Ireland: Off the Beaten Path

Ireland is such a beautiful country, and I highly suggest going on a trip here. Obviously, everyone needs to go to Dublin and visit the Guinness Factory, but I highly suggest exploring the countryside of Ireland, also. What better way to explore Ireland’s countryside, then on a boat! Here is some information on how you can plan this amazing Vacation.

Start in Dublin:

Flying into Dublin will be the easiest. So, why not start here?

Maldron Hotel Parnell Square:

Hop on Hop off:

One of the best ways to get around Dublin and it is only 19 euros for an adult, for a 24-hour pass. An easy way to get around, with 2 different routes and 28 stops making it a great way to get a lot of sightseeing and information in.  The bus runs from 9 am to 5 pm every day. The bus will be at the stops every 10 minutes before2 pm, and every 15 minutes after 2 pm.

Guinness Storehouse:

Location: St James’s Gate, Ushers, Dublin 8, Ireland     Hours: 9:30am-5pm   Cost: 18 euros

No matter where you are staying in Dublin it is an easy taxi drive to get here. The admission into the factory includes a free pint of Guinness. Also, I suggest going hungry because there are a lot of great places to have lunch inside the factory.

Overall, while in Dublin just walk around and explore. Go into as many pubs as possible, because each one will bring a new experience. I also suggest checking out:

St. Patricks Cathedral:

St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland

This is a really interesting Cathedral founded in 1190. It has the gothic architecture to it and is the tallest and largest church in Ireland.

Now Time for the Boating!

I suggest using Emerald Star, but there are other companies that you can use. They offer a shuttle from Dublin to their site Carrick – on -Shannon, so it is easy to get on the site.

First: explore their website. They have great tips on what you should bring and what to expect when renting a boat. Also, do not be afraid to do this if you have never driven a boat before; they offer a lesson on how to drive a boat.

Next: pick out your boat. They offer many different types of boats, so figure out what you will need and pick your boat based off of that (they have party boats if you just want to go out with a large group for a day).

Finally: Plan out your trip. My suggestion is to look at the map and decide where you would like to dock at night. I do not suggest planning everything out to a “T” because most of the fun is exploring the cities you will be going into. If you are wanting a 3-day trip, try to go done to Athlone. Spend a day getting the hang of everything on the boat, stay the night at

Sample Trip: 3-day Trip

A good trip for three days will be going to Athlone. For the first day, take it easy and just try to get the hang of everything. Spend the first night in Roosky. There is a lovely pub, that you can walk to, just across the bridge. The owners are very nice and they will pick up food and bring it to you from the restaurant in Roosky (great fish and chips and lots of food). The next day, wake up early to get a head start. Lough Ree can be very rough to get through, make sure you are paying attention to where the poles are, so you are on the right path when crossing Lough Ree. There are a couple of different historical castles, that you should check out, that are off of Lough Ree. My favorite spot was Lecarrow. There is a beautiful passage to get to this town, and the town is a beautiful quite town. If you rent a bike from Emerald star I highly suggest taking a bike ride to the Rinn Duin Castle, it is one of Ireland best-kept secrets. It is only a mile and half bike ride, and if you’re feeling adventurous it would be a great walk. Rinn Duin is one of the most preserved Norman towns in Ireland. Once, you are done with your exploring here, finish your ride to Athlone. Athlone is an amazing town with many sites. Athlone houses the oldest pub in Ireland, along with a castle and many beautiful historic sites. There are many places to eat, so just walk around and pick out one that you would enjoy. After your night in Athlone begin your journey back to Carrick – on – Shannon. I suggest waking up real early so you can get back early so you can enjoy your last night without being stressed.

Traveling alone River Shannon will give you a new perspective of Ireland and its beauty. This is definitely a must do when visiting Ireland.




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