As a true Blue Jackeen (native of Dublin) I love Dublin, but the one thing I always tell visitors (the term "tourist" is very rarely used in Ireland) is by all means enjoy a day and maybe one night in Dublin, have a pint or two in one of the last few remaining decent tradtional pubs (Kehoes, Toners, Dohney & Nesbitts etc) but after that get out of Dublin and head west. Nothing will prepare you for Connemara. The spectacular scenery, the friendly locals, the great pubs and traditional music, fantastic beaches and just a general feeling of being away from it all out on the farthest tip of Western Europe you can get to.
From Galway head for Clifden but make sure to take the road through the Inagh Valley. Spectacular 360 degree walled valley with the beautiful Lake Inagh running through it.
If you have time, take a trip out to Inisboffin Island for a day, wild and unspoilt with two bars and about 80 local residents and a former hideout of the 16th century great Irish Pirate Queen herself Grace O'Malley.
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