The west coast of Ireland paints the most Romantic picture of Ireland. Miles of rolling green hillside matched with a rugged Atlantic coastline is beautiful to see.
I’d recommend staying in a bed and breakfast along the Wild Atlantic Way for a couple of nights to enjoy the beautiful landscape. To me, the most beautiful part of Ireland is the West Coast countryside, where you can truly enjoy the simple joys of life and soak in the shades of green of the countryside.
My recommended Itinerary would be a drive to the Cliffs of Moher, then a visit to Galway, then drive north to a remote country house for a few days. This will give you a great experience and allow you to enjoy this part of the country the most, rather than driving for hours to each location.
Places to Visit
Galway – A great western town with incredible bay and cute, traditional Irish houses. In my opinion Galway also has the best shopping in Ireland. You can buy Donegal Tweed and Claddagh rings in one area at a lower rate than in Dublin. There are also several Irish Castles nearby Galway.
Cliffs of Moher – These Cliffs are very famous in Ireland and offer spectacular views.
Connemara – This area north of Galway have a beautiful countryside great for horseback riding and hiking.
Donegal – This part of Ireland is the most remote and has ocean side houses as well as many farms. Not much has changed in 100s of years, and the accents here are thicker than many other parts of Ireland. There are many tweed shops here, and many will show you how tweed is made.
Sligo – This town is also small and offers a rich history. If you are a an of W. B. Yeats, you can see his grave here.
Limerick- This small city can be nice for a quick stopover as there is the Shannon river and King John’s Castle, but does not require more than a few hours.
Food and Drink
- Beef Stew is the best choice from this area. It has been around for years in this region and many of the farms that provide the beef are local so it is fresh and hearty.
- Scones, bread, and black tea. The Irish take their tea very seriously and will take tea anytime a guest arrives in their home.
- Guinness – Available about everywhere in Ireland, this is about the only think you’ll want to order in a pub.
Note: When visiting someone in Ireland, they will attempt to feed you your weight in food. Whenever offered tea or dinner, it is likely homemade so be polite and if you can’t finish everything they offer, make sure to praise how great the meal was.
I recommend renting a car to be able to travel to as many places as you want to. However, most cars are stick shift and traffic is on the other side of the road so be cautious. There are buses and trains as well that can offer transportation between cities.
In Ireland, you can get a tax card that you use with gift purchases, and when departing the country, you can get reimbursed at the airport for in country taxes.
Know Before you Go
Much of Ireland is very environmentally conservative. As an island, they grow much of their own food and are very conservative of the resources available so be mindful of conversation while you are visiting.
Most pubs have live music at least two nights of the week and it is very common for everyone to join in singing to popular songs so be sure to listen to some before visiting!
It will probably rain on your trip so make sure to pack accordingly! However, the landscape is lush and green at all times of the year so the countryside is always beautiful to visit.