In this blog we look at the top 10 full day excursions and half day trips we offer. Most of these destinations are all located within just 1 hour of Limerick and are offered as part of the summer school or the mini stay programme. The geographical location of Limerick makes it ideal for visiting Ireland's top tourist destinations along the west of Ireland. While many summer schools in Dublin will need to travel up to 3.5 hours to reach these destinations, they are all located on the doorstep of Limerick. Read on to learn more...
1. Limerick City Tour
No trip to Limerick is compete without a walking tour of the city. Limerick is steeped in history as an early Viking strong point along the River Shannon. It was later captured by the Normans and quickly became an economic and commercial hub with it's focal point being King John’s Castle. The walls of Limerick and the local government system they founded still survive to this day. A leisurely walk around the city highlights the evolution of Irish life and society down though the centuries.
2. Cliffs of Moher
'The Cliffs' as they're known in the locality need little introduction ranking as Irelands top tourist destination and only 1 hour from Limerick. The majestic cliffs, rising 215m above sea level overlook the immense wild Atlantic make for a fitting view as they stand tall and defiant on the edge of Europe. The cliffs are easily a favourite destination among our mini stay and summer groups as they make for a great Insta post! View more information here
3. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is another one of Irelands' top tourist destinations on the door step of Limerick (15 mins from the city) . As a fully functioning castle with daily tours and evening banquets, Bunratty's 19th Century Folk Park offers students an opportunity to travel back in time and experience a reconstruction of the homes & environment of Ireland of over a century ago. The in-character actors enhance the experience as they entertain guests in the style and manor of old Ireland. View more information here
4. Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park is a national treasure located in the south west of Ireland 1.5 hours from Limerick City. It's lakes, rivers, waterfalls and expansive rugged mountains are home to diverse numbers of flora and fauna resulting in the area being designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by UNESCO. As part of the famous Ring of Kerry, the park offers breathtaking scenery. The focal point of the National Park for visitors is Muckross House and Gardens seen in the image below. The house is a late 19th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artefacts of the period and is a major visitor attraction along with the beautiful gardens and grounds. View more info here
5. Caving in Doolin
The small town of Doolin is another favourite among tourists for it's well preserved Irish culture and traditional Irish music. Doolin Cave on the other hand is an often overlooked natural attraction that boasts the largest free standing stalactite in Europe and the 3rd biggest in the world. Just 1.5 hours from Limerick, this little known gem is a true sight to behold but can only be truly appreciated in person. Students get a chance to travel 50m underground and see a natural chandelier created by nature over 5000 years. View more information here
6. Beach trip to Fanore/Lahinch
Whether its the spring, summer, autumn or winter, there nothing quiet like a trip to the beach. As an island, Ireland is dotted throughout the country with many amazing beaches. Lahinch is one of the most popular beaches due to it's vibrant surfing scene with students welcome to try a surf lesson if they can brave the cold. While Fanore is less well known, it's rugged karst landscape and it's relative isolation along the Wild Atlantic make it both a unique and picturesque beach destination.
7. King John's Castle
Limerick City's very own King John's Castle is a must see for any group visiting Limerick. The tour consists of a stunning exhibition with state of the art interactive technology which brings to life over 800 years of dramatic local history. Students have the chance to interact with resident archers, musicians and crafts people while soaking up the ancient atmosphere. Fancy a sword fight? See more information here
8. Aran Islands
The Aran Islands consist of 3 islands off the coast of Clare and Galway. The largest of the islands is known as Inis Mor which is the Irish for 'Big Island'. The other two islands are known as Inis Meain and Inis Oirr. A true Irish experience awaits tourists as locals maintain old traditions and speak Irish language. The only English spoken by locals on the islands is to tourists. The main modes of transport are horse and cart and bicycle. While the Aran Islands are a great experience, the weather and the tide mean it's not always possible for our groups to travel there. Learn more here
9. Blarney Castle
Besides the natural beauty of the nature and gardens surrounding the castle, the legend of Blarney is well known. 'The gift of the gab' and 'stop talking blarney' are two expressions that take their source from Blarney Castle. It's known the world over as the home of the mythical Blarney Stone. Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone bestows the gift of eloquence or 'the gift of the gab'. For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have climbed the steps to kiss the Stone and gain the gift of speaking eloquently. Now that I'm writing this, it should probably be the first stop our language students make. We might take a trip at the beginning and the end, 'to be sure to be sure'!
10. Galway shopping trip
It's always nice to see other cities in Ireland. We sometimes treat our summer school or mini stay groups to an afternoon of shopping in Galway City. As Irelands 4th largest City, it has a wonderful small town vibe with lots of street music, shops and restaurants to enjoy the day while soaking up the Irish culture and lifestyle.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Feel free to contact us for more information on our summer school or mini stay programmes.