My parents did a two week driving tour of Ireland one July and I met up with them for 5 days of this trip to cover the southern half of the country. I don’t recommend doing this in only 5 days, as we felt really rushed, but that’s all we had and you can make it work!
My grandmother, who does not like to travel, has always wanted to see the castles in Ireland. So my mother made it her mission that we visit and photograph as many castles as possible while we were there so that we could show Grammy. We started in Dublin with the Dublin Castle.
We walked around the Temple Bar area as well, touristy, but colorful and fun!
We had dinner at Exchuquer, where we of course had to try a TRUE Irish Guinness beer, and it was great!
I also made a stop into the famed Guinness Brewery for a tour and I would definitely recommend going if you are ever in Dublin. I am not a beer drinker typically, but it is such a big part of the Irish culture. I feel that they make it really interesting and fun!
My parents and I stayed at the Ballsbridge hotel that night in Dublin, I don’t recall any special reason we picked that one, just something centrally located and affordable that we found. It was nice!
*Side note*: If you are looking for something extra hip and cool in Dublin, I met up with a girlfriend who was staying at The Dean Hotel and that place has quite the vibe! To stay there or even just for dinner and a drink. Also, Barnacles Hostel in Dublin is great backpacker choice! (see below)
On day 2 in Dublin we walked FOREVER to the Great South Wall to see the Poolbeg light house. We wish we would have known to drive ALL the way to the wall(we thought a car could only go part of the way)! It was pretty though, and worth checking out if you can get a ride there.
After Dublin, we made our way west across Ireland towards Connemara National Park.
The great thing about having your own car, is you can pull over and stop when you see amazing views like this!
We stopped and chatted randomly with this family, everyone was so nice!
Our next Castle stop was to the gorgeous Kylemore Abby.
Next, we drove south towards the Cliffs of Moher, stopping first for lunch at Padraicins.
Then we made it to the BREATH TAKING Cliffs of Moher…..
This was seriously the most un-real view ever, and we got lucky with nice weather!
We kept driving south to Limerick for our next Castle stop at King John’s Castle.
My parents are bee keepers, so every country we visit, we usually visit other bee keepers too! It is such a great community of people across the world. So our next stop was to a lovely family BBQ with some fellow bee keepers in Carrick-On-Suir.
The next morning we got a fresh start to visit the Gap of Dunloe, which came highly recommended from an Irish girl friend of mine. We opted out of the horse and carriage option there and just hiked around ourselves. It was sooo beautiful!
We also made a stop at the near-by Ross Castle of Killarney!
Next, we headed back east towards Cork so my mom could live out her life long dream of kissing the famous Blarney Stone!!
We spent our last night traveling at the gorgeous Raheen House Hotel in Clonmel, which I highly recommend if it’s on your path!
If you mapped this out, you would see that we made a big circle going counter-clockwise around southern Ireland. We ended back in Dublin for our return flights home! Ireland was an absolutely gorgeous, quaint country with beautiful countryside and friendly faces!