8 Day Eire Tour (Highlights) + Evaluation of Globus Journey

Sponsored by Globus Journeys

20 years in the past, I lived in Dublin for 12-months with Caroline not lengthy after we acquired married, and to today the yr 2003 holds a few of our most cherished life and journey recollections. My latest 8-day Eire tour introduced these recollections flooding again!

Man standing on a cliff overlooking a beach in Ireland
Stunning Achill Island on the west coast of Eire

Eire, it is perhaps a small island, nevertheless it packs a giant punch with wealthy historical past, breathtaking landscapes, pubs on each road, and welcoming individuals whose major focus is being pleasant and having good craic (That’s Irish for an excellent time).

I fell in love with the Irish tradition and its wealthy historical past, the rugged shoreline, the colourful cities and small cities, the castles, and the inexperienced rolling countryside. It’s referred to as The Emerald Isle for a cause!

Residing in Eire is once I acquired the style of Guinness (nonetheless my favourite beer) and my love of Irish pubs – in my view, Eire and the UK has the most effective pub scene on this planet bar none!

A man sitting in a pub with a pint of Guinness in front of him
Having fun with a pint of Guinness in Dublin

As for meals, I wouldn’t classify Eire as a foodie vacation spot, however I really like the great hearty meals Eire dishes up. Just a few of my favourite dishes like Beef & Guinness Stew, Cod n’ Chips, and conventional Irish Soda Bread – you simply need to attempt it with Irish butter!

It’s exhausting to consider it took me 20 years to make a return journey to Eire. If you happen to had of advised me in 2003 that it will be as a result of my very own journey publication in partnership with one of many largest tour corporations on this planet, Globus, I might have stated, “good story, now get to the bar and purchase me a Guinness!”

stunning green scenery of aran islands
The Aran Islands have been a spotlight

The one destructive of this Eire journey is that Caroline couldn’t be part of me, staying dwelling with our two daughters in Raleigh, North Carolina, however she beforehand did a unbelievable tour of Jordan with Globus.

I’ve seen first-hand how widespread Eire tourism is, particularly for Individuals whom we’d usually meet touring round Eire chasing their ancestral historical past.

My tour of Eire with Globus in September was an 8-day tour referred to as Green With Envy, ranging from and returning to Dublin. It lined a pleasant combine high cities together with Dublin and Galway, smaller cities like Westport, plus historical past, tradition, the addictive pub scene, and the rugged shoreline alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner!

People outside a pub in Dublin
The Oliver St. John Gogarty Pub, Temple Bar, Dublin

Beneath I share my highlights, feedback, and pictures from that tour, together with a drink in Eire’s oldest pub, standing on a dramatic cliff face 330 ft above the Atlantic, and having fun with loads of good Craic with the locals.

If you happen to’re enthusiastic about a tour of Eire with all of the enjoyable, and not one of the problem, include me as a take you on a tour with Globus, and study why I loved my first ever group tour that you would be able to replicate! 

About Globus Journeys

Tour bus on the road with ocean in background
On the street with Globus on the west coast of Eire

Globus is among the largest tour corporations on this planet, they usually assist journey lovers such as you expertise international locations in a means that most accurately fits your type!

After 90-plus years in enterprise, they’re consultants on group journey. They know learn how to get probably the most out of a vacation spot inside a set time frame and supply a variety of tour choices and worth factors to swimsuit any style.

Group of people getting photo taken in front of a gate with the words Guinness on it
Our Globus Tour group on the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

Most of my travels the previous 20-years have been unbiased, both touring solo, with mates, as a pair with Caroline, or touring as a household of 4. Sure, I’ve achieved day journeys with teams right here and there, however by no means an 8-day organized tour like this on a giant tour bus!

I need to admit, my preliminary considered spending so many days with a big group and the construction of a tour didn’t thrill me as I’ve been used to a lot freedom! 

I’m not delinquent by any means, I simply don’t like an excessive amount of construction and like flexibility. You hear of excursions the place they’re continuously checking out and in of inns, or they spend the entire time driving within the tour bus. I used to be involved a bunch tour may stifle me!

Group of friends enjoying a beer in a pub in Dublin
With journey mates Jon and Lina & Dave in The Stags Head, Dublin

However I understand how time consuming, overwhelming, and anxious unbiased journey might be to plan and e-book, like our latest 2-week household journey to London together with Oxford and Bathtub which took MONTHS to arrange! One of the crucial anxious issues about touring as a household is determining the place to eat three meals a day, and learn how to construction every day with actions!

So the thought of simply turning up in Eire and having all of the logistics taken care of for me, seemed like a refreshing change and shortly grew on me! 

Seems, I had nothing to fret about. I actually preferred the tempo and circulate of this tour. By no means too rushed, and we took within the main locations and points of interest, with loads of free time for unbiased exploration.

People walking down a city street surrounded by shops
Exploring Galway with Tour Director Helen (pink coat)

Some days have been extra structured than others, however I appreciated the quite a few alternatives of free time to go off and discover by myself. And once I didn’t know what to do with my spare time, our professional Globus Tour Director Helen, an Irish native, supplied nice recommendations (extra on her quickly).

Introducing CHOICE TOURING!

One of many main advantages of touring with Globus is their idea of Choice Touring. After we visited Dublin, Galway and Westport they gave me the choice to select from three actions based mostly on my pursuits so I wasn’t with the entire group the complete time.

