Irish Bloggers Share Travel Tips for Ireland in 2018

The start of a new year often means getting some travel plans fixed in the diary. Whether it is a relaxing break, an adventurous activity or a special weekend away, the idea of some guaranteed time away during the year is always a good thing. In Ireland, there are lots of places that will fulfil that travel longing this year and, to help you plan that all-important break, Irish travel bloggers share below their top tips for travels in Ireland in 2018.

1 Skellig Islands, County Kerry

Skellig Michael-Ireland

Since featuring in the latest Star Wars movie, the Skellig Islands have become increasingly popular with travellers and, no doubt, avid Star Wars fans. Travel blogger Sarah Slattery, creator of The Travel Expert, advises booking in a trip to the islands sooner rather than later.

Sarah says, “One of Ireland’s oldest sites is suddenly one of our most popular attractions. Skellig Michael is one of the prime locations in the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, and will no doubt attract visitors from galaxies far far away.”
“Many are happy to simply set foot on the island, while others will climb the steep 600 steps to the top. It is not for the faint of heart and there are no toilet facilities, so unlike most challenging climbs, I would suggest NOT to drink too much water! There is a limit of 20,000 visitors per annum so my top tip is to book it as early as possible. Unlike most tourist attractions, you can’t book online. In fact, you need to book the boat trip to the island with a local fisherman, and it should cost approximately €80 per person. If you are unable to secure a booking, you can get a spectacular view on a clear day from Valentia Island.”
Read more about the Skellig Islands and Skellig Michael in our blog on 7 Irish Destinations that are Off the Beaten Track. Find the latest hotel deals near the Skellig Islands and spend a day or two admiring the magnificent sight of them.
*Sarah recommends booking your tour through a company called Skellig Experiences. 

2 Aran Islands, County Galway

Aran Islands-Ireland

If you haven’t yet made it to the Aran Islands yet then 2018 could be your year. However, in saying that, you would struggle to tire of these picturesque islands. And so, there is nothing to stop you exploring them over and over again. During the summer months, hire a bike and find a sunny cove for a few hours of escapism.

Irish blogger Cristina Florescu Daily Adventures Web describes the Aran Islands as “an oasis of peace” and lists it as a top place to visit in 2018. She says, “It is central to the Irish culture, being mentioned as a staple by Irish literary heroes like Yeats.” She also mentions how easy and accessible the islands are to get to: “They are only a couple of hours away from Galway, being accessible first by bus or car and then by ferry. They can be visited in under a day.”

Find the latest hotel deals for County Galway and plan your getaway to the Aran Islands. Check out our Guide to Ireland’s Islands for more travel inspiration this new year.

3 Hidden Dublin

Little Museum Dublin-Ireland

Dublin may be a well-trodden city for some but if the idea of experiencing some lesser-known spots in Dublin takes your fancy, then it might be worth adding the city to your travel list this year.

For instance, journalist and blogger Amanda Cassidy, creator of The Mouthy Mum, recommends a visit to Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Whitefriar Street in Dublin’s City Centre. She says, “In the church is a shrine to St Valentine, visited throughout the year by loved-up couples who come from around the world to pray to the saint of love, and to ask him to watch over them in their lives together. Not many people know that the Saint’s bones are housed in a shrine in the church… Then pop into the Whitefriar Grill on Aungier Street after for one of the finest steaks this side of the Liffey (candlelight optional).”

Another lesser-known spot to discover this year is The Little Museum of Dublin, a small museum housed in a Georgian house overlooking St Stephen’s Green. And, for those wanting to escape the busy, tourist-ridden Temple Bar area, Chapel Street provides a good alternative.

Find the latest hotel deals in Dublin and explore some of these lesser-known parts of Dublin.

4 Sligo & The Wild Atlantic Way

Strandhill-Ireland

The thing about living in Ireland is that you are never too far away from the ocean and epic mountains. And, when travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way, you will have these elements (and much more) right under your nose.

Blogger Daire Mullooly recommends The Wild Atlantic Way and Sligo as his go-to travel spots for 2018.

He says, “The absolute joy of living on an island like Ireland? You are never more than a hop, skip and a jump from the beach! Believe it or not, Sligo has, arguably, one of the best sandy spots in the country, Strandhill. The beach village has some of the best waves to catch your Sunday surf and is home to a little-known gem called Voya Seaweed Baths—ever draped your fine self in fresh seaweed for an hour? It’s an Ireland bucket-list must and is sure to leave you feeling about 20 years younger. (Yes, I came out looking like a bearded ten-year-old!)”

“Not too far from the Wild Atlantic hotspot—or should we say ‘cold spot’—sits the majestic hill of Benbulben. It’s a tough climb in parts, but some of the most spectacular views of our island’s western coast will be waiting at the top, along with the grave of the Ancient Queen of Connacht, Queen Meabh. Sick of nature, dead royals, and fancy a few jars? Sligo town is a vibrant wee haunt with fine, funky boozers like Retro Lane and The Swagman, and amazing places to grab a munch like The Coach Lane and Hooked.”

Take a look at the latest hotel deals in County Sligo and plan a trip to the area in 2018.

5 The Mournes, County Down

Mournes-Ireland

Food and travel blogger, Nial Toner, may be somewhat biased for recommending an area that is practically on his doorstep, but the Mourne Mountains area is undeniably one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland and well worth a visit. From the mountain’s highest peak at Slieve Donard to neighbouring Slieve Binnion, The Mournes are a special sight to behold, especially when you have made it to the top of either of them.

If you still haven’t managed to conquer The Mournes then it is worth planning a visit to them this year. Check out Pikalily, Nial and his wife Helen’s blog, for travel tips and recommended places to eat in the area.

Find out the latest hotel deals in County Down and start planning your trip to The Mournes.

 

Images via Fáilte Ireland

Do you have any travel tips for travelling around Ireland in 2018?

Share your travel tips for Ireland in the comment section below.

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