The scenery in Ireland is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The past few days have consisted of scenic drives of the west coast. On the way from Limerick to Killarney, we start off with the Dingle Peninsula. This is the most stunning 46 km drive, and I highly recommend it if you are in the area. The coastline is unbelievable, with many spots to pull off for photo opportunities. You’ll want to give yourself up to 2 hours to complete the circle, especially if you want to take a lot of photos.
The Ring of Kerry is the most well-known costal drive, and is longer than the Dingle Peninsula at 179 km in total. With stops for photos and snacks, this route will likely take you 4 or 5 hours from Killarney. If you can’t get enough of the jagged Irish coast, with crashing waves and green cliffs, be sure to take in both the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula.
On our final days, as we make our way back up to Dublin before ending our journey, one of my favorite stops was Blarney Castle. The current castle dates back to 1446, though there are parts of the structure that date back to 1210. The Blarney Stone is located at the top of the castle, and you have the opportunity to hang upside down to kiss it. I opted not to, since it was wet and rainy. Since its still off season in Ireland, there were not a lot of crowds at the castle, which allowed me to get some fabulous photos inside and of the grounds. Some of the staircases are quiet narrow and steep, and often wet, so be sure to wear suitable shoes and go slowly.
The last day of the tour brought us back into Dublin, via the small town of Avoca. The Avoca Mill, which is Ireland’s oldest weaving mill, has been around since 1723. Though they haven’t been in production continuously since then, they are fully functioning today. The small staff of 18 produces beautiful hand and machine woven wool clothes, blankets and more. There is a shop on site of course, so you can treat yourself to a fabulous woolen piece for our chilly Saskatchewan winters.
To finish everything off, Cosmos offers an optional excursion to Taylors Three Rock for a fun night of Irish Cabaret. You’ll be treated to a great 3 course meal, drinks, traditional Irish dance and folk singers. The hosts are fabulous, and have a great sense of humor. The venue is small and intimate, with every seat offering a good view of the stage. It’s a fabulous way to end the tour, with lots of laughs and good cheer.
It’s hard to believe my time in Ireland has come to an end. It feels like I have done so much, in such a small amount of time. I’ve made a complete circle of the island, and put on a lot of miles. I can’t wait until my adventures bring me back here again!