Emerald Isle of Ireland with Contiki HolidaysFebruary 11th, 2010 by Flight Centre Staff
Guest Blogger Wes Farrar invites us along to visit the Emerald Isle of Ireland as he treks off for a UK holiday adventure with our friends at Contiki. Wes travels to Dublin, Galway, Kilarney, Cork and Kilkenny chasing pots o’ gold and swilling tasty Guinness. Hey Wes, top o’ the morning to you laddie!
I just returned from my first Contiki Adventure on which we toured around Southern Ireland for nine days. The trip began in Dublin, headed westwards to Galway for two nights then down the coast to Kilarney. Next, we ventured eastwards to Cork, continuing to Kilkenny and eventually finished back in Dublin.
I was extremely happy with the information Contiki provided in their package about their optional side trips (which I highly recommend!) that definitely added flavour and excitement to the trip. Contiki even provided detailed information on how to make your own way to the first hotel. For me, arriving in a city I have been in before and making my own way around is all part of the thrill of travelling. They provided some great tips on what transport to take and how much it would cost.
If you have never been to Dublin I would suggest arriving one day early to take in the city on your own. At the end of the tour you do have a full day to see the city but nothing beats the thrill of seeing a new city for the first time when you just get there. Dublin is very traveller friendly. St Stephens Green is beautiful and Grafton Street is amazing. But for those looking for a little retail therapy however be warned as it is expensive. A McDonald’s combo in Canada is six Canadian and in Dublin it’s six Euros so the conversion is a bit steep.
If you are a history buff then you’re in the right place as there is no lack of history in Dublin. Take the hop on hop off bus to familiarize yourself with the locations of the major attractions, and if you enjoy the occasional cocktail then Temple Bar is the best spot to enjoy a few tasty Guinness’. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the river Liffey as well. There’s a lot to see and great mix of history and modern culture all throughout the city and don’t forget to pop into Trinity College to view the book of Kells.
As much as I loved Dublin, the west coast was what I’d gone to Ireland to enjoy. Galway is a beautiful city that you could easily spend six or more hours walking around, trust me I did. A little tip; there’s fantastic fish and chips in the main pedestrian area as well. Once again, as can often seem the theme in Ireland, there is no shortage of pubs. We had two days in Galway, a beautiful west coast former fishing town and it was worth every minute.
The Cliffs of Moher was one of the most scenic places I have ever visited. Make sure there’s lots of room on your digital camera as you will need it all. Combine that with the stone wall meadows seemingly everywhere on the west coast and the ring of Kerry and it’s a photo buffs dream.
The Sheppard’s pie I enjoyed just outside Kilarney was second to none (my wife would kill me if she read that… sorry but it’s true!).
I would recommend this trip to anyone that has ever wanted to enjoy the amazing wonders of Ireland but is short on time. Of course with it being a Contiki Holiday, it is only for those 18-35 but I can also add that those who are worried that it may be a bunch of young kids wanting to booze it up need not worry. I’m 30 and had a blast! There’s lots of free time to enjoy yourself the way you want to and take in the sights you went there to see. There is nothing in the itinerary that states you must make time for drinking, although since you are in Ireland and as the old saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Well, when in Ireland …SLAINTE! Which is Gaelic for Cheers!
Dublin, Ireland is highlighted on the Flight Centre travel map.
Looking for more information on travelling to Ireland and enjoying the fun and camaraderie of a Contiki tour? Contact one of our Travel Consultants at 1-877-697-5302 for more info!