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Posted by on Dec 7, 2011 in Accommodation, Budgeting, Giveaway 2011, Headlines, Irish Travel Resources, Michele's Posts | 159 comments

Giveaway: Plan Your Ireland Dream Trip

It’s the holiday season and we’ll again be giving away some of our favorite items.

We’re starting with a copy of Michele Erdvig’s travel guide “Ireland Dream Trip.” Currently in its 20th edition, you’ll find the annually updated book a one-stop resource for planning a trip to Ireland… especially because it’s filled with all of Michele’s favorite places in Ireland.

The prize doesn’t stop there. Michele has added several other goodies to the mix… just for good measure:

  • A copy of Ireland Dream Trip
  • A Map of Ireland
  • Celtic Christmas CD
  • A copy of Bed & Breakfast Ireland 2011 Guide
  • A copy of A Flavor of Ireland (71 page book about food in Ireland – includes recipes)
  • A copy of Irish Country Hotels 2011-12
  • A copy of Manor House Hotels 2011-12
  • A Tourism Ireland shamrock pin

To win… Leave a comment below telling us the #1 site or experience you want to include in your Ireland Dream Trip. Winner will be announced in this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter on Monday, Dec 12, 2011. This prize is available to US-based entries only.

Congrats to our winner Roy Nelson!

More about Michele:

Keep track of all our 2011 Holiday Giveaways by bookmarking this page.

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159 Comments

  1. Our winner is Roy Nelson. You are welcome to continue the conversation in the comments below… there are a lot of them!

    • Roy,

      Congratulations! Send me your address so I can get your package in the mail.

      Michele

  2. I’ve never been to Ireland, but my brother has been there 3 times and his pictures have been phenomenal! I want to see the rugged countryside, the quaint little towns, and of course some of the must-see scenery, such as the Cliffs of Mohr, Giant’s Causeway. I want to meet the people, experience the food and culture, and of course, listen to some live Irish music!

    • Joyce,

      Ireland certainly is photogenic! And it’s even better when seen in person, so you are in for a treat when you finally make the journey.

      I’d say if you focus on food, culture, and music… meeting people will happen naturally.

  3. I can’t wait to explore Northern Ireland, take my family to Dingle and hike in the Beara Peninsula.

    • Excellent choices… just don’t try to squeeze them all into one week ;)

      • I was going to say don’t try to squeeze it all in to two weeks, Corey! That is a lot of ground to cover!

        Slan Beo,

        Bit

        • We’re looking at 3 weeks in the spring. And yes, lots of ground to cover- especially traveling with 2 little girls.

  4. My first trip to Ireland was a whirlwind of seeing as much as possible in a short amount of time. My dream trip would involve spending an extended amount of time in one place. In a place where I can experience Irish life and assimilate myself into the day to day. Maybe Dingle. Something akin to Niall Williams & Christine Breen’s experience in O Come Ye Back to Ireland.

    • Dingle would be an excellent place… of course, Nial and Christine did settle in a pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland… I wonder what it would be like to do the same today… sounds like you might be the right person to try and find out ;)

    • I know the perfect self-catering place in Dingle. I also know some in Kenmare – my favorite small town in Ireland.

      • Michele, I would love to hear about them! We’ve found airfare has gone down a bit which is making us seriously consider going in May, although we aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger since we both have new jobs and low vacation time. Plus we promised our girls (5 and 7) that they could come this time so it’s airfare x4! Ha! :)

    • I just finished O Come Ye Back To Ireland and loved it!

      • I loved how they described everyone in the town going to Church on Easter – how you couldn’t drive down the street for all the parked cars on the sides of the road. I love that spirit of community!

  5. a top experience for me would be a visit to Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim, which, among other things, is said to be the first place Santa Claus touches down when he visits Ireland every Christmas. Rathlin Island also the subject of a fine emigration song written by Cathie Ryan, which she as well as Frances and Mary Black have recorded.

    • I’d say Santa like to start things off right.

    • I love Antrim. Scotland seems close enough to touch from there.

      • Michele,
        indeed, Scotland is that close when you are in Antrim. Rathlin is about 15 miles from the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. It’s said that Robert the Bruce of Scotland stayed on Rathlin for awhile in medieval times.

        • I think that is where Robert the Bruce was inspired by an Irish spider to try, try again and defeat the English in Scotland.

