With just five days in Ireland we *tried* to be sensible and limited ourselves to just the south of the country. One thing we learnt is not to let the seemingly small scale fool you... There is so much to see and do, plus your sat nav is not to be trusted. The speed limits for the country roads tend to be 100kmh, but you can't go that fast safely; they are tiny little windy country roads, so give yourself enough time!
The first day we travelled from Dublin down to a tiny village called Bray, where there was an airshow we stopped to watch. The good thing about going in the summer is there is something to do in almost every town. We passed through carnivals, shows, races and more.
From there we travelled down the coastline and around, over to Cork 'the rebel city'. Cork is very artsy and full of lovely coffee shops and art galleries so naturally, I loved it.
We stayed two nights just south-west of Cork in a tiny coastal village called Rosscarbery. We did cliff walks and took in the stunning scenery on the Wild Atlantic Way. Nearby towns Leap to the west and Clonakilty to the east were thriving with pubs and nightlife if that's more your thing. My favourite was Drombeg Stone Circle (pictured above), but I have a thing for these ancient places steeped in mystery.
From Rosscarbery we spent a whole day driving up the west coast taking in incredible scenery and more coastal views. Particularly beautiful was Kilarney National Park (pictured above). Instead of driving around to Limerick we chose to catch the short car ferry from Tarbert across the County Clare/County Limerick border, this cost us less than €15 and cut at least an hour or more off our driving time. Plus it was a bonus to get out on a boat and spot the wildlife.
Our destination was Doolin, a small western village just south of Galway and the link to the Aran Islands. Our friends were getting married here, in their home town and we were honoured to get to travel there and see this beautiful part of the world.
Doolin is home to the Cliffs of Moher (pictured below), the gateway to the three Aran Islands, an incredible traditional Irish music scene, various ruins, seals, puffins, jellyfish, even a resident dolphin named Dusty.
Doolin itself was very vegan friendly. A special mention has to go to the Doolin Cafe which offered a huge range of vegan and gluten free dishes as well as cakes and treats too. Another shoutout to McGanns pub in Doolin too, who always have a veggie special on the menu and were more than happy to make it vegan for me. The atmosphere in there is brilliant too, they are all about traditional music and run live sessions almost every night. There wasn't a time of day where this pub wasn't heaving and the food is great too.
After two nights in Doolin and the beautiful Irish wedding of our friends, we hightailed it three hours back across the centre of the country to Dublin airport and flew home.