Day tours are a fantastic way to see a wide area in a limited amount of time. An Ireland day tour will offer you the opportunity to see just about anything. We personally took tours that visited the Wicklow Mountains (near Dublin), Inishmore in the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher (both near Galway).
Modern vacations often include high-stress moments and frantic running as tourists flock from place to place to see every destination in their tour book. There really isn’t anything in this world that compares to the spectacle of 60 people clawing to be the first one off of a coach bus.
Ireland Day Tour of Inishmore, Aran Islands
I realized that the reason people rush is that they want to spend as much time as possible looking at sights like this:
Inishmore is the largest of the Aran Islands and is located just a few miles off the West Coast of Ireland. It is by no means a populous island with only 800 human inhabitants. There are also a few cows and sheep scattered on the landscape.
Fewer travelers take the ferry ride to the island than head to most other big Irish tour destinations so you can take advantage and enjoy peaceful vistas. It is hard to believe that the photogenic island of Inishmore looks out upon another impressive Ireland landmark; the Cliffs of Moher.
Ireland Day Tour of The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are a huge tourist attraction for good reason. They are both giant and beautiful. I discovered the ‘panorama’ function on our Lumix DMC-ZS19 just in time to sufficiently capture the Cliffs in digital format. The only cameras that can capture all 8km of the Cliffs in one frame are likely located in a well-positioned helicopter. You really could spend an entire day walking the trail along the coast. Watch out for strong winds!
I can see why the color green is so closely associated with Ireland after traveling here for a week. The glacial valley of Glendalough in Wicklow Mountains National Park is one of countless examples of Ireland’s dynamic landscape.
Ireland Day Tour of Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough and Kilkenny
There are an astounding amount of archaeological sights in addition to the glacial lakes in the Wicklow Mountains. Glendalough is a long abandoned monastery overlooking the lake which remains remarkably preserved.
The monastery was once was a thriving town and the tower in the distance has held up quite well for a 30 meter structure built in the 11th century.
We booked out tour through Collins Day Tours which also included a stop in Kilkenny after the Wicklow Gap and Glendalough. The tour also included a stop in Kilkenny for lunch. The big draw in Kilkenny? A giant castle!
The Kilkenny Castle is a structure worth seeing. It has been beautifully restored piece by piece for about the past 40 years. Sadly, photographs are not allowed inside. Admission to the castle is €6.00 for adults and only €2.50 for students. The Collins tour is a great deal at €30 (€20 for students) to see Wicklow. The stop at Kilkenny is simply a bonus. It covers a significant amount of ground for a day trip out of Dublin and really helps to drive home the diverse landscape of the country.
Day tours cover a lot of ground in a small amount of time but the constant motion will leave you exhausted. We completed three different day tours to the major sights above over the course of five days. If you choose to travel on day tours in Ireland make sure that you space them out or include lighter days in between. Otherwise, you may need a vacation from your vacation!
Stay tuned for more updates from Ireland. Make sure you check out Molly’s post about affordable sights to see in Dublin!