Man sitting on grass overlooking a rock formation and ocean
Taking in the fantastic thing about Achill Island

However these exercise selections have been nonetheless organized by Globus, and have been included within the general tour bundle worth, win-win!

I appreciated this type of touring, and I believe you’ll too. You get an excellent mixture of every part being structured as a complete group, with choose actions extra suited to particular person pursuits! 

I’m not conscious of different Eire bus excursions providing this, and the most effective itinerary is a versatile itinerary!

Advantages of this Globus Tour!

Group of people on a walking tour
Helen, our Globus Tour Director (on the best)

I discussed Helen, our wonderful Tour Director and native professional who was pleasant, approachable, affected person and a wealth of data. 

She shared fascinating insights and tales throughout our tour of Eire and the historical past behind the locations we visited, organized our attraction tickets, checked us in at inns, booked our meals, and made positive everybody was on time. Everybody wants a Helen on their travels! 

I appreciated that our Tour Director was a local of Eire, spoke Irish, and will share her private tales rising up on the Emerald Isle!

Having the logistics taken care of by Globus (and Helen) is tough to understate. They make touring straightforward. They will even aid you e-book your flights!

My largest duties every day was merely turning up on time and deciding what number of Guinness and Irish coffees to devour. It’s not straightforward, of us! What would you select?

People looking out a window on a bus
Looking the massive home windows of our tour bus

Listed here are another advantages on this tour:

  • Comfort. All I selected to handle was my flights, they did the remaining and made journey straightforward!
  • 8 days is an effective size of time. Eire is just not a giant nation, nevertheless it provides loads and this Eire tour did an excellent job of protecting the highest highlights, plus lesser-known locations (you’ll be able to all the time add on additional time earlier than or after).
  • I didn’t need to drive (or navigate). I’m often the one behind the wheel on our household travels, so can usually miss seeing the websites alongside the journey. It was so good having the ability to sit again and loosen up, and never having to fret about consuming a pint of Guinness, or a whiskey at lunch after which legally having the ability to drive. Our bus driver, Jurgen, did a unbelievable job of getting us safely round!
  • NOTE: I grew up driving on the left aspect of the street in Australia (as they do in Eire), so in the event you’re from the US and this considerations you, Jurgen is your man!
  • Huge home windows and comfortable seats to soak up all of the surroundings from our comfy coach.
  • Stayed in hand-selected, brand-name inns.
Row of colorful buildings in the Irish town of Athlone
Wandering the streets of Athlone
  • I wasn’t rushed taking pictures. There’s a statistic that the typical time spent on the Grand Canyon is 15-minutes. I felt we had loads of time on the iconic spots just like the Cliffs of Moher and Kylemore Abbey and so forth. I’ll have been final on the bus a number of instances although, sorry Helen!
  • Bond with new journey buddies. Exploring with like minded individuals provides to the expertise, and sharing the day’s tales over a pint or meal is a enjoyable method to recap the day!
  • Most meals are taken care of. As I discussed, that is such a time suck to plan when doing unbiased journey. On this journey we had 14 meals booked, together with 5 dinners, 7 breakfasts, and a couple of lunches included. 

Arriving in Dublin (early)

Students outside of the entrance gate to Trinity College in Dublin
Trinity Faculty in Dublin

Due to the variety of delayed flights occurring as a result of hangover of the pandemic, I made a decision to reach in Dublin two days earlier than the beginning of my tour to present myself respiration room in case of flight delays or cancellations (which occurred to a number of different tour friends).

You don’t wish to miss the beginning of your tour, this isn’t unbiased journey the place you’ll be able to delay your rental automotive, there’s a bus load of different tour friends leaving at a predetermined time!

Lady walking on the sidewalk in front of a row of townhomes
Exploring Merrion Sq. in Dublin

I stay in Raleigh, North Carolina and took a brief flight to Washington DC, then flew instantly from D.C. to Dublin on Aer Lingus.

In case you are flying internationally, I extremely suggest you give your self an additional day up your sleeve, you don’t wish to begin your dream journey to Eire confused and in a state of panic!

In a single day on the Gibson Lodge (2 nights)

A bus parked out the front of a hotel
The Gibson Lodge

Our pre-tour resort in Dublin was the Gibson Hotel situated within the coronary heart of the Docklands and proper beside the 3arena (main leisure venue).

As I highlighted, the good thing about doing a Globus Tour is comfort, and that began with a non-public airport switch from Dublin Airport to the resort, which I gladly appreciated after my sleepless in a single day flight from DC in not having to fiddle with public transport.

The trendy options of the Gibson resort, the great scorching bathe and comfortable mattress served me effectively after my 7-hour flight and the new buffet breakfast fueled me properly every day. 

A bed inside a hotel room
My room on the Gibson Lodge

I wish to stroll as a lot as I can, it’s one of the best ways to discover a metropolis and I loved my 30-minute stroll (1.6 miles) alongside the River Liffey into the town heart from the resort and located an incredible espresso store enroute. 

However in the event you don’t wish to stroll that far, the Luas (mild rail system in Dublin) is true outdoors the entrance door of the resort. The Level Station is the final cease on the Pink Line. Ticket machines are situated at each cease and a single return ticket is €3.00.

A light rail passing by people and a college in Dublin
Luas passing by Trinity Faculty

Alternatively, there are over 100 bus routes in Dublin so regardless of the place your resort is situated, you’re near public transport.

