Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic.
It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
5:30am-4:00pm : Dingle
4:30pm-5:00pm : Harry Clarke Stained Glass Windows
5:30pm-6:00pm : St. Mary's Church
10:00am-2:00pm : Dolphin & Whale Watching
2:30pm-3:00pm : Dingle Sheepdogs Demonstrations & Trials
3:30pm-4:30pm : Riasc
5:00pm-6:00pm : Gallarus Oratory
Climbing out of Gallarus Oratory through its window cleanses one's soul, according to local mythology. Visiting the 1,000-year-old church proves this cannot be done, as the structure's window measures only 18 cm (7 in) in length and 12 cm (5 in) in width. Despite its small dimensions, the ancient church represents the pinnacle of dry-stone architecture, built using techniques originally developed by Neolithic tomb makers. The builders cut the stones with such precision that even after a millennium the structure exhibits a smooth finish on its outside walls. Take a walk around this simple structure to fully appreciate the level of skill needed to fit the stones so precisely together.
10:00am-1:00pm : The Kerry Way
The Kerry Way is a long-distance trail in County Kerry, Ireland. It is a 214km long circular trail that begins and ends in Killarney. It is typically completed in nine days. It is designated as a National Waymarked Trail by the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council and is managed by Kerry County Council, South Kerry Development Partnership and the Kerry Way Committee. The Way circles the Iveragh Peninsula and forms a walkers' version of the Ring of Kerry road tour. It is the longest of Ireland's National Waymarked Trails.
1:30pm-3:30pm : Spas & Wellness
4:00pm-5:00pm : St. Mary's Cathedral
Admire the combination of architectural influences at St. Mary's Cathedral. This Gothic cathedral is partly designed after Ireland's medieval churches. The brown-and-gray stonework and three stained-glass lancet windows represent traditional Irish features added by local architects. Visit the church between services to inspect the fine work inside. Consider observing a service to fully appreciate the somber beauty of the chapel.
1:00pm-2:00pm : Camden Fort Meagher
Camden Fort Meagher is a coastal defence fortification close to Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland. Together with similar structures at Fort Mitchell (Spike Island), Fort Davis (Whitegate), and Templebreedy Battery (also close to Crosshaven), the fort was built to defend the mouth of Cork Harbour. Though originally constructed in the 16th century, the current structures of the fort date to the 1860s. Originally named Fort Camden and operated by the British Armed Forces, the fort (along with other Treaty Port installations) was handed-over to the Irish Defence Forces in 1938. Renamed Fort Meagher in honour of Thomas Francis Meagher, it remained an Irish military installation until 1989 when the Irish Army handed the fort over to Cork County Council. It remained largely overgrown until 2010 when a group of local volunteers began restoration and development of the fort for heritage and tourism purposes. The fort was renamed Camden Fort Meagher and is now open seasonally to visitors, with exhibits on the fort's Brennan torpedo installation (the world's first "practical guided weapon").
3:00pm-5:00pm : Blarney Castle & Gardens
Steeped in legend, Blarney Castle & Gardens boast a mystical stone claiming supernatural power to endow anyone who kisses it with the gift of great eloquence. You can test this legend by kissing the stone while hanging upside-down from the top of the castle's tower. Once you capture the power of this magical stone, tour the castle's extensive gardens, featuring several natural rock formations with whimsical names like "Druid's Circle" and "Witch's Cave." As you follow the grassy paths, try to spot different kinds of ferns growing here, some of which are the tallest of their kind in Ireland. Check online for a printable map of the castle's grounds, and take advantage of discounts by booking your tickets in advance.
10:00am-2:00pm : Castlecomer Discovery Park
Occupying a former private estate, Castlecomer Discovery Park is a family-friendly attraction with playgrounds, trails, a treetop walk, crafts workshops, lakes, and an exhibit about the area's coal mining history. Started as a community project, the park remains a non-for-profit organization.
