My husband and I will be visiting Ireland in July for 5 days. Our lodging is already booked (and paid for) in Dublin for the duration of the trip and we know that we'll want to spend 3 days in Dubin proper but are looking for suggestions for the best day trips from there for the other days.
We're in our late 40's and enjoy: seeing beautiful countryside, wondering aimlessly around quaint villages, poking in shops, visiting interesting pubs, etc. We would like to tour a castle and perhaps do some moderate hiking, maybe visit one of the crystal factories, etc.
We've perused the Discover Ireland website and read through the tours on the Railtours Ireland site but are looking for personal recommendations/suggestions. It also appears that most of the major sites hit via the railtours are quite a distance from Dublin and that most of those tours are a very early morning to late at night affair (likely because they're packing so much into a single day). We're not opposed to renting a car and/or motorcycle if we get some suggestions for day trips that we could attempt on our own.
So, can you share your recommendations with us? Is the Giants Causeway a must see? How about the Ring of Kerry or Cliffs of Moher?
Obviously at the end of the day we'll make our decisions based on what sounds best for our needs but I am curious to hear what others think.
Thanks much for your input and expertise!!