Over the last three months, we explored the green island, so this is an overview of the best experiences we could gather without a car, with one exception. Mostly, we are going to talk about our travels across the country and the beautiful landscapes we could capture so far.
Howth is a peninsula about 30 minutes from the center of Dublin. From college, you can easily get there by bus or train (round trip about 5€-10€). If you follow the main road you will get to several easy hiking trails, either around the whole island or to some shorter routes. Howth is a good place for spontaneous excursions, or if you just want to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are lucky, you will also see one or the other swarm of dolphins, as well as seals or special birds.
Just like Howth, the small town of Malahide is very close to Dublin. From the “Tara train station”, you can get there for 2,80€ within 30 minutes. In Malahide, it is worth to go for a walk in the big castle garden that is decorated like a fairy tale as also the visit to the butterfly house. Including a tour through the castle, the entrance fee for students is 8€.
The Wicklow Mountains can easily be reached with the Wild Wicklow Tour Bus, which includes anecdotes told by the driver. Before one gets to the Mountains and the famous ‘Guinness Lake’ the bus stops in Bray, a beautiful seaside town in the south of Dublin, where some locals even go out for a little swim in the cold water. After that, the bus stops again at a beautiful little bridge in the Wicklow National Park, which played a significant role in the movie “P.S. I love you”. Once the bus arrives in Glendalough, there will be a guided tour across the abbey and a walk to the upper lake that can be taken alone. This trip also includes a nice little Jameson whiskey on the trip back home.
There are several bus tours to Northern Ireland from different providers. If you don’t have a car, this is the best way to explore this part of the island. The disadvantage of bus tours is that in most places you have very little time, and everything is a bit hectic. Nevertheless, an excursion to the North is definitely worth it, especially for Game of Thrones fans, as many tours are also offered under this slogan and one explicitly drives to the locations. The prices for a North Ireland tour from Dublin are about 50€-60€.
Cushendun Caves, Glens of Antrim
At this place, there are impressive caves and our tour guide presented a one-man simulation of the fight between Jaime Lannister and Euron Greyjoy.
Also known among Game of Thrones fans as „Dragonstone“. Nevertheless, the lush green meadows and the turquoise blue sea were much more impressive.
Giants Cause Way
Especially with few people, it is worth to see this place. With a coach, this condition is rather not possible. In the neighboring hotel, one has the possibility for all fans to sit down on the “iron throne”.
Cool ruin, after which the castle of the Greyjoys was designed.
Cliffs of Moher
The cliffs at the southwest coast of Ireland with a height of 155m are almost the landmark of the island itself. If one wants to escape a little from the rush at the Cliffs, it is recommendable to continue the way to the right. The trip costs between 40€-50€ and with a good physical condition one has the possibility to see a relatively lot of the cliffs in a very short time, from just 60min- 120min depending on the provider.
Ring of Kerry/Portmagee Cliffs
Ring of Kerry is by far the most famous road in Ireland, which leads to the southwestern coastline. The trip to the Ring of Kerry takes about 3 1/2 hours by car, and because it was only for one day, it would not be recommendable to drive there by bus but rent a car instead. Renting a car could cost €50 to €70 per day. But one has to keep in mind that renting a car under the age of 25 is difficult with some providers and you usually have to pay more than average because of insurance. To get to the cliffs at Portmagee, one can drive on the Ring of Kerry, a picturesque road from and to the coast.
We hope we could give you a good overview of our experiences. In our opinion there is still so much more we would like to have done here. To delve deeper into this beautiful country, we would definitely recommend you rent a car for a road trip, but as we already mentioned it is very difficult under the age of 25.
In our next blog post, we will be informing you about the sights we recommend you visit and which clubs and pubs you should or should not check out when you are here. Until then we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Nadja and Julie