Cork’s airport is the ideal starting point for a road trip across Ireland in a rental car. There are plenty of destinations worth seeing – here’s an overview of the highlights.
Churches, Pubs, Prisons: Sightseeing in Dublin
Ireland is famous for its beautiful countryside – but you should really make sure to spend some time in the capital city. Take a stroll through Dublin or take the Big Bus that offers Hop-on-Hop-off tours taking in many of the famous attractions. Depending on your interests, you could visit the venerable library at Trinity College, where Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde once pored over books. Or stop by the Temple Bar, a pub that enjoys cult status. How about the creepy Kilmainham Gaol, a prison that’s been empty since 1924. Or the impressive St. Patrick’s Cathedral, whose foundation dates back to 1191. Or...
Hiking in the Wilderness: Connemara National Park
The longest leg of this road trip takes you across the island – from Dublin to Connemara National Park, 300 kilometres away on the west coast. Visitors can experience one of Ireland’s most beautiful scenic areas: rugged cliffs, secluded lakes, rolling hills, and vast grasslands. Three signposted hiking trails lead you through the park; displays provide information about the history, geology, flora and fauna of the region. The visitor centre also offers guided tours and activities for children in the summer months.
From Castle to Monastery: Kylemore Abbey
On the edge of Connemara National Park lies Ireland’s oldest Benedictine abbey, Kylemore Abbey. This imposing structure on the shores of Lough Pollacappul looks like a cross between an enchanted fairy-tale castle and a Harry Potter film set. It was built in the 19th century by the industrialist Mitchell Henry as a gift to his wife Margaret. After her death, Henry sold the castle and never returned. A small part of today’s abbey is open to the public, while the remaining parts of the property are used exclusively by the nuns.
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