Luck of The Irish
You’re going to need to pack your wellies for this one – Ireland promises to be rainy, but the sun does shine too! That’s why it’s so green and lush. We started planning our Ireland trip earlier in March to meet up with some family that would be travelling there at the same time. Why not combine family time with travel time? Exploring new lands together taught us to slow down a bit, and to take the time to share the experience with our family members.Ireland has lots of stunning landscapes and the warmest of people. When we decided to commit to the trip, we knew there would be a bunch that we would want to explore, so we made sure to hit all four corners of Ireland: the Ancient East is rich in Viking histories, more friendly foods and amazing people; the Southern Peninsulas did not disappoint with plenty of castles, fishing villages and greenery; we made sure to travel the Wild Atlantic Way and see the Cliffs of Moher; and Northern Ireland is a land of dramatic history, fantastic landscapes and enduring legend. So much to see, and so little time! 14 days is ideal for Ireland, but we made it work in 9. Below is a high-level summary of our 9-day Ireland trip:
Overnight flight from YYZ to DUB.
Arrival in DUB and travel to Dublin city centre. Since we arrived very early in the morning we attended a free walking tour of Dublin. The rest of the day was dedicated to exploring the Dublin City Centre by foot and checking out local music.
Day trip to the Dunguaire Castle and village, Galway Bay, the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle.
Another day trip, but this time out to the Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone for the gift of the gab and exploring Cork by foot.
Taking it easy in Dublin and exploring Grafton Street, checking out the University and meeting up with some family for dinner.
Early morning train trip from Dublin Connolly Station to Belfast with a Black Cab Tour of Belfast and a stop at the Titanic Belfast Museum and harbour.
A jam-packed day of northern Ireland’s best sights: Carrickfergus Castle, Glens of Antrim, crossing the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge for a picnic on the island before heading to the Giant’s Causeway with a view of the Irish sea. We stopped in at Dunluce Castle before heading back to Belfast.
Saying goodbye to Belfast to head back to Dublin and spending the day catching up with an old University friend in the Temple Bar district before taking a Haunted History Tour of Dublin. Very cool if you’re into ghost stories or interested in learning about spirits.
A day trip around the Ring of Kerry to visit top sightseeing destination spots near Killarney, Kerry & Dingle. We saw the beautiful Torc waterfall and had an amazing time playing in the frigid waters of Inch Beach.
We finally say goodbye to Ireland and fly back from DUB to YYZ.
We were pretty luck weather-wise for our trip, but that is not to say that we weren’t prepared. I have always loved mythologies and folklores, so it was a real treat to travel to another Viking land to hear more about the histories of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I really enjoyed the haunted tour and the Giant’s Causeway tours, even though we were in full rain gear for the day. The landscapes are absolutely breath-taking – it really makes you stand there in awe at what Mother Nature can do. The experiences too were unforgettable. I can now say I have conquered a fear of heights by crossing the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge, have kissed the Blarney Stone (earning myself 7 years of “The Gift of The Gab” and probably an international form of oral herpes in the process…), got to catch up with a dear friend who I haven’t seen in years in Dublin, no less and I have met some of the kindest people to share my journey with.
Ireland is absolutely phenomenal in the summertime – it is definitely the best time to go. Having to share that time, even as brief as it was, with family too made it a wonderful experience we can all look back on fondly as we remember our Irish trip.