10 must do things on an Ireland road trip
Ever since I had seen a picture of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, I had always wanted to go on a road trip there and hence this September I took off with friends for an unforgettable trip to a country with stunning landscapes. This is the only island in the world which is divided into two countries (Ireland and UK – Northern Ireland) and you can cross over the border without any immigration.
We landed in Dublin and rented a car which was with us for the next 8 days. Do look out for good deals. We booked our car last minute from Orbitz app (Budget car rentals) and got an unbelievable rate of $2 USD per day for a Nissan Micra. Do look out for these deals online. If you plan to drive up to Northern Ireland the rental company will charge you an extra €34 as insurance.
Roads in Ireland
One thing you should keep in mind when in Ireland is that the weather here is very unpredictable. It could be sunny for 10 minutes and rain heavily the next 10 minutes. At times, It also gets cold and windy in summer. So be prepared for all kinds of weather and don’t let the weather ruin your mood…No matter what the weather/temperature – Ireland is beautiful.
This was the route we followed :
Dublin airport – Cork – Killarney National Park – Ring of Kerry drive – Dingle Peninsula – Slea Head drive – Cliffs of Moher – Fanor beach – Sligo – Giants Causeway – Bushmills – Belfast – Dublin. We stayed at Airbnbs in most of the places and they were all in great locations and beautifully done up.
One of our gorgeous Airbnbs
Here are my top 10 things I highly recommend while you are holidaying in Ireland
1. Go night sea Kayaking at Lough Hyne – This place is in between Killarney National park and Cork. An absolute must do with Atlantic Night Sea Kayaking team.It starts at 8pm and you are done by 11pm. Night sea kayaking itself is quite an adventure and imagine seeing bioluminescent water as well…It was awesome! They also take you to a place on the kayak where they ask you to shut your eyes and just take in the silence of the night.
All set for the night sea kayaking
2. Dine in a Church restaurant in Skibbereen – After the night sea kayaking we stayed that night at Skibbereen. A must do when in this town is dining in a church..yes you heard it right! Imagine, this is an18th century church which is now converted to a restaurant.The food is delicious too and it’s a unique experience.
The Church restaurant
3. Drive through the Gap of Dunloe on the Ring of Kerry and visit the lakes of Killarney National Park – The lakes of Killarney is absolutely wonderful, walk through the park,visit Ross castle and stroll around the lakes. While you are driving on the Ring of Kerry, which is one of the most famous drives in Ireland you will be passing through the Gap of Dunloe…every corner here is spectacular.
Lakes of Killarney National park
Walking by the Muckross house
The Gap of Dunloe
These are 2 way streets on the Ring of Kerry
4. Visit the gorgeous Dingle town. – This is the most colourful town in Ireland. Full of life and energy. We stayed right at the city centre and walked to most of their pubs,stores and restaurants. The seafood here is to die for and definitely eat at Fish box .We loved the food here so much that after having a sumptuous lunch, we went back for dinner too. Order the Fish and chips…it’s the best I had in Ireland. Also have ice cream at Murphys which is rated as the world’s best ice cream by Conde Nast Traveler.
The world famous Murphys ice cream
Colourful stores in Dingle
The colours of Dingle make up for the gloomy day
A very happy me at the Fish Box
The best fish and chips in Ireland at the Fish box
5. Trek up to Dunmore head in the Dingle peninsula – This is a day trip and you must drive down the Slea head drive. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Especially the short hike up to Dunmore head which was also the location of the movie Star Wars – The Last Jedi and is the most western point of Europe.
Treks on Slea head Drive
Ireland has more sheep than people
Isn’t that a scene from Star Wars
For all you Star Wars fans
6. Go pub hopping to listen to live Irish music – If you want to enjoy the Irish culture go to one of their pubs. They have live music every evening and every one there is having a gala time. You definitely want to be a part of it. Be it Doolin, Dingle or Dublin…pub hopping is a must everywhere.
7. Walk on the Cliffs of Moher – The most popular attraction on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic way is the Cliffs of Moher. They are breathtakingly beautiful.They are even more gorgeous that what is portrayed in pictures and walking on these 700 feet high cliffs is one of the best experiences this country has to offer. It is extremely windy on these cliffs so carry your jackets and Girls, make sure your hair is tied if you want good pictures. When you come out from the visitor centre you can either take a left or right and walk on the Cliffs.I recommend taking a right and walking right till the end. The views from there are gorgeous. We stayed overnight at Doolin and had dinner at this great restaurant called Mc Ganns.
The majestic Cliffs of Moher
The beach and the Stack
I could sit here forever
Dinner at Mc Ganns in Doolin
8. Indulge in an organic seaweed bath in Sligo – We drove all the way from Doolin for 3 hours just to have this seaweed bath and it was so worth it. This place is called the Voya Seaweed bath. It’s a 50 mins bath where you are dipped in warm water with organic seaweed in it. Its leaves your skin very soft and supple and you are totally rejuvenated. Now that was quite something!
The Voya Seaweed bath
9. Visit the Giant’s causeway in Northern Ireland – This was one of my favourites in Northern Ireland. 40000 hexagonal interlocked basalt columns jutting out of the sea makes for a stunning landscape. Legend has it that these columns were home to an ancient giant and he created it himself while science says that is was the aftermath of volcanic activity. Giant or Science…I loved this place and did not want to leave.
The gorgeous Giants Causeway
The basalt columns jutting out of the sea
Yoga at a height
Take me to a beach and I am a happy pup 🐶
10. Drink lots of Baileys and Irish coffee – Being a bengali and having a sweet tooth, Baileys has always been my favourite drink and given it originated from Ireland, I had it to my heart’s content. I am not much of a coffee drinker but made an exception for the very famous Irish coffee which is absolutely yummy!
The Baileys – Irish Coffee
These were my top 10 things to do. Apart from this I would also recommend visiting one of the oldest whiskey distilleries in Bushmill, drive past the Peace wall in Belfast and visit the Titanic museum which was very touching. In Dublin, visit the library in Trinity college which is called the Long Room and is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
One of the most beautiful libraries in the world
Bushmills Whiskey Distillery
Walking around in Dublin
If you have any further questions and need any information about planning your holiday in Ireland please feel free me reach out to me.
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I am a fearless, unguarded and fun loving traveller. The word ‘cannot’ doesn't often appear in my life’s dictionary. I was bitten by the travel bug a long, long time ago and it has taken me to more than 60 countries and countless destinations ever since. A born networker—I have met and made a gazillion friends across the world and the experiences so far, has more often than not, left me speechless. The more I travel, the more I realise that how much there is left to travel.
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