We had a wonderful window of time to travel this summer and decided to make one of our bucketlist dreams come true: rent a campervan and drive all over Ireland! There were so many things we wanted to do and see, and having the flexibility of a campervan to adjust our destinations as needed was a top priority. Since we had never been to Ireland before, it was tough to narrow things down in our ten day time frame, but we eventually came up with an itinerary that included a combination of city exploring, unique excursions, hikes, hot spots, diving into history, visits with friends, and plenty of nature time.
10 DAYS IN IRELAND, 8 DAYS CAMPERVAN ITINERARY:
Want to skip ahead? Click on the day that interests you!
- Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Check into Harcourt Hotel, explore Dublin sites: Dublin Castle, Christchurch, Temple Bar, Church Bar, Ha’Penny Bridge, etc.
- Day 2: Tour Trinity College/Book of Kells/Long Hall Library, visit EPIC Museum, pick up campervan, Lidl for groceries, drive 4 hours to Cliffs of Moher, stay Cliffs of Moher.
- Day 3: Cliffs of Moher to Dingle Peninsula, Dunmore Head, Coumeenoole Beach, drive Ring of Kerry to Portmagee, stay Portmagee.
- Day 4: Morning landing tour of Skellig Michael (mom + son), fishing excursion (dad + daughters), drive Ring of Kerry to Killarney, Celtic Steps Show, stay Killarney.
- Day 5: Hike Gap of Dunloe, Muckross House & Gardens (swim), explore Killarney, stay Fossa Campground Killarney.
- Day 6: Torc Waterfall, drive Killarney to Newcastle (N. Ireland), hike Glen River Falls route for sunset views, stay Donard Car Park in Newcastle.
- Day 7: Morning Belfast Titanic Experience, afternoon visiting with friends in Belfast. Stay Belfast.
- Day 8: Belfast to Dark Hedges, then to Dunseverick Castle ruins (park) and hike west to Giant’s Causeway, Bushmill’s Distillery, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge & Larrybane Quarry, stay Magheracross Car Park (overlooking Dunluce Castle).
- Day 9: Drive south, stop at Newgrange, then Powerscourt Waterfall. Dinner + stay at Johnnie Fox’s Pub just outside of Dublin.
- Day 10: Morning return campervan just north of Dublin, Guinness Storehouse dinner + tour, Big Bus tour Dublin, Jameson Distillery, dinner at The Brazen Head (oldest pub in Ireland), stay Radisson Blu Airport.
- Day 11: Fly home
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DAY 1: ARRIVING IN DUBLIN
Our flight arrived in Dublin around noon thanks to airport delays, but that didn’t stop us from exploring! It takes upwards of 30+ minutes to Uber into Dublin from the airport, so we were able to check into our hotel right away and drop off our bags in the room. We were thrilled with the Harcourt Hotel, a centrally located boutique hotel with family rooms, a lovely breakfast, awesome staff, and at a great price.
From the hotel we took a walk up the street, tummies grumbling for some good eats. We found The Meltdown, a quirky hole in the wall restaurant with the most amazing “toasties” (grilled sandwiches) that were to die for. The most unique one had macaroni and cheese inside! Just look at this goodness:
We continued on, admiring the colorful streets and giving thanks for the awesome weather. We couldn’t believe how nice it was. The whole month before we arrived it rained every day, and the forecast didn’t call for a drop of rain that day or for at least a week. We sure lucked out! (Luck of the Irish?) Our next stop was Dublin Castle.
Dublin Castle is a fun tour. Kids under 12 are free, and adult tickets cost €8. Kids can pick up a treasure hunt sheet that is very informative; we had a lot of fun looking for the answers to quiz questions as we toured the castle. It takes about two hours to visit the castle and gardens. It can be done in less time, but then you will be rushing a bit. Don’t miss admiring the beautiful glass potatoes art sculpture made by Mary Robinson entitled 1845: Memento Mori. It’s a very moving work symbolizing opulence during the misery of famine.