2 Days in Dublin (pre-tour)

Bus passing by a large church
Christ Church Cathedral

As a result of I flew in two days early, I had loads of time to discover Dublin at my very own leisure earlier than becoming a member of my tour group. It is a nice method to incorporate extra unbiased journey into a bunch scenario, both originally or finish, or each!

Fortunately, I used to be in a position to check-in to my resort room early after my 8.30am arrival from DC, took a bathe, acquired modified, then headed for the town heart. 

There are many issues to do in Dublin and it’s a simple metropolis to get round. A lot of the high Dublin points of interest are inside strolling distance of one another. And naturally, the hop-on-hop-off bus is a well-liked method to see the websites.

Stroll alongside the River Liffey (+ Espresso)

view of the river liffey
The River Liffey

The River Liffey passes via the middle of Dublin and separates the Northside from the Southside, and most factors of curiosity are on the southside!

Espresso virtually all the time comes first for me today, however because it’s been 20-years between visits I didn’t know what to anticipate. After a fast search on-line, I preferred the sound of Shoe Lane Coffee on Tara road which was enroute from the resort and only a 5-minute stroll from Trinity Faculty.

Cup of coffee and people in a cafe
Good lattes at Shoe Stone Lane

It’s a small, cozy espresso store and my latte was truly actually good. I pulled up a stool on the window to individuals watch, began to really feel alive once more, and it lastly hit me that I used to be again in Dublin!

Trinity Faculty

Bikes leaning against a chain fence with a belltower in the background
Essential quad in Trinity Faculty

From right here I took a stroll across the grounds of Trinity College, Eire’s oldest and well-known College. Its alumni embody among the nation’s most esteemed authors and poets.

The cobblestone streets transport you to the 18th century when the magnificent outdated Library Constructing was constructed. It’s a pleasing escape from the mad rush of the town that lies past its partitions. You should definitely take a photograph in entrance of the well-known Trinity Bell.

Sadly, I couldn’t go contained in the outdated library and see the Book of Kells as tickets have been offered out for the day, however I’ve visited earlier than and extremely suggest it. E book your guided tour upfront. 

Lunch at The Stags Head

Two men standing outside a pub drinking

From Trinity I took a brief 5-minute stroll to The Stags Head, an outdated Victorian pub with wrought-iron chandeliers, polished granite and loads of appeal. It’s one in all my favourite pubs in Dublin from once I lived there.

You’ll discover a mixture of locals and guests right here having fun with a true Dublin pub expertise.

Contemplating I’d solely had one hour’s sleep, I hesitated at shopping for a beer and initially centered on filling up with a hearty Beef & Guinness Stew (which might be my first of MANY on this journey). 

People sitting in a pub drinking and eating
Cozy, historic pub

However how may I resist a pint of Guinness (the “black stuff”) and my favourite beer? I reminded myself I used to be on trip, and it had been a LONG time between pints. In case you don’t know, there’s nowhere like consuming Guinness than in its dwelling of Dublin, it simply tastes higher – a examine claims to scientifically show that Guinness doesn’t journey effectively, and the freshest Guinness is the best-tasting Guinness!

Lunch, and my Guinness, didn’t disappoint and was the perk up I wanted. If you happen to like Oysters, The Stags Head does a unbelievable Guinness + Oysters combo and take it from me, they go effectively collectively!

Grafton Road 

People walking down a pedestrian street in Dublin
Bustling buying road

Tummy full, I strolled up Grafton Road. This pedestrian road is the principal buying road on the southside of Dublin lined with boutique shops, cafes, eating places and buskers. On the high of the road (south finish) you’ll run into lovely St Stephen’s Inexperienced.

It’s a road I used to stroll alongside day by day when residing in Dublin on my method to work on the Westin Lodge. Nothing a lot has modified, it’s nonetheless a bustling thoroughfare!

Merrion Sq.

Row of townhomes around a city square
Georgian structure

Persevering with to stretch my legs, I headed in direction of Merrion Sq. through the outskirts of St Stephen’s Inexperienced (which I might return to the subsequent morning).

That is one in all Dublin’s lovely Georgian squares surrounded by traditionally essential buildings. On three sides are Georgian homes, predominantly used as places of work and have plaques detailing the wealthy and well-known who lived in them. Oscar Wilde lived at #1 and is honored by a state within the park right here.

The homes of the Irish Authorities, the Natural History Museum and National Gallery of Ireland additionally sit alongside the sq.. I really like all of the colourful Georgian entrance doorways to the buildings, and If you happen to’re trying to see Dublin structure at its most interesting, go right here. 

Temple Bar District 

People outside a pub in Dublin
The Temple Bar

It was early night now, so I headed in direction of the well-known and touristy Temple Bar District. This district thrives each day and night time with pubs, stay music, road performers, eating places, markets, exhibitions, theaters and extra.

One of the best-known pub is the namesake, The Temple Bar, simply acknowledged by its pink exterior, fairy lights and hanging baskets. Different widespread pubs right here embody the Quays Bar and Oliver St. John Gogarty’s (the place Caroline as soon as labored!).

Row of pubs and people walking down the street
Quays Bar

The entire pubs have stay music and have a tendency to get crowded. I loved just a few pints in Quays Bar which was completely rocking with music and singing. If I didn’t know I used to be in Dublin by now, this sealed it.

