One Week In Southern Ireland

Ryan and I just celebrated our 2nd year wedding anniversary but feels like so much longer (we met 10 years ago!).

We decided to do something a little different to celebrate and we opted for a self-driving tour of Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher

{Overview}

With 6 full days we did 1 Dublin- 1 Galway-2 Killarney- 1 Kilkenny- 1 back in Dublin with plenty of stops.

OK, y’all, Ireland is seriously such a magical country!

I feel like Ireland is so underrated compare to its European neighbors such as France, Spain or Italy.  It has something for everyone!

For starters, the people are especially kind; the landscape is incredibly beautiful; and so many great pubs + live music!

Ireland CollageRing of Kerry

So here is the scoop on our self-driving tour. We ended up doing Southern Ireland this time around with only one week to play with.  If you have two weeks to spare, then do the whole country!

{Details}

Day 1: Dublin (part 1)

We landed at 9:30 ish, took the bus from the airport straight to city center (brought us right to our hotel). Check in wasn’t until 3 so they stored our bags at the hotel, and headed out to explore.

Book of Kells

What we did:

  • General Post Office
  • Trinity College Library
  • St. Stephen’s Green
  • Dublin Castle

Where we Stayed: Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin

Where we ate: We went to this place called The Church in Dublin City. The atmosphere is pretty neat in that it is an old church that been turned into restaurant/ bar then at night it turns into a club.  Overall, the food IMO was not that great. It was your typical bar food, but at least the drink prices were reasonable and a little less expensive than if you were in the Temple Bar area.

Day 2: Galway

Went to pick up our rental car and headed for  the 2.5 hour drive to Galway (que in Ed Sheeran’s song – Galway Girl).

We headed straight for our B&B and the house owner Larry was by far my favorite person we met in Ireland. He gave us all the tips and tricks for what we should do while in Ireland.

What we did:

  • Connemara National Park: Here are some hiking options on this link: Connemara Walking Guide
  • Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

Where we Stayed: Kilbrack House B&B

Where we ate: Ard Bia at Nimmos. This was my favorite restaurant and meal of the trip! Charming, small restaurant in downtown Galway.

 

Day 3: Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher was the main attraction on this day, but we made several stop from Galway, to Killarney.  This day was by far our longest day of driving.

cliffs of moherKissing photo at Cliffs of Moher

What we did:

  • Dunguaire Castle
  • Poulnabrone dolmen
  • Cliffs of Moher 
  • Loop Head Lighthouse (option 1)
  • Shannon Ferry from Killimer to Tarbert (option 1)

Option 2: I would recommend going from the Cliffs through Limerick- Adare- down to Killarney.  Pass on the lighthouse. It was one-hour out of the way, and even though it was neat, the light-house itself wasn’t so impressive that it was worth stopping at, on an already busy day.

Where we Stayed: Gleneagle Hotel  (don’t recommend)// The Brehon or The Ross Hotel looked nice.

Where we ate: We literally have been driving for almost 10 hours so at this point we were so exhausted and just ordered room service since we were here two nights. So boring, I know.

Day 4: Killarney- Ring of Kerry

Beautiful Ireland CastleRing of Kerry was the most magical part of our trip. 

Two days just wasn’t enough. I feel like 4 days would be ideal. I would even stay an extra day right on the coast if you can! We stopped in a cute town called Waterville for lunch at the Sea Lodge Hotel (ended up being Ryan’s favorite meal while we were there). It is the cutest boutique hotel and has water views.

What we did:

  • Ladies View
  • Molls Gap
  • Caherdaniel/ Scarriff’s Inn *Oddly this place did not have a viewing point stop on the map but yet was our favorite view! In gps type “Scarriff Inn”. Or just stay at the Scarriff Inn
  • Derrynane House & Abbey
  • Gap of Dunloe

The next morning before heading out of town:

Torc Waterfall in Killarney

Where we Stayed: Gleneagle Hotel  (don’t recommend)// The Brehon or The Ross Hotel looked nice.

Where we ate: Sea Lodge Waterville for lunch then Robertinos Italian for dinner.

Day 5: Killarney to Kilkenny

Kilkenny Castle

What we did: So Kilkenny is really known for the “Kilkenny Castle” (was absolutely beautiful) but besides that there wasn’t much to do… I would recommend spending the morning in Killarney, then stopping at the castle in the afternoon. We ended up staying in Kilkenny for the night but you could drive down to Dublin and stay there if wanted.

Where we Stayed: Mena House B&B

Where we ate: Zuni Restaurant & Boutique Hotel

Day 6: Dublin (part 2)

With a short 1 hour 20 minute drive we left Kilkenny and headed back to Dublin. Returned our rental car, checked into our hotel, and explored Dublin again.

Dublin ChurchTemple BarGunniness Storehouse

What we did:

  • Walked through Temple Bar
  • Christ Church Cathedral then next door to Dublinia
  • St. Patrick’s Catherdral (we actually skipped this, but highly recommended)
  • Guinness Storehouse Tour (this is a must!!)

Where we Stayed: Academy Plaza 

_________________________________________

{Overall} Ireland is an absolute beauty! I can honestly say in my 20-ish years of travel, it was top 3 most beautiful place I have ever been.

If this post or these pictures have inspired you to add to your bucket-list,  I think it can be budget friendly, or made into a luxury trip. We ended up spending $3300-ish total for the both of us with flight, car rental, hotel, and food, but I feel if you stayed at more B & B or hostels it could definitely be manageable and even less expensive.  (Also disclaimer **we ended up finding amazing flight tickets for right under $500 — that will have to be another blog post though).

If you think its a place you want to visit or have questions, feel free to e-mail me at wavesofm@gmail.com and Ill gladly help you plan! 

xo- M

Gunniness Storehouse

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14 Comments

  1. Ashley DTKAustin
    October 19, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    Ireland is one of my absolute favorite places in the world!! Your pics make me want to go back!

  2. October 19, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    This looks stunning! This is definitely one of my top 5 places around the world I want to visit! Definitely Bookmarking this!

  3. October 20, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    I want to go to Ireland so bad!! It’s on my travel wishlist.

  4. Laura Angelone
    October 20, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    I am dying to visit Dublin I have heard so many great things about it!
    You’re very lucky, these pictures are such a cool memory!

    xx

    Laura

  5. October 20, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Ireland looks so beautiful. I live in London, UK, so Ireland is not that far from me, but I’ve never been! Happy anniversary to you both.

  6. Stuart Brazell
    October 21, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    Adding this to my bucket list!!

  7. October 22, 2017 / 3:37 am

    All the photos look so amazing! Now I want to go to Ireland!

  8. October 22, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    These photos are absolutely gorgeous! I have always wanted to go to Ireland. You just moved it even further up on my bucket list.

  9. October 23, 2017 / 1:18 am

    This place is stunning! Love your pics

  10. October 26, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Wow! Ireland is beautiful and your pictures are beautiful!! I hope to visit one day!

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