This article is a general overview of the blog trilogy on this website about a romantic round trip of 9-16 days through the southern half of Ireland. Why should you visit Ireland? Northern or southern Ireland? How to get around? Tips about transportation, costs, best time to go, etc.
“If Ireland would be less rainy, I would seriously consider to move here.”
This is something I have said countless times over the past decade or so. And I meant it. The good thing is: the rain keeps this country lush green. I have visited Ireland three times now, and I simply cannot get enough of it! So beautiful.
What makes Ireland worth visiting?
I guess that is different for everybody, but for me I’d say: people, nature and atmosphere. It’s brilliant there people, believe me. I love the cozy atmosphere and live music in the Irish pubs. I love the friendly Irish people. And it’s so beautiful!! Peaceful on the countryside and full of live in the cities and towns. What a treasure.
This Enchanting Ireland round trip is described in a blog post trilogy, consisting of three parts:
To give you an overview, please find a mobile friendly map with all highlights at the bottom of each blog post including this one.
North or South?
I have been to both the northen half and the southern half of Ireland, with a slight preference for the south and west. This because of the weather, particular sights and routes. In about 9 days you can see a bunch of highlights of southwest Ireland:
For sure a 9-day roundtrip will be too short, but hey, you will want to go back anyway, you need to start somewhere, right?! Depending on your interests, you could trade Cork for the Wicklow Mountains or Kilkenny.
If you do have some more time, let’s say 10 to 16 days, you can add one or more of the optional extras mentioned in this blog post trilogy:
How to get to & around Ireland
Obviously, since Ireland is an island you will first have to take a flight to one of the international airports, most likely Dublin, Cork or Shannon. Skyscanner is a great tool to check flight possibilities and prices.
Alternatively, take a ferry to one of the eastern ports of Ireland.
Rent a car (or bring your own by ferry) and simply drive around to have the most freedom and flexibility during your visit to Ireland. Be aware: in Ireland they drive on the left side of the road, so better rent a car with automatic transmission if you are not used to that. I love Sunny Cars as there is never a hassle with their very affordable all-inclusive car rental.
For those not brave enough to rent a car (no judgement!!) or too tired to drive around yourself, a guided tour can be a great alternative. The guide will tell you interesting things you will otherwise not hear. For suggestions please check out below and explore the many activities possible.
Getting around Dublin
First of all: make sure you only pick up your rental car once you are getting out of Dublin and/or drop off your rental car before doing into the city. This to avoid high parking costs in Dublin. From Dublin airport you can easily take the Air Link Express Service (bus) to the city centre, a single ride costs EUR 7.
Tired, not in the mood or unable to do a lot of walking? Rainy day? Got accommodation not on walking distance of the city centre? I would suggest to get yourself:
- Leap Visitor Card to use Dublin’s public transport for 1, 3 or 7 days, or
- Dublin Freedom Pass or DoDublin Card different name but same principle: valid for 72 hours from first use; handy transport and sightseeing pass including the Air Link Express Service and central Dublin bus travel, plus an award winning DoDublin hop-on hop-off city tour.
When to go
Well, let’s be honest, Ireland would never be this green if it would not rain often enough. However, there are plenty of sunny days too, especially in the south. Last time I was there it was late April till early May and 8 out of 9 days I had sunny weather, only on one day it rained!
Ireland is in my humble opinion an excellent summer-ish destination. Just try to avoid the school holidays if you want to experience the real tranquility of Ireland, as pretty much anywhere nowadays. The Fall (late September, October) can also be beautiful in Ireland, with the leaves of the trees that turn into all kinds of gorgeous orange and brown shades.
Tip: If you like attending local festivities, try Saint Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated every year on March 17. For sure it will be busy in for example Dublin around St. Patty’s Day, so better book accommodation in time.
What it costs
We paid less than 350 euro for two return flight tickets Amsterdam to Dublin including a decent rental car for 9 days (combo deal Aer Lingus). Check Skyscanner for all flight possibilities and prices.
B&B prices in Ireland usually range between 80 and 120 euro per night, but higher in Dublin (count on at least € 150 per night per room) and at hotels throughout the country. We tried Airbnb a few times but did not like it.
Food and beverage prices are pretty average in Ireland compared to other West European countries.
Conclusion: for app. 600 euro per person you can enjoy Ireland for 9 days including charming B&B accommodations, car rental and return flight, excluding food, drinks, gas, public transport and entrance fees.
Go go goooo
I truly hope that this Enchanting Ireland blog post trilogy will inspire you to visit Ireland. To see all the natural beauty and experience the friendly atmosphere in real-life. This country is such a true treasure, it has a special place in my heart. Ireland deserves all the love and appreciation it can get.
Have you read all three specific blogs posts on this Enchanted Ireland round trip yet? If not, go check them out:
This map simply shows the main stops of this roundtrip through the southern part of Ireland. If you want you can copy it via Google Drive so you can use it on your smartphone or tablet via Google Maps. The thee articles of this blog trilogy will include more specific maps of each area described.
What do you think of Ireland? Have you been there? Or planning to visit Ireland soon? Please feel free to share your tips or leave a comment or question below.
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