  6. Hiking on Achill Island along paths from Keel Beach to the deserted vilage and all in between

    • It’s an excellent hike… even on a “soft” day.

    • Sounds wonderful. I would stay at the Bervie and sleep to the sound of crashing waves outside the window.

  7. I would definitely include an Medieval Dinner at Bunratty Castle. And nothing can beat a traditional music jam session at the local pub. Galway is another wonderful place to visit. I have been twice to Ireland and I remember doing these experiences.

    • All memorable experiences indeed.

  8. In 2008 I spent two weeks driving around Ireland. I saw alot, but never got the chance to settle in and experience the Irish way of life. On my next trip I would like to either rent a cottage on the Dingle Peninsula or try a farm stay in Northern Ireland.

    • Diana

      On our trip this past June, we let a two-story Thatchie for a week outside of Mallow in County Cork. Settling in is always a good way to get to know an area. On my next extended trip, I plan to take advantage of the self-catering offered at DunDrum House in Tassagh just outside of Keady in County Armagh…

      So even with two weeks, you could do a self-cater…spend your first week settling in and exploring an area…then B&B it for the second

      Slan Beo,

      Bit

  9. Kilmalkedar Church (Cill Maolcheadair), on the beautiful Dingle peninsula, is a place I would like to include in my Dream Trip to Ireland.
    In 2002 I proposed to my wife at the 12th century church. I had read that local legend said that if you stepped through the portal in the back of the church you’ll be married within a year. So I planned my proposal carefully and drove to the church.
    The portal at the back of the church is quite narrow, I discovered. The problem was that my wife-to-be was (and still is) slim and trim (and gorgeous). I, on the other hand, am a bit larger (to put it in kind terms). So, once she had climbed through the portal, I attempted to follow. Suddenly, it appeared that she would be married within a year, but apparently I was not to be the groom! As luck would have it, I was able to squeeze through after removing my jacket and holding my breath.
    I want to revisit to celebrate our anniversary, but I don’t think we need to fit through the portal again.

  10. I’ve never been to Ireland, but next year my girlfriend and I will do hiking on the ring of Kerry. We saw beautiful pictures and we really want to relaxe…and hey before we decided to go hiking in Ireland, we were thinking of going to South Africa…what is the better choice?

    • I’ve never been to South Africa. But I am greatly prejudiced in favor of Ireland!

      • Yeah, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone around the Irish Fireside who would let South Africa trump plans to go to the Emerald Isle.

  11. My grandparents both were from County Kerry but didn’t meet until they had both come to Pittsburgh. My husbands grandparents were both from Inch Ireland. Our dream is to go one day and walk where they walked.

    • Judy, you really should plan a trip to Inch… you will not be disappointed.

    • If that is Inch on the Dingle Peninsula, it is a fantastic beach. I have walked all the way to the end (4 miles?) and back again. Plus the Dingle Peninsula is magical.

  12. Nest year I want to explore the Wicklow Mountains as part of our trip to the east of Ireland.

    • Gorgeous corner of Ireland… Wicklow.

    • The Garden of Ireland. Glendalough…Powerscourt…Russborough…Wicklow National Park…so many places to see and explore. It is a special place.

  13. On my first and only trip to Ireland I so wanted to get to Clonmacnoise, but never made it. It would definitely be at the top of my dream trip list.

    • It’s a great stop… if you’re feeling adventurous, you could include it as a stop on a Shannon River boat trip.

  14. My dream trip would include time in Galway because it allows for day travel to so many places and its such a sweet little town. I loved it so much more than Dublin for its authenticity. And I adore Salt Hill. We went to a bakery there that I still remember years later. And saw a dog running on the beach nearby as we headed up into the Burren. There was so much construction going on in Galway when we were there that we didn’t get to experience it the whole way I would have wanted to.

    • A lot of the construction is over with in Galway. There are some other lovely little places to explore in Co. Galway like the Aran Islands, Oughterard, Roundstone, Clifden. Connemara is one of my favorites.

    • Nicole,
      last time I was in Galway there was quite a lot of contruction around Eyre Square, glad to hear from Michele that a lot of it is over. Galway has great palces to hear music — Tigh Coli, Tigh Neachtain, and Roisin Dubh for three.

  15. I want to be sitting in Croke Park in the Cusack Stand on September 9th and 23rd for both All Ireland days chanting Go On Cork! Come on the Rebels! The GAA truly the last authentic institution of Eire

  16. I have been, in 2007, waiting patiently to go again. Want to make sure I do the North, need to see Sligo, supposedly ancestral home. Giants Causeway, the Bridge, etc.

