My husband and I have just returned from the most wonderful vacation to Ireland. Friends of mine had visited and told me how beautiful the country was and how friendly and welcoming the people were, but until you go and experience it for yourself, you don’t realise just how special Ireland really is.
During our two week stay, we visited a variety of different locations along the west coast of Ireland. We stayed in family-run Bed and Breakfasts and we were made to feel so welcome, almost as if we were long lost relatives! The warm and cosy atmosphere made us feel right at home. The array of delicious breakfasts we enjoyed each morning set us up for the day . It didn’t matter that we hadn’t made any particular touring plans as our hosts along our journey’s path kindly advised us on the best places to go and see.
We climbed Croagh Patrick in County Mayo and marvelled at the spectacular scenery from the summit. We visited the Aran Islands in Galway where the Irish language is still spoken. The Burren in Co Clare is full of historic sites and I was fascinated by the ancient megalithic tombs. Our visit to the Cliffs of Moher was a truly breathtaking experience and I loved just standing on the cliff-top looking out across the Atlantic - it gave me goose-bumps.
There was any amount of activities we could have participated in on our break, but we chose to play a few rounds of golf, do a bit of sailing and get our hiking boots on. There was plenty to do in the evenings - we enjoyed eating out and there was a good variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from. I loved the atmosphere in the pubs and most of them had live traditional music. We had some really memorable evenings and we loved chatting to the locals. I even had my first pint of Guinness!
I think for me the most special thing about our vacation was the peace, tranquillity and beauty of the places we visited – a complete contrast to our busy and hectic lives at home. Our two weeks passed way too quickly and we were genuinely sad to be leaving Ireland but we have made a pact to return next year. I can’t wait!