Ireland is known for the land of Leprechauns, shamrocks, Celtic crosses, green grasses and Guiness. This is just the beginning of what to see and do in Ireland. If you have a week to spend in this country, I would recommend renting a car and driving around the country side to the Ring of Kerry, Sleah Head, Cliffs of Moher,  glendalough, Hills of Tara, NewGranage, and Poulnabrone Dolmen.

If you don’t want to rent a car, there is plenty to see in Dublin and perhaps you can take a trip to Galway or Belfast through the local bus or train.

Gelendalough, Ireland

Glendalough, Ireland

Geldalough – Meaning the Glen of two lakes because it is literally surrounded by two large lakes with surrounding forest. You will see 6th century monestatic ruins in this park and an old cemetery. The site has been pillaged by the Vikings, English and eventually declined to ruins due to the number of pillages. A famous saint, St. Kevin, lived in this area famous for fasting, sleeping on rocks and eating only what he could catch for seven years. The most interesting thing about this place is seeing the Celtic crosses and the peacefulness of the area.

Ring of Kerry – The ring of Kerry is a 110 mile route along the Iveragh Peninla. A very scenic route. There is a ferry to Skelling Rock to see the Skelling Michael, an isolated island where monks have built monastery, by the tip of the peninsula. These days, you will only see ruins but can still go up their stairs and experience the beauty of this area.  Killarney is a city nearby with lots of hotels. It is also pretty close to Blarney and MuckRoss’s house.

MuckRoss House

Muckross's House

MuckRoss’s House – A beautiful house beside a large lake in Killarney. Guided tours are available for this house for around seven Euros. This house was built in 1843. The tour offers a glimpse of life in the past. There are a lot of old chandeliers, furniture, bathrooms and paintings. The house has been updated over time to modern living conveniences but still displays a lot of its past characteristics. If you don’t do the house tour, you can take a stroll around the lake and gardens.

Cork – Cork is the second largest city in Ireland. Despite it’s size, you can see all sights within a couple of days. The city is walkable. Some sights are on a hill like the Cork Butter Musem and St. Anne’s Shadon. English Market , Cork Vision Center are located in the island between the north and south channel. St. Patrick street is a great shopping area. English market is at the Grand Parade. Cork City Goal is a jail museum; Lifetime Lab and Cork Public Museum are other sights to see.

Dingle Peninsula –  If you have your own car, and want to experience the same scenic view as Ring of Kerry without the tourist bus, this is the loop to travel. Unlike the Ring of Kerry, there are plenty of small town to stop for a bite of local pastries. Along the way, there are also plenty of bed and breakfast places very near the beaches. When driving on this route, make a stop on Inch Peninsula, Slea Head, Dingle and Tralee. Slea Head is the tip of the peninsula. You’ll see a statue of Jesus Christ and a lighthouse across. Inch Peninsula has a beautiful beach where you can take your four wheels for some off roading J Don’t forget to stop by Courtney & Sons Bakery for  puff pastries.