    • There is so much to see and do in Sligo. I stay there for a week at a time and never run out. It is very scenic and overlooked by tourists. And of course the Antrim coast is sublime.

  17. When I visited Ireland, I had an acute feeling that I’d been there, or I belonged there. It was somehow in my blood. And it is my husband with the Irish ancestry. It is unlike anywhere we’d traveled. I think of that Emerald Isle often, in my everyday life. New memories crop up. And always, I seem to be planning my next trip there, if and when. As an artist/writer, those hopes and memories of Ireland find their way into a lot of what I create. It is like I’ve met this great friend I can’t wait to see again and learn more about. Ah, Until then…

    • Abby, you describe the exact feeling that overcame me when I stepped out of the car at the Cliffs of Moher… if I were into reincarnation, I’d swear I’d lived there in a past life. Our whole week, I had this overwhelming feeling that I had “come home”. Two years later, I still miss it in a homesick kind of way. My husband and I do have Irish roots, but several generations back. We also constantly plan our next trip, whenever that may be.

    • Mother Ireland calling her children home! My husband has not a drop of Irish blood but is Irish by adoption. We too feel the magnetic pull of Ireland and return constantly.

    • I made my eleventh trip this past June. I still get emotional as we descend into Dublin…when the plane breaks through the clouds and I see the green fields and the ruins and such.. my heart soars… It is a homecoming…as ancient as time … and I know that I have walked these lands in times past … I found this last trip…two weeks…to be far too short…so Just one week at the end of next July…if I can make it…will seem like an overnight blur

  18. I’d love to stay in Doolin for a week and paint 2 to 3 paintings a day, traveling out to the Aran Islands of course! As a plein air landscape painter with a love for sea, it would be great to dig deep into the heart of one coastal area. At the end of the day, I’d cap it off with a listen to the Cieli Bandits and on my walk home, just might hear Micho Russel’s whistle riding the on wind. It would be heaven.

    I’ve painted here once before, but only once, and once is never enough :)

    • That sounds fantastic. I only wish I could paint. When you get to do that, I wish you sunshine! And don’t forget to do Loop Head.

      • Hey thanks for the tip(and pardon my prior typos and misspell slips)! Yes, sunshine is great but I’ll take Clare on gray days too – and paint it. Wind is tricky, but a light wind can be dealt with.

        I hope to lead painting workshops there in the future. You CAN paint, if it’s in your heart and you’re determined!

  19. The town of Doolin on the west coast is definitely on my dream trip list, along with the breathtaking views along the Dingle Peninsula.

    • Definitely worth seeing. The problem with Ireland (if you can call it a problem) is there is so much scenery and sightseeing packed into that small country we must return again and again to see it all.

  20. I have not been to Ireland yet. But on my Dream Trip, I will be seeking out the beautiful castles (especially any haunted ones!), the cemetaries, cliffs of moher, giant’s causeway, quaint cottages. I will also enjoy the people and their rich history.
    Being Dairy and Gluten Free, I will find the best Irish foods and drink within my limits. (Hear Ireland has some great vegan restaurants!).
    I will keep a journal, sketchbook and camera as I go. It will be magnificant! :D

    • Michelle,

      You will find that Ireland is a very Celiac friendly country. There is a large percentage of their population with Celiac. I have a long list of restaurants that provide Celiac appropiate meals. When you get ready to go, feel free to drop me a note and I will give you some suggestions.

      Slan Beo,

      Bit

      • Thank you for that helpful info! I hope eating Dairy Free won’t be a problem as well? (Which is why am willing to eat vegan if I have to, even though I am not vegan). Look forward to also trying Irish gluten and dairy free beer and drinks, too! :)

        • No worries for Dairy Free either, Michele –
          For a tasty treat, Cornucopia in Dublin caters to gluten-free, dairy-free diets

          Cesh Corran, a B&B in Boyle, Co Roscommon, caters to those with dietary issues

          Those are just two examples…

  21. If I were to come into small inheritance, my dream trip would be 32 counties in 32 weeks … Just my sweetie, our camera gear and a Faery whisper…

      • I like that even better…two weeks in each county… I would have a bounty of photographs to offer up in my gallery then, wouldn’t I, mo chara?

