The tribes, tales, tunes and tipples of Ireland have trickled out from Dublin to the far reaches of the globe, and travel to this great, green island in the Atlantic can stir up nostalgia deep inside even if you’ve never been before. In the drizzle, the pubs and the sunshine, by the crashing ocean or across its open landscape, in its stories and its songs, Ireland enjoys its own way of looking at and talking about itself, an island blessed with what the old folk call ‘thin places’ – where the veil between the magic and the mundane is more transparent than elsewhere.
In A Nutshell
From Killarney to Kilkenny, Dublin to Galway to the Wild Atlantic Coast, you'll find beaches, mountains, valleys, plains, and everything in between. Travelling by car from place to place is a superb way to explore - we can achieve similar wide-ranging jaunts with drivers, trains or by bike.
Or you can settle in one spot and hunker down. If you are looking for a place to chill and dig deep, Connemara is a firm favourite, or wild Dingle in the North, or Kerry which is a joy although you won’t be the only one there.
The landscape is beautiful but the people - don’t forget the people! This is a place to act as you did as a kid, and talk to anyone and everyone. It's not all about the places and the landscape but the stories and the faces.
Need To Know
- There are several international airports and now with newer highways and roads it is quick and easy to cross the country: if you land in Dublin and high tail it to Galway, it is only about 2.5 hours... or Shannon to Dublin in 2.5 hours.
- There are some amazing hotels, from design driven Inis Meain suites, to the comforts of Ballynahinch, there are also some kick ass Castle rentals and houses to boot. Tell us what you picture in yourself in and we will help steer you there.
When To Go
Late April and into June, or September into mid October are our favourite times, but even then, we're talking about the wind swept north Atlantic so be ready for all four seasons of weather even in high summer. August is busy. Christmas is a great deal of fun. Most places in the countryside shut in January or February, and we'd likely suggest avoiding those months of little light and not so light drinking.
There are a handful of styles to choose between and navigate. Doily old tyme Irish country homes that have not be re-done since the 1970’s but are cost effective and make up for it all in character. Modern (ish) looking hotels built in the boom of the early aughts (all a bit too velvet crush). Newly reworked country homes that have the perfect panache and balance of old and new. And a scattering of spots at the cutting edge of design. I.e. choices for different tastes and budgets - so Ireland works well for many.
Sing, Dance, and Shout - Spend an evening (or a few) in the pubs and community halls of the countryside where poetry is recited and reels danced. This isn’t hard to find as it is done often and loud throughout the country. Music and poetry are big here.
Meet the new wave chefs of the Great Green Island - As interested foodies we have gotten to know some keen and interesting new chefs doing fun things with Seaweed and other mollusks around the rocky shore.
Lock the doors to the madness of the world and head out to the Aran Islands…..particularly to Inis Meain - Walk the 3 hour loop on this island, then do it again and see how it is different, then do it in reverse. It is like reading Plato, or Faulkner, it is morphic and life changing. There is a family out there changing the world one meal and sweater at a time.
Enjoy the “craic” - a concept of just having a good time with new friends that is the centre of the Irish experience.
Enjoy the “weather” - cause it changes every 5 minutes so be prepared with layers.