Getting to Ireland is an exciting journey in itself especially if you live on the other side of the World. With the luck of the Irish on your side, choose from a variety of options and get the most out of your trip.
In a land that makes it easy for tourists to get around, the only challenge you will face is deciding on how you want to enter Ireland. Do you want to fly into Belfast or catch a ferry into Dublin? The choice is all yours. For those brave enough you can swim across the Irish Sea. That will put you in the record books.
If you are departing from Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane or Melbourne, you are spoiled for choice so here’s all the airlines that will get you to Ireland. Qantas, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Air France, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia, Turkish Airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
Departing Melbourne, you can travel to Belfast City, Cork, Dublin or Shannon via Abu Dhabi and in some instances via London Heathrow flying Etihad Airways from AUD$1365 return economy class during the month of October. The most convenient departure time is 22:45pm as you arrive into Dublin at 3pm the next day. Perfect to check straight into your hotel and then go out to explore the city.
For Business Class travellers, fares in October start from AUD$6815.
Travelling by road in and around Ireland is one the most popular ways in getting around the Country for tourists. There really is no better way than to pack the car with your bags (2 in my case), and to head out to the local villages, coastal towns and serene sites to take it all in.
Driveaway Holidays offers all the major rental companies including Thrifty, Avis, Hertz, Sixt rent a car, Alamo and local car company County Car Rentals.
8 Day car rental starts from AUD$216. 58 for a Ford KA 2 door – MBMN.
Personally I would go for the Ford Focus 4 door – Compact – CDAR which starts from AUD$378.06 as it will fit my two bags. I do pack for all seasons.
Note: Australian’s and Kiwi’s must get an International Driving Permit to be allowed to drive in Ireland. Do this at least 6 weeks before you travel. Contact RMS in Australia and the good news is, you can do it all online. FINALLY.
Ferries to Ireland are a plenty but choosing which company to go with and the departing point is part of the excitement. From the UK, it’s literally a short hop skip and a jump (ok, no jumping please) to Ireland. Stena Line, P&O Ferries, Irish Ferries and Isle of Man Ferry companies will get you there. Highly recommend speaking with your Travel Agent to decide which port to depart from and make sure you choose early mornings or late evenings. These are the best times to travel plus it’s usually a lot cheaper.
To give you some perspective, here are the crossing times to help you choose.
Cairnryan to Larne with P&O Irish Sea Ferries = 2 hours sailing
Liverpool to Dublin with P&O Irish Sea Ferries = From 8 hours sailing
Liverpool to Belfast with Stena Line = 8 hours sailing
Pembroke to Rosslare with Irish Ferries = 4 hours sailing
Holyhead to Dublin with Stena Line = 3 hours 15 mins sailing
To avoid any confusion, in the Republic of Ireland, Irish Rail is the rail service that you will be travelling on in this area. For rail in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Railways looks after these journeys.
TIPS: Highly recommend booking your tickets prior to travelling to Ireland. Get your agent to secure your seats as this will save you money and time in the long run.
Rail Europe offers train travel from Dublin Connolly to Belfast from AUD$69 for 2nd class and AUD$94 for 1st class during the month of October. The journey takes 2 hours 16 minutes. Now that is a great day trip annd you make it in time for the morning markets. Give me that Soda Bread with Guinness.
Dublin has the visitors card known as the LEAP VISITOR CARD. Its a prepaid pass that gives you access to the Dublin bus, train and tram network for 72 hours from first use.
TIP: The LEAP VISITOR CARD allows you to venture out to coastal villages and suburban towns. Imagine the mischief you could get up to.