  22. Gap of Dunloe. I was so close to doing that last time and missed it….but I can provide more examples….haha

    Slain

    • There is always more on my “wish list” too. The Gap of Dunloe is splendid. Certainly a must see in Ireland.

  23. My dream trip would be to go to various small pubs and listen to some spontaneous Celtic music by local musicians…..asked if I’d like to join in and of course…..drink quite a number of “pints” of Stout…..

    • A pub crawl through Ireland! Someone on my forum recently did something similar.

  24. Donegal is on our list for 2012 of must see places.

    • The coastline of Donegal is stunning. Don’t miss Glenveagh Castle & Gardens.

    • The Sliabh Liag always are at the top of my list for places to visit in Donegal. Ardara Town is also extra special to me. Mount Errigal is a great place for a hike. Tory Island is also a fabulous place to visit.

  25. I would love to vistit Dublin as I;ve never been to Ireland before. I would love to chase the history of Dublin and see the book of Kells in Trinity College.
    Also a must is the Guinness Storehouse, sample the black stuff from the land it belongs too!

    • Don’t forget to visit Kilmainham Gaol for Ireland’s sad history. A must.

      • Oh, we went to Kilmainham Gaol last year and it is worth the visit. So incredibly sad…it’s amazing what our ancestors had to live through…

  26. I’ve taken two trips to Ireland and loved them both. My third dream trip will include “residing” in a thatched roof cottage for a week. I already have my place picked out and just have to save up to go!!! Maybe 3/13/13 (which is my mom’s birthday) or 3/13/15 which is one of her big milestones!!! Cannot wait!!!

    • Save up like crazy and go as soon as you can. There is something so cozy about sitting in front of a turf fire in a thatched cottage.

  27. Visiting Ireland would be my dream trip (top of the list, plans being made), and the top experience of my top dream trip would be to cycle around the island. I want to take my time, spend the night in inns and enjoy long afternoons just taking in the countryside.

    • That sounds lovely. Be sure to stay at some B&Bs along the way. There is nothing like an Irish B&B for pure Irish hospitality.

  28. My next visit to Ireland will be to stay at a cottage for the duration and just enjoy it all Ireland has to offer. Hey even pretend I’m Irish…..

    • I love staying put in a cottage for a week at a time. Then you can really explore one area thoroughly.

    • Just down the road from the Cliffs of Moher is Loop Head. I highly recommend it.

  29. I want a pub, seafood chowder and Bailey’s on St. Patrick’s Day in Dingle!

  30. I just returned from my first vista to Ireland last week and am already itching to go back. The place that I’d really like to see on my next visit is Co. Donegal. After that, I’d like to spend a good amount of time in Dingle.

    Pete

    • Both are wonderful places to explore. And what fabulous coastlines, cliffs and beaches!

  31. I would love to spend more time in the Aran Islands. I was only in Inishmore for a weekend and it was not enough time to explore the amazing surroundings and the other islands. My last visit during September of 2010 we explored the Connemara region and were not disappointed. What a beautiful landscape with its sepia tones peppered with purple and yellow flowers, the Twelve Bens and plenty of sheep to block the tiny roads that pulled us further into the Connemara. I can’t wait to visit the island that is constantly calling me back.

    • I never have enough time in Ireland. Besides the Aran Islands try Achill Island some time too.

      • Before we went back to Ireland in June, I read TWENTY YEARS A -GROWING about life on the Great Blasket Islands. So, in Dingle, we took a boat from the pier out to the island, then got into a smaller rubber boat, and spent the day exploring the island. The ruined houses, the wildlife, the views and the steep paths all were wonderful.

  32. I’ve been to Ireland 3 X, and I always cry on the way to the airport for the trip home. With my red hair and Celtic features, I’m often mistaken for a native– and I’m a Connolly born. I yearn to go back and stay for at least week in Kenmare. We spent a few hours there last year, and I was deeply moved by the mystical stone circle. I felt the power coming off the stones in waves, almost as though I were being welcomed home at last, as if the stones “knew” me

    All my Irish ancestors came from the west and soutwest of Ireland, and I loved Galway, Salthill, the Aran Islands, Cork, Kinsale and most recently, Dingle– where we explored the Great Blasket Islands last June, heard wonderful music in pubs, talked to great people, and enjoed the farmer’s market.