8 Day Eire Tour (Inexperienced With Envy)

Able to discover Eire? Comply with me as we style Whiskey, sip on Irish coffees and Guinness, uncover the pure magnificence, stroll on historical lands, and get wild on the Wild Atlantic Manner!

Day 1 (welcome dinner)

People sitting on park benches under a tree
St Stephens Inexperienced

I nonetheless had almost a full-day free in Dublin earlier than our welcome tour dinner that night. And after catching up on some sleep, my second day in Dublin began like the primary. An enormous breakfast, a stroll alongside the Liffey, and again for extra espresso at Shoe Lane!

Fueled up, I wandered via St Stephens Inexperienced with mates Dave & Lina. That is the biggest of the Georgian Sq. parks which was one in all my favourite locations to go to in Dublin to sit down and loosen up when residing there.

Pathway between a row of trees in a park
Path via St Stephens Inexperienced

It’s widespread with visiting vacationers, college students and staff taking a break from a busy day on the workplace.

One other stroll down reminiscence lane was going for lunch at The Brazen Head, Dublin’s oldest pub that dates again to the 1100’s and the place I celebrated my 30th birthday again in 2003.

Man standing outside the entrance to a pub with two wine barrels
Exterior The Brazen Head

A must-visit pub for historical past lovers and people on the lookout for conventional pub meals resembling Bangers & Mash, genuine decor, and a glance into Eire’s pub tradition. It’s additionally a great spot to attempt an Irish espresso! 

People sitting in a beer garden at a pub
Cobblestone beer backyard space

Welcome Dinner

It was time to satisfy our Globus Tour Director Helen, who I’ll elaborate extra on later, and have our welcome dinner.

Whenever you do that Green With Envy Tour, your welcome dinner location shall be completely different, most likely at your resort, whereas ours was on the Roe & Co Distillery

Apart from Guinness, Eire is known for that different beverage, Irish Whiskey, and we had a enjoyable night tasting and making Whiskey cocktails adopted by a scrumptious meal.

If you happen to love Whiskey and have free time in Dublin, I like to recommend you’re taking a tour to study concerning the historical past of the distillery and the distilling course of. See extra concerning the Roe & Co Distillery Cocktail Workshop here. Or mix your go to with a tour of three of Dublin’s top distilleries.

Day 2 (Dublin > Kilbeggan > Athlone > Westport)

Exterior of a Whiskey distillery and street running past
Kilbeggan Distillery

In the present day was the day to hit the street on our Eire tour. It was a refreshing change to know that each one I needed to do was get myself downstairs to breakfast within the resort, then outdoors to the bus. 

One of many different advantages of touring with Globus is they even gather your baggage out of your room and cargo it onto the bus. Speak about comfort!

Guided tour of Kilbeggan Distillery

Lady behind a bar and three bottles of Whiskey
Our tour information at Kilbeggan

Simply over an hour’s drive west of Dublin introduced us to Kilbeggan, an Irish Whiskey distillery located on the River Brosna in County Westmeath.

Established in 1757, it’s the oldest licensed distillery in Eire and through some robust instances the city got here collectively to avoid wasting the distillery that constructed the city they usually’ve been making Whiskey ever since!

People standing around a room on a Whiskey tour
Our Globus crew

Being the Irish means, it wasn’t but noon and we have been already tasting whiskey as we explored the historical past of the distillery studying concerning the households that owned it and the way it’s made.

Man standing against a wall holding a glass of Whiskey
Morning Whiskey tastings, the Irish means!

Kilbeggan Whiskey is distilled twice as a substitute of thrice like different Irish Whiskeys, then aged in ex-bourbon casks for no less than 4 years. This course of preserves extra of its wealthy flavors, leading to a taste profile with extra character than different whiskeys.

Discover Athlone

Building and boats sit along the edge of a River in Ireland
Athlone sits on the River Shannon

A brief 30-minute drive on and we have been in Athlone, a city situated in central Eire and constructed on the banks of the River Shannon. 

With a brief quantity of free time, I loved stretching my legs strolling round city, looking on the twelfth century Athlone Castle, wandering some again streets, and taking within the sights of the river.

Seans Bar

Man standing in the door entrance to a pub
Entrance to Seans Bar

Athlone has tons of historical past, together with being dwelling to Eire’s oldest pub, Seans, that dates again just some years to 900 AD (not a typo). Throughout renovations in 1970, the partitions of the bar have been discovered to be made from “wattle and wicker” relationship again to the ninth century.

Strolling via the door into the pub with its low ceiling and low mild, you immediately sense the historical past and character. We have been handled to an enchanting speak concerning the pub as we sipped on an Irish Espresso, the start of an virtually day by day incidence with no complaints from me!

People sitting around a pub drinking
Irish Coffees all spherical

It could be two months since this Eire bus tour has ended, however I nonetheless discover myself saying in my head, “Helen, when are we stopping for our day by day Irish espresso?

If you happen to’ve by no means had an Irish Espresso, why not begin right here in probably the oldest pub on this planet (the Guinness E book of Data is but to search out one older). 

Man standing up with a coffee in hand
Having fun with this Irish Espresso

In case you don’t know, the substances of an Irish Espresso are whiskey, scorching espresso, brown sugar, and heavy cream flippantly whipped on high. I try to make Irish coffees at dwelling however can by no means get the cream to sit down on high – the key is the brown sugar to assist the cream float.

Glass of Irish coffee
Caffeine + Whiskey + Cream, okay.

