St Patrick’s Day is a very special holiday each year. Where Irish all over the country celebrate their Irishness, whether at the local parade or sipping a pint of Guinness in the pub down the road. I’ve done that every single year with St Patrick’s Day becoming meaningless and just another holiday that comes and goes. This year i wanted to create a memory and a uniquely Irish experience that actually meant something, and that showcases our incredible country.
Since 2015 i have been travelling the world visiting new and unusual cities, taking on great challenges from Machu Picchu to Kilimanjaro in the name of charity. Regardless of all these wonderful and memorable experiences, i have been almost craving a uniquely Irish trip, where i can celebrate how wonderful i KNOW our country is. St Patrick’s weekend seemed like the perfect excuse to celebrate Ireland and discover something new and unseen.
The West of Ireland spoke to me, and i answered.
Unfortunately something that limits the amount of Irish trips i take, is the lack of wheels in my life due to city living. Of course you can always take the train out West, but you totally limit the freedom and the very point of an Irish adventure. As somebody who loves driving and craves 100% freedom on an adventure i knew i had to rent a car for the weekend. I am now an official member of Go Car Ireland a very special car rental, unlike any other.
How does it work ? Well, you simply register online right now for only €10. You receive both a personal access code and a swipe card, which allows you to access your Go Car. Then simply pick your suitable dates and book your car using the Go Car Website, where it will direct you to the suitable location where you can jump in and drive. There is also a wonderful app that allows you to use Go Car with great ease.
The total cost of the car rental from Thursday 7pm to Sunday 7pm was a total of €210. Imagine splitting that between four people, utter bargain ? Watch the video here for a full demo https://youtu.be/3ye8qMpjjh4
First stop: Bliss at The G Hotel, Galway.
As i left Dublin in my Go Car, the rain poured ferociously on the big day, St Patrick’s Day. One could get disheartened by the weather, but i guess i knew i was heading for The G Hotel Galway. It didn’t really matter what the weather was like outside and after years of living in Ireland ive come to live with the rain. The most important thing is that you dont let it ruin your Irish experience, just work around it.
The G Hotel is a luxurious 5 star hotel located in Galway City. The Hotel is a beautifully contemporary, where you can enjoy the blissful spa, flavour packed food and of course the captivating design by Philip Treacy.
This is the ultimate place to start or end your Irish adventure in the West of Ireland, whether with your girlfriend, mother or your other half. Its simply one of those hotels that you need to experience. The designer hotel has a range of incredible special offers that you can find here http://www.theghotel.ie/specialoffers.html.
On arrival a beautifully presented display of sweet delights, a chocolate woven G Hotel and branded vanilla cupcakes that we waited no time to nibble. We sat by the warm fire on the oversized bedroom sofa, sipping a coffee, eating the G Hotel delights and looking out at the Irish rain. It was a perfect moment and appreciated after a long week of work. After a short but needed hour nap in the crisp white sheets, we made our way to the spa for a late but indulgent hour. I particularly enjoyed experiencing the sensation of rubbing frozen ice across my wrists and ankles, as suggested after the beautiful heat. Delicate man made birds fly above the pool that you literally melt into, the only downside is having to leave.
A green cocktail called a SHAMROCKTINI brings my St Patrick’s Day to a close.
I spent a wonderful and relaxing day and night at The G Hotel and my only regret is not having more time. I said goodbye after a delicious serving of Irish smoked salmon topped on a generous size of luxury boxty (Irish potato cake).
The G Hotel specials not to miss
Dinner at GiGi’s – Early dining Delight Menu at €29.50 for two courses
Afternoon Tea – €46.00 for two guests
Stay at The G Hotel – From €80 pps
A very Irish Island
Waving goodbye to The G Hotel in Galway city, jumping back into our Go Car and hitting The Wild Atlantic Way to Rossaveal, where our exciting ferry journey awaits. I can’t believe i’m
heading back to The Arran Islands after almost ten years. I spent one incredible week on Inis Oirr island as an art student, one week drawing and painting this insanely gorgeous and uniquely Irish place. I remember spending hours outdoors and those deep sleeps that followed.
The Arran Island Ferry operates daily between Galway and all of the Arran Islands, including Inis
Oirr, Inis Meain and Inis Mor. You can grab yourself a deal of €50 return ferry and B&B or go with the standard €25 return ticket, which is the option that suited me best.
Book your next ferry journey here The Arran Island Ferries
The ferry is over one hour and get ready for the ride of your life, choppy, powerful and not for the faint hearted. Standing outside the deck looking across the vast ocean you realise how tiny we are in comparison to nature, it’s a very peaceful realisation. Several people ran for the toilet after turning a funny shade of white, the rocking boat obviously to intense for them. Aside from a couple of sick individuals, the boat arrived safe and sound to the mysterious and smallest of The Arran Islands, Inis Oirr.
Inis Oirr island offers the most special Irish experience you could ever hope to have. Totally peaceful and untouched by the western world, except that there is great coverage and access to internet when needed. The Island is charming, beautiful and captivating. An adventure for the imagination that awakens every sense in your body. I couldnt believe to be so lucky with the weather and to be welcomed by wild dolphins as we arrived into the Island by ferry. Inis Oirr has plenty to do and see and you will love getting lost between the stone walls that command the Island.
During the summer season you can rent bikes and enjoy a range of activities that are closed during the off season. It’s a place that every single irish person needs to experience at least once and yes there are places to eat and drink Guinness.
Connemara you stole my heart
Connemara was the ultimate place to take my St Patrick’s Weekend to an end. It’s such an INCREDIBLE part of Ireland and is almost reminiscent of wild Iceland. It’s so refreshing being here and away from the city of Dublin. I found myself stopping every five minutes to take a photograph, with my jaw on the floor every corner we turned. Driving from Rossaveal towards Connemara National Park and the legendary Kylemore Abbey.
This trip would have been impossible with my Go Car, freedom was the most important aspect to this Irish odyssey.
The Gothic Abbey is a sight to behold and even more special as i munch on connemara fudge in a delicious cappuccino flavour. Our last stop which was appreciated more than any other moment, before hitting the road back to Dublin.
I’ve learned that i need to make more excuses to see Ireland, because guess what, IT’S UNBELIEVABLE.
There really is no reason to run away to another country at any opportunity you get. Ireland has so much to offer and 32 different and wonderful counties to experience. I’m already planning my next including The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland and Skelling Michael in Kerry.