You have to exit the castle to go nearby to the Dubh Linn Garden where you will learn all about the origins of the name Dublin (hint: it had to do with the name Dubh Linn, meaning “black water”) and go nearby to the Chester Beatty library for refreshments and restrooms if you need it.
From the castle we walked to visit the Christchurch Cathedral. Outside (pictured) is a very moving statue of “Homeless Jesus” on a bench. There is also a replica of the church nearby so you can view it from above, and an Armenian Genocide memorial to keep an eye out for. It costs €24/family (€10/adult, €3.50/child) to enter and tour Christchurch Cathedral, but we arrived as it was closing so couldn’t tour this time. Perhaps even more interesting for us history buffs would have been a visit next door to the Dublinia Museum, a tour through Viking and Medieval Dublin! Again we were too late for this, but have heard it is awesome. Apparently in excavating the land and building the City Hall nearby they discovered centuries old artifacts dating back to the Viking era. It would have been €47 for our family of 5 to visit (€14/age 12+, €6.50/child), so it isn’t cheap, but it’s a destination rich with history for sure. Learn more here.
Next we wandered down to the Temple Bar area. We learned Temple Bar isn’t just one place – it’s a whole neighborhood in Dublin! There are many “Temple Bars” in Temple Bar neighborhood, but the most noteworthy is the bright red Temple Bar Pub, est in 1840, made famous for their 450+ kinds of whiskey, Ireland’s largest collection. My favorite building in this neighborhood is the green and yellow Oliver St. John Gogarty’s Hostel – it’s not even a pub!
From there we crossed the River Liffey and wandered over to the Church Café Bar & Restaurant. It’s a bar and restaurant literally built into an old beautiful church! This is a fun place to bop into for a drink, but I don’t recommend here for dining. They also have live music some evenings. Nearby there is also a small park, and the National Leprechaun Museum of Ireland – fun for kids who love St. Patrick’s Day.
After our drinks (and underwhelming nachos) at the Church bar, we crossed the Liffey River via the Ha’Penny Bridge. This lacy white iron bridge is officially the Liffey Bridge, but earned the nickname Ha’Penny when it was built. The builder and operator of the bridge, William Walsh, charged 1.5 pence to cross the bridge for the first three years after it was built – complete with turnstiles on each end. Walsh was granted a toll fee because he originally had a ferry service to cross the river, but it was in disrepair, and the city said “repair the ferries or build a bridge.” He chose to build a bridge, and in 1916 the Ha’Penny Bridge was erected. The toll was per person walking across, so it is said that Walsh allowed passersby to ride piggy back to cross the bridge for a 2-for-1 toll. It’s been operating toll-free for over 100 years.
There are so many fun, historic sites to see in Dublin! My favorite is spotting a funky pub, like The Bank Bar & Restaurant, built into an old bank. It’s beautiful inside! We didn’t have time to visit all the pubs but you could easily spend a week or more just bopping around from pub to pub. We passed The Bank Bar on our way to the Molly Mallone statue, one of those iconic Irish stories based on a song. It’s right behind St. Andrew’s Church. Even though we couldn’t get tickets to THE Riverdance on this trip, we couldn’t resist a walk past the Gaiety Theater to see the famous handprints in the sidewalk. If you want Riverdance tickets, book early – you can get them for as low as €15/pp, but if you wait then all that’s left will be €55/pp tickets (if you’re lucky!). We also picked up donuts at the delicious Rolling Donut shop on King Street – we can’t find great donuts here in Belgium. It’s right across from the beautiful Stephen’s Green Shopping Center (large glass atrium pictured below). Finally, a quick walk up Grafton Street was in order, because we love a good Ed Sheeran song and he used to play here as a street musician. Don’t miss peeking down Anne St towards St. Anne’s Church – another one of those iconic Dublin views (pictured below).
