Viewing O'Brien's Tower at the Cliffs of Moher

Traveling in Ireland Podcast Highlights from the First 101 Episodes | Traveling in Ireland Podcast Episode 152

If you're a new listener to the Traveling in Ireland podcast you may not have dug into the archives. With over 150 episodes that's a lot of listening time!

So I went back and pulled some of my favorite episodes that are still relevant to listeners today.

Kylemore Abbey. Connemara, County Galway, Ireland

Best of the Traveling in Ireland Podcast (first 101 episodes)

When I began the podcast the entire idea was to introduce my listeners to the people they might meet as they travel through Ireland.

All but three of these ‘best of' episodes are interviews.

An important note: in old episodes you will hear an outdated advertisement for Irish Car Rentals. While my listeners can still receive my exclusive 10% discount, the code mentioned is no longer correct. To get your discount use this link.

Instead of sharing these ‘best of' episodes in order of release, I'm going to group them into similar topics.

You can easily access these episodes in your podcast app or visit the show notes for direct links to the episodes on the website.

The Storytellers

The Seanchaí (shawn aw kee), by definition, are custodians of tradition. Ireland has one of the richest traditions of folklore in the world so it makes sense that two of my favorite episodes are with authors.

Mary Pat Kelly (Episode 14) shares her family's emigration story from the Great Hunger to US politics in her books Galway Bay, Of Irish Blood, and Irish Above All. We talk about Mary Pat's passion for Irish culture, her books, and her three favorite places in Ireland.

Felicity Hayes McCoy (Episode 48) has been a storyteller her entire life, working in television and radio before becoming an author. Felicity has written a guide to the Dingle Peninsula, a couple of memoirs, and is well known for her Finfarran novels. In this episode Felicity joins me to talk about old Irish traditions. It's one of the longest episodes I've ever published, but Felicity is a natural storyteller and the time slips away as you listen to her share tales of ancient Ireland. You'll also get local tips for the Dingle Peninsula.

Declan Brady (Episode 88) probably doesn't consider himself a storyteller, but as a genealogist at the Irish Family History Centre in Dublin his job is all about helping people recreate their family stories. In this episode Declan offers tips for tracing your ancestors as well as 3 places to visit on your genealogical journey through Ireland.

Neil Jackman (Episode 25) is another guest who may not fall into the storyteller category naturally, but as an archaeologist he is definitely a custodian of tradition. Neil joined me to talk about Ireland's rich archaeological history and his book Ireland's Ancient East. You'll also hear about the 4 places he loves to visit in Ireland.

HaPenny Bridge Dublin. Photo by by Jody Halsted, Ireland Family Vacations


As the Republic of Ireland's capital and home of the country's main airport, Dublin ranks among the ‘must see' spots for many visitors.

Temple Bar (Episode 60) is among the most visited spots in the city. This episode features Martin Harte, CEO of the Temple Bar Company which promotes this Cultural Quarter of Dublin. We talk about what Temple Bar is (and isn't), a bit about Temple Bar TradFest, and Martin shares three ‘hidden spots' to seek out when you visit Temple Bar.

Day Trips from Dublin (Episode 57) came about from listener questions. Many people will base in Dublin for their entire trip. These day trips are easy to do as a DIY or with an organized tour – no car required.

Waiting on Shore monument above Rosses Point marina. Ireland travel tips | Ireland vacation |

Wild Atlantic Way

Ireland's western coast, from the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal to Kinsale in Cork, is an epic road trip. In my 20 years of Ireland travel I've been lucky enough to cover every one of the 2500km. The following podcasts highlight a few spots along the popular route that you may not have heard about.

County Sligo (Episode 66) is a spot people pass through but rarely stop to explore. In this episode restauranteur and host of the Sligo Food Trail, Anthony Gray, shares his love of the county and Sligo locations to add to your itinerary.

The Lost Valley (Episode 21) in Mayo remains virtually untouched since the famine. Join 6th generation landowner Gerard Bourke as he shares his family's history in this remote part of Ireland as well as 3 nearby spots you shouldn't miss.

Scattery Island (Episode 86) is an incredible monastic site only accessible by boat. Irene Hamilton, owner of Scattery Island Tours, runs the only ferry to the island and shares why this spot deserves to be added to your Wild Atlantic Way itinerary.

Shannon Ferry (Episode 49) is a ‘shortcut' along the route. Manager Eugene Maher shares information about the car ferries, the crossing, and three spots in Ireland he recommends to visitors.

Top of the Rock Pod Páirc (re-broadcast) was one of the first glamping locations in Ireland. Located in the ‘walking centre' of Ireland David and Elizabeth Ross talk about their location, the camping pods, and 3 places in West Cork that visitors shouldn't miss.

Downhill Demense along Northern Ireland's Causeway Coastal Route. Ireland travel tips | Ireland vacation |

Northern Ireland

The 6 counties of Northern Ireland are part of the United Kingdom and politically separate from the Republic of Ireland, though the Republic and the North together create the full island of Ireland.

Mid-Ulster – the Heart of Northern Ireland (Episode 97) takes you off the popular Causeway Coastal Route and into the Sperrin Mountains with Jamese McCloy, a 4th generation shepherd. You'll hear about his family's farm, highlights of the area, and 3 places to add to your Northern Ireland itinerary.

A Tasty Trip into County Down (Episode 101) takes us to Tracy's Farmhouse Kitchen with Tracy Jeffery. You'll hear about the highlights of County Down as well as tasty tours to include in your foray into the North and 3 spots not to miss.

Scattery Island, County Clare, Ireland

The Best of Ireland

For a small country Ireland punches above it's weight. In fact, the most common comment I receive from my vacation coaching and custom itinerary clients is that they are overwhelmed with all the places to see and things to do!

Popular Tourist Destinations (Episode 56) shares data from 2017 including the most and least visited counties of Ireland, as well as some alternate destinations to help visitors avoid the crowds while still getting a similar experience.

7 Wonders of Ireland (Episode 78) shares the result of the Irish Independent of their readers to create the ‘ultimate Irish Bucket List'. You might learn about a new spot or two!

Recommend a Guest or Topic

Do you have a recommendation for a guest I should have on the podcast?

Or maybe you have a question that you think would make a good tips episode?

Send me your podcast ideas! Complete this quick recommendation form.

I hope you've found a lot of inspiration for your Ireland vacation in these, and other, podcast episodes.

When you're ready to plan your Ireland vacation be sure to grab the My Ireland Vacation Planner & Journal. This 58 page spiral-bound book walks your step-by-step through your vacation planning process.

3 planning sections plus a dot grid journal with fun prompts make this booklet the key to planning an Ireland vacation you'll never forget!

Jody Halsted
Follow Along

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