Extending Ireland - How to Maximize Your Ireland Adventure

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Not even Crayola can match the intensity of the lush colors you’re about to experience throughout your epic Ireland adventure. From rolling hills of velvety greens to infinite blue (or authentic gray) skies behind castle backdrops, Ireland is the perfect destination for combining your love of nature and city exploration. Known for its landscapes, castles, and, of course, the Guinness, Ireland has something for everyone. With so many stunning must-visit locations throughout Ireland, you’ll find yourself wishing to find a pot of gold to extend your trip for a bit more time in the Emerald Isle. Not sure where to start beyond #SYBIreland’s planned itinerary? We’ve covered where to start and end in order to maximize your Ireland adventure,

Extending Galway: Aran Islands

Being the smart traveler you are, you’ve tacked on an extra day or two at the beginning of your trip to catch up on jet lag or get more exploration under your belt. After all, there’s nothing like a European summer getaway, and Ireland is your next Western European adventure. After flying into Shannon Airport, you’ll soon be on your way to the beautiful city of Galway, known for its charismatic charm, energetic pub life, and, to some, one of Ireland’s top cities. With all this fresh Irish air and excitement ahead, there’s simply no need for sleep, so it’s off to the Aran Islands for some organic recharging before your trip begins - nature! Easily accessible by ferry, the journey to the Aran Islands from Galway City is just about an hour and a half, making this the perfect day outing. With three gorgeous islands to explore, consider visiting Inis Mór (Inishmore), the largest and most popular island with some of the most incredible attractions. With about 8 miles of island to explore, you’ll want to rent a bike for this adventure, as there is a lot of ground to cover. Cruise through the scenic landscapes, admire the gorgeous Irish horses, and pause as you listen to the water gently kiss the shore. Grab a pint at a local pub with a bite of fish and chips before hopping back on your bike for more exploration. It’s pure beauty here, so inhale that crisp Irish air and take it all in. 

After a day of that fresh Irish nature and gazing in awe at the serene coastline views, end the evening with a stroll down the iconic Quay Street. With live folk music buzzing from pub to pub, you’ll be thankful for the extra couple of days in Galway. So, go ahead and settle into the Irish culture, and press play on Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl because this is where your #SYBIreland adventure begins. 

Extending Dublin: Giant’s Causeway

Just because #SYBIreland ends in Dublin doesn’t meet your trip has to! With several transportation options to get to your next locale, you can’t leave unless you’ve gotten to explore the north! Train it or bus it, as Belfast is just a short ride away from Dublin, and here, you’re that much closer to the mysterious Giant’s Causeway. Famous for its unique rock formations, this UNESCO Heritage site will have you feeling like you’ve slipped into a mythical fable, one with a tale of giants making their way through the sea to reach Scotland. Book a tour to get to the famous Giant’s Causeway, and you’ll probably learn more about the ancient tale of the giant, which led to this must-visit site being called what we know it as today. 

Plan a night or two in Belfast to explore the capital city's rich culture and history before or after your trip to Giant’s Causeway. Warm up those city legs to check out the city’s street art and history, or if you’re looking for a guided experience, check out the famous back taxi tour that will take you around Belfast, where your driver will share knowledge of the city’s turbulent history and bring you to stops like the Belfast Peace wall murals. Belfast has some interesting and unique sites to explore that will transport you back in time or, in some cases, beyond the wardrobe. Belfast is the birthplace of the famous RMS Titanic and Belfast native CS Lewis, who wrote the iconic fantasy novels The Chronicles of Narnia. Stop by the Titanic Belfast Museum, followed by a stroll to visit some of the story’s iconic characters, or chase down your next castle. There's no shortage of those!

With so many activities, views, and iconic landmarks, you owe it to yourself to experience as much of Ireland as possible. So, to maximize your Irish getaway, follow these simple instructions. 

1. Join us on #SYBIreland.

2. Plan to extend your visit at the beginning and end of your trip - (see above!)

3. Get excited because you’re in for a magical adventure.