In July 2009, I went on a two week backpacking trip around Ireland and Northern Ireland, camping about half the time (which I was not a fan of!). I went with my boyfriend at the time and the deal was I would plan the first week of the trip and the second week we would be spontaneous and Daniel would make the decisions as long as I could shower every day. 🙂 Other than getting hit by a car while riding a bicycle (I’m scarred for life now), we had a great time. Irish people are so friendly and helpful!
We flew into Shannon Airport and then took a bus to our first stop, Dingle. We camped at The Rainbow Hostel for one night and had big plans to cycle the Dingle Peninsula the next day, but it ended up being too strenuous! On the way back into town was when I got sideswiped by a van in a traffic circle. Not pleasant, but at least I didn’t get hurt!
Next stop: Killarney. Now this is where we should have gone cycling! Gorgeous national park with tons of trails (and no vehicles!). We camped at Beechgrove, enjoyed some hikes and picnics, and visited Ross Castle.
On to Kilkenny, where we stayed at the AWESOME Foulksrath Castle Hostel, which is unfortunately now closed.
We passed through Dublin and Belfast on our bus ride to the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland, where we checked into the Mill Rest Hostel in Bushmills. We visited Giant’s Causeway the next day… Amazing!
We also visited Dunluce Castle and Old Bushmills Distillery before checking into Rick’s Causeway Coast Hostel in Portstewart.
Daniel had talked to a traveler who recommended Glencolmcille as an off-the-beaten-trail place to visit, so that was our next destination. We stayed at Dooey Hostel for three nights (camped one of the nights). There wasn’t much to do in the town… We walked around, went to the beach, and Daniel got drunk a lot. He also hiked the Slieve League which sounded too intense for me.
We ended our trip in Doolin, where we camped at Nagle’s. We were running out of steam at this point so we didn’t do much except wander around town.
Before we flew out of Shannon Airport, we stayed at Rowan Tree Hostel in Ennis. Highly recommended!