Top 3 Staycation Spots for Tours in Ireland
For such a beautiful nation, we seem to love leaving it behind. For years, Irish holidaymakers flooded the Costa del Sol, Lanzarote or even just over to Wales for a break from our own shores. Fortunately though, in more recent years, Irish people have begun to realise what makes our fair isle such a popular spot for tourists. And more and more of us are taking the opportunity to become tourists in our own country, taking tours in Ireland that may have escaped us before. Ok, so we may not have year-round sunshine and prices aren’t the cheapest. But we do have stunning, remote countryside, near-deserted windswept beaches and enough pubs to make the “craic” stay mighty for your entire holiday! Particularly on the west coast of Ireland, which now boosts the Wild Atlantic Way – off-the-beaten track roads and driveable coast trails that will leave your jaw hanging open at every turn. We’ve taken some time to choose our top 3 staycation spots in and around this route so you can take out the stress (and expense) of booking your next international holiday…and stay close to home instead.
Touring Ireland’s Hot Spots: 3 Top Destinations
Ah, Co. Gaillimh. Songs have been penned about the beauty of Galway girls. The colourful streets of the city are filled with artists, musicians and international wanderers. While the wild countryside of Connemara will make for some of the most scenic drives you’ll ever encounter in Ireland. Plus, Galway is quite a sizable county. You could spend your entire staycation in Galway and never get bored! That’s because you’ve got the pulse and beat of the city, where you can go to see live music, shop til you drop and chow down on oysters, mussels and other fabulous seafood. You could stay in the heart of town itself or slightly further out, in the likes of Salthill, for a super scenic walk “home”. Or you could venture further into the wild, into Connemara, where you’ll still find lively towns like Cliften to keep you entertained. Galway should top the itinerary of any tour of Ireland – and it does. Meaning it can get quite busy with tourists during the summer months, particularly around the Galway Arts Festival or the
Galway Races. But hey – the extra crowds only add to the fun atmosphere! It would be worth booking your accommodation in advance though, as B&Bs and hotels tend to fill up fast.
Another tourist favourite and also a popular destination for Hen & Stag parties, this Mayo town, located on the edge of Clew Bay, has a lot to offer. Its Georgian town centre is pretty to wander around, for one, crammed with interesting and eclectic shops. There’s the Great Western Greenway bike path, which runs from the town centre to Achill Island and back, if you’re looking for a fun activity to do as a couple, with your family or for a solo adventure. Then there’s the brilliant pub and live music scene, which will leave you absolutely spoiled for choice. Westport is a much smaller location for a staycation than the entire county of Galway but still, it’s hard to be bored here! And if you do find yourself wanting to venture further afield, well then Croagh Patrick offers the perfect vantage point of the gorgeous scenery below. If you are making this climb though, make sure to bring proper hiking boots and dress appropriately for the weather, which can be changeable. It’s more than your average Sunday stroll and more challenging than you might expect. But trust us, the views from the top are worth it!
More pretty streets, more scenic rivers, more lively bars – Carrick-on-Shannon is our third and final hotspot for staycations in Ireland. (FYI: there are plenty more, these are just our favourites!) Why visit Carrick-on-Shannon? Well, located on Co. Leitrim’s stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s not as much on tourists’ radar as say, Galway or Westport. So it’s likely that the roads and countryside around it are quieter. Of course, the town itself is another Hen & Stag party favourite, but it really depends on the weekend. If you can go mid-week, you’ll have a much calmer town to enjoy its charms. And it is undoubtedly charming. The smallest county town in Ireland is, in a word, adorable. Taking a boat out on the River Shannon is one of the most popular ways to tour the area. Time to unleash your inner captain and set sail! If you’d rather stay on solid ground, there’s some great walks around the area, too. An ideal way to clear your head “the morning after the night before” as disclaimer: the pubs are very fun here!
Final Thoughts: Forget the Vacation, Enjoy a Staycation! Why would you want to vacate this gorgeous country for somewhere else, anyway?! Instead, take a tour around Ireland instead. It really is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s right on your doorstep. Whether you’re after a city break with the girls, a countryside retreat with the family or a hiking holiday with that special someone, Ireland has all the options you could ever want! Get your cultural fix, your live music fix, your foodie mix and more – all with the friendliest locals to show you the ropes. If you need any help in arranging tour services, from airport transfers to shopping trips, Knock Airport Taxi Service has you covered. We’ll make your staycation as special as possible, taking the hassle out of organising so you can just enjoy your holiday.