MUST-SEE AND DO THINGS FOR ANY ROAD TRIP IN IRELAND
Alright, I don't need to tell you, Ireland is one gorgeous country. Sweeping landscapes, jagged rock, lush and flowing greenery are all hallmarks of Ireland. With 7 days to work with, I had to decide where we were going to go and what we were going to do. Trip planning is always an exciting time but also a pain too. So many decisions and where do you even start? Our trip through what I'm calling southern Ireland was stunningly beautiful not only in landscapes, but also in its culture, people, wildlife and food. If I had to pick, these are my top reasons why you have to plan an Ireland road trip.There are so many good reasons but if I were to pick my favourite reasons why I loved our road trip around the southern part of Ireland and why I'd go back, it'd be these!I kind of needed to start here right? I mean geebus it's freaking incredible. Yes I'm a Star Wars fan and yes I totally brought a mini lightsaber and YES I totally dueled a kid while I was there, but it's so much more than that. You get on a boat in Portmagee, and you're out in the middle of the ocean where these two giant islands jut out of the water. The first one, aptly named Little Skellig looks completely white and you think it's just a really white island and that's when you see ALL the birds. Past that, you have Skellig Michael which is the sanctuary ecosystem for so many unique species of birds including the puffin. I almost forgot about the monastery when we first got off our boat. June is the perfect time to see tens of thousands of puffins and their babies.The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland's most unique and spectacular archaeological sites. It is legitimately a Castle On A Hill.Found on a prominent green hill, banded with limestone outcrops, rising from a grassy plain and bristling with ancient fortifications, this was the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster hundres of years prior to the Norman Invasion. This picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Most of the structure is intact. Ireland at its wildest can be found in this picturesque loop at the heart of County Kerry. This 179 kilometer circuit of this peninsula is perfect for driving with the road that winds past pristine beaches, medieval ruins, mountains, lakes, and views of the island-dotted Atlantic.This is the same Ring of Kerry where you’ll get access to the Skellig Michael.This loops starts in Killarney, and its recommended that you drive counter-clockwise because officially all big coach buses have to go this way. Now while everyone warned us that these roads would be hard to drive, we didn’t find it too bad but that might be perhaps we were always on a whacky time schedule because we started late and ended late. Along the way, I highly recommend that you stop along the many small towns and You can easily do the full loop in one day BUT you’ll have to be a bit creative with your itinerary if you want to do Skellig Michael because that often starts in the morning and departs from Portmagee which is about midway through the loop. Also don’t miss Valentia Island which has gorgeous views of the landscape and its towns. There’s also Kerry Cliffs which most guidebooks don’t seem to talk about but is well worth the view. It’s a brother to Cliffs of Moher but I loved it there because there are way less tourists there and you get this wild collection of jagged rock and dramatic cliff drops from the several viewpoints that are available. To round things out you have Molls Gap and Ladies View. How you do this drive is up to you and depending on the time, stop where you please and continue onwards if you’re short on time.Perhaps the biggest surprise of the trip for me was the entirety of the Dingle peninsula. This may be a little less famous than its cousin, the Ring of Kerry, but it is equally, if not more charming and beautiful. It’s a place where land meets ocean, the sharp rocks jut out of the water, tiny settlements are spread all over, and sandy coves appear once in awhile. Here you’ll also find an ancient landscape of ring forts, beehive huts, early Christian chapels, picturesque hamlets and abandoned villages.