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We are back with our 7th travel blog post. Don’t forget to check our other travel posts.
Ireland has no shortage of scenic landscapes and coastal views; it doesn’t matter which part of the country you decide to visit. However, if you’ve heard anything about Irish weather, you know the summer is short-lived. Make hay while the sun shines – Whoever came up with this quote might as well have had Ireland in mind when they penned this down.
So, when the sun was finally out and the lockdowns ended, a road trip was inevitable. We made a 2-day plan around Kinsale and Dursey Island. For this tour, all you need is a car, good people and lots of energy. We had all three! Here’s our itinerary, places we visited, places we missed, and some pictures we captured along the way. Let’s get cracking.
Where did we stay?
We stayed in Glengarriff since it’s in between Mizen Head and Dursey. There are umpteen hotels and BNB’s to choose from. Bantry is also a suitable alternative.
Day 1 –
FREE – ** You don’t pay for any attraction except for the food and fuel**
On our first day, we headed to the Charles Fort, Old Head and Kinsale town. If you’re driving from Dublin, I’d highly recommend you to start early because there’s a fair bit of distance to cover and you wouldn’t want to rush things. We also made a quick pitstop on our way in Thurles, Tipperary and grabbed some delicious sandwiches from Town House Deli. They’ve got some fantastic local produce.
This beautiful star-shaped military fort was built during the reign of King Charles II. Charles Fort has been part of some of the most momentous events of Irish history. Just one look at the placement of this fort and you’d know why it’s a highly rated tourist attraction. Designed by William Robinson, its dimensions are awe-inspiring – some of the outer defenses are 16 meters high. The view from the fort looking out over Kinsale Harbor is spectacular.
A sunny day, adorable friends, a terrific fort, and FREE admission – what more could you ask for? An hour would be more than enough to explore the fort in its full glory. But, we weren’t done yet. We celebrated our friends Kavya & Pradeep’s wedding anniversary with a yummy chocolate cake and Kavi’s homemade potato rice. It was a perfect day for a lunch in the park.
Aerial photo courtesy: https://marinas.com/
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the town. Situated in the County Cork, Kinsale is a cute little fishing harbor in the south-west coast of Ireland and it is also called the gourmet capital of Ireland. It’s full of colorful streetscapes and vibrant boutiques. Fancy doing a day trip in Kinsale? Here’s your guide: https://www.kinsale.ie/2021/05/27/the-perfect-kinsale-day-trip/
From the town, head to the Old Head of Kinsale, a narrow headland that stretches about 4.5 km into the Celtic Sea. It’s home to a world-class golf course and luxury members’ accommodation. The entry to the golf course is only for the members. However, feel free to park your car at the entrance and go for a trek. You’re sure to have a splendid viewing experience. IT’S FREE!
We didn’t get to visit Mizen Head as it wasn’t open yet for visitors, following COVID lockdown. But, but, but.. Crazy friends, excellent weather and vacation mood meant we still drove all the way to the entrance just to have a late-night dinner which we bought on the way.
Being one of the extreme points of the island of Ireland, Mizen Head was the first (or last) sight of Europe for many seafarers. When it’s open – dare to cross the iconic Bridge high above the gorge, watch out for seals and dolphins. Also now, there’s a new Navigational Aids Simulator that takes you on a voyage in the ocean around the Mizen. Aim to spend around 2 hours here.
Day 2 –
Our only plan for the day was to reach Dursey on a cable car and walk around this gem of an island. The cable car itself is old and lovely and reasonably priced at only 10 euros per adult (5 euros for children). Dursey Island is 6.5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide. Start early and give yourself lots of time as it takes a good few hours to walk around the island.
The only caveat is the waiting time to get on the car as there’s just one car that goes back and forth. It could carry 6-8 people at once and the round trip takes around 20 mins. We waited for close to 3 hours to get our chance. But, don’t let that disappoint you because there’s a walking trail which you could explore while you’re waiting in the queue (We were 5 friends, so we took turns to explore the trail).
WARNING: Check opening times, arrive early to avoid long queues, bring sufficient cash (cards aren’t accepted and there’s no ATM nearby), and buy your food from near the parking area because Dursey has no shops or pubs.
If you still have time, consider going on a boat trip too! From what we saw, it’s definitely worth it.
It’s always nice to put faces to the names. Here’s the gang –
Phew! One more off the bucket list. What next? Keep looking, we’ll be back soon with yet another travel post. Do you have a dream destination in mind? Or, do you have suggestions for us? Leave your comments. Until next time, Ciao!
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