Here are 10 fantastic experiences that are not to be missed in Ireland.
Visit two iconic Gaeltacht locations with Irishman Padraig O’Raighne on this jampacked Connemara and Aran Island Tour. A Gaeltacht man himself, Padraig of Connemara Pub Tours combines his local expertise with food-industry insider knowledge. Experience the stunning beauty in Connemara’s Gaeltacht as you sample a tipple or two and listen to the locals tell tales and sing songs from times gone by.
If you want to head further afield, take their Aran Island tour and witness life living off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Journey to Inis Oirr on a short scenic flight across the bay and head to three Irish establishments. It’s there you can indulge in food and drink before you tour the island with your informative guide.
Get out on the water to experience the thrill of catching your own food in the Atlantic and then using fresh ingredients to create a delicious meal with Catch and Cook at Dingle Cookery School. This is an authentic meal not to be missed as you head out to the fishing grounds of Dingle Bay and land fish such as mackerel, pollock or cod.
Once you’ve caught your fish, you’ll be invited back into the cookery school’s kitchen to prepare your catch. This is followed by a cooking lesson where you’ll learn how to create delectable accompaniments to your dish. And the reward? An amazing seafood meal that you’ve created from ocean to plate.
Built in the 1820s, The Long Dock was always a pub – but like many traditional Irish public houses, it was also a hardware shop, grocers and even a drapery. From the moment you cross the threshold of the Carrigaholt pub, you’ll be struck by the old-world charm and comforts of this establishment.
You definitely need to try Imelda’s signature seafood chowder with homemade brown bread, a local favourite and heavenly experience.
With unusual concoctions and ingredients like Tokyo turnips, roasted kelp and even cashew cheese, enjoy a memorable meal at Pilgrim’s Restaurant in Rosscarbery. Indulge in a nibble here or go for a two-course dinner as a treat. Their menus are seasonally crafted and ever-changing with lip-smacking punchy flavours.
Join Oonagh O’Dwyer from Wild Kitchen and share her knowledge and passion of all things to do with wild food on her guided walks. Discover many types of edible seaweeds, plants, flowers, herbs, berries and fruit and learn how to forage sustainably and safely with an expert by your side.
The walk includes plant identification, recipes, seasonal tips and, of course, tasting the wild bounty that you collect. With your lunch or supper coming directly from nature, it’s an immersive experience that everyone can enjoy.
Right in Dublin 8’s Liberties, Roe & Co Whiskey Distillery is a top-notch urban distillery and whiskey attraction. Step into this iconic former Guinness Power Station for an immersive journey from conception to creation.
Discover the secrets of Roe’s unique blend in Room 106 and learn about the pillars of flavour to see where your ideal taste profile lies. This is an intimate and personal tour allowing you to get up close to see modern whiskey at its finest.
From ‘pip to sip’, enjoy a glass of cider or apple crystal gin at Highbank Organic Orchards in Kilkenny. These orchards were originally built by the Calder-Potts family in the 17th Century.
You’ll find refreshing apple juice, cider and mulled apple juice here as well as their very own orchard syrup which many adore. Part of the Taste of Kilkenny Food Trail, these orchards and organic farm shop are well worth a visit.
Learn about the mysterious art of brewing at the award-winning Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork City. Founded in 1998, this brewery is built on the site of an old Franciscan monastery dating back to 1219. Today the brewery has combined modern technology with old-age tradition to create tasty flavoursome beers including lager, ale, stout and wheat beers.
Spend a day foraging for wild foods and exploring wildlife in the hedgerows with Blackstairs Eco Trails in Carlow. Discover the abundance of wild edibles of the Blackstairs Mountains with a fully guided walk to suit all ages. Saunter through lovely lanes, lowlands and bogs as you enjoy a rural day in the countryside.
Established in 1961, Goatsbridge Trout Farm is a local family business. See the fish up close as you take a farm tour and watch the trout at the various stages of their life from ova in the hatchery until they reach maturity at 20 months in the earthen pond. Taste their fresh, smoked, barbecued fish, as well as their astonishing trout caviar during your visit.
Irish food and drink have long impressed local and international visitors. On your next short break in Ireland, plan a visit to some or all of these fantastic experiences and you won’t be disappointed.