Ireland is a country that is unique in its kind.
Drenched with a deep patriotic culture and awe-inspiring panoramas, Ireland wonderfully blends the rugged charm of the wilderness of Northern Europe into one of the best bucolic landscapes in Europe.
This special photo tour will leads us through spectacular seascapes, fairytale castles and picturesque fishing villages where we’ll indulge the call of the traditional music that echoes from the pubs. From the surreal Giants Causeway to the dizzying Cliffs of Moher along the mythical Wild Atlantic Way, from the remote Fanad Head lighthouse in the north to the bucolic Dingle Peninsula in the south, we will encount countless opportunities for unique landscape shots on our journey.
The journey to Dublin is individual. We’ll meet at the hotel right next to the Dublin ariport with a short get-to-know-you before we run into a brief introduction to Ireland and to the plan for the forthcoming days with a quick overview onto the photographic topics that we’ll run through.
We leave Dublin to reach Northern Ireland and the first of its most renowned icons: the Giants Causeway. A surreal coastal landscape of 40.000 basalt columns originated from ancient volcanic eruptions. A thrilling location for sunset landscape photography. We’ll spend the 2 days visiting all the numerous famous landmarks of the area: The Giants Causeway, the spectacular tree tunnel of the Dark Hedges, the ruins of the Dunluce Castle and the awe-inspiring scenic views at the Mussenden Temple, perched at the edge of a overhanging cliff above the Atlantic ocean.
After the last sunrise session we set off for another photographic highlight on the windswept Fanad Peninsula in north-east Ireland. Here the untamed waves of the Atlantic meet the Irish mainland and form an impressive coastal scenery. The mighty rocks of Fanad Head present themselves wild, rough and defying the tides. And in the middle of this spectacular Atlantic coast sits the Fanad Head Lighthouse, one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Ireland, which towers over the headland from a small fjord, making it an inspiring place for landscape photography.
From one of the Northernmost points of Ireland we start our descent towards the South driving through the legendary Wild Atlantic Way, the Irish equivalent of California’s Pacific Coast Highway and the Australian Great Ocean Road, winding throughout the entire west coast. Our destination for the day, the Dún Briste, is almost 50 meters high and is one of the most striking points on the Wild Atlantic Way. A gigantic chunk of cool rock rises majestically from the Atlantic at Downpatrick Head and defies all winds and tides. The surf pillar Dún Briste, lapped by boiling and foaming waves, has been enthroned at the top of the impressive coastal area for many centuries. An incomparable beauty surrounds this place, which is given a far-reaching historical significance. We look for the best lighting mood and take photos with long and short shutter speeds in order to skillfully capture the unique scenery.
A “wild beauty”, as Oscar Wilde called the Connemara area, is located where Europe ends, on Ireland’s wild west coast. Kilometers-wide peat bogs, dark blue lakes and green valleys await us, which give rise to the feeling of an almost endless loneliness, which is only interrupted from time to time by a few peaceful creations and the characteristic Connemara ponies.
No question about it, the region at the western tip of Ireland is one of the special places in Ireland: On the one hand, it consists of lush heather and moor areas and, on the other hand, of the Twelve Bens, a mountain range with twelve peaks, some of which are more than 700 meters high protrude. The entire environment with all its details looks like an expensive painting in which we can lose ourselves for hours. So we make a photo stop at the old Gothic monastery Kylemore Abbey, which is incredibly idyllic right on Pollacapall Lough, which is surrounded by lush green, dense deciduous forests. And of course we don’t forget to include the famous pine island with the Twelf Bens in the background, reflected in Lake Derryclare Lough, a must-have in our travel photo portfolio.
Galway is commonly known as the city of music. With a pint of Guinness or Kilkenny you can enjoy Irish fiddle music, which is typical in traditional pubs. On the street, too, they play as much as they can. Street musicians and jugglers clearly feel at home in Galway. After we have recovered a little, Dunguaire Castle is on our program for the golden and blue hours in the evening, one of the most famous and most scenic castles in Ireland, which is surrounded by a spectacular secluded scenery. Dunguaire Castle is possibly Ireland’s most photographed tower house. No wonder, since it sits impressively right on the road near the picturesque harbor town of Kinvara in southern Galway Bay. We use the soft evening light to capture the picturesque castle in beautiful atmospheric images amid the reflection of the water. At the end of our exciting day we let the evening fade away in the hotel.
The Cliffs of Moher are arguably the most spectacular stretch of coast the European continent has to offer for good reason. Dark, grassy plateaus end here abruptly in almost vertically sloping steep walls and offer a fascinating and dizzying view into the depths. Between the brittle edge and the roaring sea lies nothing but air and 214 meters of free fall. The spray is splashing down below, countless seagulls, jackdaws and guillemots cavort in the rock niches, but also shearwater and puffin are at home here. Since the sight of the cliffs is truly breathtaking, it is not surprising that the Cliffs of Moher have been used as the location for numerous films, including “Harry Potter”, “Hear my Song” and “The Prince’s Bride”. While most of the tourists stop in the main area of the viewing platform, we will hike a bit more to enjoy the best view of the majestic cliffs and to capture them in our pictures.
Colorful house facades, first-class seafood restaurants and the country’s most famous dolphin draw thousands of visitors year after year to the town of Dingle, which with its 52 pubs and 1,300 locals has more pubs than any other city in Ireland. Here you can stroll comfortably through the colorful alleys, enjoy a cool Guinness in one of the countless pubs or simply stop off at the many small souvenir shops.
Mind you, the Dingle Peninsula with its bucolic hilly landscape and spectacular mountain passes is undisputedly one of the most impressive places in the west of Ireland and a good reason to visit. With every curve that leads down winding country roads to wild hedges, an infinite horizon and cozy thatched pubs, we feel more and more why National Geographic once called it “the most beautiful place in the world”. But the peninsula is also home to great coastal panoramas, which make it one of the best photo destinations in the south. We use the time after our arrival at the hotel in Dingle for individual relaxation, before we devote ourselves to Dunquin Pier with its dreamy setting on a cliff-lined stretch of coast in the evening. Picturesque a narrow winding path winds down to the pier, a perfect picture and an iconic place in Ireland. At the golden and blue hours we let ourselves be pampered by the sublime sight of Dunquin Pier with its multitude of possible compositions.
Early morning drive on the spectacular coastal road of Slea Head, which reveals fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the nearby Blasket Islands and the rugged coast covered with lush green with every turn. The route is not only peppered with breathtaking views but also offers an insight into the history of Ireland with its forts, stone circles and Beehive Huts. Settlers from the Bronze Age, medieval monks, English landlords and Hollywood directors shaped this piece of earth and left their mark – to this day.
We then drive all the way back to the capital city, reaching Dublin by early afternoon in time for check-in at the hotel before spending the last session photographing Dublin’s old town at sunset from the banks of the Liffey river.
Unforgettable mornings, evenings and nights let us tell stories that will be remembered for a long time through our pictures. Today we go home with lots of impressions and photos in the camera.
Note: We reserve the right to adjust the exact daily program at short notice, if necessary, in order to be able to respond to the respective weather and light conditions. With sunrise times around 5 a.m., sunsets around 10 p.m. and many kilometers of driving time, the schedule can be quite exhausting. In order to make the trip less stressful, in the places where it makes sense, we will consider focusing on only one of the two sessions depending on the better lighting conditions.
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Tour Operator: Kathrin Brockmann
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