Adventures in Ireland: Our Travel Guide

As promised, here’s a high level overview of our travel adventures in Ireland! Should you find yourself planning a trip abroad any time in the future, hopefully this little bit of travel experience will be of help. Enjoy.

Dublin
Where to stay: We rented a flat through AirBnB from Ian and Lisa (lovely couple) at a very reasonable price. A lovely way to start our trip!
Where to eat: We adored Camden Kitchen, an off-the-beaten path restaurant with delicious decor AND food.
What to see: Don’t miss out on Trinity College (and the Book of Kells), Christchurch Cathedral, as well as a walk through Temple Bar (lively pubs), Grafton Street (pedestrian-only shopping esplanade) and Stephen’s Green (beautiful park). Further on you’ll find Powerscourt (stunning gardens), the Wicklow Mountains (we attempted to get lost so we could drive through some ‘true’ Irish country) and Glendalough (our favorite).
Read our post: Check out more details here.

Kilkenny & Killarney
Where to stay: This was one of our last-minute arrangements (and all B&Bs were booked), but we very much enjoyed the ultra modern Pembroke hotel.
Where to eat: We loved Cafe Mocha for a nice steaming flat white and a yummy sandwich. This cafe is full of handmade pastries, chocolates, soups and salads in a quaint, tea shop setting. (They even have a room full of handmade ribbon that’s sold by the meter!). For dinner, we enjoyed the live music at Kyteler’s Inn but didn’t particularly love the touristy nature of the restaurant. Has a great story behind the original building (having to do with witches and such), if you do visit be sure to check it out for at least a look.
What to see: We strolled the town and meandered the sweet cobblestone streets, but we hear Kilkenny Castle is a great stop. And further on, the Blarney Stone! Also didn’t have time for this castle but it’s supposed to be a worth-while tourist destination. Cashel is incredible, don’t miss the Rock of Cashel. We didn’t stay overnight in Killarney but we did take a full day to explore the Killarney National Park (including the Muckross House, waterfall and recreated farm estates) near Dingle.
Read our post: Check out more details here and here.

Dingle Peninsula 
Where to stay: We thoroughly enjoyed the Towerview B&B in Dingle which is located just outside of the three street ‘downtown’. Tell Mary we sent ya. (Added bonus: her sweet daughters babysit).
Where to eat: An Canteen is unpretentious but absolutely delicious. Local music can be found in any number of pubs just around – this area is known for the handy musicians.
What to see: take a day to drive the full peninsula and enjoy the beautiful beaches along the way. We also loved the beehive hut historic stop (2 euro for beautiful views and fun rock forts).
Read our post: Check out more details here.

Adare, the Cliffs of Moher & Galway
Where to stay: We stopped in Adare at the suggestion of Mary at Towerview (see above) as a night over on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. Lovely town but not a necessity on the itinerary. We stayed at the Berkeley Lodge Guesthouse and Bhirdie is very sweet and accommodating!
Where to eat: Only a pub or two in town – plus an ice cream factory just down the main road.
What to see: Adare is known for its thatched roof cottages. Very cool. From here we drove on to the Cliffs of Moher – spectacular! It was recommended that we spend a full day driving all the way to Loop Head and up the coast, and had we not been short on time we would have made it happen. We drove from the Cliffs through the Burren to Galway – I can’t say the Burren is as much as I expected but it is a nice drive nonetheless.
Read our post: Check out more details here.

Inis Maein
Where to stay: AirBnB came through again with this rural island cottage from Eilis.
Where to eat: You have only one choice so it’s an easy one. Town pub. Actually I heard there’s a great B&B (built by an architect and his designer wife) that serves up a delicious meal during traditional tourist months.
What to see: An wish km loop takes you around the entire island but we cut in at about 4km and had a lovely time just wandering the maze of rock walls and discovering remnants of historic times as we went. We hear that the other islands have more to offer in terms of what to see and do, we definitely chose the more rural option!
Read our post: Check out more details here.

 Clifden
Where to stay: We were recommended Dunri Guesthouse based on it’s child-friendly nature and we really enjoyed our stay there
Where to eat: Of the two restaurants we tried out in Clifden our favorite was EJ Kings for the live band (great Irish music!).
What to see: Clifden is an excellent town to enjoy in and of itself – adorable streets and colorful buildings, kind people and lots of art/shopping to peruse (we managed to coincide our visit with a day of the annual Arts Festival), but it’s also a great launching point for discovering Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey (ran out of time, but would have LOVED to visit), white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, golfing, etc.
Read our post: Check out more details here.

Here’s the full road trip itinerary on the map. Big stars are towns we spent the night, smaller stars indicate stops we made along the way. Again, you can read about our trip and the day-by-day journey by checking out this, this, this and this post (and this one might make you smile).

 

What we missed… (but you don’t have to if you go)
In the south: Powerscourt, Waterford, Blarney Stone, Cork, Kinsale
In the east: Loop Head point, more time in Galway, Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey
And the entire northern counties ;). For next time.

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