We also wanted to share some of our favourite moments and highlights from our All Ireland Rocker 7 days tour. We hope you enjoy our photographs and highlights. And perhaps this will help you when deciding the locations that you want to visit and the experiences you want to have whilst in Ireland.
Highlight of the Day: One of the most memorable part of the day was the Belfast Black Cab Tour. Since we had a large group, we shared 3 cabs and got to hear from 3 different driver guides. We had driver guides from the Unionist and Nationalist sides and thus they were able to share with us the history and 2 different perspectives of the Conflicts. Although they may have different views, all three driver guides shared the same feeling and message of hope.
Overnight in Ballintoy: One of our favourite places – quaint town, beautiful scenery, lovely walks and friendly locals. We also thought it was a great start to the tour since being in a small town really gave us the chance to get to know our group mates. There are 2 pubs in town, a handful of restaurants and a hostel – Sheep Island View Hostel, which we stayed at. We slept in large hostel rooms with many roomies – so it was a good opportunity to bond and make new friends and future travel buddies! You couldn’t NOT meet new friends!
Day 2: Ballintoy → Giant’s Causeway → Derry
Highlight of the Day: The highlight of Day 2 was Giant’s Causeway – without a doubt! Admission was already included in the price of our 7 day tour, so we didn’t have to worry about getting tickets or waiting in line. An audio-guide was also included and provided a good background on this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the myths and legends surrounding it. We loved exploring the area and the clifftop walk we went on gave us sweeping views of the Antrim coast and the fascinating basalt columns. A definite must-see in Northern Ireland!
Overnight in Derry: It was nice to stay in a Travelodge hotel room for a change – a bit of a luxury after living the hostel life for the past couple of days! Especially having a comfy hotel bed each and a bathroom all to ourselves – made for a very nice sleep and stay here!
Highlight of the Day: We took in quite a few sights as we made our way from Derry in Northern Ireland to Galway in the Republic of Ireland. I think the highlight of the day was learning more about Irish history, culture and literature. I think I’m a bit of a geek this way – instead of just seeing something and snapping a photograph, I like to learn the history, the what’s, the how’s and the what happened’s. We saw Ben Bulben, which was a great source of inspiration for W.B. Yeats. After spending some time in Yeats Country, it was easy to see why he loved this area. We also heard many Irish stories, myths and legends – from faeries to the Pirate Queen of Clew Bay. We learned about the role of religion in Ireland and St. Patrick. We also learned about the Great Famine, how it changed the course of history and spent some time reflecting at the National Famine Memorial.
Overnight in Galway: See next day!
Highlight of the Day:
Natalie: We had such an amazing time visiting Inis Mór. We lucked out with a beautiful day – blue skies and all! My highlight was biking around the island with our group. Our guide even took us to the world famous “Worm Hole” – which has hosted the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series twice! This little spot is not very well marked from the main road and I know I wouldn’t be able to find it on my own. There was a bit of scrambling and climbing over rocks to get there but… Wow, was it ever worth it! The views from there were stunning – crashing waves, sheer cliffs and the ocean stretching out into the horizon. I almost think this experience was better than the Cliffs of Moher… It was certainly less crowded and allowed for some time to just sit and stare off into the ocean.
Ioana: Also, remember if you don’t bike, you can take a more intimate tour of part of the island on horseback! This was my favourite part of the day and it let me experience Inis Mór in a different way! I made a couple new animal friends and learned a new skill all in one day!
Overnight in Galway: Galway is a great location to set up your basecamp for exploring the Western part of Ireland and for taking in the dramatic scenery here. From Galway, you can easily get to the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands and Connemara, just to name a few famous attractions on the west coast. Besides adventures in the great outdoors, Galway is also a fun city to explore – with shops, claddagh ring and jewellery shops, restaurants, dancing, music and pubs. We were told it is a fun city because it is a “student town.” But I think that’s only part of it – Galway is just a really friendly, lively and vibrant city, with a mix of locals, tourists and students all enjoying it!
We stayed in Galway for 2 nights at the Kinlay Hostel Galway. It was a large hostel, clean and had good facilities – such as the common rooms and spiffy Apple iMacs. It was also very close to Shop Street and all the pubs – which made it easy to get home after having a grand night 😉
Day 5: Galway → Cliffs of Moher → Ennis
Highlight of the Day:
Ioana: The Cliffs of Moher was what I had been waiting for all along! Arriving at our destination we, again, didn’t have to pay for our entrance as it was included in our tour. This made it very easy for us to get in and start exploring. Needless to say, it was amazing! The grandeur and beauty of the views we saw was too marvelous to explain in words! It didn’t matter which any angle you looked at the Cliffs from, you always got a picture worthy shot. For me, this was probably my favourite part of the entire trip and although this was a very touristy destination, the sheer magnitude of these cliffs made me want to return again! This is a definite “must-visit” site on your tour of Ireland.
Overnight in Ennis: We stayed at the Rowan Tree Hostel in Ennis – we got a lovely large room and lots of space to move around in. After a nice group dinner at the Rowan Tree Cafe Bar, we headed over to the Knox Pub for some traditional Irish music! County Clare is known for its abundance of traditional Irish music spots, and the Knox Pub was it that night! Another definite “go-to” spot when visiting Ennis. After a couple pints, we even learned a bit of Irish dancing – which may or may not have been a success, but was definitely worth a few good laughs and good memories!
Highlight of the Day:
I’ll just let this video show you the highlight of our day!
Overnight in Killarney: In Killarney, we stayed at the Neptune’s Killarney Hostel. It was a nice place to catch a couple hours of sleep after one last grand night out at the Grand! ( <– Just realized what I did there unintentionally and I’m going to leave it that way now!)
Day 7: Killarney → Blarney Castle → Rock of Cashel → Dublin
Highlight of the Day: On the last day of our tour, we topped it off with a visit to Blarney Castle and an attempt at receiving the Gift of the Gab by kissing the Blarney Stone! Blarney Castle was an “Optional Extra” that we paid for ahead of time, when we booked our trip. Blarney Castle is much more than just the stone, however! Kissing the Blarney stone, hanging upside down from a tower might I add, was definitely the highlight of that day but there are many other sights to see! Give yourself plenty of time to explore Blarney Castle and its beautiful grounds, gardens and waterfalls!
The last day of our All Ireland Rocker 7 Days Tour flew by as we made our way back to Dublin and said goodbye to our new friends! 😦
We truly had a great time on this tour and this experience was priceless. We met a really fun group of people on this tour and made some new friends that we still keep in touch with! It is really true that the people you travel with can make or break your trip – especially on a group tour like this where you are together pretty much 24/7.
This tour gave us a glimpse of the beautiful Emerald Isle and gave us some ideas for what to see and which places to add to our must-see list for our next trip to Ireland! Do you have anything that we need to add to our Ireland bucket list? Let us know below!
Hopefully our posts and reviews on our All Ireland Rocker 7 days tour have been helpful for you in deciding where in Ireland to visit, what sights to see and whether taking a guided tour of Ireland – such as the Shamrocker Adventures trip that we went on, might work for you.
Next up: Edinburgh! Stay tuned!
From Vancouver with Love,
Ioana and Natalie
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