As we couldn’t pick up our campervan until 2:30 PM, we had some time in the morning to explore Dublin a bit more. We had a delicious breakfast at the Harcourt Hotel, then headed out to Trinity College. We got tickets online to visit the Book of Kells & Long Room Library that morning. I’ll warn you – it was frustrating to try to buy a family ticket online for the Book of Kells as there is some kind of glitch that didn’t register the children (under 12 are free), so we ended up buying only adult tickets (3, as we have a 12 year old) and explained at the entrance we couldn’t figure out how to get the girls’ free tickets online. They were very nice and accommodating – just remember to book your tickets in advance because the time slots fill up quickly. It’s one of the most popular destinations in Dublin! Buy tickets here.
The best entrance to visit Trinity College is via College Green, across from the Irish Whiskey Museum. We entered on the opposite end of the campus, which made it a little more tricky to find things. I recommend downloading the Visit Trinity App to have a free audioguide through the campus and small museum. It’s rather chaotic once you’re inside the Book of Kells exhibit, and it’s difficult to find the order of things, but the app helps a lot. Apparently there are also little informational treasure hunt booklets for kids too, but we didn’t know about that until we left. Be sure to ask about them – it will help make the visit more interesting for little ones.
The informative exhibits for the Book of Kells take about 30 minutes to view. In the exhibit hall you are permitted to take photos as you learn about the history of the Book of Kells, but once you enter the “treasury” where the actual book is located, photos are off limits. This famous religious text was believed to be written around the year 800 AD at a Columbian monastery in the UK, but got the name Book of Kells from its home at the Abbey of Kells in Ireland, where it lived for centuries. The decorative detail and colorful designs in this Biblical text are unmatched anywhere, and are therefore priceless. After viewing the (one page of the) Book of Kells, you make your way upstairs to the infamous Long Room at the Old Library of Trinity College. Most people recognize this incredible place from Harry Potter – but the truth is, the movie was filmed in Cambridge, England! The library, however, is very similar to the Long Room and therefore has even been nicknamed the Harry Potter Library. The Trinity Old Library is actually larger than what we are able to visit as tourists, but this long room is definitely the most impressive part of the tour. Several famous artifacts are on display here, including the Brian Boru harp, a copy of the Book of Kells, and the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. After your visit you can walk downstairs into the impressive bookstore. We were there quite early, among the first tours of the day, and it was still jam packed.
The entire tour took about an hour and a half, but you can breeze through in an hour if you’re limited on time. We wandered through Parliament Square at Trinity, taking note of the chapel, memorial building, exam hall and campanile tower, then left campus by way of the College Green intersection. Again we were lucky to have such lovely weather, enabling us to walk virtually everywhere in Dublin.
We made our way to the EPIC Emigration museum along the River Laffe, passing pub after pub and the Custom House (a government building) along the river.
We also passed the infamous Famine Memorial – statues erected along the river to commemorate the Irish Famine of the 1800’s. This was difficult to see, but also an important discussion topic with the kids. We also passed the Jeanie Johnston ship, an Irish Famine Story – and although we didn’t have time to visit the ship, these two historic spots were an excellent lead-in to our visit to the EPIC Emigration Museum.
The EPIC Emigration Museum is a must see for all who visit Dublin. This place has brilliantly highlighted all aspects of Irish culture and their rich history that stretches through time and across the globe. It’s so interesting to walk through each exhibit, stamp your passport and feel completely immersed in the time. What a beautiful tribute to all things Irish! We learned so much. Plan at least 2 hours for your visit. There are great eateries in the entrance hall to the museum (we had Thai food after for lunch – yum!) and places to shop as well. It was €50.50 for our family of 5 for a family pass. So worth it…the kids loved it! Buy tickets here.
Adult (Age 18-64) €17.50/€18.50
Teenager (Age 13-17) €11.50/€12.00
Child (Age 6-12) €8.50/€9.00
Infant (Age 0-5) FREE
After a wonderful tour and delicious lunch, we took an Uber out of town to the Indie Camper pickup spot, located here. Download the FreeNow app as well, as sometimes their prices are better than Uber and most taxis use FreeNow in Dublin. Factor in travel time (30-40 min) and taxi cost (about €45/trip) when budgeting for a Dublin camper van.
HERE WE GO!
