We spoke to travel writer Julianne Mooney about her thoughts on holidaying in Ireland. Julianne gave us an insight into her favourite places in Ireland and what she likes to see and do there.
This is a tough one, as I have a few favourites. I think Sligo, Donegal and Kerry would be in my top three and if I had to choose one, it would probably be Kerry.
I love being beside the sea and Kerry has an incredible coastline, some fantastic beaches and great towns. Kenmare and Dingle would be two of my favourite places, as they both have great restaurants and pubs. I also love walking and Kerry has some wonderful hikes, up mountains and along coastal paths. We love staying at Carrig Country House, which sits on Caragh Lake. I also recently stayed in Aghadoe Heights for my birthday and had a blissful morning at the spa. Divine.
Walk the Gap of Dunloe
Visit Killarney National Park
Swim off the beach at Caherdaniel
Drive over to the remote Valentia Island
Get the ferry across and scale Skellig Michael.
It really depends on how long they have and what they like to do. I would always say don’t try to see everything. You’ll miss the experience if you just get in the car and do the country in 2 weeks. Choose what you really want to see and then do it properly.
I love Donegal, the northern peninsulas are incredible, lined with some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches. Sligo is the place to go if you’re into outdoor sports. The surf is great, they have lakes for kayaking and Benbulben for trekking. I love that it’s small and easy to get around.I love Donegal, the northern peninsulas are incredible, lined with some of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches.
The Dingle and Iveragh Peninsula are breathtaking and there is such a huge choice of accommodation, it suits all budgets. West Cork is very special, I used to go there with my parents when I was a teenager. It’s incredibly beautiful and quite undeveloped. There’s a raw beauty about it that reminds me of Donegal.
Of course, you can’t come to Ireland and not see the capital, Dublin, but Galway and Cork are great fun with lots to do and see.
At least one book, sunglasses and if in Ireland, wellies.
The people, history and scenery. Ireland is known for its warm hospitality and I think this is still very much the case. I’ve traveled around Ireland a lot these past few years and no matter where you go, you’ll find someone wanting to chat, willing to help you if you’re lost and have a laugh with. We also have a colourful past, which has left an indelible mark on our landscape. History is everywhere in Ireland and it’s worth exploring.I’ve traveled around the world and I think Ireland’s scenery is as beautiful as anywhere I’ve ever been; long stretches of white sandy beaches, majestic mountains, lush valleys, cosmopolitan cities and buzzing towns and villages. What’s not to love?
We are heading to Kerry and hope to spend one night glamping at Dromquinna Manor and then we’ll pull out our tiny tent and camp in Caherdaniel on the Iveragh Peninsula. The beach there is beautiful, there’s a lovely walk along the coast from the campsite and my sister and her family will join us.
In the past few years Ireland has become much more competitive. The cost of accommodation and food has come down, making it a lot more affordable to holiday in Ireland. I think people are working really hard to keep the high standard people are used to these days, but to offer value for money at the same time and I think they’re managing to balance this quite well.
Julianne Mooney is author of the Time Out Guide to Ireland (1st edition), published in August 2011. She does a weekly travel slot on Ireland AM, Ireland’s only morning show, where she discusses both national and international destinations.
She has also contributed to travel slots on radio, including – BBC Radio Ulster, The Travel Show – Dublin City FM, Today FM, RTE and Newstalk. She does freelance travel writing, with clients including Failte Ireland, The Leitrim Guardian, Unravel Travel, Xpose and Senior Times.
Julianne keeps the world up to date with her travels on her website: www.juliannemooney.com
When she’s not travelling or writing, she’s reading for her other job, Programme Director of the Dublin Book Festival.
Let us know about your Irish holiday adventures by dropping us an email at email@example.com.