Ireland is the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited.  While other places have singularly beautiful sites, Ireland, as a whole, was by far the most scenic. From scenic countryside to dramatic cliffs to lovely castles, Ireland definitely tops my list of beautiful countries.

Ireland Trip Report

  1. Ireland Overview
  2. Driving in Ireland
  3. Castles, Castles, and more Castles
  4. Kylemore and Connemara
  5. The Cliffs of Insanity!
  6. The Loop Around the Dingle Peninsula
  7. Searching for the Best Guinness in Dublin
  8. 6 Hotels in 7 Nights! Part 1
  9. 6 Hotels in 7 Nights! Part 2
  10. Ireland’s Fine Eats – Part 1
  11. Ireland’s Fine Eats – Part 2

We’ll discuss the countryside and cliffs later, but for now, here’s a montage of the various castles we visited:

1.  Trim Castle – We visited Trim Castle our first day in Ireland.  Trim is a quaint little town about 45 minutes west of Dublin, which made it a convenient first stop on our tour of Ireland.  Admission to the castle was 6 euros but because we showed up late, the guard gave us a “senior” discount and it only cost 4 euros.  Unfortunately, we missed out on the last tour so did not get to go into the castle.

2.  Dunguaire Castle – This castle is supposedly the most photographed castle in Ireland.  It is located between Trim and Galway.  Admission was 6 euros, and we were feeling cheap that day so we didn’t go in.

3.  Barryscourt Castle – This castle was located near Cork.  It was built in the 16th century and was built in the typical “Irish-style.”  Admission is free, and we went on a free tour of the castle that lasted approximately 45 minutes.  On the tour, we learned that the government imposed a roof tax on buildings back in the 1930’s. In order to avoid paying taxes, the Irish tore off the roofs of their buildings which resulted in a ton of ruins.  No roof = no taxable building.  Sounds like a legal loophole to me.

We went to Barryscourt instead of Blarney Castle, because Blarney Castle is supposed to be ultra-touristy and crowded.  I am also kind of a germaphobe and didn’t want to even consider kissing the Blarney Stone.

4.  Kilkenny Castle – This castle was built in 1195 and was in ruins until it was dramatically rebuilt and renovated in the 1970’s.  It is a lovely castle and well worth the admission of 6 euros. While the inside of the castle is beautiful, pictures are prohibited for some reason, so here’s a picture of Mr. Selfish jumping for your amusement.

As is evident by the above photographs, Mr. Selfish and I completely lucked out in terms of weather.  We were expecting dreary and rainy weather but actually enjoyed warm and sunny days all week in Ireland.