We made it to Indiecampers by 2:30 and were already grocery shopping nearby by 3:30. It didn’t take long for us to fill out the paperwork, do the once over of the van, ask questions, pack our things up, and hit the road. The staff at Indiecampers was kind, helpful, and relaxed, making the start of our adventure a breeze! (No affiliation – full review is all ours.) One thing we noticed, though, was that the campervan was pretty banged up. We were careful to take photos of every scratch, crack and ding, and listened carefully to the tips the staff gave us. This was our first time driving a campervan, and although the hubby has experience driving on the left side (and a stick shift!), it still took some getting used to. We made sure to book unlimited mileage to be safe, as well as insurance.
Things to note: the propane tank that comes with your campervan is at whatever capacity the previous renters left it at. This could be almost full or almost empty. We didn’t use much propane, but keep this in mind – an added expense is replacing the propane tank if necessary, which is on your own dime. Tolls: there is an automatic toll on the M50 that can be paid online (we had to do this four times, website here) but everything else is intuitive. Food: factor in time to pick up provisions. You can do this before (which would be very smart) if you have your own car and time, or you can build in time to do it after picking up the rig like we did. Buying groceries saved us tons of money on expensive meals.
- Fiat Atlas, sleeps 5 people, 7m long, kitchen, toilet + shower, swivel front captains chairs, seat belts for 5 (one seat rear facing, see below), 1 permanent double bed, 2 modular beds.
- Price (varies by season – from $78-$250 per night) for 8 nights = $2K* (We paid for insurance, unlimited mileage, a travel kit, VAT and service fees that added an additional $1k, so the total price of our 8 days with the campervan was $3k, plus gas.)
- Gas (we drove FAR) = $300
- Camping fees = $46 (only one of the eight nights at a campground!)
Remember: there are many types of campervans. We got the biggest one! Your family might fit in a smaller rig, which would cost significantly less.
So we finally have this great, comfortable rig – our home for the week – but where do we stay? We were determined to find free places to park each night, and had great luck using the park4night app. After loading up on groceries at Lidl, we hit the road to cross the island of Ireland all the way to the Cliffs of Moher. We arrived in time for the most beautiful, chilly sunset walk along the cliffs, and just as the visitor center was closing (so we could use the rest room and save our onboard toilet for emergencies) so it was perfect timing. The best part? We paid ahead for parking and we were able to stay overnight in the Cliffs of Moher parking lot! We weren’t the only ones to do it, either. There were probably about 15 various vehicles using the lot overnight. It was a bit slanted, so we got creative to find level ground. But what a place to wake up to! We were glad to have food with us for the first night as there were no places to eat after the Cliffs of Moher experience shops closed at 7PM. Either way, this is a fabulous place for a hike and a picnic.
If you arrive a bit earlier, you can visit the Hungry Veggie (below) a food truck located on Burren Way path out to the south Cliffs of Moher viewpoint in the direction of Hag’s Head. I wish we could’ve had a bite to eat here before they closed at 5PM. I messaged the owner on instagram @thehungryveggiefoodtrailer to find out the hours and he said 12-5PM weather permitting, except Tuesdays. There are many, many trails along the cliffs of Moher. The most popular ones lead to O’Brien’s Tower to the north, and Moher Tower at Hag’s Head to the south. We didn’t have time to hike all the way to Moher’s Tower, but we were able to fit in walks from O’Brien’s Tower all the way to Johnston’s Quarry viewpoint area in the 2 hours we stayed to watch the sunset. The hike from the visitor center to Hag’s Head would take about one hour. The trails are very well marked and labeled (with warning signs), but people were still hopping over for closer-to-the-cliffs views. Just be extra careful, especially with kids.
It was a phenomenal evening, punctuated by happy grazing cows and a glorious sunset. Our first night sleeping in the campervan was great. The kids loved it – it’s very comfortable – and after a full day of touring Dublin, driving across Ireland and hiking the cliffs of Moher, everyone was pooped. The next day promised blue skies for our drive south, and some very memorable stops…
It was a bit foggy when we first awoke at the Cliffs of Moher, but we were eager to head south to the Dingle Peninsula, so we hit the road by 8AM. It was a 3h45m drive down to Dunmore Head. Of course we stopped at several beautiful viewpoints along the way. The coast of Ireland is so green and breathtaking!
