find a hotel room that had accommodations for three. Either it was a huge extra fee or they simply didn’t offer it. We ended up settling on the Clontarf Castle Hotel, a castle that was turned into a 4 star boutique hotel. It was about 10 minutes outside of the city center of Dublin, which was the perfect distance to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The castle even had 3 different restaurants and they were SO good. We had an Irish breakfast every morning included with our stay, and it was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Irish butter is insanely good.
What we did: We took 3 day trips that left from city center to different parts of Ireland, did a folklore and fairytale dinner, and explored tons of libraries.
Who would enjoy this trip: Anyone. There is minimal walking and plenty of time sitting on a bus on the way to the Cliffs of Moher. The trip stops several times for snacks, lunch in Doolin, at an old historic Abbey, and the baby cliffs of Moher.
What I loved: I’ve done this day trip twice now, and I love that you don’t just stop at the Cliffs of Moher. You also get to see the countryside of Ireland, even if it’s only through the bus window. It’s a gorgeous drive.
Tips: 1. Bring a coat. Even in the summertime it can get very windy and very chilly up at the cliffs. 2. Bring cash for a tip for your tour guide. These guys work hard to give you great information and show you amazing things about Ireland. 3. Get breakfast or a snack at the first stop at the fuel station. It’s a long time until lunch.
It was windy! We had gusts of wind over 70 mph while we were at the cliffs!
Foggy and misty but still so magical.
Who would enjoy this trip: Hikers, runners, outdoorsy, semi-athletic people. If you have any kind of injury or aversion to walking uphill, this is not the tour for you. You will be walking up hills and steeper climbs for hours. It’s a tough walk but the views are beyond breathtaking.
What I loved: Where to begin? First off, our tour guide John was absolutely amazing. He gave such wonderful information and told some really fantastic stories about myths and history. John was awesome because every time anyone got out of breath from the climb or needed a pause, he happily waited for us. It was muddy on the day we went, but he made sure we all made it safely along the way.
Tips: 1. Bring cash for a tip for your tour guide. These guys work hard to give you great information and show you amazing things about Ireland. 2. Wear hiking boots. The terrain in the countryside of Ireland is a bit rough especially if it has rained recently. My waterproof hiking boots are what saved me from falling. 3. Bring your camera. The views are insanely gorgeous.
That’s the Bailey lighthouse out in the distance there!
Howth is so incredibly gorgeous!!
Who would enjoy this trip: People interested in Neolithic cultures, fairies, ancient religions, the early history of Ireland’s religions, and anyone who loves the movie Braveheart.
What I loved: I loved that it is a small group environment. We only had 7 people total on the tour, and it was wonderful to get to know everyone. Our guide, Liam, was so amazing. He gave us such a wonderful spiritual and historical overview of early Irish history, and it was really neat to listen to how the early cultures lived and worshiped.
What I did not love: So if you don’t know what Newgrange is, it is a Neolithic structure built by an ancient people 5,000 years ago(that’s older than the Pyramids of Giza or Stonehenge!!). You can go inside of it, which is so cool. However, if you are afraid of the dark or you are even mildly claustrophobic, going inside Newgrange can be a really panc-inducing experience. I almost bolted. You are totally allowed to stand outside during this part of the tour, so don’t be afraid to!
Tips: 1. Bring cash for a tip for your tour guide. These guys work hard to give you great information and show you amazing things about Ireland. 2. Wear Hiking Boots! It rained for some of our day trip and it was so muddy at a lot of the sites we went to. Several people in our group slipped in the mud. I fared better with hiking boots. 3. Bring money for entrance fees. It’s not much, but they are not covered by the tour.
Look what was blooming! Cherry blossoms!
An old Norman castle!
The gorgeous monastery we visited!
Newgrange. The place I almost had a panic attack.
That’s it for the day trips we took! I will be talking more about the days we spent in Dublin and tips on what to see in the city in my next blog post!
Do any of these day trips sound fun to you? What would you do while exploring Ireland? I’d love to hear your comments and questions!