2:30pm-3:30pm : St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower
Visit the ancient St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower, considered the second-longest cathedral in Ireland. Historians believe that this site has has hosted Christian worship since the 6th century, though the current structure dates back to the 13th century. Walk the grounds and admire the cathedral's English Gothic style. Climb to the top of the 9th-century Celtic Christian round tower that stands 30 m (100 ft) tall. Study the architecture and interiors, which have been carefully preserved in the original style.
4:00pm-5:00pm : Kilkenny Castle
Preserving more than eight centuries of history within its walls, Kilkenny Castle rises over the Nore River and marks an intersection of several major medieval routes. Although the castle underwent a series of modifications over the ages, it contains three of its original four stone towers, built in 1192 by a Norman invader known to history as "Strongbow." Once a symbol of Norman occupation and a key part of the region's defenses, the castle now attracts thousands of visitors with its extensive gardens and basement art gallery. Also in the basement, the castle kitchen houses a popular tearoom, complete with a Victorian cooking range and rows of pots and plates.
10:00am-12:30pm : Kilmainham Gaol Museum
Kilmainham Gaol Museum turns the clock back a few decades, offering you a look inside one of history's most notorious prisons. The imposing gray building played a key role in Irish history for over a century, finally closing its doors in 1924. Before then it provided a grim setting for the imprisonment of notable participants in the many uprisings for Irish independence, culminating in the execution of 14 men who led a rebellion that took place during Easter week in 1916. You can take a guided walk through the history of this eerie site, now one of Europe's largest unoccupied structures of its kind. Before you leave, look in on the yard where the infamous 1916 executions took place.
1:00pm-3:30pm : Temple Bar
Capture Dublin's street culture at Temple Bar, a former slum now recognized for its vibrant nightlife. In the 1980s this neighborhood on the south bank of the Liffey River offered cheap rent to artists and young entrepreneurs, and quickly became the city's foremost cultural quarter. The neighborhood's cobbled streets offer family-friendly attractions during the day, including shops, restaurants, and galleries. After dark this riverside neighborhood transforms into a magnet for rowdy partygoers, attracted by the quarter's many pubs and bars. If daylight activities seem a bit more appealing, visit one of the area's four markets, offering everything from rare books and vintage clothes to organic foods and decorative arts.
4:00pm-6:00pm : Grafton Street
Pedestrian-friendly Grafton Street serves as one of Dublin's main shopping districts, located in the busy city center. Consistently ranked among the world's most expensive shopping streets, this popular destination attracts both locals and foreign visitors with its high-end shops and trendy eateries. Closed to motorized traffic for most of its length, the broad boulevard is a prime location for street performers, eager to impress the passing shoppers and sightseers with their various talents. Even musician Glen Hansard, a standout among the city's famous street performers, busked along this street not long before he won his Academy Award. Check the website for upcoming special events here.
10:00am-11:30am : Christ Church Cathedral
One of Dublin's oldest buildings, Christ Church Cathedral sits in the medieval heart of the city. A thousand years old, this imposing cathedral is both a place of pilgrimage and a major architectural landmark, noted for its flying buttresses and stained glass windows. The cathedral's southern aisle features a monument to Richard de Claire, known to history as the Anglo-Norman "Strongbow" who invaded Ireland in 1170. Below the cathedral lies an ancient arched crypt, reputed to be the largest in the country. A guided tour can show you the crypt's curious features, which include a display of a mummified cat chasing a mummified rat trapped inside an organ pipe in the 19th century that's now affectionately called "Tom and Jerry."
12:00pm-3:00pm : Nature & Wildlife Tours
Delve into the natural and cultural heritage of Ireland's east coast on a wildlife and nature tour from Dublin. You'll hike through mountain forests, track through verdant valleys, and visit rustic villages clad in 19th-century atmosphere, while learning folk legends and local anecdotes from a friendly guide. Head south to discover Wicklow Mountains National Park, notable for its medieval monastic settlement nestled in a glacial valley, and the historic Avoca Mill. A bit longer ride to the northwest will take you to Boyne Valley, home of the World Heritage-listed prehistoric passage tomb and many other must-sees. You can choose between half-day and full-day tours.