For our short time in Ireland, we decided to take a tour by Brendan Vacations (the Irish Jaunt) rather than plan our own vacation itinerary. While we love the freedom to do anything we chose with a do-it-yourself vacation and the lower price tag that usually comes with it, the ease that came with our Brendan Vacation was hard to beat! While the tour we took is no longer available (at least I couldn’t find it on their website), here is how we made the most of our 4 full days in Ireland!
Day 1: Dublin
Our first day in Dublin was full of jet leg, we didn’t have the time or the energy to do everything we would have liked to do in Dublin. That being said, we were still able to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral and wander the courtyards at Trinity College. Trinity College is the home of the 8th century Book of Kells! The Book of Kells is an artistic wonder. It was created over 1,200 years ago and illustrates the 4 gospels of the Christian Bible in medieval fashion. At the end of the day we had drinks with the rest of the people on our tour who we would later explore Killarney and Limerick with!
If we had more time in Dublin we would have loved to visit the Guinness Storehouse. Others in our group went and learned the proper way to poor the perfect glass of Guinness from the tap!
Day 2: Dublin -> Blarney -> Killarney
We left Dublin, made a pit stop for coffee in Cashel before heading to Blarney Castle. Blarney Castle is home to the infamous Blarney Stone. Kissing the stone gives anyone the gift of eloquence or never being at a loss for words. Read our post on Blarney Castle here!
We ended our day in Killarney leaving plenty of time to explore and hit the pubs to try true Irish Guinness and my new favorite Bulmers, an Irish cider!
Day 3: The Ring of Kerry
For our third day we started and ended in Killarney. Our bus took us around the Ring of Kerry stopping occasionally for photo ops along the way.
Next we stopped at Killarney National Park. The park is 26,000 acres (or ~40 square miles) so there was no way we could see everything in such a short time. However we were able to see the Muckross House and gardens. The house was owned by the wealthy someone and someone Herbert and they originally started the gardens in preparation for the a visit from Queen Victoria. Another highlight from Killarney National Park was the almost 80 feet tall Torc Waterfall.
Back in Killarney, we went to dinner at Molly Darcy’s Pub and Restaurant and got to see some traditional Irish barrel dancing while we ate!
Day 4: Killarney-> Cliffs of Moher -> Limerick
For our last full day in Ireland, we went to the Cliffs of Moher, which were simply gorgeous. There are paths to walk along the cliffs that are easily accessible as well as an information center with a restaurant close by. Even if you don’t know the cliffs by name, many people will recognize them from the movies Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince or the Princess Bride!
We stayed in Limerick for our last night, eating dinner downtown then enjoying the night life with friends we met in our tour group.
We flew home on our fifth day in Ireland. Although we weren’t in Ireland for very long, we were very happy with all the things were were able to fit into such a short time. We can’t wait to visit again, hopefully with a little more time!