The Dingle Peninsula is a unique place that you can only drive clockwise around during the day (keep this in mind) but you wouldn’t want it any other way. The roads are narrow on the Slea Head Drive (the name of the loop around the Dingle Peninsula), so it helps when the traffic is mostly going in the same direction, especially as there are amazing views that will be quite distracting. We didn’t stop – we went straight for Dunmore Head. When we arrived there at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, we parked our big campervan along the road. This was the only place that turned out to be a little hairy (we dinged the bumper on the way out) but that’s probably because we visited mid summer on one of the best weather days, so the small parking lots were full and there was quite a bit of traffic.
The first thing you have to do at Dunmore Head (besides drop in a 1€ donation in the trail head box) is hike up and over (or around) the hill to the tip of the peninsula. The views are incredible in all directions, and the grass feels just like a golf course. Clearly there are sheep who graze here occasionally (as evidenced by the poo), but otherwise this is a pristine spot, great for a picnic and especially magnificent for STAR WARS fans. As you can see, this is a STAR WARS filming location. Only a few shots were taken here for Episode 8 The Last Jedi, but they’re iconic. Do you recognize them? The scene where Luke extracts green milk from the thala on “Ahch-To” was filmed here!
You don’t have to be a STAR WARS fan to appreciate the gorgeous rock formations and incredible vistas of Dunmore Head. It’s an absolute must visit if you ask me. If you luck out and get a warm, sunny summer day like we did, head down to Coumeenoole Beach right there next to Dunmore Head. It has impossibly turquoise waters (why?!) and although it was a chilly swim, the sand was warm and the landscape was so much fun for the kids to explore. We were glad to have a campervan here because there are no facilities anywhere – plan accordingly! There are other large beaches on the peninsula such as Fionn Tra Bay Beach and Clogher Strand, but Coumeenoole is secluded and in my opinion, the most beautiful.
Clogher Strand is pictured below left, but just before that is Dunquin Pier. Dunquin Pier is a beautiful pitstop about 1km after leaving Dunmore Head. It’s definitely worth a quick walk down the pier for a view overlooking the back side of Dunmore Head and Great Blasket Island. We continued along the Slea Head Drive until it reconnected with the main road in Dingle, then headed east until we reached the end of the peninsula, passing Inch Beach along the way. We met up with the Ring of Kerry at the River Caragh Viewing Point and finished the gorgeous drive along the north rim of the Ring of Kerry, arriving at Portmagee in time for a delicious dinner at The Moorings restaurant and lovely sunset over the coast. We parked for free behind the Catholic Church in Portmagee, and again we weren’t the only ones! Two other campervans were there overnight as well.
‘Twas a day for tours! My son and I were very excited for our landing tour on Skellig Michael and boat tour around the coast and Skellig islands, but even more jazzed that it was a bluebird day with calm seas. There truly couldn’t have been better conditions. We were all layered up in warm, weatherproof clothes, but it turned out we didn’t need half of those layers and ended up stripping them off as it got HOT on our hike! More on that later…
While we boarded our boat for the Skelligs, daddy took the girls on a fishing excursion. They weren’t yet old enough to land on Skellig Michael (must be age 12+), so this was a fun alternative. They love fishing! The tour was organized through Murphy’s Atlantic Angling; they scheduled a half day tour for €300 (3 people). It was a small boat and the seas were choppy by mid day when they were ready to return to shore, but they had a great time and caught several good looking pollack. In fact, the girls brought back the biggest fish and cooked it up for lunch. It was delicious!
Portmagee is a great little coastal town adjacent to Valentia Island. There are plenty of things to explore on Valentia Island as well, but most people come to Portmagee for boat tours. It is a quaint and quiet village, and everyone was super friendly. When we returned from our tours, however, the town was positively PACKED with people as far as the eye could see. Apparently there was a rowing competition happening, and it was a significant one, complete with announcers, tons of cheering teams, and enough spectators to make you think the whole peninsula showed up for the event. It was fun to catch the tail end of it, anyway….
