By Seth Fera-Schanes
One advantage of living in NYC becomes apparent if you want to take a quick trip across the Atlantic. Direct flights from the tristate area to Dublin come in at just under 6 hours. If you were so inclined, you could make a long weekend trip with some friends, visit a few pubs, meet locals and head right back to the office a few days later.
However, I have been told that when visiting Ireland, I must get out of the cities and into the countryside. And that is exactly what I did.
I planned my trip as follows:
2 nights in Dublin, 2 nights in Galway and 2 nights in Corks. I would end in Dublin for one last night and leave for the states the next morning.
1 day (inclusive of travel time) would be spent exploring each city and one full day would be dedicated to a scenic adventure.
Arrive 8:30am local time. Whether you can sleep on a plane or not, great ready to explore. Drop your bags off, enjoy any version of Irish breakfast you have been craving (the full deal with eggs, sausage, black pudding, etc. or try porridge or scones or baked beans and toast. The list goes on.)
I had booked a tour at the Guinness Storehouse and the Book of Kells at Trinity College in advance for my first day city activities. If you are on holiday, drinking (or more appropriately sampling local products) at all hours of the day is perfectly acceptable.
A day adventure to Wicklow is filled with rolling hills, beautiful countryside, caves, sheep and if you go in March, little lamps. Easily a full day outing that can be experienced by car or any number of local tour companies that will also provide nice commentary and historical information as you go.
Located on the west coast of Ireland and a direct 2.5 hour (12 euro) train ride from Dublin. Galway is a town of around 85,000, half of which are college students. Easily walkable, you can spend the day wandering along the river watching people fly fishing or in the event of a downpour, simply hop on the local tour bus for an hour ride around town filled with lots of history.
Cliffs of Moher:
There are so many outdoor options in western Ireland. People who have been will tell you to visit Dingle, bike ride on the Aran Islands or hike in Connemara National Park. I wanted to do them all but 7 days means you need to edit your choices. I opted for Cliffs of Moher which didn’t disappoint. Stunning views of the Atlantic and depending on the time of year different colonies of sea birds nesting on the cliffs.
I enjoyed walking around Cork. A river runs through the city, there are plenty of park, nice side streets and a personal favorite was The English Market.
The southeast of Ireland also has no shortage of activities and adventure. You can visit the Jameson distillery or head to the coast at Cobh or Kinsale. You can also head back west to Killarney National Park. The options are almost overwhelming. I settled on Blarney (which is a 1/2 hour local bus ride and for 2.70 euro one way quite a deal.) The 600 year old castle is nice (and yes, I kissed the Blarney Stone.) The surrounding grounds which include a poison garden, fern garden, lake, fields and other picturesque settings made it a perfect spot.
Ireland gets a high Full Access recommendation for anyone looking for their next holiday location. I will be going back.
Categories: Escape from New York: Extended Travel