Is it really possible to see much of Ireland in four days? The answer is yes, if you have a plan and perhaps a touch of Irish luck where the weather is concerned. Here is your culinary itinerary for this quick getaway:
There are several ways of transferring to Dublin’s City Centre, normally a 25-minute drive from the airport. A round trip bus ticket runs around €10 ($11.10) while a taxi costs approximately €30 ($33.29).
For your first night, The Shelbourne is a beautiful luxury hotel in the City Centre that is within walking distance to many of the historic sites, retails shops, pubs, and the popular Grafton Street.
After checking in, put on your comfortable shoes, grab an umbrella (just in case) and your camera and head out for a walking tour along the cobblestone streets of Dublin. The fresh air and sunshine (hopefully) is one of the best ways to combat jet lag and fatigue.
Start at Saint Stephen’s Green and stroll around its lovely manicured grounds and fountains. You’ll find that the Irish are friendly and engaging and don’t be surprised if you hear the common phrase céad míle fáilte (“a hundred thousand welcomes”).
Next, it’s on to dinner at Hugo’s on Merrion Row, just a short jaunt from your hotel. Using fresh locally sourced ingredients, Hugo’s changes their menu according to the season and has a large selection of wines. The lamb’s breast with sautéed mushrooms is particularly good.
You will need to rent a car for the rest of your trip. There are a couple of places around Dublin where you can do this, or you can return to the airport away from the city where there is less road congestion.
Driving on the left can take some getting used to but most people find that after a short amount of time, they are navigating around like the locals.
Depart Dublin for Clonmacnoise, located in County Offaly. Founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-sixth century, this is an ancient monastery site on the east side of the Shannon River. Today, visitors can tour the ruins that include a cathedral, seven churches, two round towers, three high crosses, and a large collection of Christian grave markers.
At lunchtime, stop in at Kileen’s Bar & Restaurant in Shannonbridge. With a local pub atmosphere, Kileen’s has reasonably priced food, including soup, sandwiches, and beer.
From a certain view, Ireland is shaped like a teddy bear with its back to England and Dublin located along its spine. As you travel approximately two hours from Shannonbridge to your next destination, Cashel House in Connemara, County Galway, you will be traversing the teddy’s tummy across some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth replete with streams, bogs, distant mountains, and lowland meadows with pasture grasses and colors that change throughout the day.
Overlooking Cashel Bay, Cashel House is a secluded spot on the West Coast of Ireland. The house was originally constructed in the nineteenth century but today is a haven for travelers looking for a serene and tranquil respite surrounded by gardens and hiking trails.
Cashel House has a delightful, full-service restaurant with entrees like free range duck and poached local salmon, as well as afternoon tea.