    I want so much to be back in Ireland! Somehow, Ireland completes me

    Ellen

    Ellen

    • Kenmare is my favorite small town in Ireland. You will not regret staying there for a week – or two! The town is the perfect size, great food, pubs and shops. Plus the people are just so friendly there. Scenery isn’t bad either. ;-)

  33. I need a long stay in Irealnd!! 1 month at Deeynane Beach, 2 weeks in Dingle, 2 weeks in Doolin, 1 month in Connemara, 1 month in Donegal, finsihed with 2 weeeks at my freinds house in Moate.

    • Please excuse the typo. Derrynane Beach

      • Me too! Derrynane Beach is fabulous. There are so many hidden spots on the Ring of Kerry that tourists miss.

  34. This book will really come in handy as we are in the middle of planning our next trip. This time we’ll focus heavily on exploring sites of the 1916 Rising in Dublin and Michael Collins sites in County Cork. We also want to spend time in Dingle and return to County Clare (and Gus O’Connor’s pub!). We’d also like to go further north this time. There will be some genealogy research as well. We’re planning over two weeks and want to take in lots of music and lots of less-touristy places and mingle with the friendly Irish.

    • I hope you get farther north next time. Westport, Sligo, Donegal and No. Ireland…all wonderful in their own ways.

  35. My undergraduate degree is in archaeology, and I’m looking forward to all the prehistoric and historic sites in Ireland. What I’m most looking forward to seeing, though, is (are?) the Ceide Fields. The United Nations states, “Nowhere else is there such extensive physical remains of a Neolithic farmed landscape surviving from this significant period in prehistory.” I can’t go anywhere else to see something like this. Ah, how can I not experience this site??!

    Dawn

    • Dawn,

      Ceide fields is amazing…but there are other equally grand megalithic sites, as well, all across Ireland.

      I belong to a group on FB who share information on lesser known sites across Ireland. It is wonderful to be amongst like minded souls who appreciate teh ancient sites

    • Archaeological sites seem to litter the landscape in Ireland. The biggie is Newgrange but as Bit said, there are thousands all over Ireland just begging to be explored. You might have to make more than one trip.

    • Thank you, Bit and Michele, for your comments. I did have a hard time in trying to decide what sites we shall see. I want to see them all, but, with just 15 days, I’ve had to pare the list down. Newgrange is on my list, and there were other sites in Counties Donegal, Sligo, and Mayo that we wanted to see.

  36. I am looking to experience all the sites in & around THE RING OF KERRY. Also Killarney Kylemore Abbey, the Burren, Famine houses, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Cork & Kerry Mountains & the dingle Penninsula to visit Fungi.

    • Not too far from the famous Ring of Kerry is the lesser known Beara Peninsula. I highly recommend it. The roads are too small for the big tour buses. You may have the place to yourself. And the scenery is spectacular.

  37. I have been to Ireland once when I was in high school and that was quite some time ago. I would love to go to Kerry and Dublin and Waterford and where my family comes from in particular where my grandmother was raised in County Monaghan.

    • When in Waterford (even if you don’t stay there) be sure to take a spin out to Waterford Castle Hotel. It is on an island in the river and a ferry whisks you back in time. There are deer all over the island. Well worth a detour. Maybe have tea there.

  38. #1 site/experience… wow, that’s a tough one. I guess I would have to go with the Rock of Cashel. I have had a fascination with castles and Ireland for years. A second place for me would be Dunluce Castle in northern Ireland.

  39. When I get to go back to Ireland, I want to spend time visiting with family. But the place I want to visit most is the National Library of Ireland to do family history.

    • Good luck with your genealogical research. Maybe when I retire and have more time I will do the same.

  40. My cousin and I have made 3 trips to Ireland over the past 6 years. On our first trip we combined a week-long bus tour with a week-long self-driving tour where we stayed at Bed and Breakfasts as we explored Ireland. Our second and third trips we rented cottages in different areas and made day trips out to explore the area we were staying in. We can’t wait to go back and are already planning our next trip. Our last trip we spent a much too short a time in the Dingle Peninsula. We had hoped to make it to the Blasket Islands but the weather would not cooperate with us. We are hoping for better weather on our next trip so we can make it to the Blaskets. We will also go back to County Donegal which is another of our favorite places. We love the Sliabh Liag in County Donegal and will go back there, also.

    • Here’s hoping you get to do trip #4 soon. Don’t be shy about crossing the border into No. Ireland from Donegal. It may become another of your “favorites”.

