A 4-Day Irish Culinary Adventure

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:

Day One
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.

Day Two
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.

Day Three
After an enjoyable overnight, it's time to fly—literally. You will want to have an advance reservation at the Connemara Airport (50 minute drive) for your flight to the Aran Island of Inishmore.

The largest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Your flight aboard a BN2A Islander only takes eight minutes but during that time, you'll get a glimpse of the patchwork landscape of the green fields of Inishmore separated by the meandering dry stone walls.

You can also hire a guide during your visit (see below) which is probably the best way to see and learn about the history of the island. Depending upon the time of year, tour buses share the narrow roads with loads of cyclists who come by ferry to tour the island on two wheels.

Teach Nan Phaidi is a great place for lunch — it's hard to miss with its whitewashed walls, thatched roof, and an abundance of colorful springtime flowers gracing its façade. Their Guinness stew and homemade desserts are amazing.  One employee was so fond of their raspberry cake that she was overheard saying she wished she could live in it.

After a wonderful meal, wander next door for some authentic Irish hats, scarves and sweaters. Most of the time, you'll find the owner listening to 1950s music and hand knitting her wares.

After exploring Inishmore, your return flight will take you back to the mainland where you'll jump in your car for a short 40 minute ride to Galway, the fifth largest city in Ireland.

The award-winning G Hotel should be your choice for the night's accommodations since it is centrally located and whimsically designed by the famous milliner, Philip Treacy.

For dinner, the Malt House serves traditional fare like Irish stew using fresh, local ingredients. If you like seafood, their oysters and Dover sole are some of the best you will find anywhere. After dinner, pop into The King's Head pub (same owners) for a pint and some lively music and nightlife.

Day Four
In Galway today, there are colorful retails shops, restaurants, and boutiques along its main streets, and you can sample some fish and chips and gelato, or shop for locally made products before leaving town.

Even though you have packed in a lot of sightseeing, you're still not done. After checking out of your hotel, get back on the motorway for your drive back across the belly of the teddy bear for a little over a two hour ride back to Dublin. Along the way, there is a rest stop to grab a snack, have lunch, and use the facilities.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel will be your final accommodations before returning home. This is another five-star property in the heart of Dublin and just steps away from the main hub of Dublin's tourist hotspots.

No time to dawdle as you have a lot to see before ending your visit to Ireland. Start by walking down Grafton Street, one of the two main shopping areas, the other being Henry Street.

The Temple Bar is famous for its bright red façade and cool pints of Guinness. It was originally owned by Lord Temple and was near where merchants offloaded their ships by the River Liffey.

While lesser known, the one-off boutiques, sidewalk cafes, pubs, and alfresco dining of William, Drury, Fade, and Georgia Streets provide visitors with a newer, hip and trendy vibe.

The Guinness Storehouse® is one of the most popular sites in Dublin. With seven stories of history, the storehouse is a must-see. The Gravity® Bar on the top floor with spectacular views of Dublin is the perfect spot to enjoy a pint of what is arguably one of the most famous brews in the world.

As the sun sets and you head back to your hotel, you will no doubt feel that your short visit is but a prelude to another one where you can explore more of this country's rich heritage. Until then, Ireland bids you sn abhaile for a safe journey back home.

A version of this story was originally published by Hospitality21.