When I was asked to visit Ireland on a Drive & Hike trip I jumped at the chance - Ireland has always been on my bucket list and I can tell you it definitely didn’t disappoint! From the moment I stepped onto Irish soil and picked up the hire car at Dublin airport, I knew this was going to be an unbelievable adventure. Everyone had always told me how open, welcoming and warm the Irish hospitality would be but nothing could prepare me for the spectacular journey that lay ahead!
My 5 top places to visit on this awe-inspiring trip are below but trust me picking just 5 was a very hard task!
My first stop was Kilkenny – often called Ireland’s finest medieval town, there is no better place for a wander than Kilkenny, with its traditional cobbled streets and old-world charm. There are plenty of cosy cafes and pubs to refuel in before tackling the adventures that surround the city, not only do you do have the Wicklow Way - Ireland’s oldest way-marked walking trail – you also have Powerscourt Waterfall, Irelands highest waterfall, set in one of the most beautiful parklands at the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains.
#2 Killarney and the Ring of Kerry
Killarney and the Ring of Kerry were next on the hit list – this area was spectacular in Autumn and is one of the most glorious regions in Ireland. The combination of ocean, islands and mountains with so many picturesque villages makes a trip to Kerry an exciting journey of discovery along one of the country’s most scenic routes.
Once cited as 'The most beautiful place on earth' by the National Geographic, Dingle was not to disappoint! You can take a walk along the national trail, The Dingle Way, as you enjoy a loop walk from the Great Blasket Island Visitor Centre at Dunquin, explore rugged Slea Head on foot and soak in the superb coastal views out to the islands themselves.
What can I say, this was one place I was really looking forward to visiting and it lived up to all my expectations and more, from its friendly locals, charming streets, shopping and lively pubs. Galway really comes to life at night and the pubs themselves are one of the city’s greatest attractions. The pubs are not only about the traditional trad bands and lively local banter they also serve some amazing hearty Irish food to keep you in good stead for the Guinness or two that may be coming your way!
Last but not least Ireland’s much-loved capital – Dublin, this city has a laidback feel with great energy and heart. You must take time to explore the classic Irish landmarks such as Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol and of course don’t forget the famous Temple Bar area and the Guinness Storehouse!
Ireland is simply amazing with its inspirational locations, stunning landscapes and the friendliest of welcomes – this country really has to be one to tick off everyone’s bucket list!! Get to know Ireland on one of Macs Adventure's self guided drive & hike itineraries, including the 7 night Celtic Highlights Tour, the Best of Ireland in 8 Nights, or an epic two-week Ultimate Ireland Discovery.