There’s something inherently adventurous in traveling, no matter how you go about it. For many, the thrill is increased when they step away from the guided tours and into a fully independent travel expedition. There are so many different types of independent Ireland tours and the country offers trips that complement almost every explorers taste in travel!
- Castle Goers
Adare Manor, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Ireland has its fair share of awe inspiring castles to choose from. Each region has its own spectacular sites that are sure to occupy a grand portion of a trip. Imagine yourself visiting the many historical grounds and roaming at your own pace, envisioning all the stories that have taken place there in days long past.
Our favorite part? Not only can you explore the many castles Ireland has to offer, you can actually stay in some of them! We’ve put together a handy list of many of the different castles you can board in throughout Ireland, as well as some of the main attractions.
Royal Portrush Golf Course, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland – UK
Ireland is home to many of the world’s premier golf locations. The savvy golfer can plan a trip to knock some of the amazing golf resorts off their bucket lists. Many people choose to go up to the Northern golf spots, but there are options all over that independent travels can mix and match to craft the ultimate golf expedition.
- Spirits & Ales Aficionado’s
Kilbeggan Distillery Experience, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
Ireland is known for a lot of things, and on a global scale their pubs and distilleries rank pretty high up there. If you’re a spirits or beer connoisseur, or just a fan, then you may want to look into all the different Ireland tours you can take testing the countries finest.
Lost about where to start? We suggest checking out Kilbeggan Distillery, or if you’re looking for a good microbrewery check out Galway Bay Brewery. Of course, you can’t go wrong going straight for the Guinness Brewery and Jameson Distillery. However, it might not hurt to brush up on your pub etiquette before you dive in.
Carlingford Oyster Festival, Co. Louth, Ireland
Everyones taste buds are different, while some people may be venturesome in their eating, others may enjoy sticking to more traditional foods – Ireland’s got some of both. Yes there is a lot of meat and potatoes in Ireland, but their culinary scene is growing!
One option that may be fun for the independent foodie is to plan an Ireland tour around Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails.
- Outdoor Enthusiast
Mourne Mountains, Co. Down, Ireland
What’s more independent that surviving out on the land for a few days? Or maybe take it a little easier and just do some hiking sans camping. Ireland is brimming with amazing scenic areas for outdoor enthusiasts.
Some of our top choices are:
- Kerry Way
- Beara Way
- Dingle Way
- Antrim Hills Way
- Green Thumbs
National Botanical Gardens, Dublin, Ireland
When you think of a color to associate with Ireland, which one comes to mind? We’re going to bet it’s green. It didn’t get that association just because of St. Paddy’s day either. Ireland is full of expansive green space that even people who aren’t necessarily green thumbs can appreciate.
Because of it’s extremely fertile land, almost all of Ireland is a garden. If you’d like to visit specific gardens within Ireland’s scenic splendor, the National Botanical Garden in Dublin offers free admission. Many of the castles and estates throughout Ireland house beautiful walled in gardens that visitors can enjoy; check out Timoleague Castle Gardens, Tullynally Castle and Gardens, and Garnish Island, just to name a few!
- Lineage Trips
Dunbrody Famine Ship, Co. Wexford, Ireland
A lot of people have roots that trace back to Ireland, and many of the churches and villages their families may have frequented are still standing. If you’re interested in taking a jaunt down your ancestral memory lane, Ireland is ready for you!
Of course, this kind of trip will definitely require a lot of individual and independent planning, as everyone’s heritage varies.
Check out more about Irish Heritage in our Genealogy Blogs
- Historical/Cultural Sites
Ceide Fields, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Ireland has a long and rich history and it’s got many world heritage sites to demonstrate that. If your interest lies in ruins and antiquities, Ireland’s got you covered.
Some of the most popular historic sites include:
- Hill of Tara
- Ceide Fields
- Blarney Stone
- Game of Thrones Route
Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim, Ireland
Are you one of the many people enchanted by the Game of Thrones series (or books)? Did you know that a whole bunch of the series has been filmed in Ireland? Now you do! Bring the series to life by visiting some of the filming locations and landscape inspirations.
From the Dark Hedges setting the scene for The Kings Road, and Shane’s Castle Country in Antrim for Winterfell shots and the sword fight of Brienne and the Kingslayer. You can explore some of the grounds and castles used in shots as well as practice archery and dress up as your favorite characters.
Looking to do this one with a guide? Check out our Game of Thrones Tour of Northern Ireland page.
Wild Atlantic Way, Multiple Counties, Ireland
Interesting in hitting the open road on your own or with some of your favorite people? For a truly exhilarating and unique experience, cruise through Ireland’s hilly landscapes on a motorcycle. Have the ultimate say over where you go, and what pace you go at when planning your own driving itinerary.
Not a fan of the bikes? Look into the Self-Drive tour instead!
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