County Carlow may be tiny, but it's teeming with sights and potential activities. There's arguably no better place in the country for getting out and exploring quaint Irish communities and enjoying traditional cuisine.
Carlow Town is the best place in the county to be based, especially if you're keen on exploring historic sites. Carlow Castle dates to the 1200s, but the ground underneath it has hosted a fortress in some form for much longer. It's in partial ruins today, but its back story is captivating. Other sights worth beholding in Carlow include the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow Courthouse and the prehistoric Browneshill Dolmen.
With car rental in County Carlow, you'll have no trouble making your way from Carlow town proper to little Borris, which lies along Route 702. In Borris, the scene is all about enjoying the Georgian architecture and mountain scenery. It's worth booking a hotel here for the chance to sink into the bar and pub scene and enjoy the traditional music.
Most of the hotels in County Carlow are in Carlow Town itself, and this is the most practical launch pad for excursions by hire car. For something more rustic and removed, the Lord Bagenal Hotel is a charming luxury option in the countryside within striking distance of Kilkenny, and it's a popular place for weddings and honeymoons. Killerig Resort is another premium option - this one with its own golf course.
Carlow Town is well connected to the rest of Ireland by road and rail, and it's easy enough getting here by public transport. Bus Éireann arrives from Dublin (2 hours) and Waterford (1 hour, 30 minutes) on a regular basis. Trains make the same journeys in less time. Of course, once you've disembarked, car hire in County Carlow is essential for accessing remote towns and villages.