Not too long ago, Sean’s has grow to be well-known for its personal whiskey. Throughout their analysis, it was found that the very origin of distilling started round Athlone within the sixth century. I look ahead to going again to Sean’s for a glass of whiskey, and naturally, a pint of Guinness!

Lunch at The Bailey Bar & Lounge

Roast beef and vegetables on a plate
Prime Roast Rib of Irish Hereford Beef + Yorkshire Pudding

We completed off our time in Athlone with lunch at The Bailey, which provides a wide selection of typical Irish pub meals. My Prime Roast Rib of Irish Hereford Beef with Yorkshire Pudding tasted pretty much as good because it seems and paired completely with a pint of the “black stuff”.

The workers have been attentive and pleasant, even providing me the possibility to take a enjoyable picture behind the bar pulling my very own beer! 

Arriving in Westport

colorful buildings on westport downtown street
Charming downtown

What a captivating and welcoming city Westport is. I bear in mind passing via right here in 2003 on my lap across the Emerald Isle and it makes for an incredible base to discover the Wild Atlantic Manner, however is a vacation spot in itself.

Our first of two nights in Westport was relatively quiet with dinner at our resort, Coveys Gastrobar, a New York Italian impressed Bar and Restaurant.

In a single day on the Westport Plaza Lodge

Two beds in a hotel room
My spacious room

Positioned within the coronary heart of Westport, you’re actually steps away from retailers, eating places, and Westport Home. This 4-star resort is a beautiful place to stick with giant rooms and a high quality bar and restaurant for breakfast and dinner.

Day 3 (Westport > Achill Island)

Man standing on a cliff overlooking a beach
Achill Island

In the present day was the primary day of tour the place I acquired to decide on one of many YourChoice Excursions, the exercise of most curiosity to me from the next three selections:

  1. Achill Island – discover Eire’s largest island alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner.
  2. Guided e-bike tour – get away from the crowds and benefit from the pure fantastic thing about Westport with a simple, breezy guided e-bike tour.
  3. Soda bread-baking class – check the custom of Irish soda bread-baking and revel in perception into Irish meals tradition, its historical past and heritage. 

I selected Achill Island. Apart from the pub scene and historical past, what I really like most about Eire is the pure magnificence. 

Discovering Achill Island

Coastal road on the edge of a bay
Beautiful drive alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner

Earlier than becoming a member of this Globus tour, I wasn’t accustomed to Achill Island. Once I lived in Dublin, we explored the well-known Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula that are stunningly lovely.However they’re each closely visited, particularly the Ring of Kerry because the street on the Dingle Peninsula can’t be navigated by the large tour buses!

What I beloved about our tour of Achill Island, moreover its gorgeous landscapes, is that we mainly had the island all to ourselves! 

Coastal scenery in Ireland
Beautiful surroundings

Achill Island is located about an hour’s drive from Westport. It is among the jewels within the crown of Eire’s Wild Atlantic Manner and recognized for hovering sea cliffs, rugged mountains, lakes, large and ever-changing Atlantic skies, and clear seashores together with iconic Keem Bay.

After departing Westport, the primary cease was for our routine Irish Espresso repair at Alice’s Harbour Bar & Restaurant, simply throughout the bridge at Achill Sound.

Glass of Irish Coffee
Each day Irish Espresso? Sure please!

The morning drive continued and supplied gorgeous views of the rugged shoreline and sea cliffs, and with our educated tour information Helen understanding the scenic spots for pictures, we stopped at among the greatest vantage factors for views, even the locals (sheep) joined us for just a few pictures!

Sheep eating grass with ocean in the background
Hanging with the locals.

Lunch was taken at Gielty’s Bar & Restaurant, probably the most westerly pub in Europe. I selected effectively with a humongous Beef & Guinness Stew, washed down with a Smithwicks Irish Ale. 

Beef & Guinness Stew on a plate
Large Beef & Guinness Stew

The spotlight of our Achill Island day journey was undoubtedly Keem Bay, on the western finish of the island. I don’t usually count on to see lovely seashores in Eire, however I now know why it’s acknowledged as probably the most picturesque bays in Eire.

Bay of water and beach surrounded by mountains
Keem Bay

The Strand (seashore) at Keem Bay is bordered on two sides by cliffs, and has been named as probably the most lovely seashores in Europe.

Beautiful sandy beach with blue water
The Strand Seaside at Keem Bay

This was our longest cease of our day, and we took the chance to stroll down the windy street onto the sand and the elevated rocks bordering the bay for a detailed up have a look at the picturesque water and to really feel engulfed by the ocean cliffs. 

Exploring Westport

People walking along the street with colorful shopfronts
Colourful store fronts

Arriving again into Westport mid-afternoon allowed ample time to discover on foot. It’s a beautiful city to wander and take within the colourful store fronts on Bridge Road and stroll throughout the Stone bridges which are a function as they span the waters of the Carrowbeg River. 

Bridge spanning a river
Cherished the stone bridges

Different factors of curiosity embody The Clock Tower, an artwork deco–type landmark, and the St. Patrick Statue sits in a picturesque sq..

Clocktower in a traffic circle
The Clock Tower

A brief 20-minute stroll brings you to Westport House, a 400-year-old Historic Home and one of many few privately-owned historic homes left in Eire. We didn’t tour inside, however I nonetheless suggest you benefit from the magnificence and grandeur of the property from the grounds and forest trails. 

