A road trip is the best way to get the most out of this place. In this way, you will be able to reach several stunning locations easily. However, if you are planning to stay in this country for 10 days or less, you should decide which places to visit in advance. For this reason, this article will guide you through a trip along the West Coast of Ireland. Get your walking shoes ready, this is for the sporty types.
If you are taking a ferry to Ireland, this is the most convenient location to head to and from where you can start your trip. As a matter of fact, you can take a ferry from Wales during the night and sleep in one of the cabins. This will give you the chance to have an entire day ahead of you to visit the city. Dublin is well-known for being the core of all those traditional pubs that literally every other country tries to imitate as closely as possible. The Temple Bar attracts many tourists, and several gigs take place here. Other alluring sites are the Guinness StoreHouse and Trinity College’s Old Library. But apart from the touristy spots, you could also go for a stroll in the Liberties neighborhood and along the Grand Canal, to take in the real Irish culture.
The West Coast of Ireland: Achill Island
This is where your road trip along the West Coast of Ireland can definitely start. If you are coming from Dublin, it will take you about 3 or 4 hours to reach this location, so consider stopping along the way. First of all, take the Atlantic Drive in order to enjoy the stunning views of the sea and the Minaun cliffs from the top of the mountains. You should also know that Mineaun Cliffs are minor relatives of the Cliffs of Moher. Then, as you reach the coast, you really should stop by Keel beach, which is quiet and undomesticated where you will discover the real Irish landscape. Achill Head is another nice beach to go to, unique because of its turquoise water.
It will take about two hours to get here from Achill Island. As well as Galway itself, you will also find other interesting places to visit nearby. In order to get the most out of this place, I would advise you to stay at least a couple of nights here. There are plenty of B&B’s just outside the city which are perfect for those who want to set off early in the morning. Begin your tour in the city center by visiting the Latin Quarter. Secondly, take a few pictures of The Long Walk, well known because of the colorful houses along the way facing the river.
Once you have visited the city, it is time to enjoy Ireland’s countryside by going to Lake Corrib and Cong. Cong is a pleasant village that combines houses entirely made of stone, with colorful facades, one of them famous for being set of the movie The Quiet Man. Also don’t miss the Connemara National Park, where you can enjoy stunning views of the countryside by choosing one of the many routes available. While you are there, also stop by Kylemore Abbey, which is just 5 minutes drive from the park. The latter is a quirky and intriguing monastery dating back to the year 1920.
The West Coast of Ireland: County Kerry
Heading South, County Kerry is a must-see in Ireland. This is because you will find many nature spots to go to. In this case, too, you should stay for at least a couple of nights. Firstly, an unmissable place to visit is Dingle Bay, which is one of the most famous locations in the country, where it is possible to get a view of the cliffs, surrounded by the countryside. A less touristy site, but definitely worth a hike is the Killarney National Park. Inside it, you will be able to admire alluring landscapes thanks to the high mountain ranges and the Killarney lakes. Last but not least, if you are craving for a dive into history, you should visit Ballycarbery Castle near the village of Cahersiveen. This ancient stone fortress is almost untouched by tourism and offers a unique type of experience. Near the castle, you will also find the Cahergal ring fort, which was built around 600 AD.
The Skelling Islands are actually not far from County Kerry. To get to the island it is possible to take a ferry from Portmagee, Ballinaskellings, or Cahircveen. I highly recommend going for the first option, as this is also a pleasant location on the sea where you can enjoy a meal in one of the traditional pubs. Book your ferry ticket in advance, since there’s a limit to the number of people who can access the island. This is to avoid the risk of its ancient monastery and heritage getting damaged because of overcrowding. Skellig Michael, also known as Great Skellig, is the biggest of the Skelligs. The name comes from the monks who used to live here between the VI and the XII century. The fascinating monastery ruins include six huts and two churches, reachable thanks to a stone staircase. However, Skellig Michael is the farthest of all the Skelling Islands. Therefore, it is quite difficult to get access to this place due to the weather. Today, the only inhabitants of the island are great flocks of seabirds.
Planning a road trip to the UK as well? Read about Sussex here