Traveler Eyes Are Smiling on the Grand Tour of Ireland

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A trip to Ireland is a great chance to do some serious damage to your travel bucket list. For some travelers, it’s a trip back to the homeland of their ancestors who immigrated to America years ago. For others, it’s an opportunity to test your foodie senses, savor fresh local seafood and try your hand at pouring the perfect pint of Guinness. And yet for others, a trip to Ireland is travel for travel’s sake:  new experiences, new friends and the adventure of doing something different.

Previously, we gave one of our travelers, Jamie MacNab, control of our Instagram as she toured Ireland. Now that she is back and rested, we wanted to find out about her favorite parts of The Grand Tour of Ireland, one of our most popular trips. This 9 day trip takes you to three of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations including Dublin, Galway and County Kerry.

One of the highlights was the Ring of Kerry.  According to Jamie “This is the Ireland that you see in photos – you know, the brilliant hues of  greens, majestic castles and a way of life steeped in tradition.” On the drive between the Ring of Kerry and Galway, Jamie mentioned their stop at the impressive Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are a whopping 702 ft high and are frequented by some 1 million visitors each year. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, but Ireland isn’t always renowned for their perfect weather. Jamie added, “Even though it was rainy and foggy [when we went], it may it seem even more quintessentially Irish.”

Aside from Ireland’s lush green landscape, Galway and Dublin bring more hustle and bustle to the trip. While Dublin is home to the Guinness Storehouse and Old Jameson Distillery there is more to do than just drink. Dublin is home to over 1 million people and is the staple city in the Irish economy, higher education and the arts. Notably, Dublin’s Trinity College Library houses the world famous Book of Kells – a manuscript written in 800 AD by Celtic Monks. Yes, that’s really, really old.

Though the two stops mentioned above are special for their own reasons, Jamie’s favorite city of the trip was Galway. Quaint, full of the best local restaurants and pubs, and a cultural epicenter Galway takes the cake for Irish charm. It is actually known as the bilingual city of Ireland because while English is spoken, you may still hear locals chatting in their native tongue, Gaelic. “I think my favorite part of Galway,” Jamie remembers, “was trying to blend in and act like a local. We tried pubs and restaurants outside of the touristy areas and tried to fit in with the scenery. There are a lot of small places to grab a bite or a drink.”

All in all, this short trip is the perfect getaway for anyone looking to take a quick jaunt across the Atlantic while not sacrificing too many vacation days or time away from school or home. Interested? Check out the available dates here: Grand Tour of Ireland