With its forty shades of green and fifty shades of grey, Ireland has a beautiful countryside. During the five days I’ve spent in Dublin, I wanted to explore some places outside its capital, as well. After some research, I liked the most a day trip from Dublin to Cliffs of Moher and Galway. We had such a great time during it, that I decided to write the whole blog post about it.
Day trip from Dublin: Cliffs of Moher & Galway
Whenever I’m travelling I like the most visiting some places outside the big cities or capitals of the countries. I think you can feel local life the best that way. That’s why during my visit to Dublin, I wanted to reserve one day to go and explore more of the Irish countryside.
We’ve checked some day trips from Dublin before our trip and liked the most the one to Cliffs of Moher and Galway. It included both the nature and visit to smaller villages and local towns, so we felt we’re going to get a perfect glimpse to Irish culture.
*TIP: I’m usually all for organising these kind of trips on your own and using either a public transport or renting a car to visit them. But, something that completely scares me out, is driving on the left side of the road. That’s why both in England and Ireland, I’m always taking these kind of organised tours.
We had to meet with the rest of our group quiet early in a morning. It was actually so early, that while I was buying breakfast at a local supermarket (at 6 AM, yes, that early), I couldn’t find a paper bag for my pastry that was right next to it. Well, a guy working there was so nice to come all over the counter and hand it to me.
Our meeting point was next to the Molly Malone statue which was within a walking distance from our hotel. There were around 25 people in our group and the journey was really comfortable.
Our guide was a really cool guy who was joking all the time. My general impression about guides in Dublin is that they are awesome. They have the right balance between being really informative and being super funny. So, it’s one of the places where taking a tour is really a must.
Cliffs of Moher
After some two hours of driving we came to the Cliffs of Moher. It was, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. You can definitely feel the power of nature there. It was beautiful and frightening at the same time. Weather was changing constantly while we were there. We would be in a cloud in one moment, while a few minutes later the sun was shining. It almost felt like we were standing at the end of the world, and there was nothing beside the sea, out there.
It was also quiet a spiritual place. I could imagine Celtic bards coming there and singing the songs about gods and lost souls. While standing there, it also became clearer to me why Irish mythology is so reach with stories.
While we were standing on one of the cliffs, there was an old man playing some traditional Irish songs on his accordion. And while looking to those huge waves below me and listening to music, I could almost see boats with people leaving during the famine in the 19th Century. It was such a touching moment, I would remember forever.
There is a visitors centre with an exhibition about the wildlife at cliffs and an interactive show there, as well. It was really interesting to see how many animals are living in the sea there. I was also amazed by the researchers that are getting into the caves and the sea below the cliffs.
*TIP: Wear some good comfortable shoes when going there. Since it’s raining probably every single day at the Cliffs of Moher, it’s really muddy there. This is how my shoes looked like when I got back to Dublin. Also, have a hat or something to protect your head from the wind.
Lunch at a local pub in Doolin village
After the Cliffs of Moher we’ve taken a short ride to Doolin village. That’s where we went to a local pub to have a lunch. And although you’ll find many Irish pubs in Dublin, visiting some of them in a countryside is a real thing. It was busy, loud and we had some real comfort food there. We also had some Guinness with our lunch and it was delicious.
Ride through the Burren Region
Although our bus driver warned us at the beginning of our trip, we’re going to rode through some really narrow roads, I wasn’t expecting them to be that narrow. At some points it felt like there’s no chance we’re going to pass next to the cars coming from another direction.
But, although the roads weren’t the best, the scenery was just amazing. We rode through the Burren region which is a part of the national park and a protected scenery. Because of different stones or minerals (I’m not sure I have remembered that part well) that very unique rocky scenery was created.
We’ve also seen many old castles on our way. I had a feeling that wherever I would look there was a castle there. Also, we’ve seen some white horses, which according to Irish legend are bringing luck to those who see them (our bus driver immediately decided to play some lottery that day, because of it). Marijan and I were listening to the Pogues during our ride and it was just perfect.
After a beautiful ride and enjoying in those numerous shades of green, we’ve came to our last stop – Galway. I knew the town from the Steve Earl’s song and definitely wanted to visit it while in Ireland. It’s a small town, but it was a place with the most street performers and musicians I’ve ever seen. It felt like there was someone playing and singing around each corner.
Galway is a cute town with many pubs and interesting places. There was an option for an overnight stay in Galway within our tour, and if I had known about it, I would definitely done that. It would give us more time to explore the town.
A nice souvenir from Galway is a ring with two hands holding a heart, you’re going to see all over the city. It’s called the Claddagh ring and it’s symbolising love (heart), loyalty (crown) and friendship (hands). It was first produced in the 17th Century and you’re going to find it at many jewellery stores in Galway.
If I could do anything different during my trip to Dublin, I would have spent more time exploring the rest of Ireland. With its beautiful nature, numerous old castles and such a friendly people, it’s a great place to visit. I’m strongly recommending going on a day trip from Dublin to Cliffs of Moher and Galway.