Historic house overlooking a pond in Ireland
Westport Home

Dinner at J.J. O’malley’s

Steak and potato on a plate
Flamegrilled Sirloin

Take your choose of a number of eating places on the town, we have been guided to J.J O’malley’s Bar & Restaurant by Helen and my Flame grilled Sirloin Steak with greens was unbelievable! 

Stay Music at The Porter Home

Two musicians playing in a pub
That is what I really like about Eire

Wander into virtually any pub in Eire for the possibility to listen to conventional stay music, and one in all my favourite issues about exploring Eire.

The Porter House within the coronary heart of Westport is famend for its nightly stay conventional Irish music classes. Cozy and welcoming to each locals and guests alike, this was one in all my most memorable moments from our Eire tour because the native musicians, and clientele within the pub, sang alongside to some traditional tunes.

Group of friends drinking in an Irish pub
Such a enjoyable night time with our group

A visiting Italian man interrupted the set to suggest to his girlfriend in entrance of the entire pub, then proceeded to shout 30-pints of Guinness on the bar. It prolonged our night time by just a few tunes, what’s a Guinness lover to do?

Day 4 (Westport > Kylemore Abbey > Galway)

Kylemore Abbey

Historic mansion on a pond
Kylemore Abbey

The misty climate set the temper for our go to to Kylemore Abbey, one in all Eire’s high vacationer points of interest situated simply over an hour from Galway. 

Kylemore Citadel was constructed within the late 1800s by Mitchell Henry MP, a rich businessman. Impressed by his love for his spouse Margaret, and his hopes for his beloved Eire, Henry created an property boasting ‘all of the improvements of the fashionable age’.

In the present day Kylemore Abbey is owned and run by the Benedictine neighborhood who’ve been in residence since 1920.

Entrance tickets are included in your Globus Tour, and I loved my time on a self-guided stroll to discover the woodland and lakeshore walks, the rooms of the magnificent mansion, and the property additionally includes a 6-acre Victorian Walled Backyard, Eire’s largest walled backyard.

Walled garden
Walled backyard

On-site is a Café and Backyard Tea Home, a pleasant spot to get pleasure from a warming soup, soda bread and occasional. Additionally serving a big selection of sandwiches, artisan breads, wraps, and pastries.

Arriving in Galway

People walking down a city street surrounded by shops
Quay Road

Subsequent cease was Galway. This laid again but enjoyable metropolis actually is aware of learn how to occasion and there’s probably no higher place in Eire to have some craic and absorb stay conventional music from one in all its full of life pubs.

Galway is often known as a high vacation spot for festivals such because the Galway Oyster Pageant, the Galway Arts Pageant, and the Galway Movie Pageant. It doesn’t matter what time of yr, you will discover tradition, arts and historical past round each nook, together with the favored Galway City Museum.

We arrived round noon with some free time to discover earlier than our afternoon of YourChoice Excursions

Outside of an Irish pub
The Quays Bar

A gaggle of us took a stroll alongside Quay Road, a pedestrian road within the Latin Quarter and a full of life place full of retailers, markets, eating places and naturally, pubs. Rain or shine, you’ll encounter buskers, and it’s only a enjoyable road to move an hour or so.

For traditional Fish & Chips, McDonahs is the spot for lunch. They’ve been satisfying locals and guests since 1902. This informal and inexpensive eatery provides a wide range of fish dishes and are additionally well-known for his or her oysters. I went with Cod ‘n Chips and half a dozen recent oysters!

Fish & chips and oysters on a plate
Cod ‘n Chips + Oysters

YourChoice Excursions

In Galway, our Alternative Excursions included the next two actions for us to select from:

  1. Strolling tour of Galway – study of its historical past and essential points of interest.
  2. Meals Tour – uncover Galway’s greatest eateries.

Strolling Tour of Galway 

Group of people on a walking tour
Helen pointing the best way in Eyre Sq.

This was a troublesome alternative for me as I like to eat the native meals at any time when I journey, however I made a decision to go together with the strolling tour.

Led by Helen, our Globus Tour Director and professional Eire tour information (she’s a Galway lady), our stroll began in Eyre Sq., Galway’s essential public area and the unique city inexperienced. Within the 2000s it turned a contemporary plaza and one of many newer artistic endeavors is the Quincentennial Fountain with an summary depiction of one in all Galway’s typical “Hooker”, sailboats.

There’s a bronze solid statue of Pádraic Ó Conaire, one in all Eire’s foremost Irish-language writers, and Eyre Sq. is often known as John F. Kennedy Memorial Park in honor of JFK’s speech within the sq. on 29 June 1963, the primary U.S. president to take action throughout his time period of workplace. 

The remainder of our strolling tour took in Lynch’s Citadel (dwelling to an AIB Financial institution making it the oldest constructing nonetheless in industrial use in Eire), St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, and different statues and murals whereas studying fascinating historical past about this medieval metropolis.

Historic bank in Galway
Lynch’s Citadel

Our tour ended with dinner at The Kings Head, a constructing that has been standing tall for over 800 years. Potato & Leek Soup, adopted by one other Beef & Guinness Stew (I do know), capped off a beautiful afternoon and night!

Outside of an Irish pub

Those who participated within the foodie tour raved about it. In my expertise meals excursions might be very hit or miss, however by all stories this one was effectively value it. 

In a single day  – Maldron Lodge Galway (2 nights)

Two double beds in a hotel room

Our two night time keep in Galway was on the Maldron Hotel, a 25-minute stroll from the town heart or a simple 10-minute bus trip.

