Most visitors know of at least a few places and attractions they would like to visit during their travels to Ireland. The Blarney Stone. The Cliffs of Moher. Dublin. The Giants Causeway… A general idea of what places most intrigue you is a great place to start.
How to Decide
First, make a wish list of where you want to go. Then get out a map, find and mark all of your top destinations and attractions. Identify the region that has the most marks. This is where you should concentrate on visiting.
Stick With One or Two Regions
Depending on how long you have, you may be able to visit a few regions in Ireland. For trips no longer than a week, stick with one region (two max), like the Northwest or Southwest.
It is likely that you will not check off every destination on your wish list. That’s ok. (What better excuse to come back?) You will be doing yourself a favor by not “seeing everything” in one or two weeks.
The country is best absorbed slowly, one day at a time. Travel Ireland any other way and you will be exhausted and miss much of what it has to offer. Its history, people, and landscapes are hidden from tour busses. You must immerse yourself fully in every place to experience the magnificence of Ireland. Try not to rush off to the next stop.
Still Not Sure Where to Go?
If your list is small or you have a hard time identifying an area of focus, pick up the Eyewitness Travel Guide to Ireland. They break down Ireland by region and offer plenty of pictures to help give you a feel for each location. From here, do a Google Images search for the places that interest you the most. Make note of your favorites and identify the region that you are most attracted to.
If you are struggling to decide where to go, go to the Southwest—Dingle, Killarney, Kenmare, the Ring of Kerry. The people are welcoming, the scenery is stunning, and there is much to do. You will be so charmed that you will have to return and explore the rest of the country (many, many times).