Ireland is one of those countries where you feel like you are in Medieval Times. The history is so rich, and everywhere you go there are many castles which make a perfect photo opportunity. Can driving through Ireland be doable in one week? Yes. We did it ourselves, but it certainly is not enough time to truly feel what this country has to offer.
1. Cliffs of Moher
Cliff of Moher is probably one of the most visited places in Ireland, and you can see why. The black rock covered by grass, against the blue water makes for one breathtaking view that is not to be missed. There is a big visitor's center along with a huge parking lot to accommodate all the visitors.
How can you not spend a day in Dublin while in Ireland? Not only is the local cuisine and Irish bars a must when visiting, there are also couple sites which are worth spending time on. Christ Church Cathedral is a beautiful church with stunning grounds, that make for an amazing backdrop. For history buffs, the Library of Trinity College is not one to miss. It has been established in 1700's and is famous for the long corridor that houses over 200,000 oldest books.
3. Claregalway Friary
Stunning ruins that are worth visiting while in city of Galway. Heavily visited and there is a small fee for entering. Well worth spending 45min-1 hour and learning more about it's history, while taking some gorgeous photos.
4. Dark Hedges
For Game of Thrones fans, this place is pretty well known. One advice, go EARLY! We went in the morning around 10am, and unfortunately it was quite busy. The earlier the better, so you can avoid crowds and get the photo you are looking for.
5. Giant's Causeway
This rock formation is something out of this world which creates a great texture. Upon arriving in the afternoon, we decided to come back the next day at 6am, and we had it all to ourselves. Upon arrival, there is a big parking lot with plenty of space. About a 30 minute hike down, which will greet you with these stunning views. You can either come back the same way, or keep going and climb up through Shepherd's Staircase (mentioned in a post below later on).
6. Kinbane Castle
This site was not as busy as other sites, but it was by far our favorite. The lush greenery against the moody sky. creates a serene atmosphere that makes you become one with the nature. Easily spend about an hour here checking out all the ruins and views.
7. Rock of Cashel
Heavily trafficked, and also offers tours around the site. Coming from US, where the history is not so rich, Ireland really makes you think about the medieval times and teaches you a lot about the past. Worth the stop, if you do not mind some people around.
8. Ross Errilly Friary
This abandoned, medieval friary is a well preserved spot where you can visualize ancient monastic life. Since it is abandoned, it is open 24/7, and there is no fee for entering. Note many of these sites are religious sites, so please treat them with respect.
9. Saint Fin Bar Cathedral
City of Cork has some spectacular sites and this Cathedral is one of them. While admiring this gothic architecture, you can also visit the gardens on this property that make for a great photo opp. Note, parking around here requires "discs" which is something similar to what American parking meters are, you may pay online or over the phone. This is usually the case in bigger cities here in Ireland.
10. Cahir Castle
While visiting city of Cahir, this castle is a great photo opp when crossing the bridge. it's easy to find and parking around here is free.
11. Shepherd's Stairs
These are the stairs I mentioned during Giant's Causeway post. These can be accessed while continuing the trail once you pass the rock formations. It is a moderate hike, but it sure does make for amazing photos, especially when looking down.
12. Deck of Cards Houses, Cork
Another gem of city of Cork! This view can be easily found walking down on West View Street. You will see the houses right away; they are hard to miss, since they are so colorful.