I'm sharing our last trip to Ireland, July 2023. We chose to skip Dublin and focus more on nature and landscapes. After landing in Dublin, we searched for the car rental stand. First, it's essential to know that you don't receive the car at the rental stand; instead, you need to take an elevator downstairs, turn left, and then left again. There's a bus there that takes everyone to the car rental facility. This facility is relevant not only to Hertz but to all rental companies.
After picking up the car, we headed west.
The first stop was the Rock of Cashel. It's described as a special and significant site for the Irish people. The impression is very nice. There's a nearby parking lot for 4 euros, and it's recommended to book in advance, which reduces costs and shortens the entry time. You can book a guided tour or go on your own. Link: https://heritageireland.ie/places-to-visit/rock-of-cashel/
From there, we traveled to Killarney, a lovely town, close to Killarney National Park. We stayed at the very nice hotel, in the center, with free parking.
You can find the Booking link here : https://bit.ly/3KaTymC
I highly recommend it; the breakfast is excellent and special.
In the evening, there are many pubs within walking distance with local music. It's very nice.
The second day:
Most of the day was dedicated to the Gap of Dunloe, a very special place. We hiked the route, about 12 kilometers. We drove the car 5 minutes to Ross Castle and parked it there for free. From there, we took a bus to the starting point at Kate Kearney’s Cottage (a fifteen-minute ride). The route offers amazing lakes and landscapes, and it took us about two and a half hours to reach Lord Brandon’s Cottage.
Then we took a boat with a guide for about an hour, explaining the park and the views while sailing through the lakes back to our car at Ross Castle.
We booked through this site: https://gapofdunloetraditionalboattours.com/tour-packages/tour-6/
Later, we visited the Torc Waterfall. There's a parking issue in the area, so we parked the car at Muckross House and took a half-hour walk to the waterfall and back. We also entered Muckross House (entrance fee). It was nice but nothing extraordinary.
The third day:
We drove towards the Dingle Peninsula and along the Slea Head Drive, a beautiful and recommended coastal route. Stops along the way included:
- The Famine Cottages: A site that tells the story of the Potato Famine (the Great Famine) that occurred in the 1800s in Ireland.
- Fahan Beehive Huts: Another stopping point (nice but optional).
- Cross of Slea: A large cross in the middle of the road with a chance to park the car and take a scenic view of the sea and continue.
- Dunmore Head (Star Wars): The place where scenes from Star Wars were filmed. It's a must-stop to go up and see the scenery and the movie's filming location.
- Dunquin Pier: A nice stopping point with easy access to the sea. The nearby coffee is excellent, especially the brownies.
From there, we traveled to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, where we had a medieval banquet in the castle with costumes, music, and a meal. It was very special. Link for booking: https://www.bunrattycastle.ie/medieval-banquet/ There are two sessions daily; we booked the 20:30 session. We took a room at a nearby hotel. It was nice, basic, and fine. Link: https://bit.ly/3KeKRb2
The fourth day:
In the morning, we drove to the Cliffs of Moher (about an hour's drive). We paid in advance, which is cheaper than paying on-site. At the entrance to the parking lot, they ask for the reservation number, and you enter easily.
We spent about two hours there.
Then we drove to Doolin, a nice and small town. You can have lunch at local restaurants there. I recommend buying jams at The Clare Jam, about ten minutes before entering Doolin; there are signs.
After Doolin, we traveled to Galway for the day and a half, which is sufficient to explore the city. We stayed at a recommended hotel, a 5-minute walk from the central square. Booking link: https://bit.ly/3Oy6aXL
In Galway, there's no need to drive; you can walk or use the Freenow app, similar to Uber. Galway has local attractions like the Latin Quarter, St. Nicholas' Church (with a nice nearby market), and more, which I won't detail here. There are ready-made articles with recommendations on travel websites.
The fifth day:
We visited two more attractions:
- Trad on the Prom, an Irish dance show.
- A visit to the whiskey distillery: https://micildistillery.com/