Dungarvan is a beautiful harbour town located at the heart of County Waterford, where Ireland begins. The town’s Irish name Dún Garbhán means “Garbhann’s fort”, referring to Saint Garbhann who founded a church there in the 7th century. Dungarvan is one of the hidden gems from my Munster Vales tour in Southeast Ireland. How I found out about this part of Ireland is a long and interesting story, which I will share with you in several blog posts at the beginning of 2018. Crossing the magnificent counties of Limerick, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford, exploring the Munster Vales is an unforgettable travel experience. Dungarvan will surprise you with a combination of all main travel activities and highlights in Munster Vales. If you are keen on walking, cycling, fishing, water sports, exploring heritage sites or tasting the local food and drinks, while learning more about the life from the local people, you are at the right place.
Outdoor activities in Ireland’s Ancient East
I spent some time alone in Dungarvan, while my friends enjoyed the Waterford Greenway Walking/Cycling Route. The old railway line from Waterford City to Dungarvan when completed is a 46km of offroad cycling and walking trail which travels through time and nature across eleven bridges, three viaducts and through the atmospheric tunnel all the way from the river to the sea. Check out here how Brittney describes her adventure and the meeting with one of the founders of the trail. Mr Garvan Cummins is the Greenway Man and he has great stories to share.
As a slow traveler I needed some time just to walk down the streets, take pictures and meet the local people. This gives me always the chance to feel the beat of the town. Sometimes you have to choose, we can’t have all in our life or during our journey. But if you follow your heart you will be at the right time at the right place and I learned that for every one of us this is a different place and we have to respect it. But I am thankful about all travel moments in Ireland. For now let’s go back to Dungarvan.
In a place like Munster Vales, where nature and green surround you, if you stop for a minute you will hear your intuition as a thought in your mind. Walking down the street to the harbor the colors around you are getting more and more, like a rainbow along your way. A red colored door caught my attention. The Downey’s bar is a U2 fan club, because they came for a tribute in a memory of their road manager in Dungarvan (his hometown). If you are U2 fan, you need to spend more time in Dublin too.
The streets of Dungarvan
With a happy smile on my face I continued walking on Parnell street looking for a local pub. In Ireland life goes around the pub. They give you directions using the pub as location, they are meeting there in happy or sad moments every day. The Irish people share their life in the pub. It’s more powerful than Facebook. J When you speak about Ireland is unforgivable if you are not joking. The people there have one of the greatest sense of humor, which colors their rainy days. Their soul is a rainbow, not only the front doors of the buildings.
At one moment the street continues in many directions. Good luck with your choice, but it will be not so difficult as to choose one of the great places to have lunch or dinner. If you continue a little bit more, your patience will be paid back and you will see the memorial wall with the names of the local people who died in the World war I. If you are still not hungry, take your time and explore the Dungarvan’s castle and learn more about the history and heritage of the town.
The other option is to visit The Old market house art centre (1614) or take a walk along the harbour.
Places to eat and drink in the town
Wherever you go at the end you will need a place for rest and tasty meal with a local drink. Here are some dining places in Dungarvan: Tannery restaurant (fine dining), Crew’s restaurant, The Lady Belle heritage pub (est. 1825), The Moorings and 360 Cookhouse. I will come back for sure, because after entering Merry’s Gastro Pub you don’t want to go out. Here ends my visit to Dungarvan and Munster Vales. What happened at Merry’s I will share with you in a video the next days. Sláinte (Slancha) = Cheers!
I lived Ireland and the Munster Vales thanks to Breifne Earley, who drove us around and showed us his country; Munster Vales Tourism board and Tríona O’Mahony who developed this new tourism destination in Ireland; Brittany Kulick who showed me the world of the happy leprechauns and was always ready for a new dessert.