      • We actually did cross the border during our first two trips. We went to the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh during our first trip and the Giant’s Causeway on our second trip. Add those to our list of favorites. :-) We definitely will be back to No. Ireland, too, since we have many more places to discover there, also.

  41. In the summer of 2009, nine members of my family went on a 10-day guided bus tour of Ireland. We saw many things and places I’ve always dreamed of seeing, but didn’t get to spend much time at each place. I want to go back and spend many hours at The Rock of Cashel. It “spoke” to me like nowhere else did–I felt even more acutely the feeling of “coming home” that I felt in Ireland. Our first morning included a drive around the area between Galway and Shannon, as we could not check into our hotel until later. One stop was Thoor Ballylee–being there on a Sunday morning before the rest of the world was awake was truly magical.

  42. What a dream vacation!

  43. I’ve always been a bit of a Hibernophile and I always felt like I should’ve been born Irish but it wasn’t until my father passed away two years ago and I went through some of his things that I found out that I might belong to a family that made it out of County Clare through my paternal great grandfather. Unfortunately I can’t be sure since the records in Mexico (where the family settled) were poorly kept but it would be a dream to visit County Clare (as well as Galway and Cork; I’m a big fan :D). Neither mom nor I have ever been abroad but we’re saving up for the trip. :)

    • I hope you get to Ireland soon. I think it is calling you home.

  44. My Mom is from Ireland and I went there to visit my grandparents, aunts and uncles every year growing up – they are in Mayo so we spent most of our time there. Even though I love it in Mayo and it holds my heart with so many great memories, I would like to see some of the destinations that most people include on a visit to Ireland such as Giants Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher.

  45. I just returned from my first trip to Ireland. During my next visit, I would like to travel to County Donegal to check out the woolen mills and buy some amazing sweaters and yarn. I think I would like to knit a sweater with some fun Celtic cables!

    • I don’t knit or crochet but I’m a pro at shopping. ;-) Love those Irish knits!

      • Do you have some suggestions for wool shops in Ireland?

  46. I love remote areas and found Slieve League in Donegal to be quite amazing. It’s absolutely beautiful and the drive in is a bit of an adventure!

    • I love going off the beaten track in Ireland. Sounds like you do too.

  47. The Antrim coast is my goal for my next visit!

  48. Haven’t made it to Ireland yet and will need help planning our trip but it’s on my bucket list for sure. Probably next fall! We want to rent a cottage and ride horses and drink in the countryside…but the rest is wide open.

  49. My first and only trip to Ireland was so incredible. I would visit the burren again. Although I can close my eyes and be there anytime.

    • I can travel to Ireland in my mind too! Plus I can just look at my thousands of photos to transport me back.

  50. I am planning on taking my children to Ireland and travel to where our ancestors, the McCathy and Kent family, lived. We will be the first of the family to go since 1826! They came from Ballyhamshire, Castlelyons, Cork. I think it is now called Ballyhampsherry. I have always felt a pull to go and visit Ireland. My grandparents talked of the ‘old country’ often and it will be a dream come true to visit. A book on where to go and what to see would be amazingl!

  51. When I return to Ireland I plan to dedicate an entire day of my trip to the Cliffs of Moher in honor of Lee who made the trip with me in 08. The Cliffs are indeed a wonder and after seeing them again, I will find the nearest pub and make a toast to all things beautiful and majestic!

  52. I would like to go to the international quilt show in Galway,I will Have to look up the date! have been to Ireland once, loved every minute and every area. Beautiful and friendly.

  53. All these spots are wonderful, I am sure, but I think alot of people overlook the important places where the Easter Rising was planned and “accomplished”. I write “accomplished” like this because alot of men and women involved on both sides felt like it was not successful. Much to their surprise (I am sure) it was an Accomplished Success! Without their stand and sacrifice, Ireland would not be the place it is today.
    Even though all the places named above are wonderful and beautiful, I truely think people overlook the importance of the places of the Rising hold in history!!!

  54. My next trip to Ireland (I’ve been once 5 years ago) I would love to visit my grandmothers hometown of Derry and visit the family home. Relatives have said it is still standing…or parts of it are still standing. lol

  55. I would love to visit Ireland and seek out places my ancestors lived. And maybe find a place for myself to live, as well.

  56. well… never been the The Boyne valley… i plan to…
    But it’s easier for me, i live in Europa
    is there a little present for me too? ;)
    ps: great website about my beloved Erin!

