Stops: Direct flight from JFK
Entry point: Dublin, Ireland
Exit point: Dublin, Ireland
Estimated Budget: USD $1,200/pp
Located in the North-western Europe and is divided into two sections, The Republic Ireland which gained their independence in 1920 and the remainder Northern Ireland still remains as part of the United Kingdom. Dublin, the capital and the country’s largest city is the fourth most visited European capital.
Language: English is spoken everywhere but Irish Gaelic is the first official language.
Travel restrictions: Citizens of European Union, The European Economic Area (EEA) countries (and Switzerland) only require a valid passport and do not require a visa for entry or employment. The same holds for US citizens who are visiting for less than three months.
We flew nonstop flight from JFK on Royal Dutch Airlines with total time 6 hr 54 minute
Transportation: We rented a car as our main means of transportation. Renting a car in Ireland is very similar to the processes elsewhere in that you need a credit card in your own name and as well as an unrestricted driver’s license. Most car rental companies in Ireland apply a minimum age of 25 in order to rent a car.
we used Dan Dooley car rental that was reserved prior to our arrival.
Food: Irish cuisine mostly consists of meat (especially lamb and pork), potatoes, and cabbage. Long cooking times are the norm and spices are limited to salt and pepper. Ireland is the home of some of the world’s greatest whiskey, having a rich tradition going back hundreds if not thousands of years. The Jameson distillery is a common tourist destination found near the center of Dublin. The other other popular drink in Ireland are it’s vast variety of teas. The Irish drink more tea per capita than any other country in the world.
Weather: Overall, the weather fluctuated ranging from chilly, overcast and wet to warm and sunny. In Ireland you may indeed experience ‘four seasons in one day’, so pack accordingly and keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecast. I would definitely recommend carrying along your wet weather gear.
Day 1-3: Our first stop was Meath, Ireland. Here we stayed at Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa.
The hotel is situated on the grounds of a former castle. The original castle was destroyed during the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland. Now in it’s place is a mansion once home to the Lord of Dunboyne. We had an onsite spa, The Seoid, meaning jewel in Irish, where we were able to unwind in the crystal steam room, and enjoy the herbal sauna. The Ivy restaurant, also located on the grounds served traditional Irish dishes. This hotel appears to be the ideal location for weddings, as during our short stay there we witnessed three nuptials.
day 3-5: We drove to Killarney, Ireland and checked into Muckross Park Hotel & Spa
On day 4 we booked the recommended tour of Ring of Kerry. The tour guide picked us up at the front of the hotel at 10AM and we were on our way! During the 100-mile coastal panoramic drive, we had the opportunity to see the most majestic views: sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses cottages and a few sheep being chased by dogs on endless farm land. The best view of all was that of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View.
Day 4 we drove to our next location Adare Ireland, where we stayed at the Fitzgerald’s woodlands House Hotel. Out of all of or accommodations this was the most homely.
On day five we drove into Limerick, for a little sight seeing and had the pleasure of getting front row seats at a fashion show that was taking place at a local boutique that was being hosted by blogger Lisa of @Lisa_lust_list. All of the pieces showcased were gorgeous, but well over our shopping budgets for that day.
Day 5 we drove to Wicklow, Ireland where we checked into the Powerscourt Hotel.
This five star hotel, was hands the down the best that I have ever stayed in. Even outdoing the one we stayed in while in Dubai. Located on the grounds of the 1,000 acre Powerscourt House and Gardens, was home to a beautiful waterfall, and endless trails for cycling or jogging. Here we had a 20-meter Swarovski crystal-lit pool and three exceptional dining facilities where we were able to taste the best foods that we tasted during our stay.
on day 6 we drove into Enniskerry is a village, a small village a few minutes from Wicklow.
Day 7 we woke up at dawn and drove the airport. We arrived 3.5hrs before our flight and still almost missed the flight. Unfortunately, this by far has been the worst airport experience for me. Most of the staff at the airport were unable to provide information or directions, and we were guided into a line with the name of our carrier, only to stand on the line for two hours and be told that we were on the wrong line once we got to the front.
Overall, this was the most restful vacation that I had in quiet some time. unlike most of the cities that I have visited, Dublin lacked the hustle and bustle feel. Which meant we explored at our leisure, enjoyed the night life and still made it to bed at reasonable time.