This 4-star trendy resort was one other nice stick with spacious and comfy rooms, and your typical giant scorching buffet Irish breakfast was awaiting us every morning!

Day 5 – Aran Islands Day Journey from Galway (Inishmore Island)

Ferry crossing a bay
Ferry crossing

It felt like we stepped again in time on the Aran Islands, a bunch of three islands situated on the mouth of Galway Bay. 

These islands are essential parts of Celtic tradition for his or her geological formation, historic monuments and their linguistic and cultural heritage, and are dwelling to a excessive variety of ruins and sacred websites.

Inishmore (Inis Mór) is the biggest of the islands (often known as Huge Island) and the place we explored after taking a 30-minute passenger ferry trip from the Ros a’ Mhíl Terminal.

Historic ruins on Aran Island
Historic ruins

To get round Inishmore, choices embody bike rental (be careful for wind and rain), Horse and Cart, or a mini-bus tour. As a part of our Inexperienced With Envy Globus Tour, our non-public Mini-bus tour was included, and it was good to step off the ferry and never having to fret about approaches from different outfitters!

Irish musician playing a guitar
Stay music at Joe Watty’s Bar

However first, lunch, in one other pub, a brief stroll up the hill from the ferry terminal. Joe Watty’s Bar had a selection of soup and sandwiches ready for our group, a musician entertained us, and we heard from a neighborhood about life on the island earlier than we set off to discover.

Empty beach in Ireland
Kilmurvey Seaside

Our min-bus information supplied commentary as he navigated the windy roads previous seashores (Kilmurvey Seaside seemed picturesque), and took within the rugged panorama, stone partitions and cottages.

The Seven Church buildings (the outdated ruins of Na Seacht dTeampaill)

Church ruins in Ireland

First cease was at The Seven Church buildings, which was for hundreds of years one of many largest monastic foundations and facilities of pilgrimage within the west of Eire relationship again to the Seventh or eighth century.

Regardless of its identify, there are solely two church buildings on website, ‘Teampall Bhreacán’ and ‘Teampall an Phoill’. The most important and most full of the ruins is St. Breacan’s Church which bears the identify of a saint that moved to the world within the fifth century and nonetheless options ornate stonework.

Surrounding the church buildings are the ruins of what are believed to have been numerous monastic dwellings which pilgrims would have stayed in, outdated graveyards and Celtic headstones.

Dún Aonghasa

scenic view of aran island
Unbelievable location

The Irish phrase Dún means fort, and the Aran Islands are well-known for his or her stone forts. One of many highlights of this Eire tour was visiting Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric Celtic hill fort perched on the fringe of a 330 ft cliff. 

Over 3,000 years outdated, this is a vital archaeological website and deemed to be among the finest examples of its sort in Europe. 

Cliffs edge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
Beautiful cliff views

To go to the semi-circular stone fort includes a brief up-hill hike, however when you attain the fort, the views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking, now one in all my favourite locations to go to in Eire, up there with the views from the Cliffs of Moher (see down beneath).

Stone pathway down a hill
Path down from Dún Aonghasa

A part of the hike is over tough floor, so put on applicable footwear. And please keep again from the sting, you will get unbelievable pictures with out placing your self at risk!

Whereas ready for our ferry to depart again to Galway, we had time to sneak in a beer on the pub close to the pier, merely referred to as The Bar.

Group of friends enjoying a beer in a pub in Ireland
Cheers to an incredible day journey!

Stay Music at Quays Bar

Traditional Irish musicians playing in a pub
Nice Irish band

The day wasn’t over simply but. Any likelihood I can get, I’ll step inside an Irish pub for a pint of Guinness and to hearken to stay conventional music, and this night time ended up being my favourite night time of our Eire journey.

Accompanied by fellow journey buddies, Dave and Lina from Divergent Travels, and Jon from My Global Viewpoint, we ventured inside the long-lasting Quays Bar, and like its namesake in Dublin is among the hottest pubs in Galway for stay music and good craic!

We scored a desk close to the stage, ordered a spherical of drinks (which led to a number of rounds of drinks), and completely loved the 2 stay bands who had the entire pub singing and dancing the night time away with unique songs and traditional covers (Zombie by the Cranberries is perpetually in my head!)

You possibly can’t go to Eire with out not less than one night time in an Irish pub, and you may’t go incorrect in Galway on the Quays Bar! 

Day 6 (Galway > Cliffs of Moher > Rathbaun Farm > Dublin)

Cliffs Of Moher

Man standing on a cliff with the ocean behind him
What a view!

Any tour of Eire alongside the Wild Atlantic Manner is just not full and not using a cease on the Cliffs of Moher, the second most visited of the locations in Eire (behind the Guinness Storehouse). 

The vertical comfortable shale and sandstone cliffs rise 214m (over 700 ft) above the ocean and run alongside the coast of County Clare for nearly 14 kilometers (8 miles).

Flowers on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean
The inexperienced + blue is placing!

Fashioned over 320 million years in the past, they’re part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, and standing on the high on a transparent day gives for spectacular views of the Atlantic!

Since my earlier go to in 2003, there are actually paved pathways with a security fence to discover completely different vantage factors (it will get windy right here). There’s additionally an on-site guests heart that’s dug into the hillside minimizing visible affect.

