There are a few things that need to be addressed before we start. First of all Irelands Orient Express is not a train journey, it’s a bus journey. Second of all, it doesn’t serve fancy meals and have an exquisite interior. Finally, it doesn’t span 2,000 kilometers across Europe, stretching from Paris to Constantinople (Istanbul). So if this is not a luxury train journey why is it Irelands Orient Express?
Just as the original Orient Express experienced breathtaking Bavarian countryside, the Irish Orient Express gets to witness jaw-dropping Munster countryside. The original stopped at great cities such as Vienna and Budapest. Irelands stops at charming towns such as Bantry and Clonakilty. This is a scenic bus journey that gives you the chance to take it the very best of the Wild Atlantic Way.
CORK CITY: This is the starting point of the journey. While you are here you can indulge yourself in Corks vibrant historical streets and narrow alleyways. There is so much to see and do here you could easily spend a week discovering the city and county. Art lovers can discover the top class Crawford Art Gallery for free, history buffs have the castle-like structure of Cork City Gaol while food lovers can make an appearance at the famous English market.
GOUGANE BARRA: Irelands oldest and in my opinion the prettiest national park. While you are here you can venture through the forest snapping up pictures of the towering trees surrounding you. Climb to the top of the mountains and capture images of the beautiful and rugged rural landscape. Once you’re finished with your small hike, you can sit back and admire the view of the 19th-century chapel surrounded by a lake where you can even borrow a canoe!
BANTRY: Next on the itinerary is the colorful seaside town of Bantry. If you come here on the weekend you can immerse yourself in the buzzing atmosphere of the Bantry market. If you come during the week there is no need to worry as you can still check out small shops and pick up an Irish souvenir. Another thing you can do any day of the week is to enjoy a cup of traditional Irish tea in one of the many cozy teahouses located here.
MIZEN HEAD: This is the highlight of the trip. Forget the Cliffs of Moher, this is the place to be for amazing cliff scenery! At Irelands most southerly point you can enjoy a mesmerizing hike along the rugged coastline, cross the famous Mizen Head Bridge and take in the jaw-dropping scenery. Even if it a sunny day when you leave Cork city bring a jacket because the Atlantic sea breeze can get quite cold.
CLONAKILTY: Dubbed as Corks capital town of cool and you can see why after visiting here. If exploring its characteristic town isn’t enough for you to enjoy there is more you can explore. You can learn all about Michael Collins, Corks’ most famous historical hero. If history isn’t your thing you can view Cork from above at the West Cork Model Railway village that’s just a 20-minute walk from the town center.
Once you arrive back in Cork at around 6 PM you have the opportunity once again to explore the city. Make sure to visit a traditional Irish pub and order yourself a pint of Murphys. Be sure to order Murphys and not Guinness, the locals will appreciate it as Murphys is brewed in Cork while Guinness is brewed in Dublin.
The price for an adult ticket is 35 EUR, a senior 30 EUR, a student 28 EUR, and a child is 19 EUR for the 8 hour day trip. The tour takes place from February – October on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For more information, you can click on the link down below.
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