We spent one of our last summer holidays making a journey through Ireland which lasted more than 2 weeks. It was a route full of castles and abbeys, Celtic crosses, mysterious engraved stones, cliffs, prehistoric cemeteries, narrow roads and some traditional pubs.
For the next days (and weeks) we’re going to write in Phylosoft about our particular Ireland travel guide, describing you our route, the points of interest that we visited and our thoughts and tips about this travel. Today we’ll begin showing you the map with our travel stages, and some kind of index with the list of places we visited each day.
Stage 1: We began our journey with a 2-night stay at Dublin. We visited Trinity College, the cathedrals of Saint Patrick and Christ Church, Temple Bar Neighbourhood and some other points of interest we’ll talk about in its appropriate post.
Stage 2: We started the route by car going to Glendalough monastic complex, Carlow Castle and Black Castle, and we finally arrived to Kilkenny.
Stage 3: From there to Kinsale, in Cork County, we went to Rock of Cashel and Cahir.
Stage 4: After visiting Kinsale village, Charles Fort, St. Multose Church and Desmond Castle, we headed to Killarney, where we stayed 2 nights.
Stage 5: Close to Killarney is located the natural park of the same name, which requires at least one entire day to make a worthy visit. It also holds the mansion and gardens of Muckross, the abbey of the same name, a castle and some traditional farms.
Stage 6: On our way to Tralee we made the route through Dingle Peninsula, where we visited the village of the same name, Gallarus Oratory, a beautiful beach and some other surprises that we found.
Stage 7: As we were going from Tralee to Doolin we found the Franciscan cathedral and Ardfert Friary and the ruins of a tower at Ballybunion beaches. We visited Ballylonford and took a ferry that saved us more than one hour of car driving.
Stage 8: We spent in Doolin 2 nights too and we visited Burren National Park and the Cliffs of Moher, in a 8 km long travel bordering the abyss where we saw also a couple of interesting castles.
Stage 9: The second day our route finished at Galway, after going to the ruins of Muckinish Castle, Corcomroe Abbey, Finavarra Peninsula and Dunguaire Castle.
Stage 10: From Galway we visited the South shore of Lough Corrib until we reached Maam Cross. From there we went to Clifden, going across Connemara National Park to reach the majestic abbey of Kylemore. After that we went to Westport without stopping.
Stage 11: From Westport to Sligo we visited Burrishole Abbey and Rockfleet Castle, and we headed to Bangor Erris to go across Ballycroy National Park. We visited Céide Fields and Ballycastle.
Stage 12: Sligo surroundings and our returning to Lough Gill allowed us to contemplate Parke’s Castle, Innishfree Abbey, the megalithic cemetery of Carrowmore, the cemetery of Drumcliff and Sligo Abbey.
Stage 13: From there, we headed to Athlone and visited Boyle Abbey.
Stage 14: We choose Athlone to sleep because it was close to Clonmacnoise, Ireland’s largest monastic complex. We spent the entire morning visiting it, and later we headed to Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne) and went back to Dublin.
Stage 15 (end of the route): Back in Dublin we visited its surroundings, Hill of Howth and Malahide Castle. And after that… time to go back home!
It’s been a 2.300 km long journey in two weeks and half. Now it’ll be hard organizing the 4.500 pictures I’ve taken (and they would be even more if the weather would have been good) and writing all the posts we have planned, with the highlights of the journey.