So we fly out late on a Tuesday night from Amsterdam to Cork, Ireland. Our first time flying with Aer Lingus and it was a pretty smooth trip.
Our hotel in Cork was the Gresham Metropole . I primarily chose it due to it's location (just around the corner from the River Lee and St. Patricks Bridge and walking distance from all of Cork's main attractions), the fact that we had early morning trips booked and they offered breakfast (overpriced and not very good, we ended up getting breakfast elsewhere the second morning), and because they had a pool (turned out to be a lap pool rather than a leisure one so we didn't go in.)
Day 1 in Ireland we started (way too early for my taste) with an organized tour through Paddywagon Tours . Our tour guide was pretty upbeat and informative and helped to make the almost 12 hour day bearable.
We toured along what is known as the Wild Atlantic Way along the West coast of Clare.
We started the day with a (very quick) stop on the banks of the River Shannon in Limerick City. Stretching our legs we saw (from a distance) St. John's castle.
From there we continued on to the Cliffs of Moher. We were extremely lucky to have had beautiful weather. The cliffs were breathtaking.
Cliffs of Moher
Afterwards we headed to the tiny village of Doolin for lunch. It's a lovely little town. I wish that we'd had more time there.
Our final stop of the day was another opportunity to stretch our legs and take a quick photo of Bunratty Castle.
All in all the tour was well worth it. The drive from Cork to the cliffs takes some stamina. I'd recommend to others if you're planning on doing any sight seeing north of Cork, to get off of this tour at Doolin or the Cliffs instead of heading all the way back to Cork. That'll save you hours of drive time. Especially since even the main roads there (of which there seem to be few. It seems to be almost all secondary roads.) tend to go through small towns and have tons of roundabouts. Ireland seems to love roundabouts.