  57. It’s overwhelming to pick just one thing…I hope to really be able to spend time and connect with the people of Ireland, to know their traditions and their culture!! I hope to fulfill the dream of traveling to Ireland and maybe staying and building a life there! I will never stop dreaming of Ireland!

  58. Want to take my kids to the aren islands as John and I love it there so much!

  59. STRANDHILL in Sligo. Strandhill was one of those places I never would have looked for as a tourist. But since I was visiting with my cousins they brought us there. It was hard work getting up that hill but the view was well worth it.

  60. Our favorite site is a toss up between the burren and newgrainge. Such beauty and some much history. I love the burren because it seems so alein, almost like walking on the moon. I love newgrainge because of the history. Some how it really speaks to me!!!!

  61. Driving on the narrow winding road to Dingle, as I hugged the side of the mountain, a cross with Jesus startled us.

  62. We had our first trip (my dream trip) to Ireland this September, and can’t wait to go back! Kinsale was one of my favorite places, exactly what I expected a town in Ireland to be. People were wonderful, the town quaint! Food was outstanding, pubs full of fun, laughter and great trad music. Glendalough was breathtaking…the waterfall at Powerscourt was humbling…touring a tower house….of course kissing the Blarney stone…you can see, feel, and hear the history speaking to you. Cliffs of Moher, so very powerful!
    I would love to spend time in Dingle and explore more of Galway! Ennis, I am not sure if you can be “homesick” for a place you may not call home, but I know I came away from Ireland being a bit more Irish than I came. We are anticipating a return in 2013, but in the meantime, will have to visit the sights, sounds and flavors of Ireland through our photographs, DVD’s and memories!

  63. I would LOVE to visit Galway and the many castles in Ireland. The scenery alone is breathtaking to behold. I would squeeze in as much history as possible!

  64. On my first trip to Ireland in 2010, I fell in love with a garda in County Cork. We kept in touch after I returned home, and I planned a second trip in March of this year with him to travel to the Cliffs of Mohr and up to Galway. Unfortunately, he met a local girl before I could make it back, and instead of my romantic dream vacation, I ended up traveling solo to Dublin and up into Belfast. I’d love the opportunity to return to Ireland and finally see the western part of the country and maybe meet someone else. :)

  65. The number one stop for my dream trip is near Ferbane in County Offaly to visit where my grandmother came from – and to meet as many of the cousins still there as I can!

  66. The next time I go home to Ireland, I want to be able to stay several weeks and experience the places where my ancestors walked — Loughmoe in Tipperary, Dundalk, Timogue and Dublin. I’ve done family research for years and think there must be family remaining — just need to figure out how to get in touch, and have the time to do it. I also want to go back to Glendalough — it calls me to explore and not have to hurry to get back on the tour bus!

  67. I have never been to Ireland so any place in Ireland would be a treasure to see. I am of Irish decent and would love to visit. I want to visit so bad its as if the country is calling me to come. When I see other people that win or just going to visit, I have tears in my eyes instantly because I want to go so bad it hurts. I know that there will be better comments than mine but just know this, no one wants to go more than I do. Thank you for your time.

  68. Absolutely fell in love with Ireland when I went for the first time in June 2010 with my 80 year old dad who was born and raised in Belfast! I was so fortunate to meet all my aunts, uncles, and cousins in the North for the first time! Sadly, just did not have enough time to spend with them before heading down south for a tour of beautiful Southern Ireland. Didn’t even get to visit the Giant’s Causeway or spend an afternoon in a village pub enjoying some live music! I NEED to go back in 2011!! :)

  69. Congrats to our winner Roy Nelson!

  70. Myself and 3 girlfriends are going on an all-girls trip to Ireland next May for our first out of the country trip. We will be there for 16 days. Totally can’t wait to see everything. I think we talk about it every single day!!!

  71. hello..

    Planning to self drive Road-trip travel Ireland in April 2014., do we need to book ( car/b&b ) in advance ? my mainly purpose for travel is photography and explore.

    if its good to book earlier ? then please suggest right person can help to manage in economic budget !!

    Thanks :)

    Waiting for ur words.

    • I would suggest getting your car hire sorted. Europcar, Autoeurope, and Budget Car Hire tend to offer decent rates… you might find this article useful http://irishfireside.com/2009/08/14/carrentaltips/

      As for booking accommodation, I recommend having your first and last night in order before you travel… the rest you can find by “winging it.”

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