SKELLIG MICHAEL LANDING TOUR There are several companies who charter boats out to the Skellig Islands for tours, and each company also sends a couple of boats each day during the season for a landing tour. Only 200 people per day are permitted on the island as per the licensing rules, and the tours fill up very fast – book upwards of 3 months in advance. Our tour was with Seanie at Sea Quest Skellig Tours, but it was arranged through Skelligs Rock. Again, there are several websites booking landing tours so if one site is already full, check the others! *Scroll down to the bottom of the Skellig photos to learn how to get a lucky tour last minute!
Take note: the websites and guides tell you there are no facilities on Skellig Michael, which means you could be without a bathroom for 4-6 hours. We were very relieved to see that there is in fact one toilet available at the entrance ramps on the island, so use it right away if you need it.
The tour is €120 per person, and half of the money is required the day of booking as a deposit. The rest needs to be paid the day of sailing in person, in cash. Remember that the tour can be cancelled at the discretion of the boat companies due to inclement weather, and that does sometimes happen. The season for booking is from mid May until late September. A few days before the sail you will receive information on the departure time of your boat. It all depends on the weather! The tour is four hours long (an hour out, two hours on the island, and an hour back) so be sure to bring a lunch with you, or at least snacks. My son and I picked up sack lunches at the little cafe across from the marina and brought plenty of water. It’s a good idea to stay nearby in Portmagee or somewhere along the coast so it’s easier to make your departure time, but I know people who stayed in Killarney and got up very early to meet the boat. Although we didn’t need all the layers we wore, it’s still very smart to bring all the warm clothes and expect it to be chilly out there.
When you first arrive on the island, you hop off the boat at the small pier and make your way along the path to where the guides are waiting. Tours of about 20 people are staggered throughout the day so it doesn’t feel like 200 people are all visiting the mount at the same time. The tour guides share a safety briefing as well as instructions, then you climb over 700ft up the island using the 600 steps. Although looking up at them may be daunting, the natural high of simply being on the island lifted us effortlessly to the top. I don’t even remember feeling tired as I was in awe of the breathtaking landscape at every moment. Perhaps being breathless at times contributed to that, too?
What an incredible day with my son! I was overwhelmed by it, really. We loved standing on the mythical STAR WARS island of Ahch-To and learning about the real life monks who lived at this UNESCO World Heritage Site for centuries. The original Gaelic monastery was slowly built between the 6th-8th centuries and endured for a millenia, when around the 16th century it became a site for religious pilgrims. STAR WARS nerds will appreciate that this island was used in the movies by Luke Skywalker as his hideaway, where the “sacred Jedi texts” were protected in an ancient tree. In real life, monks used the hermitage on the island to house and protect ancient texts from the Culdee church that date back to 37 AD. Interesting nod to history! Below you can see the beautiful beehive huts of the hermitage, in remarkable condition. Each one had a capstone on top that could be removed to allow campfire smoke to escape, but they were remarkably waterproof dwellings. A church, gardens, and cemetery also exist on the island. It was a self-serving community for hundreds of years as the monks fished, farmed, and let livestock graze for their food. Perhaps most impressive is that they made their way to and from the island by small rowboats – something I can’t imagine, even on our day with “good seas”! When you reach the beehive huts, another tour guide shares wonderful stories for about 15 minutes. The whole experience is spectacular! Yes, you can enter the huts, and you can wander just about everywhere except off the trails.
In addition to being a historic and archaeological gem, this island and its neighbor “Little Skellig” (seen in the distance in many of these photos) are home to many bird species. We arrived about one week after the puffins on the island left, but we did see their tiny homes among the rocks and wildflowers. On Little Skellig, petrels, huge gannets, and puffins cover the cliffs. There are so many birds that the rocks appear white, covered in snow. In fact it is just birds and their poop that give the rocks their white coloring. It is also possible to see falcons and grey seals on or around the island. Every single green area that you see is off limits to pedestrians, as those are likely puffin nests. I was surprised to see small modular housing for the five or so tour guides who stay on the island in two week stints. They live right there and experience everything the monks did. There is also a helicopter pad – can you see it?
