Horseback riding in Ireland, Killarney National Park

St. Patrick’s Day Dreamin’

Looking back on our travels and adventures, our journey to Ireland with family last fall was a standout. Creating great memories with people you love always ups the ante on an experience, but our time in Ireland was truly something magical. The weather worked in our favor, and the landscapes were some of the most stunning we’d ever seen. The pub culture kept us out into the evenings, sipping cider and local beer while we listed to trad music. The architecture and layered histories kept us fueled during the day to understand more and travel deeper. And how can I forget the people? As nearly all visitors to the Emerald Isle will attest, the people really do help make the journey remarkable; there’s a warmth and welcoming quality that’s simply hard to beat.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m sharing some of my favorite memories and snapshots from Ireland.

Temple Bar, Ireland
Exploring Temple Bar during our time in Dublin.
Book of Kells at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Being enamored with the library at Trinity College. Have I been transported to Beauty and the Beast?!
Jameson Distillery, Dublin
Whisky tasting with the family at the Jameson Distillery.
Cahir Castle, Ireland
Beginning our road trip at Cahir Castle, where parts of Braveheart were filled. One of the best parts? The photo shoot afterwards and attempted jump shot!

Dromoland Castle, Ireland

Dromoland Castle, Ireland
Dinner at Dromoland Castle, where my mom told me she felt ‘like a princess’.
Horseback Riding, Killarney National Park
Horseback riding in Killarney National Park – incredible.
Ireland Vacation Photography, Killarney National Park
A family photo shoot in Killarney National Park – this was snapped at Ross Castle!

Skellig Michael, Ireland

Skellig Michael, Ireland
The journey to Skellig Michael and hike to the secluded monastery at the top.
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
Exploring the town of Dingle.
Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
…and the stunning landscapes during our drive along the Dingle Peninsula!
Adare Manor, Ireland
A pit stop at Adare Manor.
Staigue Fort, Ring of Kerry, Ireland
Exploring ancient stone forts along the drive.
Ring of Beara, Ireland
Journeying around the Ring of Beara.
Dunboy Castle, Ring of Beara, Ireland
Exploring fields and abandoned castles.
Dunboy Castle, Ring of Beara, Ireland
Being alone with the world and the ruins of Dunboy Castle – so gorgeous.
Biking Killarney National Park, Ireland
Cycling in Killarney National Park.
Innisfallen Island, Ireland
Taking a boat ride on Loch Leane, the Lake of Learning.
Picnic on Innisfallen Island, Ireland
Arriving at Innisfallen Island, one of the coolest little places, and having a picnic lunch near a 12c. monastery.

Ireland Vacation Photography, Killarney National Park

Reminiscing on this is awe-inspiring. How we accomplished so much in less than 10 days is pretty incredible, and I wouldn’t have traded our destination choice for anything. Ireland was perfection!

Have you been to Ireland? What areas were highlights for you?

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.