Best Friend Getaways in Ireland

Some of the best times with friends are those spent reliving the memories that brought you together, strengthened your relationship, or even just made you laugh yourselves silly. Our friendships are basically a collection of experiences – both good and bad – that cement us into each other’s lives to the point that we can’t imagine a time where we had ever lived apart!

Of course, the friendly nature of the Irish people means that you are never far from a new friend, but it’s also a wonderful place to explore with your buddies of yore! There are so many beautiful sites and exciting experiences just waiting to be had – and of course to reminisce about them properly you’ll need to take a trusted companion along for the ride.

So, without further ado, I present to you my list of Best Friend Getaways, with a little something for every kind of camaraderie. Some of these I have had the delight of experiencing first-hand, while others are firmly on my bucket list for the not too distant future!

Luxurious Pampering

 

If you’re looking for an oasis of tranquillity amongst the hustle and bustle of city life, then Dublin’s ‘The Marker Hotel’ is the perfect getaway for you and your bestie.

This five-star boutique establishment has everything you could possibly need for a luxuriously girly getaway – including an award-winning spa with a dramatically serene décor and an extensive treatment list.

 

Picture Credit - cntraveler.com

The seventh-floor rooftop bar offers 360° panoramic vistas of Dublin which can be appreciated during a spot of morning yoga, or with one of the city’s best cocktails in hand.

The hotel is conveniently located on the picturesque Grand Canal Square – just a 20 minute stroll from Temple Bar. However, if it’s a glorified girls' night in that you are after, you could easily spend the whole weekend soaking up the comforts of the hotel, dining at the sumptuous Brasserie when the mood so takes you!

 

Sustainable Shopping

 

Picture Credit - Rudolf Heltzel

We all love to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, and it’s a treatment that is most effective served in double doses. In other words - it’s a lot more fun with a friend in tow!

As much as I love the shiny store fronts of Dublin, if you’re looking for a shopping experience with an authentically Irish twist then Kilkenny is definitely the place to be. Pick up quality garments, jewellery, and accessories, with a sparkle of Irish individuality along the Made in Kilkenny craft trail.  

Whether you’re both looking for inspiration ahead of Christmas time, or simply wish to treat yourselves to something a bit different – it’s a fun and fashionable way to support local (and remarkable) businesses, with purchases that are sure to stand out from the crowd.

 

Picnics with Pals

 

The best things in life are free, and friendship is certainly one of them. Another on the list is mother nature herself – and what better way to bond in Ireland than to experience the great outdoors together?

One of my favourite things to do when I get an afternoon with my friends is to pack up a picnic and head outside. It’s so much easier to be appreciative of the little things when you are surrounded by so much beauty, and it’s the perfect opportunity to catch up – whether it’s just the two of you, a crowd of companions, or even a joint family day out.

 

No matter where you land in Ireland, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to laying down your picnic blanket – with country fields, sandy beaches, and forest glens galore to choose from. If you’re looking to pinpoint a location – this article from The Irish Times can kick you off with a small selection of 50…

 

Cairdeas Camping

 

Picture Credit - Outsider.ie

If one meal simply isn’t enough time to connect with your companions, then you can always extend your stay in the Irish wilderness with a camping weekend.

There are lots of options to suits every lifestyle and budget – with glamping pods catering to your every need as you appreciate the wonders of nature from the lap of luxury; while caravan sites provide a hearty middle ground, where you can pitch up a tent with the comfort of knowing that your essential amenities are close at hand.

 

However, if you have an adventurous spirit, there are plenty of spots in which you can escape modern life in favour of some good old fashioned outdoor living. For example, wild camping is permitted in much of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, and you should be able to pitch up far away from other holiday makers – ensuring that you and your friends wake up to your own little piece of paradise each morning.

Although if you opt for this approach, please do ensure that you have the recommended experience and equipment to do so (Ireland’s nature is beautiful in its unpredictability), and remember: “Leave nothing behind and take nothing but memories”.

Foodie Weekend

Food is always better when it’s shared (provided there’s plenty on the table!) and there’s much more than just bread to break on a foodie weekend in Ireland!

Of course, you can head to any major city and take your pick from the celebrated chefs that reside there, but if the route to your heart is through your stomach – why not sample the path less trodden?

 

There’s a delicious line-up of food festivals dotted around the country each offering their own unique take on the local produce and plenty of opportunities to grab a bite with your nearest and dearest. For example, the Dingle Food Festival usually kicks off on the Wild Atlantic Way at the start of October. You and your friends can pick your way through the ever-popular “Taste Trail” which takes you to more than 70 venues around the town!

 

Get Adventurous

 

If you’re looking for a getaway with a thrilling twist, Carlingford Adventure is serving up adventures for all ages! From kids’ camps, to corporate weekends away, and even hen and stag dos – there’s an exciting quest for every kind of friendship.

Explore all of Ireland’s elements with Crystal Maze style challenges, water trampolining, and the biggest Aerial Adventure Park in the country – to name just a few on the mind bogglingly long list of fun activities.

If you thought you were firm friends before just wait and see how solid your comradeship is after a weekend of ziplines, footgolf and occasional hilarity as you pull your mate out of the muddy bog that they have succumbed to.

 

Conquer a Mountain

Whenever life presents us with an uphill battle, our friends are always by our side to support us on the journey. Why not take that metaphor and make it a reality, by challenging yourselves to Ireland’s highest peak – Carrauntoohil.

 

At 1039m, Kerry’s tallest mountain is a tough summit to master, and will take between five and eight hours depending on which route you choose (and the experience of the group you are hiking with). If the exertion doesn’t take your breath away, the views certainly will – with shimmering lakes, dramatic peaks and vibrant foliage dotted throughout the experience – with the peak offering magnificent panoramic vistas of the whole MacGillycuddy's Reeks mountain range.

It will be hard work, but an incredible shared experience, and an achievement that your friendship will cherish for years to come.

 

Picture Credit - kerryclimbing.ie

If you could take your best friend anywhere in Ireland where would it be? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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