The Burren

Rocky landscape on the edge of the ocean
The Burren

Driving via The Burren was virtually like driving on one other planet, the moon-like surroundings is like nothing else in Eire. 

We have been greeted with views of miles of barren limestone rock as they tumbled right down to the ocean, stopping as soon as for pictures and to take a better look. 

Rathbaun Farm 

Sheep farmer in Ireland
Fintan, the farmer

One other native expertise touring round Eire we had was a go to to Rathbaun Farm, a standard Irish sheep farm that started with a heat welcome and lunch inside a 250-year-old thatched cottage – I might love one other a type of scones with jam and freshly whipped cream proper about now! 

Stepping outdoors, we got an fascinating perception into life on the farm, fed the lambs, and given a stay demonstration on how Fintan, the farmer, is at present coaching a younger Border Collie to spherical up sheep!

This isn’t an expertise I usually would have researched and deliberate, nor had entry to with out being on this tour, one other instance of the advantages of doing excursions of Eire with Globus.

Returning to Dublin

Again to Dublin we went, and we got three extra YourChoice choices to select from:

  • Literary Pub Crawl
  • Guinness Storehouse Tour
  • Taylors Three Rock (Irish track and dance)

In all probability not stunning to you, I selected the Guinness Storehouse, which the entire tour group ended up doing. Due to this fact, we acquired to decide on between the opposite two. I went with the Taylors Three Rock Cabaret present.

Taylors Three Rock 

Musicians and dancers performing on a stage

An evening of conventional Irish track and dance held inside Eire’s largest thatched roof pub is what you get at Taylors Three Rock.

Drinks downstairs in Three Rock Pub kicked off the night earlier than we headed upstairs to the massive corridor the place award successful Irish dancers and musicians entertained us as we dined on a three-course meal capped with an Irish espresso, as a result of, Eire! 

Irish dancers performing on a stage
Irish dancers

Don’t count on a 5-star meal right here, they’re feeding lots of suddenly and the main target is on the present, and all up, it was a full of life night of Irish leisure full of laughter and singing! 

In a single day – The Samuel Lodge

Bed in a hotel room
My room at The Samuel Lodge

We switched inns for our second keep in Dublin, this time at The Samuel Hotel, a trendy 4-star resort not too removed from The Gibson Lodge on the north aspect of the Liffey with the Luas pink line stopping instantly outdoors.

Once more, our lodging was greater than satisfactory with a buffet scorching breakfast accessible every morning – I miss quite a lot of issues about Eire, add full-Irish breakfast to that record!

Day 7 (Dublin)

Morning Orientation Drive

People crossing a street in front of buses and a college in Dublin
Trinity Faculty

A morning drive round Dublin metropolis in our Globus tour bus with Helen offering professional commentary began our remaining day of this journey to Eire.

We took in O’Connell Road, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Trinity Faculty. If you happen to didn’t discover the town pre-tour like I did, this can be a good method to get your bearings! 

Guinness Storehouse Tour

People looking at displays in a museum

I believe you recognize me by now, and can hear me once I say there’s no higher method to end off a unbelievable Eire tour and journey to Dublin than on the dwelling of Guinness!

The Guinness Storehouse is the primary visited vacationer attraction of Eire, so it undoubtedly needs to be in your record of issues to do in Dublin, as Guinness is a giant a part of what makes up the tradition of Eire.

Barrels in a brewery

Once I stated there’s no higher place to drink Guinness than in Eire, effectively, the most effective pint of velvety black sout might be poured on the Storehouse facility on the historic St. James’s Gate Brewery – you’ll be able to’t get any brisker than right here! 

The 7-story museum offers an enchanting perception into the historical past of Eire’s favourite drink, how it’s made, the 6-step ritual behind the right pour, and the affect it has over the world. And also you may as effectively go to the place that’s liable for that unusual malty hoppy scent that may be smelt everywhere in the metropolis.

People sitting at tables overlooking a city skyline
Superior views of Dublin from Gravity Bar

Afterward, don’t miss going to the Seventh-floor Gravity Bar to drink within the 360 diploma metropolis views as you attempt an ideal pint of the “black stuff”. If you happen to haven’t tasted Guinness but, it’s one of many unmissable issues to do in Eire. 

Right here’s your final likelihood. Sláinte!

Farewell Dinner 

One final group dinner at Ryleigh’s Rooftop Grill on the sixth ground of The Mayson Lodge overlooking the River Liffey gave us all the possibility to recap and share our favourite moments from our tour of Eire. My steak and calamari dishes have been greater than satisfying!

In Abstract

Penning this weblog put up brings again many memorable moments and has me impressed to see much more of Eire. Subsequent yr is a giant birthday milestone for me, the large 50, and I’ve an Eire street journey (and UK) penciled in as a part of that celebration!

Glass of beer on a table in a pub
Cheers to a tremendous Eire journey!

I hope this text gave you insights into what it’s wish to discover Eire and a style of group journey with Globus. If the thought of doing a bunch tour in Eire that gives an excellent mixture of construction and free time, undoubtedly contemplate this 8-day Green With Envy tour!

And so far as Eire tour packages go, the worth is tough to beat. You possibly can expertise all this beginning from $2,629 which is nice worth while you issue within the 7 nights of lodging, 14 meals, entrance tickets to points of interest, and transport over 8-days! See prices here.

When you have any questions on touring to Eire, or doing a tour with Globus Journeys, please go away me a remark beneath.