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Colleen & Catie’s Picks for Ireland
Dromoland Castle – The present building was completed in 1835. Beautiful grounds, plenty of activities on location (falconry, clay shooting, archery, spa, golf)
The Inn at Dromoland – A little less expensive, just down the road from the Castle. Comfortable accommodations with a pool, restaurants, hospitality.
Mulranny House – Bed & Breakfast in Westport – Family-owned, cozy bed & breakfast with a beautiful view and fresh, homemade breakfast made daily
The 814 Restaurant & Bar at the Delphi Resort – Goat Cheese Salad – Amazing! Variety of dishes, some rotating each night. Plus a beautiful view overlooking the mountains.
Cedars Restaurant – Lough Eske Castle – Goat cheese, pear soaked in wine appetizer. Don’t forget to try the Chocolate Sphere or cheese and cracker dessert tray for dessert!
Glen Keen Farm on the Wild Atlantic Way – Sheepherding – Family owned, beautiful location surrounded by mountains.
Ziplining – Delphi Resort through the Delphi Forest
How to get around: CIE Tours – Hiring a personal driver through a company like CIE Tours is a great way to see Ireland. Our driver, John, doubled as a tour guide. He told us all about the places we were going to, and about our heritage.
If you stay at the Delphi or plan on doing outdoor activities in the Delph Valley, be prepared for midges. Bring bug spray, and sunscreen (we recommend Coola).
If you ask for “cream” for your coffee, you will be brought whipped cream. Be sure to ask for milk!
Delphi Resort – Galway – Quaint, rustic with a great spa and beautiful location. Keep in mind no cell service and minimal wifi, making it a good place to get away from it all.
Lough Eske Castle – Donegal – Gorgeous, 5 Star Hotel & Resort with plenty of activities – High tea, spa, golf, horseback riding, water sports, fly fishing.
Matt Molloy’s Pub in Westport – Traditional, popular Irish Pub owned by Grammy Award-winning flutist Matt Molloy, offering live music, including performances by Matt Molloy and CODA.
Kelly’s Kitchen in Newport – Great food and baked goods. Good place to stop after biking with Greenway Bicycle Hire!
Killary Fjord Mussel Farm – Galway – Killary is an ideal location for growing mussels thanks to the unique combination of fresh and sea water which gives the Killary mussel a distinctive sweet flavour. Beautiful location, delicious mussels!
Horseback Riding – Donegal Equestrian Centre – Ride beautiful horses along the Tullen Strand on the beach!
Airport: Shannon Airport
Cheapest time to visit: February (flights as low as $350). High season is June/July
Any other tips?
Be familiar with celsius and kilometer conversions (so when people tell you the weather or give directions, you have some idea of what they mean). Be aware that Ireland mostly goes on 24-hour time as well!
Most places in Ireland don’t expect tips! You can tip if you want, but closer to 10% is fine.
“What’s” with the “Trip Sisters”
What’s in Your Suitcase?
Jack & Mary Circle Scarf – www.JackandMaryDesigns.com
Handcrafted in Maine, made from recycled wool sweaters. It’s always nice to have a few scarves when you visit Ireland at any time of year because it may get chilly. Also good for the airport.
What’s on your phone?
XE Currency App for iPhone – Convert every currency on-the-go. Offers live proprietary exchange rates and historical charts. Stores the last updated rates so it works when Internet doesn’t. With over 55 million downloads, XE Currency is the most downloaded foreign exchange app.
What’s App – Great way to communicate with those back home free of phone carrier charges! Just need to connect to WiFi.
What’s the tip?
Tips for Visiting Ireland – Q&As
Should I get a Global Entry Card before I go? What’s that process like?
Yes! Just keep in mind that you’ll need to allow about two months for the whole process. Once you apply, you’ll schedule an interview at your airport. Expect the Global Entry Card to arrive 6 weeks after the interview.
How early should I arrive at the airport before an international flight?
We recommend 3 hours. You may end up waiting around, but better early than late! Especially when going through customs.
How much cash should I bring in Euros?
Have at least 50 Euros on you when you land, just in case you need money for a taxi or anything!
Is it okay to use my credit card internationally or will I be charged fees?
It varies by credit card company. Always call ahead before traveling internationally to let them know you’ll be traveling, and find out what the fees will be. If they’re minimal (2-3%), it won’t add that much to your credit card bill.
Also, when purchasing something with your credit card in Ireland, you’ll be asked if you want it charged in dollars or Euros. Always pick dollars! It will save you money on foreign transaction fees.
What do I need to keep in mind when going through Customs?
When leaving Ireland, you’ll go through security, then gift shops, dining, etc. Make sure you don’t spend too much time in the gift shops, as you’ll still have to go through customs, which could take a while.
What should I expect with jet lag and how should I handle it?
Everyone is different. If you arrive early in the morning, we recommend taking a brief nap that morning (no more than 2 hours), then going to bed at your normal hour that night.
Jet lag is actually often worse coming home than going to Ireland because that’s when your day is extra long. Be prepared to be ready to go to bed early when you return home!
Should you carry your passport with you or leave it in your hotel?
Either carry it with you in your purse or a place you’ll always have it on you, or lock it in a safe at your hotel.
How should I get around Ireland?
We recommend a driving service like CIE Tours, which doubles as a tour through Ireland.
If you do decide to rent a car, be sure you feel comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road. Most of the rental cars are also manual, and you’ll have to pay extra for automatic. We recommend getting insurance, just in case!
What are some essentials I should pack?
Be sure to bring a few outlet adapters specific to the country you’re traveling to, although many hotels do often have them at the front desk that others have left behind.
If you plan on charging a lot of things at once, it’s a good idea to bring a surge protector as well.
Bring a sleep eye mask, if you plan to sleep on the plane! Also, sunset at Ireland can be late (10:30 or 11pm in the summer) so you may need a sleep mask in your hotel.