After two hours touring the great Skellig Michael and feeling on top of the world, it was time to descend and make our way back to the pier as our boat had a very specific time we were supposed to leave. Don’t miss your boat time! You don’t have to stay with your little group the whole time, but it’s a good idea to know who’s in your group so you can look out for each other. I was on such a natural high after the tour that my legs were shaking as I got back on the boat. On the way back the captain will take you around Little Skellig and tell you all about the huge gannet birds and other facts about the island. I loved the windows in the rocks all around Little Skellig. They say if you get pooped on boating around the island, it’s good luck. Well, we didn’t get pooped on, but I sure left that day feeling like we were the luckiest people in the world! This was definitely a tour to remember.
TIPS: If you can’t get onto a landing tour, it doesn’t hurt to call or email to get on a waiting list. The next best thing is a cruise around the islands (not for seasick prone people) which is also beautiful, cheaper, and has no age limits. These can be booked through the same website for €50/adult, €45/student, or €160/family (2+2, €30 each additional child). *BUT we also learned another trick for people determined to land on Skellig Michael. On the day of, you can wander down to the pier and talk to the boat captains, letting them know you’d like to jump on if anyone is a no-show. Of course this is most likely if you are only one or two people, but believe it or not, 6 people were able to do this on various boats the morning we sailed – I was so surprised! It was very lucky, but also made me realize it’s worth a try if you really want to do a landing tour – just have cash at the ready.
After our tour we made our way through the crowds who were watching the rowing races and found daddy and the girls at the campervan cooking us a delicious lunch of pollack, herbed Irish soda bread and grilled onions. Mmmm did that Indiecamper smell good! Before we left the parking lot I made a quick stop at Skellig Experience Visitor Center for souvenirs.
Then we hit the road! Our goal was to drive the Ring of Kerry clockwise until we reached Killarney. We left at 3:30 with a 2 hour drive to Killarney, knowing we’d stop a few times to take in the scenery. Little did we know we’d have car troubles stop us up by the end of the day…
The MUST SEE viewing points along the Ring of Kerry include: Com an Chiste (above), Derrynane Beach, Molls Gap (below), and Ladies View (below). Other points of interest are Muckross Lake (including Muckross House & Gardens which I discuss later), and Torc Waterfall. My favorite of all of these was Molls Gap – an incredible viewpoint over the valley in both directions. Impossibly green and a joy to drive! At Ladies View we pulled into upper viewpoint and noticed our campervan was smoking from the hood, and it smelled like oil…
Here we were at this gorgeous viewpoint overlooking Upper Lake Killarney (also lovely to explore) but we were stuck. One quick view peek the hood and we saw the problem – the oil cap had popped off somewhere along these bumpy, winding roads, and oil had splashed and spilled all over the place making quite a mess. Thankfully we were able to remedy the problem fairly quickly, although it was nerve racking at first. We messaged the Indiecampers help line and asked them what to do. They got back to us eventually, and in the meantime we were able to get a cab into town (about 20 mins) so we didn’t miss the Celtic Steps show we had tickets for that evening at 8. There was plenty of time to get there and order pizza delivery for dinner right to the race track (where the Celtic Steps show performs) while we waited. Sometimes a snaffu can be fun! This also changed our itinerary a bit, as we had to order a new oil cap and that wouldn’t be delivered until day 6, so we planned to stay overnight in Killarney at Fossa campground on day 5 instead of driving up to Connemara and Galway. But here we were on a full, amazing day 4 (remember we did the Skelligs in the morning!) and nothing was going to put a damper on our fun. We attended the Celtic Steps show – get there early as its open seating, and we got to sit in the front row – it was totally worth it! The kids loved the dancing, music and all around wonderful Irish entertainment of the night, and they even got to meet the award winning dancers after the show. It would be fun to attend an event at the racetrack as well, since that is where the show is held. It was about 10:15 when the show was over – definitely a late night for the kiddos.