If you’re considering studying in Ireland but you haven’t had the chance to explore this beautiful country yet, you’re in luck! Read through this great blog by Student Ambassador Trinidad Ricke Zegers, and see Ireland through her amazing photos.
In early 2016 I was getting everything ready to go on exchange later that year. I was due to arrive in the UK in September, but my winter vacations (southern hemisphere) from university left me with plenty of time between semesters. I decided it was a good idea to start my trip early and go on an adventure: it was time to travel alone for the first time.
While deciding where to go I came across some photos from Ireland, to be honest this particular island was not in my radar at the time, but thank god for the internet! I bought the Lonely Planet guide for Ireland and started planning a month long acquaintance with Éire.
I’m an organiser, so don’t think every single detail of that month wasn’t meticulously planned, but I’ll save you the details by describing my trip through my Instagram page, as I used it as my very own personal trip scrap book.
Let’s go on a virtual trip!
First stop – Dublin
Wow, Dublin. I wish I could visit this city again right now. I loved everything about it, its history, its literature, its beautiful houses with coloured doorways, flowers everywhere, its music and lively night life… (I could go on but I’d rather show you!).
Glendalough National Park
Known as the valley between two lakes, Glendalough is beautiful and enthralling. It’s an hour bus ride away from Dublin, it’s scenery is breath-taking and you can visit ruins from the 6th century monastery. I decided to spend my birthday walking one of its longest trails and it did not disappoint.
Cork is a vibrant city, very much worth the visit. It’s known as Ireland’s foodie capital and it’s the perfect starting point for the Wild Atlantic way. I had a lot of fun walking around aimlessly and found some pretty cool murals.
THE CASTLE! VISIT FOR THE CASTLE! If you liked King John’s Castle go for it! I remember there was a park with a perfect view of the castle where I ate some takeaway food from a foodie truck nearby. It was a perfect sunny day!
Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe
I absolutely loved Killarney national park! It is so worth the visit, you can book a boat ride from Ross Castle and the Gap of Dunloe is close by. It was formed 25,000 years ago during Ireland’s last ice age as a result of a “glacial breach” and it’s beautiful to cross through. I did it on foot, it’s an easy walk! Although you can also cycle or rent a traditional pony-and-trap ride.
Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way starts in Cork and goes up until Derry, it’s 2600 km in length and is the longest defined coastal route in the world. It’s the perfect way to visit the west of Ireland. Below you can see a few pictures from my version, stopping at places like Dingle, Galway, The Burren, Connemara and the Aran Islands.
I visited Northern Ireland towards the end of my trip but didn’t have much time there, I would love to go back. Among other things, I went to the Giant’s Causeway and booked a Game of Thrones tour were they took you to various film locations, it was really fun. Belfast is a really interesting city to get to know Ireland’s history and understand its present, worth the visit!
I hope this virtual reminiscence of my trip gets you excited for what’s to come when we can freely move around this beautiful country, I personally loved it so much I had to come back for longer this time. I can’t wait to do it all over again, visiting all the other spectacular sights I didn’t get to enjoy that first time around.
Go n-éirí an bóthar leat (safe journey to you!)